There is a medical proverb from the 1940s that states, "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras -- meaning that medical doctors should look for common, rather than exotic causes of disease. Hearing hoofbeats over the last few months has been all too real, with COVID 19 spreading like wildfire across the globe. The pandemic has caused unprecedented deaths; high rates of unemployment; social distancing; increases in domestic violence, drug abuse, and mental ill health; among many other negative effects, leaving researchers baffled, but still in great hope of a vaccine.
Can the folk truth by Dr. Theodore Woodward, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, stretch to include education, business, and government? Do we need "zebras" for answers, while lockdowns start lifting? Or are horses and zebras related more closely than we think?
Hearing Hoofbeats explores the history and politics of pandemics, from the bubonic plague to COVID-19. Drawing to light the lessons learned from the deadliest of diseases, we present the complexities surrounding public health and governmental response in times of crisis, while we encourage a healthier, more informed world.
This display is curated by Jennifer Govan and designed by Carlie Zhang. Read the blog, Learning From COVID-19.
Image: Horses, by M. Venken, Ziegfeld Collection of International Children's Art, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College, Columbia University
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Last Updated: 7:11 pm, Saturday, Jun 13 , 2020