Putting the pandemic into context

“Many fellow historians of knowledge are currently using a wide variety of media to share their experience and research in an effort to put the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic into context”, the historian Dominik Hünniger writes in a rich and ambitious blogpost [https://historyofknowledge.net/2020/03/23/viral-hive-knowledge-twitter-historians-and-coronavirus-covid-19/] in History of Knowledge. In his contribution, Hünniger highlights ongoing historiographical conversations, in particular on Twitter.

Undoubtedly, historians of medicine, science and knowledge help us to put epidemics, quarantine and public health into perspective. Several international publishing houses offer a selection of freely available articles and books on relevant topics. Oxford University Press has created a “History of Outbreaks Collection” [https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/history_of_outbreaks] and writes in a statement:

When a disease occurs in greater numbers than expected in a community, region, or season, it is considered an outbreak. In addition to human suffering, outbreaks create panic, disrupt the social and economic structure, and can impede development in the affected communities. While we cannot predict exactly when or where the next epidemic or pandemic will begin, we can explore and learn from outbreaks of the past.

The Brill history team has also opened up books and articles on public health, distance learning and crisis research [https://www2.brill.com/COVID-19_Collection].



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