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public health



  • The Mask Slackers of 1918

    In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.



  • On Sex with Demons

    by Eleanor Janega

    "The idea of having sex with demons or the devil... has a long and proud history. A concern about sleep sex demons traces at least as far back as Mesopotamian myth where we see the hero Gilgamesh’s father recorded on the Sumerian King List as Lilu, a demon who targets sleeping women, in 2400 BC."



  • The Surprisingly Deep—and Often Troubling—History of ‘Social Distancing’

    Doctoral student Lily Scherlis traced the evolution of the term in a “social history of social distancing,” from the earliest reference she could find in English—in the 1831 translation of Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne’s memoirs of his friendship with Napoleon—to the Social Distance Scale that sociologist Emory Bogardus created in the aftermath of the Red Summer of 1919.


  • Viral Consequences

    by David Marks

    The indifferent response of the Trump administration to the COVID-19 pandemic and the repressive police response to protests are a signal that we need a political and social transformation to address the ongoing global climate crisis.