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Ohio under COVID

Lessons from America's Heartland in Crisis

Subjects: Health & Medicine, Health Policy & Management, Sociology, Disability Studies
Paperback : 9780472055722, 340 pages, 2 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, April 2023
Open Access : 9780472903061, 340 pages, 2 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, April 2023
Hardcover : 9780472075720, 340 pages, 2 tables, 15 figures, 6 x 9, April 2023

This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the University of Cincinnati.
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The human story of Covid, from America's bellwether state

Table of contents

Just a Sneeze
by Molly Jasina
Introduction: COVID’s First Wave in Ohio: National Trends and Local Realities
by Vanessa Carbonell, Katherine Sorrels, Danielle Bessett, Lora Arduser, Edward Wallace, and Michelle McGowan
Part One: Values in Conflict: Policy, Politics, and Ethics
1.    The Leader We Wish We All Had: Ohio, Gender, and the Politics of Public Health  
by Daniel Skinner and Kathryn Poe  —  Research Article
2.    Mike DeWine, Mask Mandates, and the Value of Moral Philosophy  
by Jonathan Spelman  —  Research Article
3.    Lessons in Resiliency During a Pandemic: Did We Do Everything We Could?  
by Zac Ginsberg  —  Personal Reflection
4.    Abortion and the Politics of Care in Ohio During the COVID Pandemic 
by Hillary Gyuras, Mikaela Smith, Danielle Czarnecki, Alison H. Norris, Michelle L. McGowan, and Danielle Bessett  —  Research Article
5.    Bioethics and Critical Care in the Time of COVID  
by Mahwish U. Ahmad, Joshua Crites, and Prabalini Rajendram  —  Research Article
6.    Bioethical Considerations in the Age of COVID: The Intersections of Medicine, Science, and Public Health in Ohio  
by Julie Aultman, Deborah Barnbaum, and Kimberly Garchar  —  Personal Reflection
7.    The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education
by Sarah Richter  —  Research and Reflection Article
8.    Remembering Past Pandemics: COVID News Coverage and Remembrance of the 1918 Flu Pandemic  
by John Lynch, Jordyn Adams, Haley Fite, Blair Kramer, Chris Laycock, Shelby Singh, Rachel Tucker, and Dirichi Umunna  —  Research Article
Part Two: Left Behind: Communities and Individuals under Stress
9.    Using Spatial Epidemiology to Better Understand COVID-19 in Ohio
by Diego F Cuadros, Chayanika Devi, and Neil Mackinnon  —  Research Article
10.    Prisons, Pandemics, and Personal Responsibility: COVID-19 in Ohio’s Correctional Facilities
by Elizabeth Lanphier and M. Forrest Behne  —  Research and Reflection Article
11.    Cincinnati and COVID-19: The Urgent Need for African American Doctors  
by Edward V Wallace  —  Research Article
12.    Old Problems, New Virus: Ableism in Ohio’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response
by Kara B. Ayers  —  Research and Reflection Article
13.    Social Inequality: The Pandemic’s Disparate Impact on Food Insecurity among Marginalized Groups
by Monica Adams  —  Research Article
14.    Not Returning to Normalized Injustice: Reflections on Teaching and Learning 
While Living the Pandemic
by Kim E. Nielsen  —  Personal Reflection
15.    Grace and Grief in Uncertain Times: An Account of Love and Dying During 
by Angie Fitzpatrick  —  Personal Reflection 
Afterword: “It’s Not Just the Virus”: Pandemic Lessons from Dr. Amy Acton
About the Editors and Contributors


In early March of 2020, Americans watched with uncertain terror as the novel coronavirus pandemic unfolded. One week later, Ohio announced its first confirmed cases. Just one year later, the state had over a million cases and 18,000 Ohioans had died. What happened in that first pandemic year is not only a story of a public health disaster, but also a story of social disparities and moral dilemmas, of lives and livelihoods turned upside down, and of institutions and safety nets stretched to their limits.  
Ohio under COVID tells the human story of COVID in Ohio, America’s bellwether state. Scholars and practitioners examine the pandemic response from multiple angles, and contributors from numerous walks of life offer moving first-person reflections. Two themes emerge again and again: how the pandemic revealed a deep tension between individual autonomy and the collective good, and how it exacerbated social inequalities in a state divided along social, economic, and political lines. Chapters address topics such as mask mandates, ableism, prisons, food insecurity, access to reproductive health care, and the need for more Black doctors. The book concludes with an interview with Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s top public health official at the time COVID hit Ohio. Ohio under COVID captures the devastating impact of the pandemic, both in the public discord it has unearthed and in the unfair burdens it has placed on the groups least equipped to bear them.

Katherine Sorrels is Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.

Vanessa Carbonell is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cincinnati.

Danielle Bessett is Professor of Sociology at the University of Cincinnati.

Lora Arduser is Associate Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati.

Edward V. Wallace is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Michelle L. McGowan is Senior Associate Consultant II in the Biomedical Ethics Research Program at Mayo Clinic and Visiting Scholar in the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Ohio under COVID exemplifies a quote by Fissell et al. the editors cite:  ‘pandemics are global phenomena, but they are lived locally.’ What better state than Ohio to focus on as it reflects the various geographic and cultural divisions of the larger United States? This open access book provides us with a much-needed example of public health humanities that brings together authors from academia and the community to more deeply examine how the COVID pandemic impacted individuals and institutions at a state and local level.”
—Kayhan Parsi, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

- Kayhan Parsi

“A tour de force, detailing many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic’s tragic impact in Ohio.”
—Mark Cameron, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

- Mark Cameron

“Impressively, the editors have brought together a group of researchers and physicians with a wealth of experience in different fields of study. Ohio is a bellwether state in many ways, and the authors and editors do a very nice job of placing the state in a national and local context.”
—Phillip McMinn Singer, University of Utah

- Phillip McMinn Singer