Epidemics don’t begin with the first new infection.
There is a reason that a map of HIV in the South today looks like a map of slavery in 1860. Stay tuned for a similar map of COVID-19 in the coming months or years.
We can do what we can today to mitigate this crisis—but unless we continue to address the deep inequalities in our country, the groundwork for the next epidemic, and the one after, has already been laid.
For many of us, this spring feels like the early days of AIDS epidemic—including the fear, uncertainty and criminally-delayed response by the federal government which has meant, and will continue to mean, that people will die unnecessarily.
Having survived one plague, here are some key lessons as we confront another: