Published Date

March 27, 2021

Resource Type

AHA Resource, For the Classroom, Vetted Resource


Cultural, Current Events in Historical Context, Economic, Labor, Legal, Medicine, Science, & Technology, Political, Women, Gender, & Sexuality

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning


United States, World

This resource is part of the AHA’s Bibliography of Historians’ Responses to COVID-19.


Past Pandemics and Epidemics


Class and Labor

Kevin Siena, “Epidemics and ‘essential work’ in early modern Europe,” History & Policy (March 25, 2020) 

Walter Scheidel, “Why the Wealthy Fear Pandemics,” New York Times (April 9, 2020)

Doug Kenck-Crispin, “How a Pandemic Divided the Haves and Have-Nots-Over 100 Years Ago,” Street Roots (April 23, 2020)

Sohini Chattopadhyay, “The Silence of the Archives: Why the Grave Diggers of the Bubonic Plague Are Unremembered,” A Handful of Stories (May 14, 2020)

Laura Mogulsecu, “How Telephone Operators Helped People Connect during the 1918 Flu Epidemic,” Women at the Center (April 1, 2020)

Kevin Siena, “Siena: COVID-19 – Our definition of ‘essential work’ has changed through history, but essential workers haven’t,” Ottawa Citizen (April 5, 2020)

Eleanor Janega, “Don’t kid yourself. The Black Death’s aftermath isn’t cause for optimism about covid-19,” The Washington Post (April 14, 2020)

Women and Gender

Valerie Paley, “Women’s History in the Age of Epidemic,” Women at the Center (March 23, 2020)

Alisha Haridassani Gupta, “How the Spanish Flu Almost Upended Women’s Suffrage,” The New York Times (April 28, 2020)

Caitlin Wiesner, “Caring for the Community during a Pandemic: Lessons from HIV/AIDS,” Women at the Center (May 11, 2020) 

Jessica Brabble, Ariel Ludwig, and E. Thomas Ewing, “‘All the World’s a Harem’: Perceptions of Masked Women during the 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic,” Nursing Clio (September 8, 2020)

Matthew Newsom Kerr, “Wearable Immunity: Beauty Lessons from the Pockmarking Era,” Nursing Clio (January 21, 2021)

Personal Stories

Dave Welky, “The President vs. the Epidemic: FDR’s Polio Crusade,” History News Network (April 12, 2020)

John Marsh, “Teaching during a Pandemic – a Century Ago,” History News Network (April 26, 2020)  

Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith, “When Babe Ruth and the Great Influenza Gripped Boston,” Smithsonian Magazine (April 30, 2020)

Individual Experiences

Christine Vickers, “Fighting the Goblin of Horror: How the Spanish Flu Reached the New South Wales Town of Singleton,” Inside Story (April 6, 2020)

Joseph T. Cochran, “Distemper in the Family of Sarah Pierpoint Edwards,” Patheos (April 7, 2020)

Mitra Sharafi, “Pandemic or Poison?” Himal Southasian (April 20, 2020)

Lisa Labovitch, “Community History,” A Reading Life (April 27, 2020)

Greg O’Brien, “An Awful Epidemic,” TAP into Plainfield (April 30, 2020)

Patrick J. Hayes, “Redemptorists and the Spanish Flu, 1918: The Baltimore Province,” Redemptorist North American Historical Bulletin (May 18, 2020)

Joseph M. Snyder, “‘Our Town Has Become a Golgotha’: Perspectives on the History of and Social Responses to Plague at Eyam, England, from September 1665 to November 1666,” World History Bulletin (Spring/Summer 2020)

Chelsea Chamberlain, “‘An Avalanche of Unexpected Sickness’: Institutions and Disease in 1918 and Today,” Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (June 23, 2020)

Jessica Otis, “History Need Not Repeat Itself When We Write the Journal of Our Plague Year,” The Guardian (July 19, 2020)

Layne Parish Craig, “Not Our First Rodeo: Reading Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider through the Lens of Denver Newspapers’ Coverage of the 1918 Flu Pandemic,” Nursing Clio (February 23, 2021)

Videos and Podcasts:

Martine Powers, Nancy Tomes, and Freddy Kunkle, “The Discovery of Pathogens Changed the Way We Function. Will Covid-19 Do the Same?” Post Reports (June 26, 2020)



Class and Labor

Bethany L. Jones and Jonathan S. Jones, “Gov. Cuomo is wrong, covid-19 is anything but an equalizer” The Washington Post (April 5, 2020)

Anya Jabour, “As Our Meat, Pork, and Poultry Supply Dwindles, We Should Remember Why,” The Washington Post (April 21, 2020)

Timothy J. Lombardo, “The Far Right Hates Liberals, Government, and the Media – and Now, Quarantines,” The Washington Post (April 21, 2020)

William P. Jones, “Front-line workers in the covid-19 fight need unions,” The Washington Post (April 23, 2020)

Ashton Merck, “COVID-19 is a food safety issue,” Duke Medium (April 27, 2020)

