"Some say it is the end of the world."(p.459)
In 2054 a student had been sent to the past. Her purpose was an investigation of mideaval period. Her mentors and the technician who coordinated the time travel must have tried to avoid the critical year, 1348. Back then the Black Death was striking Europe. Until 1348 the disease must not have spread to the place she was sent to.
They seemed to succeed in the time travel but the tech said, " Something is wrong." and got down with high fever. While something problematic occurred in the present, the student herself also got down in 1320. What is the cause of symptoms? Does the time travel influence them? The story unfolds in the past and the present by turns.
"They kept trying to run away from it, but they just took it along with them."(p.347)
Ignorance makes things worse. Then, can knowledge itself save us? The timetraveller knows much better than the contemporaries did. She can understand the disease but can't treat the patient. The medicine had not been invented yet.
In 2054 those who have scientific knowledge couldn't make use of it because of high fever, dizziness, and so on.
"During the Black Death, the contemps believed God had abondoned them."(p.484)
Dooms Day Book reminds me of Endou Syusaku's 『沈黙』(meagning Silence). We are suffering and there's no hope. Why doesn't he help us? Is the disease punishment on our sin?
If I were in the past, I couldn't do anything to improve the situation. I realize my powerlessness.
"One never gets used to the idea that there is nothing one can do."(p.394)