Imagination and remembrance: what role should historical epidemiology play in a world bewitched by mathematical modelling of COVID-19 and other epidemics?

Hist Philos Life Sci. 2021 Jun 7;43(2):81. doi: 10.1007/s40656-021-00422-6.


Although every emerging infectious disease occurs in a unique context, the behaviour of previous pandemics offers an insight into the medium- and long-term outcomes of the current threat. Where an informative historical analogue exists, epidemiologists and policymakers should consider how the insights of the past can inform current forecasts and responses.

Keywords: COVID 19; Epidemiologic methods; Epidemiology; History/epidemiolgy; Models; Statistical.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • Epidemiology / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology
  • Influenza, Human / history
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Pandemics / history*