The History of Pandemics Teaches Us Only That We Can’t Be Taught
There’s a term for what’s been missing: “clioepidemiology.” Named after Clio, the muse of history, it describes the practice of studying information from past epidemics for advice about the present. Why are we so bad at doing this in practice? Isn’t everyone who’s ever lived through an ugly epidemic an armchair clioepidemiologist, almost by default? Why haven’t there been more of them spouting off about the lessons that they’ve learned? Or maybe more to the point, why hasn’t anyone been listening?