Town Crier

TEWKSBURY — On Aug. 3, 2020, the Tewks­bury Public Health Mu­seum announced the launch of The Pandemic Project. The project ser­v­es as an interactive timeline tour of the community spread of disease in America, linking to a series of informational articles.

With its release in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the project aims to act as an accessible resource for background information regarding the existence of pandemics in society.

“We envision this timeline as a living history and place where the general public can find information about past public health events,” said Dr. Katherine Do­mo­to, president of the mu­seum, in regards to the project. “There are so many parallels; it’s a way to put the current COVID-19 crisis into con­text.”

Led by Dr. Louis Fa­zen, Public Health Mu­se­um board member and retired pediatrician, the project was created by a team of both volunteers and healthcare professionals. It aims to provide insight regarding the occurrence and existence of pandemics, as well as their relationship to general public health.

Key questions answer­ed by the project in­clude: “What is public health?” “What is the dif­ference between a pandemic, an epidemic, and an outbreak?” and “What role does public health play in a pandemic?”

Viewers of the project can explore the answers to these questions, as well as several others on the interactive Pandemic Project website.

“Our volunteer authors worked diligently to re­search more than 300 years of public health history in America,” said Fazen. “Though both pro­­fessional and public un­derstanding of pandem­ics and epidemics have evolved significantly over time, we have the unique opportunity to look to the past for lessons on our present crisis."

Designed to appeal to those new to public health content, as well as public health professionals, topics and events covered in the project include tuberculosis, yellow fever, cho­lera, HIV-AIDS, and more. A companion terminology guide provides helpful links to additional resources.

Outside of the creation of the Pandemic Project, the Public Health Museum works to preserve artifacts and records of our nation’s history in public health and serves as a community resource to educate and promote topical public health initiatives. It is lo­cated on the Tewksbury Hospital Campus at 265 East St. in the Old Ad­ministration building.

To view the Pandemic Project, visit https://www.publichealthmuseum.org/pandemic.html. To learn more about the Public Health Museum, visit www.publichealthmuseum.org.

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