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Viruses have no nationality

(05/20/20 4:00am)

There’s something about pandemics that prompt us to draw divisions, in particular along national lines⁠—whether it’s the “Spanish" flu of 1918 (that actually did not originate from Spain), the "Hong Kong" Influenza pandemic of 1968, or the “Chinese” COVID-19 pandemic that now affects us. With the emergence of the present nation-state system that requires passports for international travel, assigning nationality to pathogens represents our naive hope that illness will respect these imagined borders.