What can History tell us about Epidemics?

Can we learn from history about how diseases spread, and how we respond to them?

'Bring Out Your Dead': A street during the Great Plague in London, 1665, with a death cart and mourners. Wellcome Collection.

‘Strategies to cope with plague have formed the basis for later policies’

John HendersonProfessor of Italian Renaissance History at Birkbeck, University of London and author of Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City (Yale, 2019)

News about the spread of and reactions to the coronavirus punctuates our daily lives, alternately creating fear and reassurance, as social media stirs feelings of panic, while the official line emphasises that the epidemic is under control.

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