Articles on COVID-19

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Makeshift hospital beds at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne during the influenza pandemic of 1919. Museum Victoria

We should listen to coronavirus experts, but local wisdom counts too

COVID-19 presents a social as well as a medical crisis, and we will need many different kinds of expertise to survive it
Government officers seize civets in a wildlife market in Guangzhou, China to prevent the spread of SARS in 2004. Dustin Shum/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

The new coronavirus emerged from the global wildlife trade – and may be devastating enough to end it

Wild animals and animal parts are bought and sold worldwide, often illegally. This multibillion-dollar industry is pushing species to extinction, fueling crime and spreading disease.
Millions of poor South Africans rely on social grants, including the child support grant, just to survive. PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

South Africa can – and should – top up child support grants to avoid a humanitarian crisis

To support precarious households that can't access existing relief during lockdown and its aftermath, the government should implement a temporary increase in the value of the child support grant.
The Black Death inspired medieval writers to document their era of plague. Their anxieties and fears are starkly reminiscent of our own even if their solutions differ. (Shutterstock)

How medieval writers struggled to make sense of the Black Death

During the Black Death of the 1300s, medieval writers struggled to make sense of the disease just as we are now during the COVID-19 pandemic
Two Steve Martin banjo video tweets have been viewed more than 10 million times since March 21, 2020. Here, stills from the ‘Banjo Calm’ video. (@SteveMartinToGo/Twitter)

Steve Martin’s banjo and other music played from coronavirus isolation show how the arts connect us

Through social media experiences, both professional and amateur musicians-in-isolation offer community expressions of human spirit, and audiences appreciate their gifts.

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