Bioethics Forum Essay
Resisting Public Health Measures, Then and Now
One of the most surprising aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic for those of us who teach the history of public health is how unwilling many Americans have been to adopt health measures to protect others. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, tens of millions of Americans traveled, despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged them to stay home and the overall death rate from the coronavirus is approaching 300,000. Should recent events make us revisit aspects of the history of public health? And how can these stories inform future public health efforts during pandemics?