Responses to coronavirus appear directly connected to cultural history
I have an interest in history. There are some things history can’t explain, but history can be helpful.
I also have an interest in how language is used. I have an interest in language usage. By way of example, I’m interested in how power at times speaks its own language whereby up is down, in is out, and large is small.
Sweden’s cultural history
The relationship between Sweden’s cultural history and its response to the current pandemic is of interest, as is language usage that revolves around the term ‘Swedish exceptionalism.’
When I read about death tolls, I keep in mind that the numbers can be quite approximate; in some cases, deaths may be undercounted.
Some recent links of interest include:
April 27, 2020 CNN: “Sweden says its coronavirus approach has worked. The numbers suggest a different story.”
Governance history and cultural history are interconnected, but it can serve a purpose to treat them separately. Among the general themes that come to mind is that governance history in many jurisdictions has given rise to a lack of funding for long term care for the elderly.
In some jurisdictions, however, for reasons related to regional or national history, funding and management of long term care has been exemplary. In some cases, leadership has been of the highest quality.
April 14, 2020 CBC: “Advocates wonder why long-term care COVID warnings were ignored: Deadly crisis ‘foreseen’ in patchwork system with known weaknesses.”
April 29, 2020 Stat: “Chan Zuckerberg Initiative funds Bay Area effort to track coronavirus as the economy reopens.”
April 29, 2020 CBC: “‘Absolutely could have been avoided’: How one nursing home director’s fast actions may have saved lives: This care home has no COVID-19 deaths. Another one nearby has 39 deaths. Why?”
How we make sense of the world is always of interest
I like to read about topics such as Celtic legends and Norse mythology as they concern themselves with the human quest to make sense of things. Theories about how the universe works are similarly of huge interest for me.
Oct. 15, 2014 Quanta: “At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law: A potent theory has emerged explaining a mysterious statistical law that arises throughout physics and mathematics.”
Georgia’s response to COVID-19 is a reflection of Georgia’s governance/cultural history
April 29, 2020 Atlantic: “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice: The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.”
On a broader scale, what is happening in the United States and the United Kingdom as it relates to COVID-19 is readily understandable if a person is tuned into the cultural history of each country.
The Festival Theatre, designed by architect Robert Fairfield in close consultation with the Stratford Festival board of directors and theatre staff, was awarded the Vincent Massey Gold Medal for Architecture in 1958. The theatre features a thrust stage. Jaan Pill photo
I came across the book when I was researching an article for the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario about the history of the Stratford Festival. In terms of my own interests, it’s among the most valuable books about history that I’ve encountered.
Tom Patterson Theatre Centre construction site on parkland along the Avon River in Stratford: view looking south from Lakeside Drive east of Waterloo Street South. The theatre features a thrust stage. Jaan Pill photo
I have a strong interest in the views of documentary maker Peter Watkins regarding how news and entertainment are delivered: