My friend Bruce writes: "This is the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 that I have faced the possibility of extinction of the human race. Do you think we are done for? Or do you think maybe at least a few of us will hang on to keep the species going?" … Continue reading Are We As A Species Going to Become Extinct in Our Lifetimes?
Scientists say 'promiscuous treatment of nature' will lead to more pandemics such as COVID-19. Habitat destruction forces wildlife into human environments, where new diseases flourish, The (UK) Guardian reports. "Deforestation and other forms of land conversion are driving exotic species out of their evolutionary niches and into manmade environments, where they interact and breed new … Continue reading If Rapid Deforestation Continues, More Pandemics Are Likely, Scientists Say
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_G8YYuk2Zk&fbclid=IwAR0YAUcmfrdqOFJWsPvtBLLWFTifWv_sGZtvtcdLIzGGiXNVz8vvg9Wi_RQ Lest we forget: May 8, 2020 was the 75th anniversary of the allies' victory against Nazi Germany, V-E Day. The rhetoric of Winston Churchill lifted people up and helped them fight. He was a leader with a powerful command of the English language. BBC: Extracts of Winston Churchill's VE Day speech have been … Continue reading Churchill’s Rhetorical Gifts and Honesty in War: How Battle Against Covid-19 Could Be Fought
Former Washington Post reporter John Barry spent seven years writing a book about the 1918 flu pandemic. Many times he wanted to quit because the topic seemed irrelevant. It was published in 2004 with minimal publicity, to mediocre reviews. But now The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History is a … Continue reading Lessons the 1918 Flu Pandemic Can Teach to the 2020s
PBS American Experience: "By the dawn of the 19th century, tuberculosis had killed one in seven of all people that had ever lived. Doctors believed it was hereditary but had begun to observe that fresh air and outdoor living could sometimes change the course of the illness. Physician and TB patient Edward Trudeau was convinced … Continue reading TB: The Forgotten Plague
The Covid-19 pandemic and the prospect of cataclysmic climate change are stark illustrations that science cannot be separated from history. I have diminished the importance of the history of science to world history, hence Hank Green's Crash Course series of 46 approximately 11-minute lectures (totaling nine hours) on the History of Science is particularly relevant … Continue reading With Disease and Climate Change Undeniably Altering Societies, Science Must Be Included in Historical Study
"60 Minutes" opens the archive on previous stories on U.S. pandemic preparedness after being challenged by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Specifically, the program reported on the potential of pandemics in 2009 and 2005, with Dr. Anthony Fauci warning even then about the potential to wreck havoc. Avian or bird flu turned out not … Continue reading Pandemics, Unsurprisingly, Demonstrate Power of Nature Over Humanity, Especially the Poor, and Modern Over-reliance on Biomedicine
Half a million Americans died in the great flu pandemic of 1917-19. While the tragic loss of 500,000 people did not lead to a Great Depression in 1918-19, it did lead to slowdowns in hard-hit areas. "Areas that were more severely affected by the 1918 Flu Pandemic saw a sharp and persistent decline in real … Continue reading What Was the Economic Impact of 1917-19’s Flu Pandemic?
One way of looking at the speed with which Congress and President Trump overwhelmingly approved the $2 trillion stimulus package to address the corona-virus crisis is that the times demanded bipartisanship, and Congress proved itself up to the challenge. The Senate voted 96 to 0 and the House voted by voice acclamation to approve the … Continue reading Covid-19 Ushers in New Era, So Far Characterized By Bipartisan Cooperation
Gail Collins, NYT: "The first time age was a big issue in a presidential election was back in 1840. William Henry Harrison, the Whig candidate, was 67 and his opponents referred to him as “a living mass of ruined matter.” Harrison promptly released a doctor’s report: “vivacity and almost youthfulness of feelings. … Bodily vigor … Continue reading Age, Disease As Issues in Presidential Campaigns First Emerged in 1840