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1.
Med Anthropol ; 41(4): 387-403, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740558

ABSTRACT

In this article we explore Covid-19 riskscapes across the African Great Lakes region. Drawing on fieldwork across Uganda and Malawi, our analysis centers around how two mobile, trans-border figures - truck drivers and migrant traders - came to be understood as shifting, yet central loci of perceived viral risk. We argue that political decision-making processes, with specific reference to the influence of Covid-19 testing regimes and reported disease metrics, aggravated antecedent geographies of blame targeted at mobile "others". We find that using grounded riskscapes to examine localised renditions of risk reveals otherwise neglected forms of discriminatory discourse and practice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anthropology, Medical , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Lakes , Uganda
2.
Med Anthropol ; 41(3): 302-314, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735380

ABSTRACT

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Denmark introduced repeated lock-downs of society, including outreach services and visits from social workers for people living with mental illnesses. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, in this article we explore how people with mental illness react to and manage their lives amid COVID-19 mitigations, focusing on how they experience and negotiate vulnerability at personal and community level. We argue, that the subjective management of restrictions implicated in their personal lives notions of risk, vulnerability and agency, and shows a diversity and heterogeneity of responses to the pandemic that allowed the mentally ill to perform good citizenship.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Anthropology, Medical , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics
3.
Med Anthropol Q ; 36(1): 119-138, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626709

ABSTRACT

This article contributes to anthropological debates surrounding borderlands and biosecurity by tracing the multiple pursuits of protection that emerge between the state and minorities during infectious disease outbreaks. Drawing on an ethnographic study of child health in Jerusalem following epidemics of measles and COVID-19, the article demonstrates how responses to public health interventions are less about compliance or indiscipline than a competing pursuit of immunity to preserve religious lifeworlds. The voices of Orthodox Jews are situated alongside printed broadsides that circulated anonymous truth-claims in Jerusalem neighborhoods. These broadsides cast state intervention against historical narratives of deception and ethical failures. Borderland tensions, like a virus, mutate and influence responses to authority and biosecurity, and they reconfigure vernacular entanglements of religion, state, and health. The article encourages anthropologists to consider responses to public health interventions and non-vaccination beyond a COVID-19 silo, as part of situated relations between states and minority populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Measles , Anthropology, Medical , Child , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Humans , Measles/epidemiology , Measles/prevention & control , Public Health
4.
Med Anthropol ; 41(1): 19-33, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612262

ABSTRACT

This article shares findings on COVID-19 in Africa across 2020 to examine concepts and practices of epidemic preparedness and response. Amidst uncertainties about the trajectory of COVID-19, the stages of emergency response emerge in practice as interconnected. We illustrate how complex dynamics manifest as diverse actors interpret and modify approaches according to contexts and experiences. We suggest that the concept of "intersecting precarities" best captures the temporalities at stake; that these precarities include the effects of epidemic control measures; and that people do not just accept but actively negotiate these intersections as they seek to sustain their lives and livelihoods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Africa , Anthropology, Medical , Humans , Negotiating , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Med Anthropol ; 41(1): 4-18, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585594

ABSTRACT

In this article, we address the nature of syndemics and whether, as some have asserted, these epidemiological phenomena are global configurations. Our argument that syndemics are not global rests on recognition that they are composed of social/environment contexts, disease clusters, demographics, and biologies that vary across locations. These points are illustrated with the cases of syndemics involving COVID-19, diabetes mellitus, and HIV/AIDS. We draw on theoretical discourse from epidemiology, biology, and anthropology to present what we believe is a more accurate framework for thinking about syndemics with shared elements.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Anthropology, Medical , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Environment , Syndemic
6.
Med Anthropol ; 41(1): 34-48, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517672

ABSTRACT

We analyze interviews with participants in a COVID-19 vaccine trial to show how Americans navigate conflicting discourses of individual rights and collective responsibility by using individual health behavior to care for others. We argue that interviewees drew on ideologies of "collective biology" - understanding themselves as parts of bio-socially interrelated groups affected by any member's behavior - to hope their participation would aid collectives cohering around kinship, sex, age, race and ethnicity. Benefits (protecting family, representing one's group in vaccine development and modeling vaccine acceptance) existed alongside drawbacks (strife, reifying groups), to illustrate the ambivalence of caregiving amid inequality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Anthropology, Medical , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Med Anthropol ; 40(8): 815-829, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483215

ABSTRACT

During the early COVID-19 pandemic, many countries took compulsory measures to combating the virus's spread, while Sweden took a more voluntary approach. This led to polarized reactions in the international media, with some praising it and others proclaiming it disastrous. Using the concept of "moral panic" I examine how actors within the global media environment portrayed Swedes as a deviant population, using persuasive language, exaggeration, and selective reporting, and how an amplification of media attention served to solidify the deviant label. I also argue that Sweden was made deviant partly to justify restrictive measures in other countries.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anthropology, Medical , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sweden
8.
Med Anthropol ; 40(7): 667-681, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404904

