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Past Pandemics

Routt headshotDavid Routt, adjunct history professor, authored an article in 2008 on the economic impacts of the Black Plague. He can provide historical perspective on today's coronavirus and the pandemics of the past.

 

"The understanding of the nature of disease was fundamentally different during the Middle Ages than it is now. Most people just didn't know what was happening and in a very religious era, perhaps the most common reaction was to attribute it to divine wrath. That's not to suggest that people didn't stumble onto reasonably effective public health measures during the Black Death. Some urban officials during the Middle Ages, especially in Italy, began to introduce measures to improve public sanitation. Some also realized that quarantining and self-isolation could also be helpful."

Contact Media Relations Specialist Lindsey Campbell at lcampbe4@richmond.edu to connect with Routt.  

Contact

Contact Media Relations Specialist Lindsey Campbell at lcampbe4@richmond.edu to connect with Routt.