Something going into quarantine is a term that we are mainly all familiar with. But the word in itself is rather strange. Also, who decided what quarantine would mean?
Well, as with every word there has to be an origin, and it is believed in this instance, that the word stems from Italian. The word that may very well be the starting block is Quaranta Giorni. And it refers back to a time where there was real concern about the Black Death getting into Europe.
In order to try to stop it from getting off ships that were sailing into Venice, the ships were ordered to stay out at sea for a total of 40 days. Which was seen as being enough time for it to be determined if the ship and the people on there were safe to be allowed to come ashore. That is why the term quaranta giorni is used as it translates as 40 days.
Of course, we do not always put things into quarantine for 40 days but, the concept is still the same where something is stopped in its tracks until we believe it to be safe.