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When Will The Pandemic Be "Over"? We Ask Two Medical Historians.

1918 Flu PandemicPhoto.jpeg
photographer unknown
Masked up during the devastating 1918 flu pandemic, some travelers pose for a photograph.

The 2020-21 COVID-19 pandemic is unique, but past plagues can provide clues as to how it might end.

Optimism is in the air. Yesterday, the CDC issued new guidance about mask wearing outside, and other perks for people who have been fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus. The Baltimore City Health Dept is reviewing the CDC guidance, and they may adjust their mask ordinance. But most experts say that unless you are in a crowd of strangers, if you’ve had a vaccine, you don’t need a mask, outside.

Supply of the vaccine has finally caught up with demand. The challenge facing us now is no longer finding enough vaccine. It’s finding enough people who want to take it.

If enough of us do take it, herd immunity will be achieved, and we will be back to normal. Or at least so the theory goes.

How will we know when the pandemic is, really and truly, over? When do pandemics end?

Tom's first guests today are two medical historians from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who have studied the COVID 19 pandemic in the context of other viruses, like the 1918 flu, polio, smallpox and HIV-AIDS.

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Dr. Graham Mooney and Dr. Jeremy Greene are medical historians with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Graham Mooney and Dr. Jeremy Greene join us on Zoom…

Audio for this program will be posted by 2:30pm today.

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Rob is Midday's senior producer.