A scholar wrote that nearly four main theories about disease transmission were dominant in scientific treatise during nineteenth century and all of them were political in nature. As we can see even today people are defying social-distancing guidelines and other safety measures to contain the Corona virus outbreak. It all shows that public health is not only a concern for political spheres but also for medical professionals. Blaming people for falling sick.
Disease or disease transmission have never been ideological, however, local responses to disease transmission reflect our widely conflicting beliefs about the way a society should be organized and run. Though, this situation is not anything new or unique to today. If we ;ook back at history, in 1980s a political scientist named Sylvia Tesh inspected Western beliefs regarding disease transmission and disease prevention during.
Surprisingly, Tesh wrote that the beliefs of those times mostly bore a close resemblance to theories that are put forth today. The theories accounting for chronic disease have remained almost the similar over centuries. The old contagion theory also demanded quarantine regulations and avoiding sick people like today’s measures to combat COVID-19.
Tesh identified four chief beliefs from nineteenth century on disease and disease spread across US and Europe. They include contagion, atmospheric element which echoes even in today’s theories concerning environmental causation, personal behavior or lifestyle choices and the supernatural element, which postulated a punishment from God or a disquieting Devil. If we look at today’s scenario, all the four theories seem true of our times during this pandemic.
We do believe in the disease being contagious, the role of atmosphere in its transmission, personal style of living and the supernatural powers. Even today most of us believe that Corona virus is a castigation from God as a punishment for our evil doings.