The images of the concentrations on Saturday with people crowded together celebrating the end of the state of alarm have generated controversy. Now it’s time to wait a few days to know if those impromptu parties will turn into spikes of contagion.
Impressed by that episode, it has gone unnoticed that in India epidemiologists have pointed out as one of the reasons for the lack of control of the pandemic the celebration, at the beginning of April, of the Kumbh Mela.
This Hindu festival consists of a massive pilgrimage that culminates with the bath in the Ganges River as a ritual act. Despite the warnings of the authorities, who had called for caution, hundreds of thousands of people gathered without any kind of precaution.
In medieval Europe, when the Black Death epidemic broke out , religion also played a prominent role in the transmission of the disease. The first outbreaks appeared in Asia and spread along the Silk Road.
In 1343 it had already reached the Crimean peninsula and, between 1346 and 1353, it devastated Europe, causing the death of between 30% and 50% of the population.
The main reason for its rapid expansion was trade. Now, a study carried out in 2017 by CSIC researchers José María Gómez and Miguel Verdú, and published in the journal ‘Scientific Report’, went further.
Using a mathematical simulation model, they analyzed 1,311 human settlements and 2,084 connection points in Asia, Europe and North Africa to see how the plague spread. They realized that cities that acted as central nodes of communication networks were the most vulnerableand also the most prone to regrowth.
In this sense, the study highlights the impact it had on large capitals such as Paris and on port cities such as London or Barcelona, which during medieval times were one of the main naval powers in the Western Mediterranean. In addition, being urban concentrations with a lot of commercial activity, they were also the most densely populated and we already know how infectious diseases like this.