In early 2020, when the world health organization declared covid-19 a pandemic, the world descended into pandemonium. The ensuing months were a mix of heightened panic and ill-preparedness. Amid the chaos, we tried to find a method in the madness, pausing to ponder over the handling of past public health crises.
History may not repeat itself, but it swings around in a perennial loop. We forget history at our own peril. As it turned out, India had a case of mass amnesia about its own experiences with pandemics. Why did we not learn from the past, to predict and prepare for future portentous calamities?
Our speaker, who works at the intersection of economics and history, probed into previous public health disasters, culminating in the book, ‘the age of pandemics';. It describes how the world at large, and India in particular, endured three other pandemics over a century ago. He will explain how these experiences changed people’s lives and livelihoods, and lessons for the present and inevitable similar crises in the future. He will answer questions about what could have done better if we had not forgotten the past.