Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Thank You for Your Sacrifice

I think this infographic gives some perspective on the current crisis and illustrates the choice before us: we get to choose how bad this pandemic becomes.

Infographic depicting the deadliest pandemics in human history in comparison to COVID-19

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

I did a history of epidemiology course as part of my history of science MA–it was the history of how medicine has learned to track, control, and prevent the spread of disease. We talked about some of these earlier epidemics and it was scary stuff. The best that medicine had to offer in each era was essentially useless in the face of these diseases. People dropping dead in the millions and no one could explain how or why, or what to do about it.

But, unlike them, this COVID-19 outbreak is the first pandemic that we as a species have the power to control and minimize.

Think of that! No generation of humans has ever been able to say the same thing. No generation before us has had the technical and scientific knowledge to identify and combat a plague in such swift fashion, nor the instantaneous communication and coordination abilities that we have to institute meaningful quarantine and isolation on a global scale.

We were alerted to this plague early. Our experience fighting SARS, that could-have-been-pandemic, helped us. We know what it is that we’re up against. We know how it spreads and how we can avoid it. We’re already trialling vaccines and antiviral drug therapies within THREE MONTHS of this thing first appearing. No other generation before us could say any of that about the pestilences that from time to time appeared, like a rider on a pale horse, and cut down great swaths of people.

I know that being cooped up for weeks or months sucks (I’m here with three little kids, believe me, I GET IT). But you’ll notice that right now COVID-19 is a little speck on that graphic, less than a pinhead in comparison to past pandemics. The sacrifices you make now by isolating and social distancing, by working from home and following the advice of medical experts–all those little things are what will help keep that tiny speck from becoming one of those giant, catastrophic blobs we see depicted in other eras for other pandemics.

Thank you for your sacrifice.

Now, go wash your hands

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023 – Tesla – Tesla in the White City (1893)

It was the Fair That Changed America. And it was the chance for Tesla and Westinghouse to show the world the power of their AC system. The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition made Tesla a household name and changed his life forever.

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022 – Tesla – War of the Currents Part 6: The Battle of Chicago (1892)

Westinghouse makes an 11th-hour bid to electrify the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 with Tesla’s AC system and GE will do anything to torpedo the deal. Welcome to Thunderdome: two bids enter, one bid leaves…

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021 – Tesla – War of the Currents Part 5: The Second Front (1890 – 1892)

Edison and Westinghouse battle over lightbulbs and high finance as we return to the trenches of the War of the Currents, and see how the war whittled itself down from fifteen combatants to just two…

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Show Notes for Episode 20 – A Most Painful Ordeal (1892)

My Son, and Stanley, and Me (c. 2013):

Helen Mirren Reads ‘Ulysses’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

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020 – Tesla – A Most Painful Ordeal (1892)

Tesla’s trip to the Continent would take an emotional and physical toll that he couldn’t have imagined. But he nevertheless returned from Europe with the big idea that would dominate the rest of his career.

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Show Notes for Episode 19 – Order of the Flaming Sword (1891-1892)

Here’s the neon sign that Tesla had designed in honour of Lord Kelvin (whose real name was William Thomson). Imagine it…in colour 🙂

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Episode 19 – Order of the Flaming Sword (1891-1892)

When his colleagues in the AC field start turning on him, Tesla uses an invitation to lecture in London to reassert his place as the inventor of the AC motor and to dazzle Victorian London with all-new discoveries.

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Show Notes for Episode 18 – The Greatest Show On Earth (1891)

Tesla’s 1891 AIEE Lecture (complete text):

Tesla demonstrates his new lightbulbs

 

The SaskPower Nikola Tesla Quiz:

I got 90%--can YOU do better??

The History of Rome Podcast by Mike Duncan

Vini Vidi Vici

Seriously–just listen already.

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018 – Tesla – The Greatest Show On Earth (1891)

Tesla the Showman knocks ’em dead at the AIEE with a lecture for the ages and a breathtaking demonstration of high frequency AC. It was his ticket to fame and celebrity. 

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