How Past Plagues & Pandemics Have Shaped Human History

Previous epidemics have a lot to teach us about the coronavirus and this moment in history. See our curated collection examining how infectious diseases have altered the way people live — and what this means for the future we’re currently facing.

The Yellow Fever Outbreak of 1793: Nine Observations and Lessons

Brian Patrick O’Malley • Journal of the American Revolution

Despite hopes that America in the future would be spared from anything like Philadelphia’s yellow fever outbreak in 1793, particular incidents might remind Americans of the initial public reaction to the 1980s AIDS crisis or the 2020 coronavirus outbreak.

What the Great Pandemic Novels Teach Us

Orhan Pamuk • The New York Times

People have always responded to epidemics by spreading rumor and false information, and portraying the disease as foreign and brought in with malicious intent.

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