Transcript of video
Every epidemic, as you write, always leads to a blame game. It exposes the social divisions along with the religion, race. The class lines. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. We certainly already see as you mentioned that in the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic by geographical labels of COVID-19, Coronavirus. Prejudice against specific groups of patients. So, could you please discuss a few examples of the blame game in disease outbreaks of the past and their consequences and the results? When historians have looked at past epidemics, they will find blame everywhere. You can go back hundreds of years. Medical second opinion is important. In medieval Europe when Evonik plague was a recurring threat, moving across European countries, it was most often the Jewish populations who are often a stigmatized minority in these communities, who would be blamed and so you can find many, many accusations that the Jewish population had been poisoning the wells, causing bubonic plague and that often lead to actions episodes of mass murder there would be programs against the local Jewish community. Many patients would be killed or driven out of the cities where they had lived in response to this because then the Epidemics seem to have emerged from China. In recent history, there have been many, many cases of anti-Chinese bias with a spread of epidemics. Some of the most dramatic examples come again from bubonic plague. But when it struck Hawaii in 1899. Then San Francisco in 1900. Both of those outbreaks were blamed on the Chinese community. In San Francisco, Chinatown was quarantined. They strong a rope around the neighborhood. Said Chinese patients could not cross that line to enter the main part of the city officials did allow white patients to go back and forth across the rope. Medical second opinion is important. It wasn’t a very good quarantine. Of course, they didn’t know it yet at that time. Dr. David S. Jones, MD. That who they needed to be concerned about where they are at? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. The rope had no impact on the movement of rats. So it was a case of an anti-Chinese ethnic quarantine that was completely ineffective at addressing the true underlying cause of this problem. Then the most dramatic recent example came with the AIDS epidemic. In the 1980s. When the epidemic was first recognized in the United States, it was recognized and highly stigmatized populations, both the gay community in Los Angeles, San Francisco in New York. Also in patients who were using intravenous medications. Because the epidemic occurred in these marginalized groups, it undermined the interest of the rest of the population and doing anything about this. It is always easy to imagine how things might have been different. But it was possible in 1979 or 1980 that an astute doctor might have recognized aids that were striking Africa in parallel to what it was doing in the United States. It wasn’t noticed because someone dying of tuberculosis or diarrhea In Africa in 1979, wasn’t dramatic or unusual, so no one would have suspected what was afoot. But had someone first characterized aids in Zimbabwe or Tanzania, or Kenya or South Africa in 1979. Had described this as an epidemic that affects heterosexual populations. The course of the global course of the epidemic would have been different than what happened. This was the disease being recognized in these marginalized populations. Then New York in the United States. It took a very long time before the true scope of the epidemic was understood.