Given the current Covid – 19 Pandemic, there is heck of a lot more sneezing going on. As a result, there are many more “God Bless You” prayers/blessings being said.
The origin of this phrase is more than a bit fascinating.
The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality, Bubonic Plaque, or The Plague) was the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history.
One of the symptoms of the plague was coughing and sneezing, and it is believed that Pope Gregory I (Gregory the Great) suggested saying “God bless you” after a person sneezed in hopes that this prayer would protect them from an otherwise certain death.
The Good News:
The Black Death resulted in the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.1 As of September 6, 2020, the Covid – 19 Pandemic has resulted in 885,935 deaths.2 As sad as it is to learn of the continual Covid – 19 deaths around the world, the reality is that things could be far worse.
Try to be: thankful, safe, and please practice the “Four Ws” to curb the spread of the virus:
- Wear a mask.
- Watch your social distancing.
- Wash your hands.
The latter “W,” is my favorite of the four. Many studies have shown that walking not only improves one’s physical health, but also one’s mental health, during this Pandemic.
Stay safe and,
God bless you.
- Wikipedia, 2020.
- Worldometer, September 6, 2020.