Rosemary Taylor is associate professor of sociology and community health at Tufts University. She is the author of articles on public health and comparative health policy, co-author of Local AIDS Policies and co-editor of Coops, Communes and Collectives (1979). Her current research has two foci: the first builds on interests in the development of sociological approaches to political problems. These have fed into collaborative work on the effect of cultural frameworks and social institutions on population health. The second compares US responses with those of the European Union and its member states to cross-border health threats (such as TB, pandemic influenzas, AIDS, and BSE), especially when their carriers are perceived to be migrants.
CES Affiliate Rosemary Taylor delves into comparisons of Covid-19 with other major diseases in world history, from the Spanish Flu to SARS. She notes that history often fails to teach leaders and experts the “lessons” we might expect. She notes that new popular understandings about diseases (such as animal-human transition) have led to complicated policy responses with mixed results. While history may not always clearly tell us what to do, it can warn us.