Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #2ndPlaguePandemic

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What you need to know about the #PestisSecunda. A 🧵 for 2022.
Yesterday, I posed the question; "If we've been this ignorant about the largest pandemic in human history, on what kind of foundation are we basing responses now?"
I was referring to the #2ndPlaguePandemic. 1/n
For the past several years, I've been accustomed to saying that most people have a basic misconception of the Black Death (BD), the wave of plague that swept from the Black Sea thru the Middle East, N Africa, & Europe in 1346-53. People thought it came & then disappeared. 2/n
They didn't realize that the BD was the genetic foundation for all plague outbreaks that would strike the region periodically for the next 4-500 years. Cairo, Constantinople, Algiers, London, Seville, Marseille. And 1000s of towns & villages in betw. All due to same lineage. 3/n
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@prof_goldberg @sanghyuk_shin Hi Daniel. OK back online.Thanks. I've been following the phylogeny (evolutionary trees) of SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning, primarily b/c my work the past decade has convinced me that pathogen evolution is the key tool we can use to understand both present & past pandemics.
@prof_goldberg @sanghyuk_shin One of the 1st things I did when the announcement came out of 🇿🇦 last week was to look at the phylogenetic tree for what was still being called B.1.1.529 (now #Omicron). It was stunning. I assumed it was a variant of Delta, which has been in active circulation for months.
@prof_goldberg @sanghyuk_shin What was obvious right then (way back on 26 Nov) was that it had come out of the blue. Look at where it is on the general phylogeny: it's that red cluster, here labeled 21K. It's hard to see on this densely packed image but if you follow the strain back to its origins it's empty.
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Okay, I've confirmed that the corrected text of the Marmot Supplement has been posted. So I will do a short thread summarizing key points from "The Four Black Deaths" (hereafter, 4BDs). A reminder that the essay+supplement are #OpenAccess until 12/31:…. 1/n
1) the Black Death (= #2ndPlaguePandemic) started in 13thC not 14th
2) wasn't just Mediterranean/Europe
3) originated w/ spillover out of marmot reservoir of plague → Big Bang
4) likely spread thru Mongol Empire via grain supplies
5) we need a rethink of 13thC history 2/n
OK, now for a slightly deeper dive. Why suggest that the Black Death had an earlier origin & wider footprint than we've suspected before? Genetics! Work in the past decade on #YersiniaPestis has transformed what we know about the history of this phenomenally lethal organism. 3/n
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@LucyMangan @prof_gabriele @greg_jenner I'll create in a bit a new (short) thread listing the top studies on what we know now about the Black Death. Here, let me respond to two points in the present thread: 1) how historians divide history into "periods"; & 2) "silver linings" interpretations of catastrophes.
@LucyMangan @prof_gabriele @greg_jenner 1) So, did the Black Death end the Middle Ages & usher in the Renaissance? A: it's really hard to get any 2 scholars of the centuries btw ca 1300 & ca 1600 to agree on where to draw the line btw "medieval" & "early modern," or even whether a meaningful line is to be drawn at all.
@LucyMangan @prof_gabriele @greg_jenner So the following answer is just what I do in my own teaching & research. I'm a Europeanist by training & practice, so yes, I think there's a medieval/early modern divide. But more than that, I've moved into #GlobalHistory work the past decade, & that tells me the divide is real.
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