We haven't changed all that much - epidemic social response

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In summary, these articles highlight the history of the antivaccination movement, particularly in the late 19th century, and how it has evolved over time. They also showcase the importance of vaccination and public health measures in preventing and controlling disease outbreaks.
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A couple of reports of 1895 smallpox outbreaks in two cities - Montreal , Milwaukee - and the reaction of citizens.
Someone should find these interesting reads, with the backdrop of the last year or so of the epidemic.


... however Milwaukee had in late 1894 and early 1895 one last epidemic, in some ways the most notable, for it brought to the surface latent animosities and resentments against the relatively new science of public health. It was a revolt, some thought, against newly emerging scientific knowledge. In 1894 south side residents openly resisted Milwaukee Health Department policies.

Though inoculation against smallpox wasn’t new, some feared the vaccinations were dangerous. Some didn’t understand how contagious the disease was. Some believed rumors that city vaccinators were going into bedrooms and tying down children to be vaccinated.
One anti-vaccination pamphlet read “Stop! People Driven Like Dumb Animals To The Shambles.” Some religious groups called the smallpox shot the biblical “mark of the beast” — the same claim being made by conspiracy theorists about the Coronavirus vaccines on the social networks of some Christian groups.

And sadly,
Two weeks later, Dr. Alexander Ross, one of the anti-vaccination city council members who had incited the protesters, was stopped aboard the Chicago Express train from Montreal by a Canadian health inspector, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported. A search revealed “the great advocate of the ignorant antivaccination party had been vaccinated recently.”

The outcome of the riot was neither capitulation to the demands of antivaccine activists, nor a heavy-handed enforcement of policy. Rather, after this epidemic, the opposition to vaccination shifted to courtrooms and activist leagues. Ontario passed a Vaccination Act in 1887, which required that “parents must have their children vaccinated against smallpox within three months of birth and re-vaccinated when necessary every seven years.” It allowed cities to issue vaccination orders in the event of a smallpox outbreak, and allowed school boards to demand that students provide a vaccination certificate.9 The Anti-Vaccination League of Canada emerged in 1900, in part a reaction to the Vaccination Act, modelling its rhetoric and methods on British antivaccine groups. The British Anti-Compulsory Vaccination League had been founded in 1867, and in 1885 had its own (peaceful) march in Leicester with an estimated 100 000 attendees.10
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These are all really interesting reads - it's amazing to see how the antivaccination movement has changed over time, and yet some of the arguments remain the same. It's also interesting to see how the response to the smallpox epidemic in 1894 was handled in Milwaukee, and how that differs from our current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a great reminder of the importance of science and public health measures, and the need for vaccination to prevent the spread of diseases.

Related to We haven't changed all that much - epidemic social response

1. What does "We haven't changed all that much - epidemic social response" mean?

"We haven't changed all that much - epidemic social response" refers to the idea that human behavior and social norms have remained relatively unchanged in response to epidemics throughout history.

2. How do people typically respond to epidemics?

People often respond to epidemics by following preventive measures such as hand-washing and wearing masks, avoiding contact with infected individuals, and seeking medical treatment if they become sick.

3. How does the social response to an epidemic impact its spread?

The social response to an epidemic can greatly impact its spread. If individuals follow preventive measures and avoid contact with infected individuals, the epidemic is less likely to spread. However, if people do not take these measures, the epidemic can quickly spread and become more severe.

4. Are there any differences in social response between past and present epidemics?

There are some differences in social response between past and present epidemics. With advancements in technology and medicine, people now have access to more information and resources to prevent and treat epidemics. However, the basic human response to epidemics has remained largely unchanged.

5. How can we use knowledge about social response to better handle future epidemics?

By understanding how people have responded to epidemics in the past, we can better prepare for and handle future epidemics. This can include implementing effective preventive measures, educating the public about the importance of following these measures, and providing access to resources for those who become sick.