Pandemics: “The history of diseases also tells the story of humanity”

INTERVIEW – The historian of medicine Stanis Perez and Professor Patrick Berche, establish in “Pandémies” (Perrin), an exhaustive panorama of the epidemics which have submerged the world. They also show how man tamed them, and at what cost.

To what extent is the current pandemic part of the long history of pandemics since Antiquity? How is it similar and different?

The Covid-19 pandemic resembles other pandemics, such as plague, smallpox, influenza, cholera. These plagues surprise and terrify with their brutal emergence, striking innocent victims blindly and unfairly. The only way out was to flee (a contagion factor!) For those who could, and the health barriers imposed by quarantines in lazarets, in leprosaria, or even by building the plague wall, in Provence, in the 18th century.e century. As with any major event, pandemics generate rumors and the quest for sometimes exterminated scapegoats. Who are the culprits? Failure to understand these catastrophes could call into question the social and economic organization, at the origin of famines and exactions.

In some ways the current pandemic is different

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