Season 1, Episode 1

Pandemics & Borders

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We are policing ourselves and our neighbors these days… our governments are certainly tracking us! States are closing national borders. We stay at home waiting for permission to leave.

We mull over the loss of civil liberties under the guise of the pandemic. And to understand these responses, we learn about a devastating  pandemic from the 1800s.

In 1817, cholera broke out in Bengal and became a pandemic. Millions died. Europeans were ruling most of Asia, and they imposed restrictions on movement that’ve persisted to this day.

Bonus Episodes

8: A Disease Sleuth in Bangalore

8: A Disease Sleuth in Bangalore

British scientist Sir Ronald Ross tries to stops a deadly cholera outbreak in 1895 Bangalore. He applies learnings from the new field of epidemiology

4: The water carriers of Calcutta

4: The water carriers of Calcutta

Colonial cities lack proper water and sanitation — and sometimes employ water carriers. We speak to Pratik Chakrabarti

2: When Plague Hit Bombay

2: When Plague Hit Bombay

An old draconian law from 1897, when plague hit Bombay, has been reinstated for Covid-19. Interview with historian Tarangini Sriraman

1: Medicine at the Border

1: Medicine at the Border

What should nations do, other than shut down borders, when a pandemic hits? We speak to historian Alison Bashford

References

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Frerichs RR. John Snow and the Broad Street Pump: On the Trail of an Epidemic. https://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/snowcricketarticle.html. Published 2003. Accessed July 13, 2020.

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Prior K. The British administration of Hinduism in North India, 1780-1900. 1990. https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/241545. Accessed July 13, 2020.

Sarkar, Natasha. Plague in Bombay: Response of Britain’s Indian subjects to colonial intervention. Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 2001;62:442-49. www.jstor.org/stable/44155787.

The Revolutionaries. https://cultural.maharashtra.gov.in/english/gazetteer/VOL-II/REVOLUTIONARY_I.pdf. Accessed July 13, 2020.

Tytler R, Evans W. Observations on the Sickness Which Prevailed at Jessore, (Bengal), in the Months of Aug. and Sept. 1817. Medico-chirurgical journal : or, Quarterly register of medical and surgical science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5606743/. Published October 1, 1818. Accessed July 13, 2020.

Yuan S. Life after the Wuhan lockdown. The California Sunday Magazine. https://story.californiasunday.com/wuhan-after-lockdown. Published June 9, 2020. Accessed July 13, 2020.

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