Confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States continue their upward trajectory. Testing for the new coronavirus has increased and some areas have reported evidence of community spread. As we watch the spread of the respiratory virus, historians and public health officials look back in time for lessons from pandemics and major illnesses of the past.
MPR News host Kerri Miller talked with two medical historians about what our past shows us about the new coronavirus; what outbreaks of illness show us about our society; and what to watch for in the coming weeks.
Frank Snowden is the Andrew Downey Orrick professor emeritus of history and history of medicine at Yale University. He’s also the author of several books; his latest is “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present.”
Graham Mooney is an associate professor in the Department of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.
To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.