Lecture 1 - Introduction
- TA/Professor will be rotating between the cohorts throughout the term
- For discussions and group work
- Office Hours through Teams
- Need to go to at least 3 live office hours
- Office hours are by cohort
Why are we in this class?
We can’t understand where we are today without understanding the past (with global pandemics). How can the past tell us about how to respond to the present?
- Discussion posts should be about 2-3 paragraphs
- Every class day, there is a disccusion post that corresponds to it
- There are no tests (or memorization)
COVID-19 Archive Project
- Part 1: NPR-Style interview
Practice Run - 10% of Grade (due Sept. 20 at 9PM)
Final Podcast - 25% of Grade
- Choose a pandemic we didn’t cover in class
What makes a good discussion?
- Don’t attack the person, attack the argument
- Don’t bring personal things outside the classroom
- Don’t summerize, add something new to the discussion
- Ask questions
- Don’t monopolize dicussions
Lecture 2 - Discussion on Public Policy and Snowden
What did you find interesting about the readings?
- Foss notes that pandemics allows advancements in war as well. The Europeans brought smallpox to the native Americans and helped them colonize America.
- They shape the course of events. They don’t just kill/inconvenience people.
- Pandemics are a mirror to society. Pandemics show us who we are
- The Governers approval ratings dropped significantly whereas the presidents have been up and down
- We can measure how people think in a very rapid way in the COVID-19 pandemic
- If quarantine doesn’t work well, what is the perfect solution. Quarintine is like a blunt instrument.
- We have to quarantine to stop people from moving
- There was a huge artistic change with the black plague. It changes the way that people think about life.
- People glorified tuberculosis which created social divide. People thought that tuberculosis was beautiful and some wanted this disease before they knew about what it is.
- It is those most marginalized people that are effected the most. In the case of COVID-19, it goes across the race and income lines.
- Republican Massachusetts governer has higher approval rating among democrats than republicans.
- It makes the inequality a lot worse.
1st Breakout Room Exercise
For breakout session 1: Frank Snowden indicated in his interview that pandemics often change the cultural landscape, especially in terms of art and religion. Give some examples of this from the past. Now think about the present: how has the current pandemic affected art, culture, sports, family life?
Response: By seeing a pandemic as a window into the society that it lives in, we can see our values through this pandemic. Because America is pushing for the reopening of sports, we can see that sports are a huge part of our culture. We also value the health and lives of celebrities before the rest of the population. People didn’t seem to care about the lives that COVID affected until Tom Hanks was confirmed to have it.
Lost Connection for 2nd Breakout Room
3rd Breakout Room
Prompt: How will Covid-19 affect public policy and personal behavior in the future? How will we be different after this? Will we go back to the way we were? Why or why not?
- Hopefully it will make regular mask wearing culturally not-weird
- You can have meetings online and have more people connected. Have speakers from around the world join your zoom call.
- A lot of people have long commutes for meetings/work which a lot of people can do the same work online.
- Gives more options for employees to get work done. They can choose to fully work online
- It can negatively affect things too. Small businesses will get hurt and the big businesses will do well.
- Pandemics hurt the marginalized comunities the most
- Migration away from cities
- In terms of politics, in our divided country, it will be hard for poeple to agree and therefore change won’t be that drastic
- Policy can’t do too much to cobat COVID because it’s an airborne virus. We can, however, add funding to the CDC
- It will take different amounts of time for different people to feel comfortable with public gatherings
Lecture 3 - The Biology of Disease
- Pandemic: A new infectious agent that has spread to individuals on all continents
- represents how we should react to it. A political term.
- Epidemic: an infectious agent that has spread to a disproportionately large part of any given population at one time.
- Virgin Soil Epidemic: When a microbe is completely new to a population and thus is more highly infecious.
- Bacteria: Can grow and reproduce independetly; are often infected by viruses themselves; are prokaryote (cellular organisms), like all fungi, animals, humans.
- Virus: Smallest known microbes; cannot reproduce without a host; uses lock and key system to match up to host’s gene structure; are not cellular organisms.
- Have been around for about 3.5 billion years
- Vector: An intermediary host for microbes. Doesn’t affect them
Life from the Perspective of a Microbe
- Humans are just a habitat
- Viruses alter their hosts to help themselves spread to other hosts
- Some viruses keep their hosts alive to keep their habitat safe and secure
- Others kill hosts very quickly (cholera or smallpox). In this case, reproduction is much quicker
- Toxoplasmosis, for example, can infect mice and remove the fear of cats in the mouse. Once eaten by the cat, it lives inside of the cat
Discussion on Biology of Disease
What factors influence whether or not a virus can become deadly in humans?
- What tissue it decides to reproduce in
- Example: If it’s in the lungs, you can get pneumonia
- Have we seen this virus before? Immunity
What conditions are needed to viruses to spread effectively among humans? Have these conditions alwasy existed? If not, when did they begin to exist?
- Means of transportation
- Used to be spread through vectors so they could go further
- Now it can be through air and no sanitation
- Access to other people
- Domestication of animals. Viruses tend to jump animals. For example, H1N1 jumped from pigs to humans
- The reactions of humans
- The rate at which viruses reproduce
These conditions haven’t always been around. The density of people increase dramatically after hunter gatherers.
Discussion on Historical Importance of Microbes
Discuss whether or not microbes can be considered historical actors? Defend your answers.
They drastically change the environment, but they have no agency
Lecture 4 - Nathan Wolfe’s Thoughts on Precautions on Pandemics
COVID-19 Interview: Both people should upload their own document. Just upload the one where you are asking the questions.
- Interviews must be uploaded to Canvas and COVID-19 Archive Project
- Must ask for consent to be interviwed
- Reflection: How did you view this assignment?
Question: What was the point of Nathan Wolfe’s Ted Talk? Who is he? How does it relate to what we’re dealing with today?
- Catch viruses as they are making these jumps
- Protecting against viruses is more of a social issue
- We shouldn’t put the blame on the hunters because they have to feed their families
- It’s an issue of food security
- We are blaming another culture on COVID-19. We tend to blame things that are foreign but we are
What, according to Wolfe, do we need to do in order to protect ourselves from the next pandemic?
- Insurance policies
- Preventative research (Like Nathan Wolfe’s team)
- Immunization Verification
How likely are we to do these things?
- It’s unrealisic to eliminate the food trade
- Vaxination is controversial
- Pandemic Insurence isn’t out of question. The private sector moves quickly
- Is this too reactionary?
- Is this feasabile? Pandemics that affect the workforce don’t happen very quickly (100 years ago was the last one) and when they do, they affect everything.
- Can insurance companies handle it?
Wet Market and Wild Animal Trade
While it would limit the contact between animals and huamsn, it wouldn’t be feasible. First of all, people don’t listen to regulations. And food insecurity is a huge problem and we can’t get rid of people’s right to get their own food.
Lecture 5 - Intro to Bubonic Plague
This post concerns chapter 3 in Frank Snowden’s Epidemics and Society, and an account of the Justinian Plague written by Procopius in 542 C.E.
Why, according to Snowden, was the plague so terrifying?
- For many, the plague was so terrifying as it made them come to the conclusion that there may not be a God.
- Mass sense of dispair
How did it impact the societies it encountered?
- Because it impacted people in the prime of their lives, it left vast numbers of orphans, widows and it took away the stability of a family household
- Caused mass hysteria
- People became supersticious and blammed people for bringing the pandemic upon everyone
- Increase in religion
What were the three pandemics of the plague in human history?
- Plague of Justinian - 541 CE - 755 CE
- First appearence of the Bubonic Plauge in world history
- Thought to be zoonotic
- 18 seccessive waves
- Killed 20-50 million
- The Black Death - 1330s (Reached the West in 1347) - 1830s
- First wave - 1347 - 1353
- Europe was in a period of economic hardship which helped the plauge spread
- So people already suffered malnourishment
- During it’s first wave, the Black Death was estimated to have killed as much as half of the population.
- “The worst disaster that has ever hit Europe” (pg. 38)
- Modern Plague - 1855
- Uneven in its impact. Fell along the lines of inequality and poverty
- Barely affected the wealthy and laregly spared the industrial West
- 13-15 million deaths in India between 1898 and 1910 and about 20 million people overall
- This is when humans discovered the interaction the plauge had with rodents, fleas, and humans.
- Better understood the plauge. Start of real progress in the slowing down of the infection rate
For Procopius, look up who this man was. What was the plague like when it came to Byzantium in the 6th century?
- Procopius was a historian and scholar during the time of Justinian. Known for his pieces History of Wars, the Buildings, and the Secret History.
- The victims of the plauge would be dependent on those taking care of them. People often died from neglect
- People the economy was in such desperation, the sick often died of lack of basic necessities rather than of the plauge itself.
What must it have been like to live through such an event?
- Question your own religion
- The uncertainty of not knowing what the cause of the virus is
- Procopius mentions that even those who didn’t get the disease still were directly impacted by it. He sates “…all who had the good fortune to be in health were sitting in their houses, either attending the sick or mourning the dead.” Everyone’s lives were dramatically influenced by the plauge.
Finally, what is the most interesting thing you learned from the readings that you didn’t already know?
- How handled the dead. With so many bodies, how does a society dispose of them in a timely manner? The fact that bodies of even important poeple would go unburried for possibly days is surprising. They were so desperate to get rid of the bodies that they would take the roof off of buildings, fill the entire building up with dead bodies, then put the roof back on.
- Reminds me of how the Civil War changed America’s view on how to treat the dead.
HW: No voicethread, just a regular discussion post for tomorrow
So what what have we discussed in the course:
- Set the stange for the current pandemic
- History of microbes
- Case studies (what we’re doing today)
- Bubonic Plague
- So influencial that it is the baseline
- Killed 50% of infected
- Affected those in the prime of their lives
- It would fade away and then come back after a century-ish
- What were the 3 plagues in human history?
- Plague of Justinine
- Black Death
- Modern Plague
- What was it like for Procopius?
- Mentions that society thought that God was angry at Justinine (who wasn’t a great leader) and society as a whole
- Everyone (geographically speaking) was affected
- We’ve only learned about the Black Death previously because it affected Europe
- We learn history from an Eurocentric point of view (although another reason that we only learned about the Black Death is because it was the most influencial)
- Can we compare COVID to the Plague?
- Kind of. We can compare it literally, but we can’t say that this is the same thing.
Slideshow - Bubonic Plague
- The entire world seemed like it was coming to an end
- It was perhaps the closest that humanity was to extinction
An Animal Disease
- Eating infected animals
- Animals living among humans
- Fleas were the vectors
- Goes to any warm body (some fleas perfer rats, but humans will do)
Plague Bacterium and Vector
- The plague is bad for the flea as well
- Causes the blood to never read the flea’s stomach which makes the flea starve and constantly want more blood (which, in turn, allows the bacteria to spread faster)
- bacteria: Yersinia Pestis
- Dead bodies caused fleas to have to jump to another host
Spread of Plague
- Spread by water
- Rats hitched rides on boats to move regions
- People noticed that it came from the water, but still didn’t fully understand the details at the time
“For the black rat, the Mediterranean was not a barrier but a highway” - Snowden
- Terrifying in 3 ways:
- Way it presented
- How quickly it killed
- How quickly it spread
Incubation between 1 day to 1 week
- Bubos - defining attribute of the plague
- Everything starts to smell
- Flesh turns black
Multiple organ failure
- Even if you survive the plauge, you most likely will have terrible long-term affects
- Cough can transmit the bacteria
Doctors would wear the long-nosed masks to hold herbs so they didn’t have to smell the dead bodies
Breakout Room on modern day outbreak of the plague
- Don’t have to worry
- We have anti-biotics
- The vectors are rats and fleas
Lecture 6 - Black Death and Renaissance
This post concerns the article from Nature on “The Black Death Decoded,” and a variety of primary sources from the period. According to the article in Nature, what was the Black Death and how do we know?
- The Black Death was a pandemic that hit Europe in the 14th century caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The origins of the disease were only figured out by scientists over 650 years after the Black Death pandemic.
- Burrial grounds spesifically made for the casualities of the Black Death.
- Much of what we know about the bacterium came from remains at East Smithfield, a newly dug cemetery
Why was there controversy about the identity of the disease in the past?
- Because it is hard to analyize the DNA of those who perrished from the diease hundreds of years ago, many studies were contradicting on the origins of the Black Death.
- It wasn’t until Poinar and DeWitte collected teeth samples and adequate technology was available for them to look at the DNA sequences. The Nature article states that “[t]heir results, along with a paper published last year that found Y. pestis sequences in different Black Death bone samples, have convinved most scientists that bubonic plague was involved in the Black Death.” (pg. 446)
What are the similarities and the differences between the ways Petrarch, Boccaccio, Di Tura, and De Venette characterized the experience of living through the plague?
- Human sarrow is immeasurable and impredictable
- Has there ever been a time like this? Can the entire world end without any true evident from Heaven or wars?
- “thinking it a dream except that we are awake and see these things with our open eyes, and when we know that what we demooan is absolutely true, as it in a city fully lit by the torches of its funerals we head for home, finding our longed-for securty in its emptiness?” (pg. 72)
- He’s jealous of those who don’t have to live through it
- Depressing, desperate language
- Asking God why it has to be this time
- Despiratly talking to God
- Some people isolated themselves and made themselves ‘pure’ to try to escape the plague
- Others took another approach and gave into their desires and thought this whole thing was a joke
- These people threaded themselves with abononment. Lost all hope
- Law could not be enforced because of how many people died. This resulted in everyone being able to do whatever they want
- Others ran away from the city. Boccaccio does not understand these people’s rational because Boccaccio thinks that because this plague is caused by God’s wrath, no one can escape it.
- This got so desperate that family members would desert each other
- “…fathers and mothers refused to nurse and assist their own children, as though they did not belong to them” (pg. 77)
- A lot of people died when they could have been saved if people cared for them
- A funeral used to be an elaborate process, but with the plague, this stopped.
- People died “…more like animals than human beings” (pg. 80)
- People abandoned their fields of crops
- List of facts - not much personal feeling
Agnolo Di Tura
- This is truly devistating
- Family members abandon each other
- “No one controls anything and they do not even ring the church bells anymore” (pg 81)
- “So many have died that new pits have to be made every day” (pg 81)
- Causually mentions that he buried fiv of his sons
- “There is no one who weeps for any of the dead, for instead everyone awaits their own impending death” (pg 81)
- Makes people think about their own mortality
- The plague has killed 36,000 in the city, leaving only 10,000
- Those who survived the plague appear to be rich, but don’t know how to live a real life anymore
- List of facts almost - is analytical about this descriptions.
