Lectures

Staying (at Home) with Brain Fog: “Un-witting” Patient Activism

This article is part of the series:


Scene 1: It’s Sunday afternoon, around one o’clock, and a group of a dozen or so people log onto a video call from their apartments. Occasionally someone’s cat will walk into the frame, obscuring the camera, or a deliveryman will ring the buzzer, interrupting the flow of conversation. But mostly, what we see of each other are scenes of domestic

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

Lockdowns save, lockdowns kill: Valuing life after coronashock

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The scale and severity of the coronavirus pandemic is a shock to health systems. It is a shock to economies and governments. It is also a shock to the life sciences, which were meant to anticipate a pandemic of this magnitude, but failed to do so. The “life sciences” in question are virology, epidemiology, biomedicine and pharmacology. But the social, …

Lectures

Reflecting on SARS, 17 years and two flu-like epidemics later

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On April 12, 2003, I was evacuated from my post teaching English at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China. I packed my belongings into two suitcases and a duffle bag, got on a bus, crossed the border into Hong Kong, and flew, with my N95 mask on, back to the United States. It was the height of China’s outbreak of SARS, …