Pandemic Reading about Pandemics Past

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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11 Responses

  1. Saul Degraw says:

    I’m currently reading Crucible 1917-1924: The Long End of the Great War & The Birth of the New World by Charles Emmerson.Report

    • greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Whether we are in recession or depressoin isnt’ all that important since we can use the less technical descriptor of a clusterf*ck. What matters is how we react. Despite the heated negotiations in DC they will get something out soon that will likely cover most of the bases Obviously better is good then mediocre but at this point anything is something. Then of course there is someone shutting up the prez from telling everyone to go out and be economic instead of safe.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:

        I agree with you that such will probably happen but at this point it might be too little too late. The reason we need these extreme measures are because the U.S. was sleeping at the wheel on early and aggressive testing (to be fair so were lots of other countries). Even now, we see a lot of partisan beliefs are hard to kick. Even now you see a lot of responses down partisan lines. But there are people of all levels who can’t seemingly follow social distancing. Marin had to close down parks this weekend because people loved the nice weather and went out in droves.

        But the economic crash is already here. I think the shut downs will continue well into May if not beyond. Cuomo predicts 90 days. I think people 90 days is about the maximum people will put up with this before saying fuck it.Report

        • greginak in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          People are really struggling with how to get outside safely. That is for sure. I’m not sure lots of people will make 90 days at this point. However when they start seeing and hearing how bad it’s getting in hot zone areas in the US that will increase their motivation.Report

  2. Doctor Jay says:

    I am looking at One Hundred Years of Solitude on the shelf wonderingly. Will this be cathartic, or just frustrating?Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    Anne Applebaum on how authoritarians are using COVID-19 to get more power and people are seemingly giving it to them without question:

    • When I was in graduate school the second time, I took a public policy class on homeland security. There were two of us who were old enough to still have one foot stuck in the 60s, plus all of the youngsters. The two of us were appalled at how much of their civil liberties the youngsters were willing to give up in exchange for supposed protection from terrorism. Even terrorism on a small scale. They all looked at us like we were crazy when we said that if they gave them up willingly, there would have to be another revolution to take them back.Report

  4. Pinky says:

    A few months ago I read a life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a “plague saint” who died in 1591. It’s provided a bit of perspective. It’s strange how people are referring to our current situation as a black swan when it’s such a common story. The biggest difference is that we have a constant supply of food and water, as well as our medical knowledge. But anyone who doesn’t know about sudden population drops has just never read any history. Or forget history – does anyone remember when AIDS hit? In some ways, 2% fatality and fast onset of symptoms is a public health picnic compared to that.Report

  5. Aaron David says:

    I am currently reading Troubles by JG Farrell. About the post WW1 irish uprising. A very nice bit of fiction.Report

  6. jason says:

    Just finished Lovecraft Country and the graphic novel Locke and Key (the Netflix adaptation isn’t too bad, and has a few good parts). I am going to start Zola’s The Ladies’ Paradise. I’m going to read all of his Rougon-Macquart eventually, but I’ve only read three so far.Report