Analogies to the Second World War are a recurring theme in modern British history. The seeming orthodoxy in Britain in 2020 is that the nation is at war, on a scale not known since the Second World War. The enemy, this time the coronavirus, is invisible to the naked eye.
The sixteenth-century struggle to balance biological and economic well-being implicated a surprising number of authorities, but not everyone accepted their discipline. Matthew Vester explores in Pandemic Politics During the Renaissance.
Bruce Campbell argues that interactions between climate and disease during the fourteenth-century Black Death can inform insights into Covid-19 and alter historians’ understanding of the nature of historical change.
How can the history of the response to the 2009-10 swine flu epidemic illuminate the British government’s response to the COVID crisis? Virginia Berridge explores.
What can the British provincial press tell us about the way pandemics have historically been experienced at a local level? Andrew Jackson proposes that such coverage offers vital insights into community-led responses to global public health crises in 1918 and 2020.
These are exceptional times. But the dangers of solitude are a very old theme. Barbara Taylor and David Vincent reflect on the fine historical line between loneliness and solitude in light of Covid-19.
What value do the lessons of the past have in shaping strategies for managing the COVID-19 outbreak? In this article, Guillaume Lachenal and Gaëtan Thomas argue that an over-reliance on the allure of ‘pandemic precedents’ needs to be replaced with an enhanced understanding of the capacity of present crises to resist historical interpretation.