Historians are responding to the Covid-19 emergency, offering insights not only on public health measures in the past, but on civil emergency responses, health communications, and national narratives of governmental competence.
Guido Alfani traces the long-term effects of previous pandemics, and finds that a region's starting conditions are key to economic outcomes – and some consequences are still with us 600 years after the Black Death.
The high street was already suffering before the extra pressure of lockdown, says Alistair Kefford, but town centres used to have wider social, civic and economic functions beyond just shopping. It is time for local authorities to adopt measures to rediscover them.
Duncan Needham traces the history of the National Debt – expected to exceed GDP in the course of the Covid crisis – and shows that the UK is capable of recovering from debt levels as high or higher, with the right instruments.
A roundtable of experts in the UK's emergency civil defence response during the Second World War explores lessons for the current crisis.
State-backed rationing is already with us in response to Coronavirus-related shortages, says Mark Roodhouse – and the First World War holds a warning about this model.
Lucy Delap, D-M Withers and Margaretta Jolly on the approaches feminist thought has taken to business and sustainability, and how we can use those lessons in a post-Covid future.
John Henderson finds some familiar features of the current lockdown situation in early modern Italy - and some compassionate, charity-driven behaviour.
The Second World War blackout offers us a close analogy to the Covid-19 lockdown, say Henry Irving and Marc Wiggam – complete with flouting of the rules, and opposition to its being lifted.
In a globalised world, new pathogens made their way to Britain and killed thousands, while a social security system depleted for ideological motives failed to cope. Not today, but the 1830s and 1840s, says Simon Szreter.
Supply chain inadequacies and agricultural worker shortages - the Covid crisis is highlighting the lack of a coherent and integrated national food policy, say John Martin and James P. Bowen
The terrorist threat metaphor acted as a wake-up call at the start of the crisis, says Chris Millington – but it may open the door to authoritarian measures in the name of public health security.
Christoph Laucht and Susan T. Jackson explore the language leaders deploy to map certainty onto an uncertain, frightening time - but at what cost to international co-operation, and to individual empowerment?
Tosh Warwick on the precedents for dealing with sporting fixture postponement and cancellation, from smallpox outbreaks of previous eras.
Graham Mooney and Jonathan Reinarz on the history of access to infectious patients, and how hospitals are tackling emotional contact, support and grief in the current crisis.
The history of smallpox's eradication shows how risky attempts at creating immunity can be, says Anita Guerrini.
Adrian Williamson asks what the government's stimulus plan of March might mean for the future.
Michael Bresalier shows that the backdrop of war to the 1918 pandemic, as well as the lack of global governance and the state of clinical knowledge, formed very different circumstances to those of today.
Mary Augusta Brazelton relates the history of a public health approach that has incorporated coercion, persuasion, education – and most recently, "medical diplomacy"
As supermarkets battle with shortages and vulnerable customers suffer, there are lessons we can learn from co-operation between companies and local and national government, says Mark Roodhouse
Kevin Siena explores the redefinition of 'essential work' and notes that this is not the first time the economically disadvantaged have been pushed into the front line of disease
The myth of the Blitz spirit could be actively dangerous, says Henry Irving - we need to define a Coronavirus spirit of our own, where engaged citizenship encourages social distancing
Jane Stevens Crawshaw on early modern Italy's experiences with quarantine - originating in Venice as a response to plague
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