YSU brings in experts to compare this pandemic to those in the past


The goal of the new series is to highlight the impacts of COVID-19 and other pandemics on different communities

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown State is hosting a new virtual lecture series centered around the pandemic starting Friday.

It will focus on the social and cultural impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how pandemics, in general, change the world.

Dr. Martha Pallante, Charles Darling Endowed Faculty Chair in American Social History at YSU, will be moderating a roundtable discussion.

Watch pandemic roundtable discussion via Zoom

She said the goal of the new series is to highlight the impacts of COVID-19 and other pandemics on different communities.

The roundtable will include five members of faculty with different backgrounds, which Pallante said will help explore the different angles of the pandemic and its effects on diverse communities.

“The university has untold resources of value to the community and that we have a wealth of knowledge here, specifically about the pandemic and its impact on us that reaches very few people.”

Pallante said they hope to talk about a variety of topics, including how people have dealt with the disease now and historically, what the long-term economic consequences are, and comparing this pandemic to the black plague and Spanish flu.

She said even though we live in different times, there are plenty of similarities.

Although this will be a panel discussion, it’s also a time for others to listen in and ask questions.

“This is a situation in which most of us feel really powerless, in part because we don’t really understand the disease at the level that someone like [professor of biology] Gary Walker might,” Pallante said. “We don’t have a crystal ball and we don’t know what’s going to happen six months from now and to me, knowledge is power and the more we understand, the less our fear controls us.”

The roundtable will include professors of history, humanities, biology and health professions, as well as the chair of economics.

It will be about two hours long and starts at 2 p.m. Friday. It’s open and free to anyone.

There is a cap of 300 attendees, though, because it will be via Zoom.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle