There’s nothing global about Covid-19. Discuss.

Papers should be double-spaced, with 12-point font (Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial) and one-inch margins. Please put your name and a short title at the top. You should also include a complete bibliography, which does not count against the 4 page limit, at the end of your paper. When you refer to a reading, put the author’s last name, the date of the publication, and the page number to which you refer in parentheses at the end of the sentence, e.g. (Banerjee 2020, 22).
Most pandemics for which governments and scientists plan and prepare never happen, so we don’t know much about how they end. On the other hand, very few diseases have ever been eradicated from the Earth.
How do pandemics end? What happens in the aftermath? Who or what determines that they are over? A political figure? An expert? The virus itself?
We don’t expect definitive answers to these questions. They are just a starting point, intended to provoke you into thinking about how to apply the lessons of the anthropology of global health and medicine to the current pandemic. (After all, all anthropology is to some extent a form of history!) Based on material from lectures and reading of anthropological work and media about Covid-19 (two to three readings from this unit of the course, as well as one to two sources from the news or social media), make an argument about one thing we will have, should have, or could have learned from anthropology about what we have been through these past two years.
Be creative and imaginative, but be sure to think like an anthropologist.
How you will be graded:
The purpose of this assignment is to practice bringing anthropology to bear on an ongoing issue. This essay is not an opinion or editorial, but a critical analysis. Even though the pandemic is clearly NOT over, we are asking you to forcefully argue for one important tool or lesson that medical anthropology can bring to the understanding of Covid-19. This unit of the course has prepared you to do this by situating our current moment in a deeper history of global health. We expect you to use concepts, examples, and ideas from the course readings to support your analysis of a media account of the pandemic from outside the syllabus. Be modest and specific in your account, and keep in mind that we may not have read the media source you are engaging with. This means that you will need to clearly explicate it, critically analyzing its elements by putting it into conversation with material from the course.
An “A” paper answers the question clearly, in nearly error-free prose and it identifies clear points of overlap or diversion among the texts discussed. Its analysis illustrates a close reading of the course texts and substantively applies ideas from the readings, without simply regurgitating them. A “B” paper contains logical or mechanical errors in its reasoning and writing. Its analysis, while drawing on readings, shows a need to engage authors’ ideas in more depth. Use of concepts may be inaccurate or cursory, and comparison across examples may be unclear. A paper that receives a grade of “C” has the basic components, but it does not demonstrate that the author has read the course texts closely enough to engage the ideas within.