Members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union receive the flu shot in 1957

How America Brought the 1957 Influenza Pandemic to a Halt

Microbiologist Maurice Hilleman saw it coming, so the country made 40 million doses of the vaccine within months.
A Red Cross nurse wearing a face mask, c. 1918

Teaching Pandemics Syllabus

Readings on the history of quarantine, contagious disease, viruses, infections, and epidemics offer important context for the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Jennifer Nuzzo

Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19

Johns Hopkins epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Jennifer Nuzzo on why vaccines aren’t the answer, how COVID-19 is unique, and how to stay safe.
Squirrel Hoarding

Your Brain Evolved to Hoard Supplies and Shame Others for Doing the Same

Have people gone mad? How can one individual be overfilling their own cart, while shaming others who are doing the same?
A depiction of cholera by Robert Seymour

Disease Theory in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man

Shelley's third novel, about the sole survivor of a global plague, draws on the now-outdated miasma theory of disease.
A person driving a Mercedes

In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled

"The poor, having no choice, remained.”

“The Public Health” in 1840

A pamphlet published in 1840 advocates a four-pronged approach to public healthcare that sounds remarkably like our own.
A personification of Acedia from between 1550 and 1625

Ancient Monks Got That Quarantine Feeling, Too

Listlessness, boredom, torpor, that "noonday demon" that tempts you away from spiritual connections—that's what was called acedia.
Silhouettes of people in a line wearing masks and practicing social distancing

How the Public Health Community Prepares for Pandemics

Public healthcare experts have been anticipating and planning for a pandemic like COVID-19 for years. These research reports and scholarly articles explain how.