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public health



  • 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. 


  • In Critical Ways, the 1918 Flu Remains a Forgotten Pandemic

    by George Dehner

    The news has made many comparisons between the current pandemic and the 1918 influenza – especially the grim milestones of infections and deaths – but it's clear that lessons about public policy and public health practices based on the failures of the past remain unlearned.



  • MA Jewish Leaders: COVID Mandates Nothing Like Holocaust

    "When COVID deniers and people who refute data-driven public health policy wrongly invoke the Holocaust, they pervert history, trivialize the memories of victims and survivors, and desensitize people to the monstrous atrocities that occurred."



  • Where Did the Public Toilets Go?

    Peter Baldwin offers context for how American cities haltingly adopted and quickly abandoned public toilets, a story that encompasses the racial, gender and class politics of how people interact in urban space. 



  • America as a “Shining City on a Hill”—and Other Myths to Die By

    by Gregg Gonsalves

    "Our relationship to disease, to pandemics past, is obscured by this myth of fundamental American goodness. If we accept that we are capable of barbarity, official cruelty, these myths shatter and leave us with a national story that is far more complicated to tell, a legacy to work against."



  • 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. 



  • Manhood, Madness, and Moonshine

    by Dillon Carroll

    Today's concern for "deaths of despair" among white Americans isn't unprecedented; a wave of alcoholism and temperance advocacy after the Civil War highlighted the relationship between social unsettlement, substance abuse and social reformism.



  • 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? 



  • The Lesson of Venice's 17th Century Plague? Tax the Rich

    by Yong Kwon

    By making only a temporary commitment to public works funded by taxing the city's merchant elite, Venice emerged from the plague with an overburdened workforce, less ability to attract labor, and a declining economy.