Unprecedented? Pandemic memory and responses to Covid-19 in Australia and New Zealand

Brennan, Claire, and Hodgson, Patrick (2021) Unprecedented? Pandemic memory and responses to Covid-19 in Australia and New Zealand. In: Bozkurt, Veysel, Dawes, Glenn, Gülerce, Hakan, and Westenbroek, Patricia, (eds.) The Societal Impacts of Covid-19: A Transnational Perspective. Instanbul University Press, Instanbul, Turkey, pp. 1-16.

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The 1918-1920 global influenza pandemic and the global coronavirus pandemic which began in 2019 are separated by almost exactly a century, but in Australia and New Zealand there have been eerie similarities in the way they have unfolded, and in the responses used to combat them. Despite these similarities, early in the covid-19 crisis the virus and its impacts were widely described as ‘unprecedented’. This chapter explores the common collective amnesia that surrounds pandemics, and compares the level of collective memory of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Australia and New Zealand before the arrival of covid-19. It examines government statements and actions while preparing for and responding to pandemics, the nurturing of historical knowledge among medical experts, and the actions of groups of citizens. Additionally, this chapter analyzes the significance of collective memory in devising effective responses to covid-19 in these two countries. In neither country has history been allowed to repeat itself exactly, but in New Zealand, action has been taken in the present with the intention of avoiding a reoccurrence of the events of the past.

Item ID: 68189
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-605-07-0769-4
Keywords: Covid-19, 1918-1920 influenza pandemic, disaster memory, Australia, New Zealand, environmental history
Copyright Information: This work is published online under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0). This work is copyrighted. Except for the Creative Commons version published online, the legal exceptions and the terms of the applicable license agreements shall be taken into account.
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2021 01:59
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4303 Historical studies > 430307 Environmental history @ 100%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130703 Understanding Australia’s past @ 50%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130705 Understanding New Zealand’s past @ 50%
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