Posts Tagged contagion

Vaccines, the Flu and The Power of Herd Immunity

Back in October 2011 I wrote a personal favorite post entitled Zombie Apocalypse and Herd Immunity.  With the US having a bad flu season (and a nasty version of the flu) I’m thinking about vaccines, immunity and disease again.  In particular, prompted by a crazy making editorial in today’s D-News, I’m thinking about the fact that vaccines work.

Fear of disease is profound although I don’t think we can imagine the kind of terror that plagues struck in the hearts of our ancestors.  When the Black Death swept across Europe, it left devastation in its wake – people didn’t know how it was transmitted, how to protect themselves, how to cure the disease.  Getting sick could very well mean dying and it certainly meant suffering.  In many cities in the 1300s, the Black Death resulted in 50% mortality.  The economic, cultural, and personal implications are devastating.  It was many decades before the population recovered numerically.  Medieval artwork is filled with imagery of death and destruction because it was an ever present experience.  The trauma of the Black Death shook European society to its foundations and a new society literally grew out of the ruins of the old.  The Black Death destroyed the old social order and created room for a new social order. Read the rest of this entry »

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