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pandemics



  • How did this Level of Death Become Normal?

    In absolute and relative terms, The United States has fared horribly in the coronavirus pandemic. Historians and social scientists help writer Ed Yong explain why the nation meets mass death with a collective shrug. 



  • Was the Black Death Less Severe and Shorter than We Think?

    by Adam Izdebski, Alessia Masi and Timothy P. Newfield

    "While no two pandemics are the same, the study of the past can help us discover where to look for our own vulnerabilities and how to best prepare for future outbreaks. To begin to do that, though, we need to reassess past epidemics with all the evidence we can."


  • New York Survived the 1832 Cholera Epidemic

    by Daniel S. Levy

    The 1832 Cholera epidemic roiled New York, terrorizing the city across lines of class and neighborhood. Today, the city's resilience can be a source of encouragement, but also a caution that today's pandemic won't be the last. 



  • Wishful Thinking on COVID is as Dangerous as Prior Episodes of Denial

    by Gregg Gonsalves

    A convergence has emerged between the right and the center that the Omicron variant is the last hurrah of the COVID pandemic and a signal to go back to "normal." A public health scholar warns this is potentially sacrificing the vulnerable to the wishes of the powerful.



  • What Will We Remember of 2022?

    by Tom Engelhardt

    The response to the pandemic shows how the contemporary American urge toward nation un-building has returned home. 



  • Out of Context COVID Stats are Misleading

    by Jim Downs

    The first epidemiologists worked in a narrative mode, without advanced statistical measures. Without discarding quantitative methods, the field needs to refocus on telling evidence-based stories about the pandemic to clarify what's working, what isn't, and what people should do. 



  • Herd Immunity is Almost Here. What Next?

    by John M. Barry

    The best-case scenario for humanity's future with the Coronavirus, in which virus strains produce much fewer and much less dangerous cases of illness, requires reducing the number of unvaccinated people around the globe. 



  • The Inescapable Dilemma of Infectious Disease

    by Kyle Harper

    Control of infectious diesase is arguably humanity's greatest triumph. Has that triumph changed our environment to make diseases tougher to control? Has our success stopped us from being able to think of how to thrive without control of infections? 



  • Not Everyone Can Afford to ‘Learn to Live With’ COVID-19

    by Kyle Harper

    "This two-track recovery, where protection against the disease mirrors wealth and power, unfortunately reflects a historical pattern that is several centuries old. The world’s only hope lies in breaking it."



  • Pandemic Lessons From the Era of ‘Les Miserables’

    Medical historian Ed Cohen describes the 1832 cholera outbreak as "imperial blowback," as the disease arrived in Europe from their colonies. Nearly 2% of the city's population died, but the aftermath saw an increase in migration from the countryside and a flourishing of public health-oriented planning.