ABSTRACT

Little is known about COVID-19 related stigma and its specific impact both on medical staff and on the care they provide in hospitals in Mexico. In this article I highlight the stigma that doctors who treat COVID-19 in Mexico City hospitals both experience and practice; explore the impact of that stigma on the care they provide and on their own suffering; and describe and discuss how they respond to it. Anthropological knowledge elucidates opportunities to encourage this new "epidemic of signification" related to stigma to become a pandemic of dignity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Stigma , Anthropology, Medical , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Anthropol Med ; 28(2): 141-155, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1364672

ABSTRACT

Drawing on the work of Ivan Illich, our special issue reanimates iatrogenesis as a vital concept for the social sciences of medicine. It calls for medicine to expand its engagement of the injustices that unfold from clinical processes, practices, and protocols into patient lifeworlds and subjectivities beyond the clinic. The capacious view of iatrogenesis revealed by this special issue collection affords fuller and more heterogeneous insights on iatrogenesis that does not limit it to medical explanations alone, nor locate harm in singular points in time. These papers attend to iatrogenesis' immediate and lingering presences in socialities and structures within and beyond medicine, and the ways it reflects or reproduces the racism, sexism, and ableism built into medical logics.


Subject(s)
Healthcare Disparities , Iatrogenic Disease , Racism , Anthropology, Medical , COVID-19/ethnology , Humans
10.
Anthropol Med ; 28(1): 1-12, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348004
11.
Med Anthropol Q ; 36(1): 27-43, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343912

ABSTRACT

Shortly after losing her health insurance in 2018, Jane Robinson died of a treatable respiratory infection. This article argues that Jane's death occurred at the nexus of two different approaches to care: the necropolitics of uncare and the micropolitics of generative care labor. Both of these approaches to care increased Jane's health and social vulnerability, in turn quickening her death. We adopt the necropolitics of uncare framework to identify and name the harmful policies and attitudes of disregard that control access to life saving medical care. In the micropolitics of care in Jane's life, she became the safety net for others, which left little over when her health began to deteriorate. This social autopsy reveals that her care networks were insufficient to undo the uncare enshrined in state policy. Jane's unnecessary death foreshadowed the excess mortality that the United States has experienced from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Anthropology, Medical , Autopsy , Female , Humans , Policy , United States
12.
Med Anthropol ; 40(7): 653-666, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343541

ABSTRACT

The stigmatization of Senegalese return migrants as COVID-19 vectors by fellow Senegalese during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic troubles the self/other distinction that underpins the scholarly focus on epidemics and xenophobia and encourages the broader task of exploring epidemics and phobia. The casting of return migrants as COVID-19 vectors was influenced by longstanding ambivalence toward these migrants that had encouraged some Senegalese to seek to "confine" them to Europe long before the pandemic. Old preoccupations help us understand how Senegalese interpreted and deployed COVID-19 control and prevention measures like "confinement," lockdowns, and border closures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Anthropology, Medical , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Scapegoating
13.
Anthropol Med ; 28(4): 576-591, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316776

ABSTRACT

Understanding people's concepts of illness and health is key to crafting policies and communications campaigns to address a particular medical concern. This paper gathers cultural knowledge on infectious disease causation, prevention, and treatment the Philippines that are particularly relevant for the COVID-19 pandemic, and analyzes their implications for public health. This paper draws from ethnographic work (e.g. participant observation, interviews, conversations, virtual ethnography) carried out individually by each of the two authors from February to September 2020. The data was analyzed in relation to the anthropological literature on local health knowledge in the Philippines. We find that notions of hawa (contagion) and resistensiya (immunity) inform people's views of illness causation as well as their preventive practices - including the use of face masks and 'vitamins' and other pharmaceuticals, as well as the ways in which they negotiate prescriptions of face mask use and physical distancing. These perceptions and practices go beyond biomedical knowledge and are continuously being shaped by people's everyday experiences and circulations of knowledge in traditional and social media. Our study reveals that people's novel practices reflect recurrent, familiar, and long-held concepts - such as the moral undertones of hawa and experimentation inherent in resistensiya. Policies and communications efforts should acknowledge and anticipate how these notions may serve as either barriers or facilitators to participatory care and improved health outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anthropology, Medical , Humans , Philippines , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Health Plann Manage ; 36(5): 1943-1946, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224966

ABSTRACT

Bhutan has been commended for their COVID-19 vaccination campaign, in which the country became the fastest in the world to inoculate nearly all of its adult population in just a few weeks. As a profoundly religious Buddhist kingdom in South Asia, the country successfully utilized a very unique strategy in promoting COVID-19 vaccine acceptance nationwide. Bhutan incorporated religion, culture, and tradition in their campaign wherein the royal government collaborated with the Zhung Dratsang, the country's central monastic body, in deciding the most auspicious day for the launch of their vaccination rollout by avoiding the one-month long Dana, selecting the first person to be vaccinated in accordance to the Buddhist astrology, and leading the country in chanting the Sangay Menlha, a mantra believed by many as a powerful prayer in warding off diseases. The launch turned out as a feast for all Bhutanese since it seemingly marked the beginning of the last phase of their COVID-19 struggle. Incorporating medical anthropology in public health approaches can greatly influence the public, especially when the people are deeply rooted in folk beliefs. This unique strategy can be emulated by many localities with strong influence of cultural traditions and folk beliefs.


