Artist rendering of coronavirus

Our Coronavirus Coverage

As the pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, we will try very hard to continue giving you blog posts that put the pandemic into historical context. This is not the first — or last — pandemic that humanity will face. This post will remain at the top of the post feed, and the list below will be updated with all our posts on coronavirus.

Book Review: “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu Crushes Smallpox” by Drew Conrad

The book by Mr. Conrad synthesizes the whole story of how Lady Mary influenced the advancement of medical science into a short story that is worth reading. Children will appreciate the brevity of the story while their parents will appreciate the historical and scientific lesson being taught to their children. The language is not complicated; Mr. Conrad does not get into the weeds of immunology or virology, nor does he get too complicated into the politics of the time and how few would be willing to follow the medical practices of “barbarians” in Asia Minor. This is okay as those topics are better explored in high school or early college.

Celebrities Getting Their COVID-19 Vaccines

Back in 1759, Benjamin Franklin wrote an introduction to a pamphlet aimed at encouraging people to get inoculated with smallpox in a controlled way in order to gain immunity and prevent epidemics. Before and after Benjamin Franklin’s time, social influencers have had great influence on whether or not people take action. Like Benjamin Franklin, Catherine The Great of Russia — then the ruler of the Russian Empire — also influenced her people to adopt variolation. Today, we have many more social influencers because of mass media, and public health agencies around the world who are looking to promote the COVID-19 vaccine have taken notice.