Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Health ✪ Part 3 Civil Rights and the Body Politic

Sarah L. Berry //  “Racism is a public health threat,” declared Dr. Lisa Cooper in a recent webcast. Over just a few months, COVID-19 exposed racial disparities in health on a national stage, helped ignite organized national protest over police violence against Black Americans,[i] and illuminated a link between persistent economic inequality (i.e., essential workers…

Pedagogy of the Pandemic: Narrative Medicine and Radical Empathy

Sayantani DasGupta, Author // Ibraim Nascimento, Painter // There is a rupture in higher education and in that rupture is an opportunity. As novelist Arundhati Roy (2020) has written, “Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway…

Already Quarantined: Yes, the “Spanish” Flu was Racist Too

Salvador Herrera // After the outbreak of racialized violence against Asian communities across the world, President Donald Trump, his staff, and supporters maintained that calling the COVID-19 disease “the Chinese virus” is harmless and has nothing to do with race.[1] Their willful ignorance attributes the phrase to the supposed source of the virus. However, the…

Stepping up to the challenge: Kerala’s response to the coronavirus

Amala Poli // The state of Kerala in India, recognized in 2018 for effectively containing the deadly Nipah virus outbreak, has reported four deaths since the outbreak of the COVID-19, despite a population of 35 million people. Being the state with India’s first reported COVID-positive patient, instead of being the hardest-hit region, Kerala holds the…

Who Qualifies for Patient Care During COVID-19?

Emilie Egger // During the COVID-19 pandemic, health care routines have shifted dramatically. Ill patients are dying without their loved ones and few patients are allowed advocates in hospitals or doctor’s offices; COVID patients are allowed none. Less dramatic but still significant: primary care has been moved online and elective procedures postponed indefinitely. The crisis…

The Endemic Pandemic: Ruminations on American Biopower under COVID-19

Erik Larsen // The gnarled cherry trees are beginning to bud in the city that George Eastman’s Kodak empire built. It’s a crisp April morning in Rochester, New York. With the exception of writing from a makeshift bedroom office, my day loosely resembles spring days of years past. But if Covid-19’s silent emergency has yet…

Grief at a Distance

Sarah Roth // This week marks the anniversary of my mother’s death, and my family had planned to gather at her gravesite in Florida. For the past year, her plot has remained unmarked: a rectangle of grass with a hint of a pale line at its edges. We had spoken of unveiling the gravestone, attending a service to recognize her Yahrzeit, and coming together for a week of shared feeling and mourning. The past year has been measured with reference to this point, like the sign of a lighthouse marking a horizon thick with fog. Like so many other families in this season of coronavirus, as the date grew closer, our plans became ever more uncertain. Today, on her anniversary, we remain scattered across the country. Some of us are in Florida; others are in Washington or Colorado or Maryland. I write from my apartment in Baltimore, where I have hunkered down for the past months, and where I will remain for the foreseeable future.

T in the Time of Coronavirus

Diana Rose Newby // Why has COVID-19 killed more men than women? As the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 continues its global spread, infection patterns and fatality rates have prompted this question both among medical experts and in the popular media. As of late April, data confirmed this disparity in multiple regions of the world: in China,…

One nation, indivisible, with liberty and Medicare for All

Sarah L. Berry //  If you’re a voter under 65, you vote yes for the highest cost of healthcare per person in the world. That’s because no presidential candidate has advanced past the primaries to overhaul the expensive and inefficient multi-payer system in the U.S., a system for which expanded Medicare may be the antidote….