Features

The ‘Dark Ages’ – a misused metaphor for a post-antibiotic future

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In 2014, then Prime Minister David Cameron told the British public that ‘we are in danger of going back to the Dark Ages of medicine.’ He was introducing the UK government commissioned Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), which projected that there would be 10 million deaths per year due to AMR by 2050. While Cameron did not invent the ‘Dark …

Lectures

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Problems with Project Roomkey in the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Constrained to exist in public spaces, the homeless are constant targets of regulation, criminalisation, expulsion and erasure.” – Randall Amster

On April 3, 2020, Californian Governor Gavin Newsom announced the implementation of Project Roomkey: the state’s initiative to aid those in situations of homelessness amidst the COVID-19 crisis. As growing fears of coronavirus contagion became more prevalent, it …

Lectures

A Room with a View: Observations from Two Pandemics

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From my balcony, I see Tampa Bay’s calm water, the Dali Museum’s distinctive architecture, the Mahaffey Theater’s empty parking lot, the balconies and porches of St, Petersburg, Florida, around me, but I see no people. It is quiet, even the dogs seem to respect the ‘self-isolation’ I find myself practicing. The COVID-19 pandemic is like a leitmotif of fear in …

Lectures

Sanitary cordons in COVID-19: experience and the object of epidemiological interventions

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What is the object of epidemiological interventions during an epidemic? Is it the virus, the disease, the fear, the chaos, or the threat to security? And what is the objective of those interventions? Is it to eliminate the virus, to mitigate the effects of the disease, to calm the fear, to control the chaos, or to defeat the threat?

On …

Lectures

Haitian migration and dreams in Chile: Questions for global mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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I met Pierre (34)[1] in a northern Santiago neighbourhood during my ethnographic fieldwork early in 2018. He was one of the hundreds of Haitians who arrived in Chile, and particularly to this area of the city, following what some Latin American newspapers have called the “Chilean Dream”. This refers to the flow of Latin American and Caribbean migrants who …

Lectures

From Bat Soup to Bean Sprouts: Coronavirus Food Fears in Historical Perspective

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On a trip to Shandong, China, at the end of January 2020, a few days after the lockdown of Wuhan, I watched a video of a stewed bat on Douyin – the Chinese video-sharing app. The bat sat in a bowl of soup, its boiled skin drawn back across its face to reveal its teeth, almost as if maliciously grinning. …