Jean De Venette
- Aftermath of the plague
- People remarried and tried to ‘start society over’
- The kids seemed to have less teeth
- Does this signify a rebirth of humanity?
- Men became more greedy during the aftermath because they were able to have more goods
- Peace was not granted
- Things became worse
Did one of these first-hand accounts affect you more than the others? Why?
This weekend’s HW (due Sunday):
- Learn Audacity (there is a quiz)
- Check syllabus for more information
- The Bubonic Plague was caused by Yersinia Pestis
- This was, more spesifically, the cause of the Black Death
- This was found by analysing ‘plague pits’ and the bodies found there
- We only made this discovery 10 years ago (2010)
Group Discussion: How did people react to the plague?
- People questioned their religion
- Two types of people
- Those who care and want to stop it
- Those who still live their best lives
- People abondoned their families
- People wouldn’t take jobs with great pay
- Those who survived go richer and had more land
- This caused a need to redivide land
- If you lose 50% of the populaiton how do you go from there?
- Cultural/Artistic ‘awakening’
- Renaissance means ‘rebirth’
- Increased trade
- More of a sense of community
Plague and the Renaissance
What was the Renaissance?
- Revival of interest in classical Greek and Roman scholarship
- Active Period in:
- Economic innovation
- Began in Italy (why Italy has classical-looking buildings)
- ~400,000 people during this time
- Humanism is the philosophy that humans should be the center of their own universe
- Francesco Petrarco (Petrarch) (1304-74)
- Gicuanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)
- We need to write in the way of the common fok (aka not in Latin)
Is it possible that the plague led to the Renaissance?
- Between 50%-75% of the population died because of the plague
- How can something so devistating affect society?
- The plague did kick off the Renaissance
- There was such a strastic change after the plague
- However, it wasn’t just the plague that caused the Renaissance
- People focused more on their time on Earth rather than just to get into Heaven
- Because there wasn’t a good reaction to the plague, people started to question authority
- Creation of a different structure of hierarchy
- A more centralized government
- Ritals weren’t working
- Passion plays didn’t work
How Can the Plague Affect Society?
Lecture 7 - Debate About Government Authority During a Pandemic
This post concerns chapter five in Frank Snowden’s Epidemics and Society, on responses to the bubonic plague. What were some of the ways people responded to the Black Death in Europe?
- The first reaction to the plague was usually to flee
- All compasion for one another left. Parents fled their kids and kids fled their parents
- People desperatly tried to explain the plague
- “Astrologers peddled advice and prognostications, charlatans hawked their nostrums, and healers of every description charged estonishing sums for practicing their arts.” (pg 59-60)
- A lot of people thought it was because of “unclean air” so they did an asortment of things to ‘clean’ the air
- There was a collective movement to purify individuals to God
- This was by taking a vow that they would take a pilgramige and for the duration, would not bathe, change clothes, or communitate with anyone of the opposite sex. During this pilgrimage, they would honor Jesus by whipping their own backs as well as others’ backs and doing other religious practices.
Who did people seek to blame for the plague, when it came to their cities or towns?
- Because religion was prevelant in society at the time, people would often blame those who were in the lowest moral standing for the plague.
- “Anxious and vigilant communities often sought ot identify and cast out those who were morally responsible for so overhwleming a calamity” (pg. 62).
- The blame often fell on prostitutes, Jews, religious dissenters, foreigners, and witches. They were thought to have offended God or done other sinful acts.
- Strasbourg in Alsace in 1349
- “There the municipal authorities held the two thousand Jews living in the city responsible for spreading pestilence by poisoning the wells where Christian citizens drew their water” (pg. 64).
- Half of the Jews converted to Christianity and the other half were taken to a Jewish cemetery and burned alive.
- Milan 1630
- Milan was at war with Spain during this time and Milan blamed 4 Spaniards for spreading poisonous ointment on the doors of Milanese houses
What did local and state authorities do to combat the plague?
- The question is whether or not the actions took by combat the plague actually did anything to eradicate the bacteria
- Because some thought that it was because of rotten organic matter, cities sought to clean up the streets. They used water because it was a symbol of cleanliness in Christianity.
- They didn’t allow anyone new into the towns while ‘undesirables’ would be punished within the walls.
- During the early cycles of the second wave of the plague, Italy, France, Spain, and northern Europe initiated anti-plague plague measures that were the first advancements in the combat against disease.
- However, there was still a small knowledge base on biology and diseases so most of the measures weren’t effective or even counter-productive.
- “By the end of the eighteenth century, however, the path that they followed led to a first major victory in the war against epidemic disease” (pg. 69).
- “Plague regulations” were implemented giving health magistracies full legislative power to combat another epidemic.
- Turned into permenent boards of health
- Office of Health in Venice
- Quarantine, lazarettos (a place of isolation), and sanitary cordons
- Cleaned ships from the Mediterranean and only after 40 days could the goods and passengers be allowed to enter the city
- Still heavily based on religion because of the useage of the number 40
- When these measures that protected trade over seas proved to be helpful, communities tried to implement similar measures on land by not letting outsiders in.
- The Austrain cordon
- A permanent line of troops stretching across the Balkan peninsula to stop anyone from coming i
How effective were their measures?
- Venice 1629-1630
- Despire the prayers of the faithful and processions bearing icons of Saint Roch and Saint Mark, the plague did not slow down. Venice offered a deal with Mary saying that if she stopped the plague, they would erect a church in her honor and donate to it forever.
- Although there were many flawed solutions, the quarintine for 40 days that Venice implemented was longer than the incubation period for the plague so this was an effective in stopping the spread.
- The lazarettos were also effective so other European ports adopted them.
- Once the plague broke out again, these lazarettos were used to house the sick and dying
- “Unfortunately, the thrapeutic strategies of early modern plague doctors did little to prolong life, relieve suffering, or effect a cure” (pg. 76).
- It is impossible to say with certainty for two reasons. First, historical ideas that are contrary to fact are so complex that it impractical to predict. Second, the statistics from the time weren’t accurerate because many people would hide cases of the disease in order to escape from the authorities.
Finally, do you see any parallels between responses to the plague and responses to Covid-19?
- poeple stating hypothesis as conclusion
- however for a difference motive
- Sensationalizism in media rather than religion
HW: Audacity for the first podcast
- Going to start enforcing late penalties
NOTE: Call your professors either ‘Dr.’ or ‘Professor’
How did People React to the Plague?
- Selfish actions
- Religious ‘Justice’
- Thought the cause was ‘bad air’
- Cleaned the city with water (seen as holy)
- Plague doctors
- Taking people’s blood out to help ‘balance’ the blood
- Getting rid of dead bodies quickly
- Created Boards of Health
- Door-to-door people looking for people with the plaug
- Quarintine them in their house for 40 days
- Sent to plague hospitals
People didn’t know where the plague came from but they knew it came from the sea
Were These Effective?
- Can’t say for sure
- Quarintine was long enough
- Switched from black rat to brown rat
- Mini ice-age
- groups 1-5: harsh measures are good
- group 6-10: harsh measures aren’t worth it
Harsh Measures are Good
- Decreased cases so we can end this sooner
- Collectivist mindset
- Harsh measures is the only way to guarantee the end of the pandemic
- It works therefore it’s justified
- Collective good
- China has done well
- The individuals rights will come back quicker
Harsh Measures are Bad
- The US can’t do these measures
- Not worth it because it’s too authoritarian
- you don’t need harsh measures, you just need smart ones
- Weighing the lives of the old and the mental health of the young and the economy
- Individual human rights
It’s a question of greater good vs. individual rights
Lecture 8 - Muslims and the Plague
This post concerns Michael Dols’ article on “The Comparative Communal Responses to the Black Death in Muslim and Christian Societies,” primary sources on “The Black Death and the Jews 1348-1349 CE,” and primary sources by Al-Maqrizi and various city ordinances. According to Dols, how did responses to the plague differ in Muslim and Christian territories?
- Scholars often recommended either fleeing or prayer to get rid of the plague
- The cause of the plague was seen to be religion
- Blaming alien groups (spesifically Jewish people)
- Didn’t just stop at Jews though, any social outcast ot any foreigners were targets of this scapegoating
- Three religo-legal priciples that affected the community’s behavior:
- “Plague was a mercy from God and a martyrdom for the faithful Muslim”
- “a Muslim should never enter nor flee from a plague-stricken land”
- Prohibition against fleeing
- “There was no contagion of the plague since disease came directly from God”
- Although there was some controversy with these principles, there was still no large-scale collapse of major cities like we saw in Europe.
- “The Muslim reaction to the Black Death was characterized by organized communal supplication that included processions through the cities and mass funerals in the mosques”.
- The Muslim reaction was one of communial kindness
- More of a stress on religious purity
- There were comunal prayers
- Muslims, unlike Europeans, didn’t question their religion when the plague hit, rather their faith only increased.
- They thought that the cause of the plague was “evil jinn” rather than unclean air.
- “The unassimilated communities were tolerated in medieval Muslim society and, in this instance, were not held responsible for the ravages o the pandemic”
- Unlike the Christian-run communities
How does he explain these differences?
Dols attributes the stark differences in how Christians and Muslims reacted to the plague on the simple idea of contagion. Because prodomenently Christian regions beleived that the plague was contagious, they couldn’t join together to realize that they are part of the community. Prodomentetly Muslim areas, on the other hand, as part of their principles, didn’t beleive that the plague was contagious so they could continue to hold religious gatherings which further helped build community and compasion.
There is no man’s insuperable guilt or original sin in Islamic theology as opposed to in Christianity where the plague was a result of man’s sin on Earth.
“Western man took the plague epidemic as an individual trial more than a collective, social calamity. The Islamic tradition, however, has not concerned itself to the same degree with personal suffering…”
For “The Black Death and the Jews,” what kind of treatment did Jews suffer at the hands of Christians during the Black Death?
- Jews were arrested and tortued in hopes that they would confess to doing something that they didn’t do. Many of them confessed to anything that they were asked to to avoid further punishment.
- The citizens in Basel influenced the counstil to, “…take an oat that they would burn the Jews, and that they would allow no Jew to enter the city for the next two hundred years.”
Why were they targeted?
- They were targeted because they were thought to have started the plague by poisoning the wells.
- The communities got a false confirmation when the Jewish people being tortured confesed to poisoning the wells which only further grew the hatred towards the group.
- Because the only way to get rid of the plague was to eliminate the ‘undesirables’ from a society, the Jewish people were targeted.
In the primary sources by Al-Maqrizi and the city ordinances, what were some of the economic consequences of the plague, and how did local authorities try to deal with them?
- Since people died so frequently, there weren’t many people doing productive jobs such as farming.
- There were no available workers
- Also, no one was there to buy crops
- The trades disappeared
City Council of Siena:
- Trying to regulate the trades so they can operate as normal
The Cortes of Castile:
- Workers can no longer produce goods that “maintain man”
- Many people don’t want to work and others demand high prices for their goods and services
- Command everyone who is able to work
- Puts fixed prices on people’s work
- Forcing carpenters, builders, plastereres, servants, and others who sell their services to work all day (from sunrise to sunset).
Wiltshire, England, Assize Roll of Labor Offenders:
- Set wages for people in the workforce
- People who didn’t follow the laws of these set prices (which is the prices that they were given before the plague) were punished
What was the most important thing you learned in these readings?
- “The money was indeed the thing that killed the Jews. If they had been poor and if the feudal lords had not been in debt to them, they would not have been burnt.”
Trump has COVID-19
- How will this affect the election?
Reaction to the Plague
- Christians and Muslims
- Christians viewed the plague as punishment
- Muhammad (571-632)
- Seal of the Prophets
- Last prophet before the final judgement
- Year one: 622 from the Hijra to Media
- Dar al-Islam (house of Islam)
Five Pillars of Islam:
- Muslims must acknowledge Allah as the only God and Muhammad as his prophet
- They must pray to Allah daily while facing Mecca
- They must fast during Ramadan
- Give alms to the weak and poor
- Undetake hajj if physically and financially able in honor of Muhammad’s vists in 629 and 632
- More community-focused
- Not a punishment (a cleanzing)
- Plague is from God and therefore it’s no one’s fault
- You are born pure
- You will go to heaven if you die from the plague
- Didn’t want to pay back Jews so they wer blamed and scapegoated
- Original sin
- you are born a sinner and have to get rid of it
- Therefore Jews were seen as bad
Are these reactions because of human nature? Or can they be mitigated through society?
Anti-Semitism in the Midevil Times
- By the time of the Black Death, Anti-Semitism was already there
- Christians tought Jewish people killed Jesus
- This was only discredited in 1965
- Jews weren’t allowed to mix with the general population
- Canon’s (Latin for ‘rule’ or ‘bind’)
- Christians made Jews wear a different dress to alienate them
- Jews were not allowed to have certain professions
- Jews became money lenders because they were barred from most other professions
- Christians don’t believe in debts so they left it up to Jews
- Jewist communities were targeted because Christians owed them
- This resulted in murder, arson, etc.
- Christians forced Jews outside of the regular communities
Targeting Asian-Americans During COVID-19
- Isolating citizens
- People think that American = white
- All Asians are discriminated against, not just Chinease
- Shows American’s ignorance
Lecture 9 - India and the Bubonic Plague
This post concerns David Arnold’s chapter on “Plague: Assault on the Body” and the Harvard website called “Contagion.” For the Arnold piece, what measures did the colonial government of India take to deal with the outbreak of plague in 1896?
- “Plague posed important questions about the place of medical science and the authority of
medical practitioners in the colonial order and about the political constraints on medical and sanitary intervention.”
- At first Bombay was unwilling to acknoledge the problem of the Black Death
- Even when they had to admit it, they stated that it was of the ‘mild’ type.
- They then took drastic measures to combat the growing issue
- Segregated hospitals (infected/not infected)
- Invested in a deep urban cleasing
- Religious beleifs were just seen as a “superstition” and not taken seriously
- Anti-plague efforts were of top priority and nothing else could get in the way of it
- Influnced by politics as well as medical concerns
- The rest of the world was scared that it would come to their territory so they encouraged strictness
- Examinations to those suspected to have the plague
- Examinations to the dead to see if they are still carriers
- “The Sivaji and Ganapati festivals, part of his attempt to promote a more assertive Hindu nationalism among the masses of Maharashtra, were banned in 1897 under the plague restrictions, and he was imprisoned for almost a year for his alleged part in provoking or plotting the assassination of W. C. Rand in June 1897.” (pg. 227)
Why did Indians resist these measures so forcefully?
- Segregation of people
- Seperation from their families and other groups (such as religion)
- Because they disagreed with the medicine and plague hospitals, the fact they if one of their loved ones went to one (and they can’t visit), they thought it was like prision).
- And because the Western powers thought that their religion was more a “superstition”, they did not respect the Indian’s way of life.
- The strongest reaction from the Indians was when women were examaned and placed into segregation
- “Mukherjee, chairman of the Calcutta Corporation, warned Risley that ‘people would prefer to die of the plague rather than consent or submit to the removal of their
mothers, wives, daughters or sisters to hospital’” (pg. 214)
- The touch of a male was seen as polluting
- Between October 1896 and Febuary 1897, a little under half of the population of Bombay fled
- Calcutta: about a quarter of the city’s residence fled their homes.
- These people were motivated to move not by the health and economic implications, rather the operations put in place by the governmentes.
- Shows the distaste for the draconion measures
- “An Act to Provide for the Better Prevention of the Spread of Dangerous Epidemic Disease”
- Gave the government power to inspect any ship, detain and segregate those suspected to be infected, destroy infected property, and to prohibit fairs and pilgrimages.
- By giving a lot of power to the medical professionals, British India exerted a sense of confidence in their medical experts to combat and understand the bacteria.
- At this stage, however, the details of the plague were still vastly unknown
- The government acted as if people’s bodies were their property and a secular object.
- A resentment towards Western medicine appeared in India
- “Bangavasi remarked that a ‘law more dangerous and drastic than the Plague Act was never
before enacted in this country.’” (pg. 212)
- “The Mahratta, at first favorably disposed toward the Epidemic Diseases Act, was soon protesting, especially in regard to plague operations in Pune, that no measure undertaken by the British in India had ‘interfered so largely and in such a systematic way with the domestic, social and religious habits of the people.’” (pg. 212)
- Inspecting of dead bodies to stop the spread
- The tensions that this was further produce far outweighed the benefits
- This was so distasteful to the Muslims that they agreed to gather around a dead body and not let anyone inspect it. They were ready to risk their own lives for this.
What does this episode of bubonic plague in India tell us about disease and its relationship to colonialism?
- Death rate rose from 41.3 for every 1000 to 48.6 for every 1000. Many beleive this spike in mortality is due to the invading pathogens
- Death toll of the plague in India was quarter of a million in 1901, half a million in 1902 and in 1904 it surpassed one million.
- The influence of the international community, not just the health concerns of a countries citizens, plays a role in the implementation of draconion measures.
- For example, another instance of the plague appeared in India previously in the century and the extreme mesures were not taken to combat it
- Often times, people don’t understand another cultures. In the case of the colonization of India, Britian saw their religion as merely a superstition and therefore didn’t take it seriously.
- Due to this disrespect, the people of India assumed malintent of the government.
- “There were, for instance, reports of ‘absurd rumours’ that ‘the intention of Government was to interfere with the religion and caste of the people’ and ‘to destroy caste and religious observances, with the ultimate design of forcing Christianity on the natives of India.’” (pg. 219)
- Can turn people even further against each other.
- Those of the Hindu and Muslim faith thought that the Europeans were using the segregation to kill off India’s population.
- Led to many ‘conspericy theories’ about what was going on behind closed doors.
- These rumors proved that there was a lot of suspicion with the British intervension
- This went as far as Indians alienated other Indians who were allies with the British or agreeing with their rule.
Do you think there are any lessons to be learned here about how to respond to a pandemic?
- A response to a pandemic should be strictly based on the health and safety of the citizens. India was a perfect example of what not to do. By implementing draconion measures for political gain (rather than for the health of the citizens), the population grew suspicious and later fully resented Britian’s involvement in the plague. The divisions were disastorious and caused countless acts of violence.
- The people’s reactions are often more important than the actual benefits of an action itself.
- “‘in the present state of public feeling in the country,’ he saw ‘the danger of popular discontent and tumult to be a more serious evil than even the prolongation of the
disease.’” (pg. 232) - said by Sir Antony MacDonnell, lieutenant governor of the North Western Provinces
- The relationship between the authoriy and the citizens is a critial one.
- This is evident with the second wave of the plague that came the following year. Although much worse, the second wave was not met with opposition towards the efforts to combat it.
- There was distrust in Western medcine which is bad
For the “Contagion” website, enter ‘plague’ as a search term. Read (or partially read) three of the sources you find. What were they?
- Summarised Report on the Bombay Plague Research Labortory
- Bombay had by far the highest given doses of inoculation which further proves the intervension of the British onto India’s land. Since those not in colonoies didn’t want the inoculation, they didn’t get it while those in conolies were forced to get it.
- Not of pure data which can help us understand the plague in the present.
- This does raise the question of this is accurate information. As stated previously, people often tried to hide the symptoms of the plague in these regions.
- “The Plague no Contagious Disease …” (1744)
- Says that there are two theories for the spreading of the plague
- Bad air
- Says that it’s because of bad air
- Confident in his wording
- Notes how the change in weather is directly related to the plague
- At the same time, sounds scientific.
- The plague in India (1898)
- Further information about how the plague was handled in India
- Goes more in depth about the actions taken
- More detail on spesifics (without the analysis of present day)
Do any of them enhance your understanding of the plague?
- HW (Quiz) Dump
- 5 million →3 million population
- PTSD in the population
- completly new normal
- better standard of living
- economic demand
- more inequality
- because people were in high demand, technology increased
- Only the rich could afford it to invest in it
What was the reaction to the Black Death?
- fixed saleries
- unable to buy clothing at a ‘higher class’
- more authority
- women joined the workforce
- later marriage/not at all
- resulted in smaller families/less children (nucular household)
- why were reions reponses different
- hpw much the gov would intervene
- climate change
- extreme weather in the middle of the 14th century
- sense of turbulence and uncurtentity
Amazon is doing really well beause they have the means
- they are so different so it’s hard to get similarities
- No lockdown in the Black Death
- They’re aren’t any parallels to COVID-19 in recorded history
- GDP is worse now. We don’t have that many deaths compared to the Black Death
- Demand and supply is changing rapidly
First podcast due October 25th
- Groups of 5
- Send group requests via email
Spend 8-10 hours per week on each class at Northeastern (excluding class time)
Breakout Rooms on Woodrow Wilson’s Case of the Spanish Flu
- Is there a medical reason for Trump’s recent eratic behavior?
- What about the long term effects of COVID if he gets elected again?
- Both Trump and Wilson got the disease from their respective pandemics
- Thoughts about conspiricy theories about Trump and COVID-19
- Both Trump and Wilson were unprepared for a pandemic
- Is it unfair to say that they are the most unprepared?
- Are Trump’s priorities incorrect?
- He’s focusing on TikTok and Stimulus packages rather than the lives of Americans
- We can’t judge his initial actions, but we can judge the actions that followed
- Wilson and Trump didn’t rise to the occasion
Background to the Plague in India
Indian Society and Culture Ancient
- Caste system by 1,000 BC
- Vast trade networks
British Enter India
- Began trade with East India Company (the most valuable company in all of history) in 1603
- First territorial acquisition in 1757, in Bengal
- British Captured a lot of India by 1857
Indian Army in 1857
- 300,000 sepoys
- 40,000 Europeans
- The largest British Army
- The most important British colony
- Proves that they can rule large areas
Populations in India Around 1880-1900
- Total population ~210 million in 1880
- 70% Hindus, 25% Muslim
- Smaller populations of Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Jews
- Very small British population
- In 1882, there were 80,000 British
The word ‘Outcast’ came from those who didn’t have a caste
- Varna and Jati
- More broad divisions across territories
- Brahman, Ksatriya, Vaishya, Sudra
- Much smaller groups
- Thousands to several million
- Caste prohibitions and customs around food, ceremonies, and funerals
- Hardening of the caste boundaries under British rule
- Resulted in stricter caste rules
- Rigid ways of viewing castes
Plague Arrives, 1896
- 10 million, 1896-1921
- Came from China via Hong Kong (which at the time was a British Colony)
- Hong Kong →S. Africa, San Francisco, Brazil, Madagascar, India
- 1908: Discovery of transmission (through fleas and rats)
India Was Very Diverse
- Didn’t like neighboring territories
Breakout Rooms - What are the Takeaways from this Unit?
- Plagues/pandemics need to be fixed on a cultural viewpoint as well as a medical one
- What were the harsh measures and why didn’t they work?
- “Plague Act”
- The Government could do whatever they wanted
- Why were the actions for this plague harsh and not other diseases?
- For political gains rather than for the health of India
- The international community pressured the British to be harsh
- People ran from the government
- And thus spread the plague more often
- Fear of western medicine
- To be fair, no one at the time actually knew
Takeaways from the Bubonic Plague
- It went to more places than Europe
- Quarintine origins
- We see echos of the readings in the present day
- Importance of religion
- If actions are too harsh, people won’t follow them which masks it worse
- People will always not comply with rules
Lecture 10 - Intro into Smallpox
- Should it be a federal acrime to knowingly expose people to COVID?
- Is this too much government intervention?
- The US made it a crime to spread HIV
- You are knowingly compromising someone’s immune system for the rest of their life
- Knowingly coughing on someone during the COVID pandemic is assult
- Would this perpretrate the negative stigma around people living with HIV/AIDS
- COVID: Asian Americans are already being targeted, federal laws would only make it worse
- COVID: What about mandating masks?
- If a government is too strict, people would hide symptoms
- HIV used to be considered a gay-man’s virus
- Blamed the LGBT community
- 500x smaller than bacteria
- 20th century: realized they existed
- Can’t make proteins therefore they have to invade living cells
- Often keeps bacterias in check
- Only exists in humans
- If it’s not in humans, it’s no where
- Fully eradicated in 1980
- US stopped vaxinating in 1972
- Spreads in close quarters
- Scabs spread it
- Stays on clothing and blankets for months
- 17th century: 1/3 of childhood deaths were because of smallpox
- A ton of long term effects
- Incubation period of smallpox is 12 days
- Fulminant - feel better
- Rashes developed everywhere
- Skin peeled off
- People usually died from secondary infection
- Well nursing was very important
- People often thought that putting red things in the room would help
- Other wild ‘treatments’ were often times worse than the disease itself
- 300 million poeple died from it in the 20th century
- Giving people a very mild case of smallpox so they can build immunity
- Often people were given cowpox because it was similar enough to smallpox to build immunity
Lecture 11 - Smallpox In America
Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Smallpox and Demographic Catastrophe in Mexico
- There is speculation that the natives were severly impacted by the disease and were brought near to extinction by 1520
This post concerns Robert McCaa’s “Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Smallpox and Demographic Catastrophe in Mexico,” and the “Aztec Account of the first Smallpox Epidemic.” What is McCaa’s main argument?
McCaa’s main argument in “Spanish and Nahuatl Views on Smallpox and Demographic Catastrophe in Mexico” is challenging the modern thought of how smallpox affected the Aztec population.
- The figure that 50% of the Aztecs died due to smallpox is unreliable
- It’s hard to get accurate information. There are only some people’s accounts. No statistics
- There were only a handfew of curculated reports. Book publishing wasn’t widely available
- Wasn’t much rigor in the publication process. Because of this fact, one cannot trust any one given source for information.
- McCaa does, however, argue that smallpox spread rapidly throughout the native communities. This is contrary to what Brook argued.
- Brook misinterpreted Motolinia’s Historia.
- The difference sources
- Others place too much weight on this source
- The subtleties have the language are important and the translations were imperfect
- McCaa notes that Motolina wouldn’t have made these errors in their report, which is what Brooks suggested.
How does he use the available sources to make his argument?
Do you find his methods convincing?
- methods included gathering several sources and comparing them. McCaa notes that historians often times put more weight on the Historia when the Memorials is also important.
What does he think the secondary effects of such terrible mortality might have been for indigenous people at this time?
- Because smallpox in the native populations affected everyone (not just children), the population was left without caregivers which further escalated the problem.
- As cited by McCaa, Motolinia’s Memoriales explains that “because they all fell ill at a stroke, [the Indians] could not nurse one another, nor was there anyone to make bread, and in many parts it happened that all the residents of a house died and in others almost no one was left” (pg. 420-421).
For the “Aztec Account,” how does the narrator describe what it was like to contract smallpox? In what ways is this source problematic and/or convincing?
This post concerns the website piece on “Exactly How New England’s Indian Population Was Decimated” and Alan Swedlund’s “Contagion, Conflict, and Captivity in Interior New England.” For the website piece, what were some of the Native American groups who lived in New England, and what role did disease play in their history after the 17th century?
- 1616: “As many as 90 percent of the 4,500 Indians of the Massachusetts tribe perished. The disease cleared the Boston Harbor islands of inhabitants.”
- 1633: decreased the population and left only about 750. Destroied entire villages.
- 1616: Killed nearly all of them near the coast
- Those who didn’t parish by the disease, were sold into slavery or relocated.
- Because they weren’t in contact with the Europeans as frequently due to their location, they weren’t affected by the 1616 epidemic.
- 1633: Their 7,800 memebers were reduced to 5,000 due to the outbreak of King Phillip’s War. They fought back after 1,100 of them were killed by the hands of Europeans which resulted in 500 Narragansetts remaining by the end of the war.
- The Nauset
- Also unaffected by the 1616 outbreak. Other diseases, however, drastically reduced their population and by 1700, they had 1,250 members (starting at about 8,000 mebers before 1616).
- Connecticut’s Indian Population
- Population remained stable through the two epidemics, however, by 1705, their population dropped from 3,000 to 750 by various diseases.
According to Swedlund, what role did smallpox and other diseases play in the colonization of New England?
- Can’t say for sure because we don’t have reliable statistics
- The wide-ranging estimates of depopulation”…leave much to be desired in terms of trying to asses actual population change resulting from early European contant in the Americas” (pg. 150).
- Because of this, we can’t make reliable conclusions of the depopulation in America.
- Historians often didn’t think that the 1616-1617 epidemic was caused by smallpox. It also didn’t spread that quickly due to low population density in the regions.
- The epidemic in 1633-34 was smallpox and it took a much greater toll on the population. As cited by Swedlund, Bradford noted that of the 1,000 people who contracted the disease, more than 950 died.
- Apart from the smallpox epidemic in 1633-34, other dieases and epidemics contributed to the decline in population at this time.
- “Despite claims of 80-90+ percent fatality rates for hte 1616-17 and 1633-34 epidemics, there are also claims of large settlements and popualtions of Native groups living along the coast and in the interior of Massachusetts after 1634” (pg. 154).
- “We no longer can make the case strongly that genetic or innate immunological deficiencies were key to the high death rates of Native populations at contact…” (pg. 160).
Why does he argue that it is problematic to focus too much on the role of disease in population decline?
- There were more influences to the decrease in population than just smallpox
- “The complexity of this period in the Connecticut valley’s history is easily suverted when attempting a narrow argument, and also the argument can easily become a gross oversimplification” (pg. 149).
- “My argument, then, is that Native depopulation in New England can only be understood as a multicausal process, involing many factors of colonial occupation of a region inhabited by indigenous people, and that the narrative arc by which we historicize this encounter has often obscured the underlying process involved” (pg. 149).
- “It is more reasonable to assume lower figures for hte region as a whole, as has been suggested by several scholars, but also to acknowledge that depletion of the Native population remained quite high as a result no tonly of a series of epidemic and endemic diseases but also of the disruption and dislocation of traditional Native subsistence and residential practices” (pg. 154).
- “Malnutrition, relocation, disruption of community and family life, and depression of fertility, not to mention war and conflict, all came together to suppress the Native population of massachusetts and New England until at least the mid-nineteenth century” (pg. 154).
- There were several other conflicts between Native communities and the Europeans.
- For example, “In September 1675 a group of English troops—accompanied by 14 Deerfield men—were attacked by Metacom’s forces south of the village. Casualities were high on both sides, including all of the men from Deerfield” (pg. 157).
- virgin soil is a term, which describes land which a particular disease has not yet infected, is used as an explaination for why smallpox had such a …. Documentation of disease history and other conflicts in America at the time does not provide insight on questions relating to “virgin soil”.
- “In the middle Connecticut River valley, it is hard to make a strong case that disease was the predominant factor in Native population decline, and for the New England region as a whole, as a cuase of overall mortality, disease may have been closer to 50-60 percent, certainly not 95 percent” (pg. 162).
- The population decline had more to do with economic forces than diseases.
- “Temporary and seasonal abandonments of core agricultural settlements also made it easier for the English to proclaim that epidemic disease had iterally ‘wiped out’ the inhabitants” (pg. 166)
Does Swedlund’s piece agree with or contradict the piece by McCaa in the previous post?
- The methods of gathering information differ between Swedlund’s and McCaa’s piece.
- McCaa looked at written reports
- Swedlund anaylised skeletal remains as well
- All though there isn’t any good evidence so Swedlund has to resort back to historical reports.
- They both note the problems with historial reports and how they can be unreliable
- Stating that the both the extremes (European colonization can be completely explained by smallpox and smallpox didn’t make too much of an impact) are likely to be false.
Almost halfway through the semester
Different assignment for this Sunday
- Go to a graveyard
- Upload a picture of you there (can visit it online though)
- Can you find evidence of Smallpox? Or something else that’s interesting?
1720-1721 (major smallpox epidemic)
There is also a Podcast Quiz due Thursday
- How was contact between European and indigenous Americans taught in high school? Did the role of disease play a role? How so?
- In early schooling, we didn’t learn about the mass genocide
- Often times we are told that they got alone
- Didn’t go in depth in this
Smallpox in the Americas
- Axtecs (in modern day Mexico)
- Inca Empire (in modern day South America)
- Much larger population than large cities in Europe (ex. London)
- Tried to find a better way around the Ottoman Empire
- Columbus never arrived in North America
The only disease that was in America that wasn’t in Europe was syphillis
- Wasn’t as bad because it was sexually transmitted
Most disease crossed over from animals to humans
- Domesticated animals gave Europeans these diseases and these diseases spread to the natives
- New to Natives (virgin soil)
- 50% of the population was killed (95% mortality rate)
- 1,000,000 population (1492) →50,000 after two centuries
- Short and long term effects of diseases in the Americas
- Massive death toll from disease
- Similar to the plague (which caused the Renaissance)
- Not only disease, but also colonization
- A sense of superiority among the Europeans
- “This is what God intended”
- Because slaves died, Europeans brought slaves from Africa
- Trans-Atlantic slave trade might never have happened without the natives in America dying off (primarily from disease)
Lecture 12 - New England and Smallpox
10th century China
- first guy came to a dead smallpox dudde
- Gobi desert
- Led to the ancienet chinese practice of blowing scab dust into someone’s noses
Smallpox has killed a half a billion people
Smallpox pus injecting into people (boilston and mathers)
- buying the smallpox
- smallpox parties
- religious leaders didn’t want to “mess with something that’s natural”
11,000 people - 1 real doctor (William …)
- mathers + boilston - first even numbers supported clinical trial in western medical history
- mandatory policy to varulation by the british government
- “the gov. isn’t gonna tell me what to do”
- vaxination resistance…a lot of people didn’t want to
- people without scars on their face – unusual
- they all got cowpox
- having cowpox != having smallpox
- tells europe
- the worlds first vaxine
- people thought it was a weird idea
- against it! didn’t trust the cow disease
- vaxine (from the latin word for “cow”)
- extending the shelf live through pasturazation
- created 1885 - vaxine for rabies
- massive impact -> very few people in the Western world died of rabies
Sometimes the cure was worse than the diease
- bateria got into some vaxines
some poeple now think that we’re overdoing it with vaxines
- we need to look at the 50s 60s and 70s
- polio -> really wanted a vaxine
- vaxine worked! “huh can we do this with more diseases?”
- demand for other vaxines wasn’t as high
- outbreaks of measels don’t happen anymore (polio, measels, etc.)
- should we make it mandatory?
60-70s - rise of the counter culture
- feminist movement -> womens health movement
- why aren’t doctors telling us the risks of procedures/medications?
- we wanna make our own decisions
- group of parents -> skeptical
- do people have the right to refuse vaxinations?
- sometimes they do have negative effects
- “it’s so nazi germany” - dr. tenpenny
- Go to old graveyard
- Check out “Five Historic Cemeteries to Visit in Boston”
- “Virtual Tour”
- Required Office Hours this week
- Either go to Professor Salter or Allison
- Due Oct 25th
- What makes a good podcast?
- Natural conversation
- Humor (to lighten the mood)
- 5-6 minutes
- Try some stuff! (get points even if it doesn’t work)
- How can you be engading?
- Go for a more population audience
- What did your school teach you about the history of New England?
- People in New England learned more about New England
- Not too much detail
- A little bit on smallpox
New England and Smallpox
- 350,000 poeple in the Northeast before contact
- By 1700, the population decreased by 50%
- Indian praying towns
- Towns that switched to Christianity
- 1630-1700, 540,000 migrated to the New World
- 69,000 immigrants moved to New England
- A lot of people went to practice protestantism
- Reglion was only part of the why Europeans moved
- People went to the New World to become rich and then to come back, however, once they arrived, many realized that they couldn’t afford to come back and stayed
- There wasn’t a lot of silver and gold so they couldn’t come back a rich person
- DId not tolerate freedom of religion (even though they went to the New World so they could have their own freedom of religion)
- Prominent to European settlers
- 1765: 222,000 Europeans in the New World
- Not good for the Native Population
King Phillips War
- Not only was disease bad for the Natives, but tensions were also high
- Conflicts over land control
- King Phillip was forced to sign a peace treaty, he aranged a war right afterwards
- Brutal for the natives
Why are we learning about this?
