What can history teach us that prepares us for COVID 19? What are the issues with asking historians to provide us with concrete advice from imperfect and incomplete historical examples? Julia Engelschalt, a doctoral candidate in history at Bielefeld University, and Dr. Jacob Remes, a professor of history at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Director of the Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies, both discuss how their own work on historical disasters informs their understanding of COVID-19. In particular Engelschalt and Dr. Remes both talk about how their work intersects with the history of public health in 20th century America. They both discuss what an archive of COVID-19 might look like in the future, the challenges historians will face when accessing information from this time, and how inequality will affect what stories are available to historians. They both speculate on how historians of the future will periodize COVID-19 and when the pandemic will be considered “over.” For further reading: Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progessive Era Seismic City: An Environmental History of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake Sympathetic State: Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State


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