The first known use of the noun ‘plague’ occurred in the 14th century, according to The Merriam-Webster. The word has Latin, Old High German and Greek roots, all of which point to tragedy, lamentation, and curse. In modern English, the severity of the word has become diluted somewhat; it is now also used to depict unwelcome, nuisance events or mild disturbances. But it is important not to be unmindful of the disaster, the destruction, the calamity – untold misery and suffering of countless people, that this word came to represent during certain periods of human history.

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