Coronavirus 9: an ounce of prevention

In November 1686, King Louis XIV underwent a successful operation to relieve the immense discomfort of an anal fistula. This was, for the time, no small feat given that part of his prior treatment included the use of red hot irons and he was just as likely to have died from the surgical procedure than … Continue reading Coronavirus 9: an ounce of prevention

Coronavirus 8: masking up and throwing down

The pandemic has introduced me to a guilty pleasure that I must confess: I really enjoy watching videos of people freaking out about having to wear a mask or other protective face covering in public places and when shopping. It is equal parts educational and deeply disturbing to watch someone simply lose. their. shit. when … Continue reading Coronavirus 8: masking up and throwing down

Burning down the house

Police departments across the US are out of control. They often operate without effective civilian oversight or accountability. They are stocked to the gills with military equipment. Policing drains huge amounts from the public purse, compounded by millions wasted on lawsuits for misconduct. Most officers don't live in the communities they police, and present themselves … Continue reading Burning down the house

Coronavirus 6: distance decay

There is an important but perhaps underused concept in geography known as distance decay. While this emerges most directly from Waldo Tobler's "first law of geography," it is easy enough to understand without ever having read the academic research behind it. Tobler's first law states that "everything is related to everything else, but near things … Continue reading Coronavirus 6: distance decay

Coronavirus 5: the pandemic university

This past Friday was the last day of classes at my university, though no one has set foot in a classroom here since March 13, when the University of Windsor Senate unanimously passed the Emergency Academic Plan. This waived a number of bylaw provisions that govern how faculty are supposed to teach classes, and we … Continue reading Coronavirus 5: the pandemic university