Colin Gordon, “The Coronavirus Wouldn’t Be Decimating Meatpacking Plants if Company Bosses Hadn’t Busted the Unions,” Jacobin (May 18, 2020)

Cara Kiernan Fallon, “WHO Focus Widened to Reflect Health Needs,” Wall Street Journal (May 20, 2020)

Anya Jabour, “Immigrant Workers Have Borne the Brunt of COVID-19 Outbreaks at Meatpacking Plants,” The Washington Post (May 22, 2020)

Diego Ortúzar and Ángela Vergara, “Working during COVID-19: Occupational Hazards and Workers’ Right to a Safe Workplace,” Radical History Review (May 25, 2020)

Alexandra Finley, “Women’s household labor is essential. Why isn’t it valued?” The Washington Post (May 29, 2020) 

Jeff Kolnick, “COVID and the Deadly Logic of Efficiency in Meatpacking and Elder Care,” History News Network (May 31, 2020)

David J. Stanley, “Work and Life after COVID-19,” Origins (July 17, 2020)

Andrea Ringer, Edward Brudney, and Teri Del Rosso, “Essential or Expendable? Working in Higher Education during COVID-19,” The Labor and Working Class History Association (July 28, 2020)

Paul J. Croce, “The American Dream after Covid-19,” Origins (August 2020)

William P. Jones, “The Dignity of Labor,” Dissent Magazine (August 1, 2020)

Women and Gender

Sarah Gordon, “The Garment Industry’s History of Retooling during National Crises,” Women at the Center (April 27, 2020)

Anna K. Danziger Halperin, “Why Don’t We Have National Child Care? The COVID-19 Crisis and a History of the Child Care Movement,” Women at the Center (April 30, 2020)

Amanda I. Seligman, “Pandemic Academic: Mothering from the Home Office,” Nursing Clio (May 7, 2020)

Melissa Blair, “Blair examines unemployment among American women during the coronavirus pandemic,” Auburn Perspectives (May 9, 2020)

Sarah Keyes, “Will covid-19 lead to men and women splitting care more evenly?” The Washington Post (May 12, 2020)

Maeve Hogan, “‘Recovery Gardens’ are the New Victory Gardens,” Women at the Center (May 14, 2020)

Pamela Walker, “Created by ‘A Lady:’ The Hidden History of Women Board and Table Game Designers,” Women at the Center (May 18, 2020)

Sarah Gordon, “Sewing Masks for America: Home Crafting in Times of National Crisis,” Women at the Center (May 29, 2020)

Alexandra Finley, “Women’s household labor is essential. Why isn’t it valued?” The Washington Post (May 29, 2020) 

Andrea Ringer and Brandi Burns, “Feminism Unfinished: Finding Work-Life Balance as Public History Parents,” History @ Work (June 9, 2020)

Sarah Knott, “Presencing, or Now That I Am Forever With Child,” History Workshop Journal (September 28, 2020)

Cultures of Death and Disease

Cari Maes, “Death by Proxy: What Twentieth-Century Infant Mortality Discourses in Brazil Can Tell Us about COVID-19,” Nursing Clio (January 6, 2021)

Robert Peckham, “Covid-19 Infodemic: To Stem the Tide of Panic, We Need to Understand People’s Fears, Not Condemn Them,” South China Morning Post (March 1, 2020)

Robert Peckham, “The Contagious Power of Fear: Why Some Believe that Panic Is a Virus,” New Statesman (March 11, 2020)

Eileen Sperry, “Plague in the Age of Twitter,” Nursing Clio (March 17, 2020)

Katie L. Hodges-Kluck, “Lessons from Medieval Responses to the Plague,” Sojourners (March 19, 2020)

Kristin Brig, “Joking in the Time of Pandemic: The 1889-92 Flu and 2020 COVID-19,” Nursing Clio (March 24, 2020)

Charlotte M. Canning, “Theatre and the Last Pandemic,” American Theatre (March 24, 2020)

Andrea S. Johnson, Lloyd Barba, Daniel Ramírez, and Roy A. Fisher, “The Theology That Has Motivated One Pastor to Keep Holding In-Person Services,” The Washington Post (March 24, 2020) 

Richard McKay, “Patient zero: why it’s such a toxic term,” The Conversation (April 1, 2020)

Kevin Siena, “Kevin Siena: We need to be prepared to change the way we do funerals during COVID-19,” The National Post (April 2, 2020)  

Lee Vinsel and Benjamin C. Waterhouse, “One upside of the pandemic? Americans are listening to experts again.” The Washington Post (April 6, 2020) 

Warwick Anderson, “Epidemic Philosophy,” Somatosphere (April 8, 2020)   

Jonathan D. Riddle, “Cholera Outbreaks Revealed Power, Prejudice, and Compassion. So Does COVID-19.” Christianity Today (April 8, 2020) 

Jeremy A. Greene, “As Telemedicine Surges, Will Community Health Suffer?” Boston Review (April 13, 2020) 

Allan M. Brandt and Alyssa Botelho, “Not a Perfect Storm-Covid-19 and the Importance of Language,” New England Journal of Medicine (April 16, 2020)

Karl Eikenberry and David Kennedy, “World War COVID-19: Who Bleeds, Who Pays?”  Lawfare (April 28, 2020)

Shelby Balik, “Churchgoers, Stay Home-It’s The American Way,” Religion Dispatches (April 30, 2020)

Sarah Elizabeth Lewis, “Where Are the Photos of People Dying of Covid?” The New York Times (May 1, 2020)

Aurther Dammrich and D. Lawrence Tarazano, “One-Way Supermarket Aisles,” Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation (May 5, 2020) 

Warwick Anderson, “Not on the Beach, or Death in Bondi?” Somatosphere (May 7, 2020)

David Kieran, “The Military’s Behavioral Health Lessons for COVID-19,” Psychology Today (May 19, 2020) 

Brenda J. Child, “When Art Is Medicine,” The New York Times (May 28, 2020)

Kerry Ward, “Poems of the Pandemic: Popular Culture and the Spanish Flu in South Africa,” World History Bulletin (Spring/Summer 2020)

Jack Hodgson, “A Summer Without Camp Is More Than a Bummer,” The Washington Post (June 21, 2020)

William Johnston, “Epidemic Culture in Premodern Japan,” Society for Cultural Anthropology (June 23, 2020)

Patrick H. Salkeld, “The Viral Game: The Global Football Community’s Response to Epidemics and Pandemics in the Twenty-First Century,” Middle Ground Journal (July 17, 2020)

Young Chen and Clare Gordon, “Chinese Food during COVID-19 in China and the United States,” in The Pandemic: Perspectives on Asia (December 2020)

Nancy Tomes, “Postpandemic Public Health,” Issues in Science and Technology (March 9, 2021)

Videos and Podcasts:

Susan Kelly, “COVID-19 impact: Barry Strauss on the historical perspective,” Cornell Chronicle (May 13, 2020) 

Individual Experiences

Bonnie Miller, “Eating Our Way through the COVID-19 Crisis, in the Northern Boston Suburbs,” Resilience (May 25, 2020)

Erika L. Briesacher, “Makers of Living, Breathing History: The Material Culture of Homemade Facemasks,” Nursing Clio (June 24, 2020)

Michelle Orihel, “‘A Keen Vision and Feeling of All Ordinary Life’: Pandemic Journaling in the History Classroom,” Nursing Clio (July 7, 2020)

Jeff Kolnick, “Generals Die in Bed,” Inside Higher Ed (July 6, 2020)

Noah Barth, “Remembering Pleasure in a Pandemic,” Twin Cities Pride Magazine (September 18, 2020)

Conevery Bolton Valencius, “Environmental History in the Time of COVID: History from within the Whirlwind,” Environmental History (October 13, 2020)

Denis McKim, “Are We There Yet? On the Pandemic, Trumpism, and the History of Anticipation,” Borealia (November 5, 2020)

Courtney E. Thompson, “Finding Deborah: Centering Patients and Placing Emotion in the History of Disease,” Isis (December 2, 2020)

Kaitlin Stack Whitney and Kristoffer Whitney, “Inaccessible Media during the COVID-19 Crisis Intersects with the Language Deprivation Crisis for Young Deaf Children in the U.S.” Journal of Children and Media (January 2, 2021)

Sarah Christine Teets, “Thucydides, Historical Solidarity, and Birth in the Pandemic,” Nursing Clio (March 9, 2021)

Videos and Podcasts:

Erika Lee, “When Xenophobia Spreads Like a Virus,” Code Switch (March 4, 2020)

Joanne Freeman, Brian Balogh, and Jonathan Zimmerman, “Zooming Ahead: How Virtual Learning is Shaping the College Classroom,” BackStory (May 1, 2020)

Jiayang Fan and Erika Lee, “On GPS: How Covid-19 Has Fueled Racism in the US,” CNN (May 3, 2020)

Dr. Earl Turner, Martha Hodes, and Aneri Pattani, “Mental Health in Times of Crisis,” Ford’s Theatre’s Cabinet Conversations (October 8, 2020)

Prisons and the Incarcerated

Susan M. Reverby, “Prisons and public health: Gov. Cuomo must let out thousands or many will die,” Daily News (March 27, 2020)

Jessica L. Alder, “If we want to stop covid-19, we can’t forget the incarcerated,” The Washington Post (March 31, 2020)

Susan M. Reverby, “What’s worse than a doctor getting cancer behind prison walls? Try COVID.” (May 31, 2020)

Ashley Rubin, “Prisons and Jails Are Coronavirus Epicenters-But They Were Once Designed to Prevent Disease Outbreaks,” The Conversation (April 9, 2020)

David Helps, “COVID-19 Outbreaks at Jails and Prisons Should Make Us Rethink Incarceration,” The Washington Post (June 25, 2020)

Videos and Podcasts:

Ashley Rubin and Brook Gladstone, “Cruel and Unusual,” On the Media (April 24, 2020)