Etymology of Quarantine


Its reference comes from the Italian quaranta giorni, based on the Latin quadraginta, which translates to four times ten, as in, forty, related to the word quattuor, that indicates the number four, having the Indo-European root *kwetwer-, and accompanied by the suffix -ginta, which is related to the Indo-European *dekm-, determined as ten.

Its implementation as a health safety measure dates back to the time of the Black Death in the fourteenth century -one of the largest pandemics in the history of mankind, with a death toll that experts estimate at around 200 million-, specifically as a measure to contain the spread of contagion by isolating the sick, observing 40 days as sufficient time to notice signs of infection and outbreak; In Venice, Italy, when a possible threat was detected among passengers arriving in a ship, it was completely blocked and not allowed to touch land until such time had elapsed.

The evolution of quarantine measures in response to the progression of Covid-19 and the lack of individual awareness

From the beginning, the vast majority of countries in the world implemented an immediate shutdown at air level on flights coming from the most affected countries; such as Italy, Iran, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and obviously China. The general rule proposed by the WHO is a 14-day quarantine, which was initially applied to those with signs of infection, but later had to be generalized to all those arriving from highly affected areas due to the lack of social awareness.

As a result, the measures were insufficient, and several countries proceeded to a full shut down at the regional level, especially at the request of Asia and Europe when analyzing repatriation cases. The damage that a single person is capable of generating due to his or her irresponsibility from the moment that he or she violates the quarantine is immeasurable. In countries such as Argentina, the call to individual awareness has become a mandatory law with criminal consequences.

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