How Did Quarantines Come About?

Interesting information and a great read about the invention of quarantines. It comes from the Italian word “forty days”. After the bubonic plague wiped out over a third of the population in Europe, they initially adopted a policy for a “30 day” wait for boats arriving, or “trentino.” After a century they changed the time period from 30 days to 40 days and started calling it quarantino. Boats arriving in Venice had to be at anchor for 40 days before they could come into the port and go ashore.

As I sailed around the world, we were required to check into every country. We had to put up the yellow quarantine flag until we got checked in. Once we checked in, we took down the yellow quarantine flag and put up the local country’s flag. It was really more of a formality than anything else, but I could see how at one time this quarantine business was necessary for health reasons. These days it’s kind of a pain in the butt, but at one time, it definitely could have saved a lot of people.

Coronavirus: how quarantine has fought disease through the ages


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