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Does Our Reaction To Coronavirus Differ From Reactions To Ancient Pandemics?

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen millions of Americans staying at home with family and groups of less than 10 people. Writers and other artists are documenting their experiences, and many of us will no doubt digest those words for years to come.

How different will those writings seem when we have a little distance? And do they vary that much from other pandemics in history?

Ian Moulton, English and cultural history professor at ASU, has explored how Thucydides — among other people — told the story of plague in Athens in 430 B.C. and how Boccaccio wrote about the Black Death of the 14th century.

The Show spoke with Moulton about what extent the reactions to pandemics from centuries ago reminded him about how people are treating the current one.

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Steve Goldstein was a host at KJZZ from 1997 to 2022.