Reading Guides

Coronavirus – Epidemics from History Set it in Context – A Reading Guide

Coronavirus history reading guide

With the non-stop stream of news about the coronavirus and its effects around the globe, it is helpful for us to pause and set it in the context of other epidemics from history   …

While we should take all the precautionary measures (handwashing!) in the face of the coronavirus, reading about other historical epidemics can 1) adjust our perspective, realizing that our situation could be much, much worse and 2) make us grateful for (and more attentive to) the medical knowledge and technology that has been developed in the wake of these historical epidemics.

Here are a few book recommendations that tell the history of some of the worst epidemics that the world has known….


Coronavirus history reading guide

Pale Horse, Pale Rider: A Novel

Katherine Anne Porter

Miranda is working as a drama critic for a newspaper in Denver, where she falls in love with a soldier, Adam, during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  When Miranda falls ill, Adam cares for her until she is moved to a hospital. Throughout her ordeal, on everyone’s mind is “the war, the war, the WAR to end WAR, war for Democracy, for humanity, a safe world forever and ever.”


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IMAGE CREDIT: Women wearing surgical masks during the influenza epidemic, Brisbane, 1919 (Public Domain via Wikipedia)





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