Tag Archives: pandemic

The state transformed: Singapore

SINGAPORE is a small country and an island nation to boot. But it is also a major commercial, tourism and transport hub that receives more than three times its population in visitors each year. So it is remarkable that at the time of writing it has recorded just 558 cases of Covid-19 and two deaths, with limited community transmission. The city state’s containment of the outbreak has become a global model. “The short-term costs of containment look high, but they’re much lower than the long-term costs of non-containment,” says Annelies Wilder-Smith of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine…

This article first appeared in the New Statesman on 25 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

“We are ready”: inside the Paris hospitals bracing for coronavirus

WITH the number of cases of Covid-19 doubling every three days in France, the capital is preparing for the worst. In the northern sector of Paris, all 26 beds in the intensive care unit of the Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital are full, and the wards that have been turned over to Covid-19 patients are filling up rapidly. The Paris hospital system works by overflow, and the next in line is the Lariboisière, near the Gare du Nord train station…

A man wearing a surgical mask walks by a medical tent set up outside Henri-Mondor hospital as a screening centre for suspected coronavirus patients, in Creteil, outside Paris.
Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 17 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

Monuments to catastrophe

THE history of humanity is punctuated with purges. Large numbers of people have died in short periods of time as a result of wars, disease and natural disasters. Once these have passed, it falls to the survivors to count the dead. This is never easy, but it is harder for some kinds of disaster than for others. It may be hardest of all for a pandemic, as Ole Benedictow acknowledged in his 2005 article, ‘The Black Death: The Greatest Catastrophe Ever’…

This article first appeared in History Today on 23 March 2017. To continue reading, click here.