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…

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…

Coronavirus at the Border: The Nation-State as Involuntary Quarantine

Bojan Srbinovski // On the evening of November 13, 2015, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred in the metropolitan area of Paris. Six different locations were targeted in a combination of mass shootings and a suicide bombing. In the deadliest attack on France since World War II, and the deadliest attack on the European…

Migrant Caravan and U.S. Public Health: Discerning Fact from Fiction

Manisha Mishra // On February 25, 2019 at 6:32 AM, President Donald Trump tweeted the following message: We have a State of Emergency at our Southern Border…without the Wall…you cannot have Border Security. Drugs, Gangs and Human Trafficking must be stopped. Since the start of his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump remains committed to building his…

The Depressing World of Comedy and Medicine

James Belarde “Just like Pagliacci did / I try to keep my sadness hid / Smiling in the public eye / But in my lonely room I cry” –The Miracles, in “Tears of a Clown” “Is depression funny?” This deceptively simple question opens every episode of John Moe’s podcast, The Hilarious World of Depression. Well-connected…

The Anti-Disability of Anti-Vaccination

Travis Chi Wing Lau // During my final year of undergraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, I was studying at a café and had with me Seth Mnookin’s controversial new book, The Panic Virus.[1]  While I was reading, I was approached by a woman who happened to be waiting for her order…