Lectures

Ludwik Fleck where are you now that we need you? Covid-19 and the genesis of epidemiological facts

This article is part of the series:

 Tests for Covid-19 and the politics of big numbers

We are incessantly flooded with data on the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. WHO and the Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource provide information on the daily number of Covid-19 cases and deaths worldwide, while national media supply details on the dynamics of the pandemic in each state, region and city. These data …

Lectures

A Room with a View: Observations from Two Pandemics

This article is part of the series:

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

This article is part of the series:

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

COVID-19 Forum: Introduction

This article is part of the series:

Since its emergence in December 2019, COVID-19 has led to a global pandemic, in everything but name. To date, over 100,000 people have been infected across the globe, with the vast majority of burden of the infection and of the 3,400 deaths so far being borne by China, where the disease originally emerged. There the epidemic has led to the …

Features

Politics by Other Means: Health in Việt Nam

My research in Việt Nam addresses how medicine, health, and disease function as political and cultural signifiers as well as telegraphing – in the form of epidemiological data and public health outcomes – important features of the socioeconomic order. While health and disease are highly politicized everywhere in the world, these issues take on intriguing significance in socialist and formerly …

Features

Breaking news! Big Shift in Biomediatization from “Swine Flu” to H3N2 to the Trump Administration’s Attack on Breastfeeding

The H3N2 epidemic didn’t really take off until early January 2018—at least as far as US media coverage is concerned. A crucial marker was the New York Times‘ publication of an op-ed by a prominent germ cold warrior, Michael Osterholm, along with Mark Olshaker, co-author of Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs. Osterholm, extensively profiled by Andrew …