Anthropologists have their own take on COVID-19. Their findings and perspectives bring a new discussion to the table about a world during a pandemic. Here are their thoughts.
Anthropology professor Judith Beyer touches on the wide, yet different impact of COVID-19. She explains that while medical scholars were warning us about the dangers of the virus, legal scholars were warning us about the danger or giving up our human rights. She thinks they are both in the right, but we should have the discussion where to draw the line in the sand.
Hugh Gusterson jumped into deciding why we call the virus COVID-19. Does it even matter? He says it is not arbitrary, but it’s culturally situated. He explains that medical experts label this virus as SARS-CoV-2. The media named it COVID-19. President Donald Trump referred to it as “the Chinese virus.” He explains why it is so important to name sicknesses certain things due to political reasons.
Dr. Jonah Lipton reflects on his time during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. He explains that if we only pay attention to the virus itself, we forget to take into other account important impacts of the virus. He explains the people in Sierra Leone were able to find a level of balance. They treated the disease as well as fought to contain the spread.
David Harvey talks about the public’s lack of preparation to deal with the virus due to neoliberalism. He goes into the relationship with these policies and the tough social and economic impact of the virus. He worries about the future of consumerism in the world due to this. He goes into the possible national politics role in staying with a capitalist regime.
Professor Helaine Silverman shared the quarantine efforts of the people in a small English town during the 1665 Eyam plague. She compared the quarantine measures of today back to this time. More than a quarter of the population of the village died, but they were able to keep the disease from spreading to other places.
Members of the Evolutionary Immunology and Genomics Lab put together myths and facts of COVID-19. With so much misguided information on the virus, this team works to uncover the truth.