Tiffany Lam and Daniel Barry Oral History, 2021/12/08


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Tiffany Lam and Daniel Barry Oral History, 2021/12/08

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It connects the COVID pandemic to past pandemics, and the future.

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Tiffany Lam
Daniel Barry

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Tiffany Lam
Daniel Barry

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abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

In this interview college students Tiffany Lam and Daniel Barry talk about the comparisons between the COVID 19 Pandemic and past pandemic. This interview also discusses modern medicine, how the pandemic has affected their personal lives and their hopes for the future.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Tiffany Lam 00:01
My name is Tiffany lamb.

Daniel Barry 00:03
And my name is Daniel Berry.

Daniel Barry 00:04
Today is Wednesday, December 8, 2021. And the time is 12:38pm.

Daniel Barry 00:09
We both consent to being interviewed for the COVID-19 archive project.

Tiffany Lam 00:10
We both consent to being interviewed for the COVID-19 archive project.

Tiffany Lam 00:15
Did learning about other pandemics change your thoughts about COVID-19 in any way?

Daniel Barry 00:20
I'd say learning about other pandemics changed my thoughts in that I learned that COVID really wasn't anything special. When comparing it to past pandemics, you learn that it was just more of the same people acted similarly in response to it. And it caused lots of fear overall. It also helps me appreciate how much progress we've made in medicine. In times during the Black Death, for example, people didn't even know what was killing them. They assumed it was the bad air. At least during this pandemic, we were able to know what to avoid. And this makes me appreciate the information that we knew today.

Tiffany Lam 00:55
Did you see any significant differences between COVID-19 and past pandemics?

Daniel Barry 01:01
Yeah, I'd say the most significant difference I saw between COVID. And past pandemics was the spread of information and the amount of things we knew about the disease. Unlike pandemics of the past. In COVID, we were able to see where not to travel, what to do to avoid getting it and even progress on the vaccine. Another large difference I saw was the response of people during things like cholera and the Black Death. Everyone knew what they were because they were killing machines for COVID. However, there's still people that think it's not real or that the vaccine isn't needed. If a vaccine or methods to prevent infection for Black Death existed back then, I'm sure people would have used them not think they were faking anyway. One last difference I saw was how the disease was perceived. During the Black Death, people saw it as divine retribution and an overall menace to society killing everyone in sight for COVID. However, many who weren't infected just saw as an annoyance, complaining that they couldn't do things that they had wanted to or vacations that were canceled. I thought this was interesting. It was likely because the spread of information that I mentioned prior, but was still noticeable difference overall.

Tiffany Lam 02:08
Do you think that humans have learned from past pandemics and applied those lessons towards COVID-19?

Daniel Barry 02:14
Yeah, I think people have definitely learned from past pandemics, even if it was not necessarily on purpose. As mentioned prior, the information spread on the news helped a lot. But things learned from the past also helped. These include vaccine production, mass worrying and quarantine. Without the development of vaccines during smallpox, it would have taken much longer for the world to recover from COVID and many more people would have died. Now I'm not saying the pandemic is over as it is far from it. But I'm saying the vaccines definitely helps to lessen the load and mask wearing overall, if people hadn't learned that mask wearing help to prevent disease spread in the past, then we wouldn't have been able to go out and go to stores as much as well. I think something we should change for the future, however, is the amount of medicine in poor countries. Like in the past, certain places around the world have had less overall medical infrastructure. And this leads to them not being able to access medicines and vaccines, even if they are available in more affluent countries. This is one prominent issue that has shown up in the past like cholera and slums and poor neighborhoods that we haven't fixed and and we have to if we want to prevent future pandemics, this issue leads to new variants popping up and endangering everyone, regardless of where they truly live.

Daniel Barry 03:27
What do you think we should change to help societies fight future pandemics?

Tiffany Lam 03:31
I think that society should abide by the W. H. O 's guidelines because their primary job is to promote health keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. So they really are trying to keep people healthy societies follow these guidelines, they could reduce the spread of a disease and prevent people from dying. For example, the WHO recommends getting vaccinated wearing a mask social distancing and washing your hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And those methods have been proven effective. But some areas still don't follow those guidelines, therefore resulting in an increased amount of cases. In addition, I think that countries should set aside funding and resources for health related emergencies because at the beginning of the pandemic, hospitals were maxing capacity and a lot of people were dying because they didn't have access to the health care they needed. If societies were more prepared, more willing to listen and willing to work with other societies, future pandemics could easily easily be fought.

Daniel Barry 04:25
So what is something that you will remember in the future that COVID-19?

Tiffany Lam 04:29
Something that I'll remember in the future about COVID-19 is the quarantine and the way that the pandemic changed the daily dynamics in our lives. Life before COVID-19 Seems like so long ago, I can't remember the last time I didn't see anybody outside without a mask. Before COVID-19 happened. I used to be able to go wherever I wanted without worrying about getting sick. But now whenever I see sick people, I try to walk as far as possible because I don't know if they have a cold or if they have COVID-19 and the uncertainty really scares me. My hobbies have also changed since the pandemic started before I used to do taekwondo in a studio group golf lessons and piano lessons. But since COVID-19 started I stopped all of them besides golf because it wasn't safe to be around strangers because you don't know where they could have been. Only recently have group activities been okayed by the CDC guidelines, but I already went off to college, so I just stopped doing them all together. When the quarantine first started in March 2020. No one knew what was going on, but people prayed it would soon be over. However, COVID-19 has lingered for almost two years now. And scientists predict that it will be here to stay because not everyone is taking preventative measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. One thing I learned is that everyone must work together as a society to stop the spread of COVID-19. If some people are wearing a mask and getting vaccinated and others are not COVID-19 will still spread among the unvaccinated and anti maskers and might still spread to the people that are taking preventative measures. So it is important for everybody to be on the same page.

Daniel Barry 05:54
So overall, this was our podcast, our second and last episode of our COVID archive interviews. I hope you enjoyed listening and I hope you all have a good day. Thank you and goodbye.

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