8th PANSOC-webinar, Gerardo Chowell-Puente: “Comparative analysis of excess mortality patterns during pandemics in Arizona and Mexico”

Gerardo Chowell

Prof. Chowell-Puente, is at Department of Population Health Sciences, Georgia State University School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Please send e-mail to masv@oslomet.no if you wish to participate in this webinar.

Blurb: Multiple factors such as low testing rates, test sensitivity, and misclassification of the cause of death hamper the derivation of reliable estimates of pandemic mortality burden. Estimating all-cause excess mortality above an expected mortality baseline can provide a reliable picture of the overall mortality burden during a severe pandemic event. In this talk, we focus on our work estimating mortality impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic and the COVID-19 pandemic. We will present a comparative analysis of excess mortality patterns by age, cause of death, and variation at the county level in the state of Arizona as well as its impact on natality and stillbirth risk. In light of these findings, we reflect on the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic Mexico, including a discussion of the public health implications of our findings.

PANSOC Fall Webinar Series, Thursdays 16:00-17:00 CET

We are pleased to announce the planned schedule for the Fall 2021 PANSOC Webinar Series. For Zoom links to the webinars, please email jessicad@oslomet.no

19 August: Elizabeth Wrigley-Field (University of Minnesota) & Martin Eiermann (University of Berkeley): “Racial Disparities in Mortality During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in United States Cities.”

2 September – SPECIAL TIME: 17:00-18:00 CET – PANSOC’s MSCA Candidates: 

  • Alexandra Blinkova, Herzen State Pedagogical University (St. Petersburg): “Religious Views on COVID-19 as a Risk Factor in Prevention and Spread of Pandemic: A Case of Russia.”
  • Xanthi Tsoukli, University of Southern Denmark: “The Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Crime and Poverty: Evidence from Norway.”
  • Ana Vuin, Charles Darwin University: “Regional Health Professional’s Experiences during the COVID-19 Crisis: Is There a Mismatch in Between the Theory and Practice?”

9 September: Ida Milne, Carlow College: “Forgetting and Remembering the Great Flu: Collecting and Shaping Narratives.”

16 September: Mathias Mølbak Ingholt, Roskilde University, Denmark: “Occupational Characteristics and Spatial Differences During an Intermittent Fever Epidemic in Early 19th Century Denmark.”

23 September: Mary Sheehan, University of Melbourne: “Women and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic in Melbourne, Australia, in 1919.”

30 September: Howard Phillips, University of Cape Town: “The Silence of the Survivors. South Africans and the Memory of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918.”

7 October: Guido Alfani, Bocconi University: “Unravelling the Mysteries of Seventeenth-Century Plagues: The Contribution of Micro-Demographic Approaches.”

14 October: Lianne Tripp, University of Northern British Columbia: “The 1918/19 Influenza: Hidden Heterogeneity in an Island Population.”

21 October: Amir Afkhami, The George Washington University: “From Cholera to COVID19: Continuity and Change in Iran’s Pandemic Experience.”

28 October: Hampton Gaddy, University of Oxford: “Re-estimating the global and national death tolls of the 1918-20 pandemic: Updating Johnson and Mueller (2002).”

11 November: Sharon DeWitte, University of South Carolina: “Social Inequality and Pandemic Mortality: The Biosocial Context of the 14th-Century Black Death.”

18 November: PANSOC’s Master’s Students:

  • Carla Louise Hughes: “The Association between the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Suicide Rates in Norway.”
  • Lara Maria Dora Steinmetz: “How an Optimism Bias Influences the Degree of NPI Uptake during COVID-19 in Norway.”

2 December: Madeleine Mant, University of Toronto Mississauga: “Going Viral: COVID-19 and Risk in Young Adult Health Behaviour Models.”

9 December: Tamara Giles-Vernick, Institut Pasteur: “Complex local vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 pandemic in France.”

16 December: John Eicher, Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies and Pennsylvania State University – Altoona: “A Digital History Approach to Analyzing Memories of the 1918 Flu Pandemic.”

7th PANSOC webinar 29 April 16:00-17:00 (CET)

Taylor Paskoff, University of Missouri, USA, presents on “Determinants of post-1918 influenza pandemic tuberculosis mortality in Newfoundland”.

Send e-mail to masv@oslomet.no to get the zoom-link.

Blurb: In some places around the world, the severe impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic is considered to be the turning point for tuberculosis mortality, in that the former declined significantly after the pandemic due to possible selective effects. I investigate tuberculosis mortality trends on the island of Newfoundland for the first four decades of the 20th century (1900-1939) to identify where, or if, a significant decline in tuberculosis mortality occurred that could have been associated with the 1918 influenza pandemic. These mortality patterns are discussed in terms of the historical context of the island, including cultural and behavioral determinants that may have overshadowed any pathogenic selective effects.

