AIRBORNE

by Genese Sodikoff In this political climate of upheaval and uncertainty, writing about emerging pandemics seems, all of a sudden, off-topic. Why dwell on disease when the bedrock of liberalism is being pulverized? We are entering unknown waters on a rising tide of anger and fear. The United States, the second largest CO2 emitter after…

Mad and Mythical Dogs

by Genese Sodikoff For thousands of years, people on every continent (save for uninhabitable Antarctica) have recognized the behavior of rabid animals and seen the ravages that rabies inflicts on the human mind and body. While the biological symptoms of rabies are universal, it, like many global diseases, manifests in different places with unique cultural…

THE PLAGUE UNDERGROUND

by Genese Sodikoff Recent outbreaks of the bubonic plague in Madagascar offer a glimpse into the dynamics of past outbreaks, the Plague of Justinian (sixth to eighth centuries), the Black Death (fourteenth to seventeenth centuries), and current wave of “Third Pandemic” plagues that began in the nineteenth century. Over the past few years, genetic studies…

AMERICAN RABIES

by Genese Sodikoff The rabid opposition of American gun owners to stricter gun regulations in the wake of mass shootings is reminiscent of dog owners' opposition to rabies-control measures amidst rashes of “mad dog” attacks in in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (Poodles in the 1920s were especially mad, for some reason). Every…

ZOONOTIC TALES: LIVING WITH ROACHES

by Genese Sodikoff There is the nightmare of fecundity and the nightmare of the multitude. There is the nightmare of uncontrolled bodies and the nightmare of inside our bodies and all over our bodies. There is the nightmare of unguarded orifices and the nightmare of vulnerable places. There is the nightmare of foreign bodies in…