Germs at Bay Book

While the current global pandemic has brought the topic of quarantine front and center, the practice of quarantine—and resistance to it—has a long and often contentious history in the United States, which Charles Vidich tracks and explores in his riveting new book, Germs at Bay: Politics, Public Health, and American Quarantine (Praeger, January 2021).

The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 is only one of more than 87 new or emerging pathogens discovered since 1980 that have posed a risk to public health. While many may consider quarantine an antiquated practice, in reality it is often one of the only defenses against new and dangerous communicable diseases. Tracing the United States' quarantine practices through the colonial, postcolonial, and modern eras, Germs at Bay provides an eye-opening look at how quarantine has worked despite routine dismissal of its value..

In the News

The Undark Interview: A Conversation With Charles Vidich
Writer's Digest: Charles Vidich: The Timeliness of Nonfiction
Gibson's Bookstore Presents: Germs at Bay, Charles Vidich in conversation with Elizabeth Howard
Letter to the Editor: of the New York Times, on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Limiting the Size of Religious Services
Interview: Counterpunch, “Covid Under Biden: What Can be Done?“
Charles Vidich is a consultant and advisor on public health and bioterrorism issues and was appointed a visiting scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, working for 10 years on national quarantine policy. He has numerous publications on occupational and environmental health and served as incident commander for the U.S. Postal Service’s national anthrax response in 2001–2002. He holds SM and MCP degrees from Harvard and has received numerous White House, EPA, and Postal Service awards for his environmental and anthrax response work. He serves on the Connecticut Council on Environmental Quality, appointed by the Speaker of the House.
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