Thomas Ligh and Sierra Butler, Oral History, 2021/12/10


Title (Dublin Core)

Thomas Ligh and Sierra Butler, Oral History, 2021/12/10

Description (Dublin Core)

In this interview we discussed what we learned in our History of Global Pandemics class and how that has affected our perspective of pandemics, including COVID-19.

Recording Date (Dublin Core)

Creator (Dublin Core)

Contributor (Dublin Core)

Type (Dublin Core)

Oral History

Controlled Vocabulary (Dublin Core)

Curator's Tags (Omeka Classic)

Date Submitted (Dublin Core)


Date Modified (Dublin Core)


Interviewer (Bibliographic Ontology)

Thomas Ligh
Sierra Butler

Interviewee (Bibliographic Ontology)

Thomas Ligh
Sierra Butler

Location (Omeka Classic)


Format (Dublin Core)


Coverage (Dublin Core)

March 2021-December 2021

Language (Dublin Core)


Duration (Omeka Classic)

5:30 minutes

abstract (Bibliographic Ontology)

Oral History is about shifts in perspectives about the pandemic and provides a discussion of how prior pandemics have played a role.

Transcription (Omeka Classic)

Sierra 0:00
Hi, my name is Sierra Butler, and I'm here interviewing Thomas Ligh for the archive Interview Project. Thomas, do you consent to be interviewed for the COVID-19? Archive?

Thomas 0:11
I consent to being interviewed and it is 11:53 am on December 10.

Sierra 0:19
For the first question, how has your perspective changed since learning about the history of past pandemics?

Thomas 0:25
So before like taking this class, I didn't really know that the past pandemics in response to like public and government response that they kind of follow the pattern, although pandemics kind of had like the same, same pattern they went through with, except for the actual disease or virus itself, everything kind of follow the same thing. So nothing was really new in that regard. So it kind of like, taken aback by how, like it's do the same thing, even though time and time again, like the public response was the same government response was the same.

Sierra 1:04
And what is something that you notice was persistent throughout every pandemic in history?

Thomas 1:09
I saw that the public resistance was kind of the same, even though the like when the government reached out and started bringing up like possible solutions to help people. Public resistance was always something that was prominent, even though in the past, there was public resistance against kind of methods and things that could have helped reduce the spread, or even like, get rid of the whole pandemic issue in itself. But public resistance made it so that the pandemic kind of dragged out longer. And this happened each time even though it has happened in the past and a look, he kind of seemed like they weren't looking back, they were kind of only focusing in the moment.

Thomas 1:47
Hello, I am Thomas Ligh interviewing Sierra Butler, do you consent to being interviewed for the COVID-19? archive project?

Sierra 1:55
Yes, I can send and today is December 10, 2021.

Thomas 2:02
So for the first question is, what is one thing that has changed for the better due to past pandemics?

Sierra 2:11
One thing I noticed has really changed, and that humans have improved upon throughout the pandemics in history is sanitation. Thinking back to like the plague, and when smallpox broke out, the sanitation in cities was very poor. And it was the perfect environment for disease to spread through, rats running around in the streets. All sorts of things like the sewage systems are very poor, people would just dump their sewage in the streets, they would leave, I remember, they would leave dead horses in the streets. And to me, that's just like crazy. I can't imagine seeing a dead horse in the streets today. And things like that. That just really were the perfect environment for disease to spread. And we have clearly come a long way from then today. Our sanitation in cities especially has become a lot better and cleaner.

Thomas 3:12
So for the next question, how do you think that we can continue to improve upon our response to pandemics as a global community?

Sierra 3:20
I think as a global community, we really need to come together. Because throughout history, it's been very clear that we have been divided as, as a world as nations, we haven't really combated pandemics together. And I think that needs to change because we can't, individually as nations like follow our own protocol, I think we all need to follow the same protocol. And I think just everyone in the world needs to come together and really just contribute to, like, getting through this pandemic together. And it's not about taking away individuals' freedoms, it's not about it shouldn't be about individuals resisting the government. I think we all just need to realize that this is affecting all of us, each and every one of us around the entire world. And in order for it to go away, we all need to come together for the better cause and just defeat this thing together because we can't do it on our own. And to conclude, I think, overall, this class has really helped me realize that pandemics this has happened, all this has happened before and COVID isn't super unique in any way. It's another virus that has affected everyone. And again, we've had pretty similar responses. And I just I think overall this class has helped me realize that we're not in this alone. And I really feel like COVID this year is really giving us a chance to make even more advancements for the future. And I think we've been doing a good job, but we can do even better. And we really should use this opportunity to get better for the future because this is going to happen again. There's going to be pandemics in the future. It's pretty much inevitable and I think we should use this opportunity to make it better for the future

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This item was submitted on December 10, 2021 by Sierra Butler and Thomas Ligh using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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