Death is fearful to every individual but what’s more fearful is death seen in the eyes of a disease. The epidemics that have confronted our world include Covid19, Black death, AIDS, Yellow Fever and Typhoid.  As a college student, the pandemic and sicknesses that are feared on campus are the most recent Corona Virus, flu, herpes, and gonorrhea. In present day, getting vaccinated helps protect us against the serious epidemics that can arise.  As an individual what I do know is that all these viruses are contracted by human or blood contact.  We live on a campus where human contact is daily with individuals on a small campus footprint which allows for infections or diseases to transfer quickly to one another.   It makes you feel vulnerable when you know that an infection or disease can break out quickly. I never thought that we would be reading and talking about one epidemic while in a current pandemic. While researching about the history of AIDs and the epidemic, it is apparent that the disease came on quickly and that it was being labeled a “homosexual disease” due to the mortality rate of this community. The biggest confusion in the AIDSs epidemic was the actual transmission of how Aids was contracted from person to person. Because of this confusion, surviving this plague became fearful and the perception of risk was exasperated due to lack of control of information of the disease. After reading How to Have Sex in a Pandemic by Richard Berkowitz and Michael Callen, it is clear that the issue is the disease and not sex. I did some more research and watched, the documentary film How to Survive a Plague which presents the HIV/AIDS crisis in a similar light as the panic and uncertainty created by the Bubonic Plague of medieval Europe. How to Survive a Plague offers various strategies for individuals suffering from or at risk for HIV/AIDS to outwit or at least withstand the epidemic





4 thoughts on “Thoughts.”

  1. hi! I really enjoyed reading your post and the language you used was really powerful in getting your point across. I think all of us students are relating so hard to this right now. It is terrifying to live in a world of unknowns with seemingly no control over our own futures. I really liked how you touched on “how to have sex during an epidemic” because I think that the overall message (that disease is bad, not sex) is so incredibly important. Puritanical values in the US helped demonize gay men, making their human need for sex seem like an act of terror in terms of the spread of AIDS. By making sex the issue, instead of disease, the focus of the epidemic was on the moral fiber of gay men instead of how to help vulnerable communities from a terrifying illness. You brought out a bunch of really interesting ideas in the post that got me thinking:)

  2. Pandemics are only the future, and with rising environmental problems that create new diseases to be transmitted in humans, we need to start taking epidemiologists more seriously and learn from past epidemics.

    The main problem thus far hasn’t necessarily been a question of scientific advance but rather how we as cultures respond to disease. We can clearly see so many people in the United States ignoring COVID guidelines, including on our very own Dickinson campus grounds, and risk the safety of others. We don’t give enough thought to consequence unless it is direct and personal, and we certainly don’t seem to learn from precaution and how to take effective care in times of disease. This is just a historic problem and one that we need to change as we prepare for future pandemics and disease outbreaks.

  3. Hi:)
    I definitely have similar feelings in regards to the COVID pandemic and how such, ultimately, is parallel to the hysteria involved within the AIDS epidemic. I too, watched “How to Survive a Plague” my first semester freshman year in another English class. Wildly enough, I still remember the movie to this day and the unfortunate repercussions of various peoples being marginalized, especially the LGBTQ+ community. However, what I found to be interesting is that nowadays, restrictions put upon us as college students in terms of COVID are only to help us, and prevent us from receiving COVID. The mandating of masks in many states (unfortunately not all states), six-feet distance, and even Dickinson’s regulations surrounding the unfortunate pandemic, all help in preventing one from receiving COVID. In the movie itself, on the other hand, there were various rules and regulations put into place by specific states that hindered same-sex couples. All together, great post!

  4. Hi!
    It is scary to think about the pandemic, no matter what position you are in. However as a college student it is strange to be on a campus where all the typical traditions have vanished and close human contact is prohibited. I think your thoughts here align with most college age students today. We live in fear of the unknown in a small community that is constantly vulnerable to a breakout. Do you feel like your research has made you feel better about things or helped how you feel? Sometimes knowing that we are not alone and others have gotten through times like this before is comforting.

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