If you go running in Chicago in the early morning, as the first light glances and reflects on Lake Michigan, you can hear the great flocks of wild geese stirring and…
If you go running in Chicago in the early morning, as the first light glances and reflects on Lake Michigan, you can hear the great flocks of wild geese stirring and calling before you can see them. They have come down from the Arctic, where the winter comes to the Midwest just as the flu season begins. They crowd in the cove with the gulls and the dogs run toward them, and they scatter and fill the air. They will land at the high school in town, in the farms along the interstate, and in the City Zoo, with the ducks and the pigeons.
This volume of essays is based upon the proceedings of a conference on “Ethics and Epidemics” hosted in March 2004 by Albany Medical College and the Graduate College of Union University in the wake of the SARS epidemic. The SARS epidemic was a stark reminder of how quickly infectious disease can spread in our era of fast and frequent worldwide travel. Furthermore, it reawakened interest in and debate about major ethical, policy, political and social issues that arise as societies respond to such acute threats to health, life and liberty. Current concerns about the threat of avian influenza, due to the H5N1 virus, and its potential to evolve into a worldwide pandemic highlight the urgent need to address these issues.