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Reach Mom By Lilian Bonin

Pandemic Histories

Promoting historical perspectives on epidemic and pandemic disease outbreaks

Image: Reach Mom By Lilian Bonin


Recent posts

  • The Value of a Nurse

    The Value of a Nurse

    The pandemic has made visible long-standing and systemic problems in the Canadian healthcare system. It is a publicly funded system, valued and paid for by taxpayers, and part of the Canadian cultural identity. It is also a system that seeks to contain costs and this has been a feature of health policy ever since healthcare… 

  • Diary of a critical care doctor: Preface

    Diary of a critical care doctor: Preface

    On February 27, 2020, I started a journal, not sure where such writings would lead. While I have written many scientific papers and reports, I had never journaled before. This was foremost to build a relative synopsis of the unfolding events of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, as time passed, these frequent journal… 

  • Imagining Public Health in the Early 19th Century

    Imagining Public Health in the Early 19th Century

    Today, a significant portion of the global population has ready access to vaccines, clean water, and universal healthcare. COVID-19 has, in part, been such a shock because many of us, especially in wealthy Western countries, are not used to being collectively threatened by serious diseases that spread and act quickly. Not so long ago, we… 

  • Diary of the Cholera Horror in Liverpool

    Diary of the Cholera Horror in Liverpool

    It was the year of 1832, May 17th to be exact, when the distemper had begun in Liverpool.[1] The city flooded with concern. People had been going missing, and many had speculations on the matter, intuitively that it smelled like rat. The city was known to be impoverished, unsanitary, and overpopulated.[2] Consequently, this state left… 

  • ‘Bring out the Burkers!’

    ‘Bring out the Burkers!’

    What Can Conspiracies Tell Us About Society? Cholera is a frightening bacterial disease that could become fatal in as little as twelve hours.[1] Today, we have a better understanding of this infection due to modern medicine and technology, but looking at the history of diseases is illuminating for many other reasons beyond just the disease… 

  • Does Cholera Now Prevail?

    Does Cholera Now Prevail?

    September 4, 1854 After 1849 I had hoped to never see Asiatic Cholera in London again. The hospitals have been filling up with cases since last year. There’s been a substantial outbreak that began in Saint James’s parish roughly five days ago, and many are already dead.[i] St. James! Not St. Giles, where it killed…