Contagion: Show Segments
The following are individual show segments included in the BackStory episode “Contagion: Responding to Infectious Disease,” broadcast in September 2012. You can listen to the entire episode here.
High and Dry
Peter tells the story of the 1773 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic in which the government high-tailed it for the hills, leaving citizens to fend for themselves against the disease.
The Way They Were
Dr. Robert Gaynes describes how diseases such as yellow fever looked and felt.
Putting Up a Fight
Historian Michael Willrich talks with Brian about how some communities resisted government initiatives to force vaccinations during the 1901 smallpox epidemic in New York City.
Not So Safe Space
Ed speaks with historian Jim Downs about how disease devastated populations of escaped slaves in contraband camps behind Union lines during and after the Civil War.
The Things They Carried
Contributor Catherine Moore tells the story of how soldiers returning from World War I brought the Spanish flu back with them.
Peter, Ed, and Brian take calls from listeners.