Carnegie Mellon University

Deadly preventions: Containing the inequities of public health measures

CAS Speakers Series

Susan Leigh Craddock

Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 2:30pm on Zoom

Though history does not always provide exact lessons for future pandemics, they can nevertheless tell us a lot if we pay attention. Many of the most common and trusted public health interventions today are lockdowns (or quarantines) and social distancing. Yet in past epidemics as well as with Covid-19, these well-intentioned measures have ended up turning supposedly safe spaces of home and its containing walls into deadly containers of violence, isolation, food deprivation, and increased viral transmission for many. Social distancing has also not been possible for many, especially – then and now – the poorest who continue to labor often in cramped factories or warehouses for companies not caring to provide protective measures. This talk will examine the ways in which spaces of containment and care are much more context-dependent than public health officials in the past and now have really considered, and what alternatives for the future might be.

Susan Craddock is Professor in the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the social and political determinations of risk to ill health and in particular to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, Covid-19, HIV, and influenza; and the convergence of financial, political, and scientific factors in determining the availability or not of life-saving medications for these diseases particularly in low-income countries. Her latest book, Compound Solutions: Pharmaceutical Alternatives for Global Health, examines the role of product development partnerships in developing new drugs and vaccines for tuberculosis. She is also the author of City of Plagues: Disease Poverty, and Deviance in San Francisco (2000); coeditor of HIV and AIDS in Africa: Beyond Epidemiology (2004) and Influenza and Public Health: Learning from Past Pandemics (2012). 

This event is part of the Spaces of Containment and Care Project.

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