Sydney Inouye, Cole Zaleski Oral History, 2021/12/08


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Sydney Inouye, Cole Zaleski Oral History, 2021/12/08

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We are discussing the comparisons between COVID-19 and previous pandemics, as well as how the pandemic has impacted our first year of college.

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Sydney Inouye
Cole Zaleski

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Sydney Inouye
Cole Zaleski

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abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

University students, Sydney Inouye and Cole Zalenski conduct this interview with each other. They discuss the similarities between the COVID 19 Pandemic and past pandemics like smallpox, Spanish Flu, and the Bubonic plague. They also touched on society reaction to the pandemic and how it differs from past pandemics. They end this interview discussing all the new things their current course has taught them about pandemics.

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Sydney Inouye 00:00
Hi, my name is Sydney Inouye.

Cole Zaleski 00:02
I'm Cole Zaleski.

Sydney Inouye 00:03
And today we are going to be doing the second COVID-19 interview.

Cole Zaleski 00:08
So, today is Wednesday, December 8, is 3pm.

Sydney Inouye 00:12
Yes and cold Do you consent to be interviewed for the COVID 19 archive project is?

Cole Zaleski 00:19

Sydney Inouye 00:19
And then I consent as well. Okay, so cool. First of all, what information about past pandemics? Have you applied to the way you look at COVID-19?

Cole Zaleski 00:28
I think that smallpox definitely has, I think the most weight in terms of my understanding and perception of COVID, just in terms of what we learned from public reactions, in terms of mask, mask mandates and reactions to that. And there's there are just a lot of similarities between smallpox or excuse me, the Spanish flu, and, and COVID.

Sydney Inouye 00:56
Yeah, especially, I noticed that, like, I remember, I remember when we were reading the article about like, the anti masking in general, I feel like in general, or like, oftentimes, in pandemic, society tends to push back and react in like skepticism, which is like completely like a normal response in terms of like, such a time with fear, like uncertainty, and also like the government doesn't really know what's going on either. So it's just a very confusing time. So I have also noticed that same behavior. And then compared to other pandemics, how does COVID-19 differ?

Cole Zaleski 01:30
Well, I mean, obviously, we're living in a modern world. So the influence of technology is very, very major. And just media and getting news across quickly. I think that's what really differentiates COVID from most other pandemics in history is just that global interconnectedness. And that sort of immediate information flow.

Sydney Inouye 02:00
Okay. And then last question for you is, how has public health and science improved over the years as a result of the pandemic?

Cole Zaleski 02:12
There are, there are definitely a lot of different there are a lot of ways that this could go. I mean, scientifically, we have the creation of the vaccine from smallpox and cowpox.

Sydney Inouye 02:24

Cole Zaleski 02:27
But I think that overall, we've really kept a pretty sort of stagnant method for dealing with pandemics just people go into quarantine, and the use of masks and just the last century.

Sydney Inouye 02:46
Yeah, because I remember, especially that was a good point. When we were first talking about the Bubonic plague, and like, they still use methods like quarantining contact tracing, right?

Cole Zaleski 02:55

Sydney Inouye 02:55
And we, we definitely use those methods of like public health today and trying to contain COVID-19. Good point.

Cole Zaleski 03:02
Okay. So for you, has college been everything you expected it to be given that we are in a pandemic?

Sydney Inouye 03:08
I definitely think it's, it almost feels too normal to a certain extent, obviously, we're all wearing masks, but you know, we're in person. And I think at times, it could be like, you could somewhat forget about the pandemic, which is why I thought it was really important when I took this class because it kind of helped shift, shift my focus and be like, Okay, we're in college, like, it's happening, you're on your own, but at the same time, we're also dealing with a public health crisis, and there's certain measures we need to follow. And so I think, in general, it definitely has, like, I think the class has been like a good refresher, and also helped, like improve my I guess, knowledge about like, certain vocabulary about pandemic as well.

Cole Zaleski 03:52
Yeah, no, it's definitely weird. I live around here so I can kind of go back and forth. And seeing how people not in the city and not in college, are handling the pandemic is interesting. Yeah,

Sydney Inouye 04:09

Cole Zaleski 04:09
It's more similar to how it was over the summer than it is in the city.

Sydney Inouye 04:13
I do remember initially, though, and like everyone was getting sick. And like coughing I had this like, almost like fear, like conditioned fear of coughing. So like, I don't, I was never really aware of it. And like, you know, elementary school, middle school, high school, but like, especially during, like, cold, flu season, but But now, I was like, very like attuned. I think that's definitely like, a result of the pandemic and like how it's like, impacted my view. College definitely has like subsided.

Cole Zaleski 04:40
Yeah. So after taking this course and learning information about prior pandemics, do you treat COVID-19 any differently, are you more serious way back?

Sydney Inouye 04:49
Um, I definitely there's one fact I guess that we learned or like vocab that really stuck out with me is we learned about the R number right which is like the average number of people in a infected individual can spread the disease too. And so especially at the time when like, the Delta variant was coming out, and there's also the original COVID strain, like, I was reading an article about it, and they actually started like comparing the R number and it was like a weird one, I was like, Oh my God, wait, I can apply this knowledge, which obviously, like I've had a bunch of other like, of those, like little moments of applying knowledge I've learned from this class, but especially with the our number, and I think it helps me kind of, you know, come into realization of like, okay, like, we have to be a lot more cautious with like, certain variants, and also just like, comparing just how infectious each COVID strain is, and I definitely say I'm more serious. I mean, I was coming into college, I was very serious. I think also, this has led me to like have a greater understanding of the pandemic and like, just the, the various factors and like, impact this has on society and like socio economic factors as well as like public health as well. And like, I've gained a lot more appreciation for like the science behind, you know, the creation of vaccines and just how long it took to get them approved. And like, I also remember I was I seeing a lot of similarities between the smallpox inoculation controversy and now so,

Cole Zaleski 06:15

Sydney Inouye 06:16
I think I've definitely taken more serious but also like, appreciative perspective.

Cole Zaleski 06:23
Yeah. Yeah. So yeah.

Sydney Inouye 06:27
Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. Thank you for listening to our interview.

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This item was submitted on December 8, 2021 by Sydney INouye using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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