Subject(s)
Anthropology, Medical , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Public Health , Adult , Bhutan , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Med Anthropol Q ; 34(4): 561-577, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066736

ABSTRACT

This article looks at the use of public health strategies to define political membership in the nation. I examine the use of the cordon sanitaire to mitigate the novel coronavirus in Qatar. I argue that it acts primarily as a boundary to map out zones of political exclusion, splitting those who are entitled to protection from disease from those who are not. Through an analysis of the logic, application, and history of the cordon sanitaire in Qatar and elsewhere, I argue that it is only a more explicit example of the ways that governments have applied public health measures such that they apportion exposure to COVID-19, protecting some while mandating exposure for others. Exposure, or protection from it, has become a means to spatialize power and territorialize the national imaginary, separating full members from those who are excluded and reduced to their economic function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health/methods , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Transients and Migrants , Anthropology, Medical , Humans , Qatar/epidemiology
18.
Med Anthropol Q ; 34(4): 525-541, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066735

ABSTRACT

The claim that anti-malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, can cure COVID-19 became a focus of fierce political battles that pitted promoters of these pharmaceuticals, Presidents Bolsonaro and Trump among them, against "medical elites." At the center of these battles are different meanings of effectiveness in medicine, the complex role of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in proving such effectiveness, the task of medical experts and the state in regulating pharmaceuticals, patients' activism, and the collective production of medical knowledge. This article follows the trajectory of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as anti-COVID-19 drugs, focusing on the reception of views of their main scientific promoter, the French infectious disease specialist, Didier Raoult. The surprising career of these drugs, our text proposes, is fundamentally a political event, not in the narrow sense of engaging specific political fractions, but in the much broader sense of the politics of public participation in science.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/drug therapy , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/epidemiology , Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/prevention & control , Anthropology, Medical , Antimalarials/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Political Activism , Social Media
19.
Med Anthropol Q ; 34(4): 504-524, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066734

ABSTRACT

The author analyzes the aftermath of Edward Hooper's suggestion that the trial of an oral polio vaccine (OPV) in the Belgian colonies of Africa engendered the pandemic form of the AIDS virus, HIV-1. In response to Hooper's book, The River (1999), the Royal Society in London held a conference to debate the origins of HIV. Examination of the quick dismissal of the OPV theory opens a space for legitimately challenging the widely held belief that the vaccine contamination question was convincingly resolved. This article interrogates the relationship between historiography and the making of scientific facts and history, suggesting that historians have been too credulous of scientists' testimony. The further result of the lack of a thorough analysis of the evidence backing the OPV hypothesis has resulted in a missed opportunity to read The River as one of the few detailed accounts of the immense social, political, technological, and interspecies infrastructure constituted by Cold War vaccine production. This biomedical infrastructure dramatically changed the geographic and interspecies mobility of viruses in ways that may be impossible to reconstruct. Yet these potential transmission routes remain crucial to acknowledge. The COVID-19 pandemic draws attention to the critical importance of studying The WetNet, a concept coined by the author to name the conceptual and material infrastructures of inter- and intraspecies fluid bonding.


Subject(s)
HIV Infections/history , HIV-1 , Poliomyelitis/history , Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral/history , Africa , Animals , Anthropology, Medical/history , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Culture , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/transmission , History, 20th Century , Humans , Internationality , Poliomyelitis/epidemiology , Poliomyelitis/prevention & control , Poliovirus Vaccine, Oral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/history
20.
Med Anthropol Q ; 34(4): 542-560, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-958991

ABSTRACT

Old age has been central to public health rationalities and contestations of the 2019-2020 coronavirus pandemic. This article thinks through what age is and does in pandemic times by juxtaposing four domains of ethical publicity in which age comes to matter: (1) mass fatality of old persons under conditions of variable unpreparedness; (2) circulation of social-Darwinist argument for herd immunity through culling of the weak; (3) everyday challenges of late life care as these are amplified under quarantine; and (4) long-term conditions of economic and political impasse and environmental collapse, experienced as failure of older generations and abandonment of younger ones, a situation here termed generational affect. It asks to what extent the figure of the cullable old renders racialized disparities natural and makes sense through a generational affect in which the world feels as if the survival of the young is in question.


Subject(s)
Aging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Patient Selection , Public Health/ethics , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Anthropology, Medical , COVID-19/mortality , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Public Health/methods , Social Responsibility
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