- Adds nuance
- Shines light on how pandemics can e viewed in the future
- What is the result of diease/epidemics
- Interactive map on smallpox
- People didn’t beleive in inoculation
- People viewed this as a way of life
Lecture 13 - Smallpox and Vaccinations
We are meeting on Teams on Friday
- Entire class time to work on Podcast
Podcast on Smallpox
- Some aspect on smallpox
- See canvas for more information
- Start reading primary sources before Friday
- At least 4 primary sources
- Only one submittion per ground
- Sources cited in Chicagio
- COVID: Only 72% of people say they would get the vaccine for COVID
- Why do people always resis vaccines?
- How much should we rush the vaccine development?
- Who resisted the smallpox vaccine in 1721 and 1902-03?
- Fear of side effects of vaccines
- Religious and Racial opposition
- Government forced people to get vaccinated
- Cotton Mather thought inoculation was a gift from God
- We still didn’t know much about it
- Some kids had neurological damange and this information (which was disproven) spread
- Found no link between vaccine and Autism
- Should the COVID vaccine be required?
- Children’s Health Defence
- Backed by celebrity legitimacy
- Unsupported claims
- Partial understanding of ingredients
- Jump to conclusions
- Should we require a vaccine for COVID?
- Should we bar people from certain things?
- Only allow them to essential things?
- Draconian measures
Lecture 14 - Introduction to Cholera
How was the podcast project?
- Good because we could create our own narrative (choose our own subject)
- Learned from our group members
- It was too short. We had too much information for the 5 minute timspan
- The final project will be longer
- We will get comments back to help with the next podcast
- Don’t have to use audacity for the 2nd one
Only one discussion post next week!
- Get to geomap a part of Boston to see the difference that cholera caused (due Midnight this Sunday)
- What did we learn from smallpox? Is any of it applicable to today? What did we learn from the chapter on India?
- Advances in vaccinations
- How should rules be enforced?
- Disease can become political
- Even though it was universial
- So horrific that it was called many different names including King Cholera
- People did not understand what was happening
- From the bacteria vibrio cholarae
- Vibrio - Comma shaped with a long tail
- Lives in water
- Why did Cholera break out of India when it did?
- Delicate so it couldn’t travel along the transportation route of humans
- Industrialization caused cholera to move around
- British colonialism
What is Cholera
- Feared by people because it was truly devistating
- Sudden onset
- No warning and then you are deathly ill
- CFR: 50% (which is higher than the bubonic plauge and all of smallpox)
- Affected adults who were extremely healthy
- 7 pandemics of cholera
- Killed several million people (more than 30 million people just in India in the 19th century)
- Stigmatized the suffers
- Associated with dirty people
- Disproportionately affected the poor
- Poison-like symptoms
- People thought that it was actual poison
- Initiated more expulsion of fluids (which was very bad)
- Safe rehydration with clean water is very important (still treated like this in most places)
- We are still in the midst of the 7th pandemic of cholera
- Still 100,000 annual deaths
- The wealthy were also scared of cholera
- People often threw their waste out the window
- Little light
- Can’t see when things are dirty
- Thought that cholera needed to be injested
- Theorized that cholera spread through waters
- Mapped the people who got it
1885 - first cholera vaccine
- We don’t know when it came into being in India
- Other diseases that represent in a similar manner
- Cholera can survive in warm water without a human host
- Only infects humans
Lecture 15 - Cholera and John Snow
- Studied the wells in London and concluded that cholera was from contaminated water
- However, he wasn’t the only one to study this
Breakout Rooms: John Snow Archive
- “Our Committee had thought it of importance to inquire as fully as possible into the sanitary influence of different qualities of water-supply; especially into the power of unclean drinking-water to aggravate the epidemic ravages of cholera.”
- “By this experiment, it is rendered in the highest degree probable, that, of the 3,476 tenants of the Southwark and Vauxhall Company who died of cholera in 1853-4, two-thirds would have escaped if their water-supply had been like their neighbours’; and that, of the much larger number–tenants of both companies–who died in 1848-9, also two-thirds would have escaped, if the Metropolis Water Act of 1852 had but been enacted a few years earlier.”
- John Snow wasn’t the first the discover the connection between water and cholera
- But people often didn’t believe it at the time
- “If people listen to John Snow, then they won’t trust their water”
- Why are we learning about these opposing viewpoints?
Breakout Rooms: Fasting and Prayer
- Describe document? What were they doing? What were your surprised by?
Report on Boston epidemic in 1849: https://globalboston.bc.edu/index.php/cholera-report/#:~:text=In%20the%20summer%20of%201849,recorded%20deaths%20in%20the%20city.
- What was the problem? What caused cholera? What to do about it? What surprised you?
- People casted doubt on the deadliness
- Still wanted to stop it coming to America
- Religious Service
- Fast and prayer
- Understand that cholera was spreading
- People still didn’t know how the disease was spreading
- Boston 1849 - Aware
- Very short life expectiancy
- Disporportion effect of disease on the poor and malnourishment
- Huge famine in Ireland
- Caused poverity (and malnourishment)
- Huge push for clean water after they knew that cholera was a water-borne disease (1849)
- Abolished the slums near Fort Hill (Boston)
- Removed the hill and rebuilt the part
Assignment for the Weekend
- Look at the blog
- Look at Altascope
- Search places: “fort hill”
- You can see the difference between modern day and the map from 1867
- Go back to the blog
- Pick a street and go to Google Earth and find that street in the same area
- Compare and contrast
Lecture 16 - Thoughts on the Election
Breakout Rooms: What would happen if either canidate wins the election?
- Biden would take it more seriously
- People are still going to be divided if Biden wins
- Will the vaccine be more accessable?
Lecture 17 - Takeaways from Cholera
How was the assignment that was to compare past Boston slums with where they are currently?
Breakout Rooms: Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Read lines 120- end of chapter of The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe
- What happened? How did she deal with it?
- Shows the perspective of someone living through it
- The feelings of grief are consistant across time
India and Pandemics
- Why are we learning about India?
- Pandemics are really good are showing the divisions we see in society
- Shows how different cultures respond differently to disease
Takeaways from Cholera
- Scapegoating is an evolutionary response (just like fight or flight)
- How can we progress on this front?
Lecture 18 - More on Influenza
COVID Cases are on the rise
- What is the cause of this?
- There are more young people getting it
- Different demographic of people getting COVID
- Unequal access to medication
What is Influenza
- Ancient virus
- Link between birds, pigs and humans
- Classified into types (A, B, C) and by the proteins that coat them (H, N)
- Very contagious (more so than smallpox)
- Usually low mortality rate
- Increasing number of pandemics since 18th century
Indian Soldiers en Route to France, 1918
How Did 1918 Influenza Kill?
- Quick onset (just 2 hours from healthy to very sick)
- Affected healthy people
- Mandating procautionary measures
Can we compare influenza and COVID-19?
- Not really. They are different.
- COVID can’t mutate as quickly
- We also didn’t know that much about Influenza during its pandemic
- We can research COVID easier