This week, the Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note blog offers more episodes of interest for scholars of the Atlantic World, many of whom are coming to the end of a tortuous semester of different forms of online, hybrid, and/or in-person teaching. This week, episodes focus upon: maroons, empires, pilgrims, insatiable greed, and questions of faith.
For the estimated half of the American population with underlying conditions, over 65 years of age, or working at a front-line position, the stiffening of the vaccine timeline should begin in the coming weeks.
For most citizens at greatest risk for serious illness from this virus, the emergence of a vaccine is almost certainly welcome news.
The data from the most recent vaccine trials is even more promising, proposing the possibility of nearly complete protection from serious illness even without most of the population being vaccinated towards herd immunity.
Glorious optimism grows at an accelerated pace, emerging from a deeply human addiction to hope.
Light bursts forth from the end of a still distant tunnel.
However, as with the start of the pandemic and its growth again into this large third wave, optimism and hopefulness have often proven to be greater threats to the citizenry than helping hands.
More optimism may mean a considerable portion of the population will deem heading into public less threatening and will more and more forego natural human empathy to protect others.
As more individuals receive a jab, if such a process proves safe in the next few weeks, the more the generally healthy and unempathetic will push for more and broader openings, furthering the threat upon the unvaccinated.
A temporal pinch will gradually develop, as government will weigh the needs of those pushing for a grand opening against the needs of those who desire a protective vaccine due to their categorizations, but cannot access the shielding mechanisms in the first few waves of production. This pinch will be faced by many academics on the front-line, who will be told by their administrators to teach in-person this spring and summer without a vaccination that is probably only months away from their arms. These judgments cannot be taken lightly.
Be strong in the abnormal.
Wear masks. Wash hands. Keep distance.
Atlantic Studies Podcasts of Note:
1) Ben Franklin’s World – “Maroonage in the Great Dismal Swamp”
2) New Books Network – Jeppe Mulich – In a Sea of Empires: Networks and Crossings in the Revolutionary Caribbean
3) History Unplugged – “The Pilgrims and the Native Americans Were Both on the Verge of Death Upon Meeting, Here’s How They Saved Each Others’ Lives”
4) BBC – In Our Time – “The Zong Massacre”
5) History of African Philosophy – God is a Negro – Henry McNeal Turner
This Day in History:
11/30/1601 – Elizabeth I Delivers Golden Speech
11/29/1781 – Zong Massacre
11/25/1960 – The Mirabal Sisters Assassinated
Remembrance of Past Podcasts:
Scene on Radio, which offered numerous Atlantic History and Early American History podcasts for this blog over the previous year, offered their analysis of Election 2020 in an episode from this week.