PHILADELPHIA, TUESDAY MORNING, MARCH 10, 2020
WHAT PAST PHILA. EPIDEMICS CAN TELL US ABOUT THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Engraved for the London Magazine, The East Prospect of the City of PHILADELPHIA in the Province of PENNSYLVANIA
City of Philadelphia, Department of Records
Founded by William Penn in 1682 on the banks of the Delaware River, Philadelphia was, for a time, the largest city in America, the one-time U.S. capital, and later, an industrial powerhouse with the world's busiest freshwater port. It has shaped American ideals and established innovative firsts, engaged in trade and commerce from its central position in the urban northeast.
What superlatives remain for the City of Brotherly Love remind us of the city's rich history, its innovative cultural spirit, its commercial connectivity, and its expansive population.
Once again, the city is gripped by a disease that threatens the health of its citizens. But everything old is new again—diseases that swept through the city in the past can show us that the measures taken and the reactions of today are not without precedent.
The novel coronavirus is not the same as the yellow fever, the influenza, or the cholera that has interred thousands of Philadelphians in the past. Not only is there a difference of biology, but the nuance of the politics and the economics, the actions of contemporary human beings engaged in self-preservation, greed, mourning, and community make this outbreak unique. But most of all, like all pandemics, this makes it a human story.
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