Quarantine is an interesting word. I read somewhere that it essentially means “forty.” I think the idea is that forty is somehow a natural period of time to ensure that something is cleansed or purged. Maybe that’s because forty is ten times four and the number four represents a cycle. Think about spring, summer, fall, winter, or earth, air, fire and water. Or even think about night, morning, afternoon, evening. In cards there are four suits: hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds.
So maybe ten cycles of four and something is completely purged. Maybe it’s nine cycles (nine being the last single digit and an end in that sense) and then one more for insurance. It makes me think about octaves and music with seven notes plus one as a return to the beginning in a sense, only this is with ten. If you think about the number 10, it’s really just a “1” in the tens place. Maybe ten cycles because humans have ten fingers and ten toes. Or maybe because ten is the first double digit number and in that sense is the beginning of numeric octave.
Anyway, quarantine has to do with forty. It’s actually fascinating since the number forty comes up in a lot of interesting situations. Take the Bible, for example. Jesus fasted in the desert for forty days and nights. In the flood story, it rained for forty days and nights. The Israelites wandered for forty years. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and nights. And so on. In each of these instances, the idea of quarantine or purging or cleansing works.
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