Quarantine may be likened to jails, penitentiaries, houses of detention and other necessary evils of this world. The very absurdity of the word quarantine, coming from the Italian quaranta, meaning 40, is an indication that we are dealing with a condition resulting from an imperfect social fabric.
It does not take a prophet to foresee the time when society will be developed to that state of civilization and the sanitary sciences will have reached that point of excellence when restrictive quarantines will be entirely unnecessary. But the millennium is a long way off and we shall not see the end of quarantine restrictions in our day and generation.
In the Middle Ages, when the Hanseatic League of cities held its commercial supremacy, we learn that Venice detained ships arriving at that port with cases of pestilence aboard, for a period of forty days. While isolation and detention had been practiced