CSTMS Faculty Affiliate Elena Conis on COVID-19 in Time Magazine

April 10th, 2020  |  Published in Latest news

In her Time Magazine article, Conis examines past disease outbreaks like the cholera epidemic of 1832, the bubonic plague of 1900 and, one of the deadliest pandemics, the flu of 1918. 

She concludes: 

“Each epidemic takes place in its own context. The state of trade in New York in 1832—as well as the city’s infrastructure, wealth, poverty, graft and relationship to the rest of the world—played a role in cholera’s spread. The economy recovered then, and has many times since. At the same time, a number of historians credit medieval plague with a role in the collapse of feudalism and the rise of capitalism, so it is hard to generalize about the relationship between epidemics and economies. The national and global financial systems will still exist on the other side of a disease. But no amount of looking backward can tell us what they will look like then—or what COVID-19 might be capable of changing.”

Read “What History’s Economy-Disrupting Outbreaks Can Teach Us About Coronavirus Panic” here.

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