In the 17th century, Doctors treated victims of the bubonic plague as a physician called Plague doctor. These physicians were specifically hired by urban people where the plague had taken hold In times of epidemics. Since the city people paid Plague doctors’ salaries, they treated everyone, without considering wealthy or poor.
Plague doctors were not experienced physicians or surgeons at all. Typically they were known to charge patients and their families additional fees for special treatments or false cures. Sometimes Plague doctors are unable to run a successful medical practice and the only thing is young physicians seeking to establish themselves in the industry. However, Plague doctors maintain records to count the number of people contaminated for demographic purposes rather rarely cured their patients. In France and the Netherlands, plague doctors often had medical training. As an example in real life, one of the plague doctors was a fruit salesman before his employment as a physician.
History of a Plague doctor
The first European epidemic, the Plague of Justinian, happened in the mid 6th century. And The largest plague epidemic was the Black Death in Europe in the 14th century. Due to the large losses of people in cities created an economic disaster, so society plague doctors were considered a valuable resource and were given special privileges such as plague doctors were freely allowed to perform autopsies to research a cure for the plague.
Plague doctor costume
The clothing used by plague doctors to protect themselves from airborne diseases. This clothing, used in France and Italy in the 17th century, Plague doctor costume equipped with an ankle-length overcoat and a beak mask-like bird, often filled with strong-smelling substances such as lavender, along with gloves, boots, a wide-brimmed hat, and an outer over-clothing garment. These masks, which included in, Plague doctor costume, were designed to protect them from putrid air.
The mask had glass openings for the eyes and a curved beak shaped beak with straps that held the beak like a bird’s in front of the plague doctor’s nausea and this included two small nose holes. Also with a type of respirator which contained aromatic items.
To keep away bad smells known as miasma, Inside the beak mask could maintain dried flowers like roses and carnations, herbs like eucalyptus or peppermint, spices, camphor, or a vinegar sponge. The purpose of this was thought to be the principal cause of the disease before it was disproved by the germ theory. Plague Doctors believed the herbs would contain the “evil” smells of the plague and prevent them from becoming infected.
The beak of plague doctor costume had a wide-brimmed leather hat to indicate their profession. Mostly used wooden canes in order to point out areas that seek attention and to examine patients without touching them. The canes were also helped to keep people away and to remove clothing during plague victims without having to touch them.
Historical articles highlighted that “Charles de Lorme” had the invention idea of the “beak doctor” costume. Charles de Lorme adopted in 1619 the idea of a full head-to-toe protective garment. The over-clothing garment is made of waxed leather for a more protective way. Other than that, leggings, gloves, boots, and a hat, were made of leather too. According to Charles de Lorme, the mask with a half a foot long nose which is shaped like a beak has two holes filled with perfume. one on each side near the nostrils, that suffices to breathe and to carry along with the air