What are the milestones in your life

For life and death - Milestones in hygiene: ARTE documentary

The ARTE documentary "For life and death - Milestones in hygiene" illuminates the sometimes astonishing interactions between cleanliness and illness.

For life and death - milestones in hygiene
Documentation • March 20th, 2021 • 8:15 pm

The currently rampant corona pandemic is by far not the first epidemic that has kept the world in suspense: diseases such as syphilis, leprosy or cholera have caused numerous deaths in the last few centuries. A particularly contagious infectious disease was the plague, which was particularly rampant worldwide in the 14th century. Already at that time they responded with appropriate measures: In the Italian city of Venice, where travelers from all over the world met, harbor barriers were imposed, and the sick were brought to the plague island, the "Isola". From 1468, travelers were only allowed to enter Venice after 40 days of quarantine. Since then, measures such as isolation and quarantine have been common strategies to contain infectious diseases - and still do today.

Dealing with infectious diseases repeatedly resulted in new hygiene concepts. The informative documentary "For life and death - Milestones in hygiene", which ARTE is now broadcasting for the first time, uses game scenes, graphics and drawings to deal in detail with personal hygiene over the past centuries: from the development of toilet hygiene to the importance of wellness treatments for the establishment of public baths.

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In addition to isolation and quarantine, achievements such as vaccines were later established. These hygiene milestones will continue to be important topics in the future, as Claudia Spoden's documentation makes clear. "The frequency is increasing and so is the probability that new epidemics will break out all the time," explains the medical historian Karl-Heinz Leven. "That means we have arrived in an epidemic age."

Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH