History Repeats: Past Pandemics

17 Jun

We cannot lie to ourselves and others that COVID-19 or what is known as the novel coronavirus is not on our minds; it can be nerve-wracking.  I wanted to use this as an opportunity to help others to use our online materials to understand that history repeats itself, which means that we will get through this together. Here I have created a YA nonfiction booklist on this subject.

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793
By Jim Murphy

One epidemic that is unique to the history of Philadelphia is the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. In this book, the reader is introduced to historical accounts of survivors, victims, and service heroes. Murphy gives the reader a tour of the anxieties and mistakes that were made during the summer of 1793. He even makes sure to examine how societal, political, and historical factors come into play during this pandemic with pictures of historical documents and photographs. You can borrow An American Plague as an ebook from Hoopla, eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS.

Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat
by Gail Jarrow.

The Red Madness is a historical event in the early 19th century that affected 3 million people and resulted in 100,000 deaths in the American South. It was a mystery as to how it was spread and how to cure it. Jarrow echoes a word of caution on how those that are held of lesser value can be overlooked in a time of need and this can result in everyone’s undoing. Be sure to keep in mind the more at risk individuals during the time of COVID-19, such as the homeless, the elderly, immunocompromised individuals, and the undocumented. Because the Pellagra Epidemic or “Red Madness” happened first amongst the population less cared about, such as prisons and orphanages, the disease was not tackled from the beginning. This mindset changed when it started to grow past prison walls and into whole towns! The book elaborates on how this epidemic was taken care of. You can borrow it as an ebook from Hoopla

Pandemic!: How Climate, the Environment, and Superbugs Increase the Risk
by Connie Goldsmith

 Pandemic, printed in 2018, elaborates how human error will (not can) contribute to the next pandemic. Now that we are in the middle of a Global Wide Pandemic, the reader can have a better perspective on the current situation with scientific research and testimonials. Yes, one would have to take in the information skeptically, but it does instill hope in the reader. The last chapter talks about what you, as an individual, can do to contribute to the SOLUTION. I think to hope to end this and even prevent a future outbreak is what we as a global community need.

You can share your story during this pandemic to inspire people in the future; click here to learn more.

Teens and children can join us reading all summer long with our Summer Reading Program! We also have a Summer Reading Program for Adults!

Written by:
Elbie Love
YA Library Associate

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