Well, it’s Halloween once again—and the Black Death is back. How has your 2017 been?
On the African island of Madagascar—which, like the continent of Africa itself, has been hit by a resurgence of the plague—the disease is spreading because people are digging up their deceased relatives to dance with them in an ancient ceremony.
The ritual, called Famadihana, was banned since the outbreak began…but people are starting to ignore the ban and dig up the corpses anyway. Even though these former plague-sufferers are dead, they can still spread contagion.
You can imagine that in the midst of such chaos as an outbreak of a deadly disease, many people would feel more comforted—and indeed, even protected—to enact traditional rituals rather than follow modern medical advice. That said—bad idea to dig up and handle these corpses, in my opinion.
The Black Death decimated about 1/3 of Europe’s population in the 13th and 14th centuries; like Twin Peaks and Will and Grace, it made a comeback this year.
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