MSCA proposal presentations

In a call for expression of interest for writing MSCA proposals on pandemic studies this Spring, we got 20 applications and offered three candidates the opportunity to work on their applications with us. Today the candidates presented their drafts at an internal PANSOC webinar. We all believe that they have high chances of success when they submit their proposals in September.

  1. Ana Vuin: Regional health professionals’ experiences during the Covid-19 crisis: Is there a mismatch in between theory and practice?
  2. Alexandra Blinkova: Religious Views on COVID-19 as a risk factor in prevention and spread of pandemic
  3. Xanthi Tsoukli: The effects of the 1918 influenza pandemic on Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Norway

6th PANSOC webinar 22 April 1600-1700 (CET)

Professor Lisa Sattenspiel, University of Missouri, USA, will present on “Comparing COVID and the 1918 flu in rural vs. urban counties of Missouri”.

If you wish to attend this Zoom-webinar, please send us an e-mail at: masv@oslomet.no

Blurb: Socioeconomic and demographic factors within communities strongly influence infectious disease patterns. I describe here how such factors affected the spread of the 1918 influenza and current COVID-19 pandemics in the state of Missouri, emphasizing the identification of attributes that may have differentially affected rural vs. urban populations. Results suggest that epidemic patterns were affected at both time periods by a combination of factors such as degree of rurality, distance from the major urban centers of Kansas City and St. Louis, availability of medical resources, and level of ethnic diversity.

Hvorfor er innvandrere mer utsatt for COVID-19 pandemien?

Folkehelseinstituttet har kommet med ny rapport og de finner samme resultat som i UK: bakenforliggende sykdommer og sosiale forhold man har registerdata på, kan ikke forklare den høye sykdomsbyrde for enkelte fødelandsgrupper. Mer forskning trengs for å finne mekanismene for forskjellene.

Senterlederen har blitt intervjuet om rapporten og om hvorfor innvandrere er så utsatte for COVID-19 pandemien i Avisa Oslo. Les mer her:

Innvandrer, Innvandrere | Svært høye smittetall blant innvandrere. Ingen vet hvorfor (ao.no)

Please welcome one of our new post-docs: Ben Schneider

Ben Schneider is an economic historian researching jobs in the past to inform policymaking for the future of work. He is in the final stages of his PhD in Economic and Social History at the University of Oxford and will join the Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society (PANSOC) as a postdoctoral researcher in fall 2021. 

  • Tell us about your project 

Work is a fundamental part of human life, but economic research on the impacts of pandemics has focused on the macroeconomy and, within labor economics, unemployment. My project analyzes how jobs changed during the 1918–19 influenza pandemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. This research will examine how the quality of jobs changed and whether working conditions become more unequal during disease outbreaks. 

Analysis of job quality is a growing field and builds on the commitment of UN members to achieve ‘decent work for all’ by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The International Labour Organization, European Trades Union Confederation, and other nonprofits, government bodies, and labor collectives have developed metrics to capture whether people are employed in ‘good jobs’ since the late 1990s. In my PhD, I construct a parallel method to measure ‘good jobs’ in the past, examine how technological developments impacted job quality, and derive policy-relevant conclusions for the future of work. 

My postdoctoral research project at PANSOC will combine historical analysis of job quality during 1918–19 with research into job changes during COVID-19. Using a combination of descriptive and quantitative evidence in a set of case study jobs, the project will show how aspects of work such as supervision, organization, hazard pay, and the crucial element of occupational risk changed over the course of the two pandemics.  

  • Why are you joining PANSOC? 

The opportunity to collaborate and learn from researchers at PANSOC and the broader Work Research Institute (AFI) at OsloMet make this the ideal place to carry out research on the effects of pandemics on work. I am excited to join the growing PANSOC team and to learn from colleagues with world-leading expertise in historical and contemporary pandemic research. OsloMet’s focus on applied and policy-relevant research is also a great fit for my approach, and I am looking forward to conversations with AFI colleagues about research and interventions to improve access to good jobs.  

  • What are your plans for a future dream-project in academia? 

My long-run research goal is to use social science methods and evidence from past and current examples of forces (like disease outbreaks and technological change) that transform occupations to inform policymaking and advocacy. I am developing projects alongside my current research that demonstrate the importance of studying history for understanding the future of work, including research that extends analysis of historical job quality to new examples that can contribute to contemporary debates in both developed and developing countries.