Lectures

Surviving COVID-19

This article is part of the series:

Survival. Perhaps the word carries more weight today than ever. We are all engaged in this exercise of collective survival. Many of us have found ourselves forced to become accustomed to the unwelcome novelty of the burden of extreme uncertainty. And it is only now that we can understand what it means to live in vulnerability. We now found ourselves …

Lectures

The Social Potential of Continuing to Wear Masks

This article is part of the series:

We are often told that anti-epidemic masks should not be politicised. Though often well intentioned, this admonition falls short of taking masks seriously as social and historical objects. For, in assuming these to be inherently neutral prophylactic devices whose politicisation is simply an epiphenomenon, this narrative fails to understand and acknowledge that the historical institution of anti-epidemic masks has been …

Features

Falling off the cliff: Mythical sacrifice mirrored in Sweden’s Covid-19 response

This article is part of the series:

Ättestupa is the Swedish word given to a number of steep cliffs. The myth of the ättestupa holds that in prehistoric Nordic times, older community members would throw themselves off a precipice for the sake of the greater good during famines or crises. The harrowing myth of ritual sacrifice has shown up in recent popular culture, such as in the …

Lectures

Handling Contested Truths in Times of Crises: Ghana’s COVID-19 Experience

This article is part of the series:

As the pandemic ravages the rest of the world, the casualty rate in Africa remains a mystery to those who predicted doom for the continent. Given African countries’ past experiences with infectious diseases, public health officials at the United Nations, aid agencies, media, and some experts predicted that the continent would be the most vulnerable and susceptible …

Lectures

Mediated Intimacies: Teletherapy and the Changing Face of American Mental Healthcare

This article is part of the series:

“Hello?  Hello? Can you hear me?” 

“I can, but your head is cut off.  I just see your neck.  Can you hear me?”

“Yeah, yeah, I hear you.  There, is that better?  Can you see me now?” 

“Yes, that’s good.”

“Ok, good.  I’m glad I have a head.” 

“Me, too–it makes things much easier.  How have things been for you?”

Such is the awkward start to …

Lectures

Predicting Across Time and Space

This article is part of the series:

Every day for the month of March 2021, I watched the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Kenya climb and climb. Family and friends sent me messages that the cases were rising. Friends and friends of friends started falling ill. The graph of Covid-19 cases in Kenya at the visual dashboard in the Covid-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems …