HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

WCID 2024

Tom Koch

Tom Koch, Speaker at Infectious Disease Conference
University of British Columbia, Canada
Title : The Covid-19 experience: What was new and, mostly what was not. a review


In our focus on the immediate, and the new we forget the history in which Covid-19 and other, infectious diseases occur. Seen from this perspective there was little new in our experiences with overcrowded wards and limited supplies. What was new was a result of changes in the culture of medical ethics and culture in the top-down, commercial system of bioethics rather than the earlier ethic and organization of the bottom-up ethic and culture of a Hippocratic medicine. This presentation sets the recent experiences in a context that is ethical and cultural, explaining the unprecedented exodus of practitioners as the pandemic waned and the new forms of data made publicly available.

Audience Take Away: 

  • Sets Covid-19 in a context of epidemic and pandemic disease.
  • Gives audience a new perspective of the pandemic and social responses.
  • This research opens consideration of the ethical and social realities that attended the pandemic.
  • Informative, but with the potential for practitioners to critique and engage the context of their practices.
  • In the focus on the new we forget lessons of the old. And history’s lessons—from plague to polio—have practical lessons.


Tom Koch is the author of over 250 papers and 15 books, most dealing with issues of bioethics, medical humanities, and disease studies. Much of that work is filtered through the lens of medical cartography as a tool to explore both the dynamics of disease events and the sociocultural elements promoting or impeding their advance. Tom Koch holds an interdisciplinary PhD (2001) from the University of British Columbia qualifying in medicine, ethics/philosophy, and geography.


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