Prior to this class or arriving in London, I had only heard about John Snow and the pump. I knew he was a formative figure in the world of public health and epidemiology, so I decided not to look him up before I arrived. I wanted to experience who he was in London where his work began.
It's crazy to think that someone who refused to believe in miasma was a revolutionary figure, but he was. It's also interesting to me that William Far, the head of the census and the man responsible for expanding its reported demographics failed to see what John Snow saw- a pattern of high mortality around water sources. On the walking tour, it was interesting to see how different points in history collided and led to the pump. I'm sad that they removed the replica, but I thought it was so cool that we were in the exact area where cholera broke out and the germ theory essentially began.
This tour and lecture gave me a far better understanding and heightened appreciation for the census and its role in epidemiology. There are people behind every statistic and I now see the importance of these statistics in ensuring public health safety. Therefore, I'd like to learn more about how statistics regarding public health have affected the treatment of new outbreaks such as Zika and Ebola. I'd also like to explore or at least answer the question, "does the CDC use the mortality and morbidity rates in other countries to predict an infectious disease's affect on the American population?"
I think the courageous and rule breaking attitude of John Snow is somewhat appalling, yet inspirational in hindsight. Most health professionals today do not defy or even question the medicines or treatments they offer their patients or try to examine how a community's well being affects their patients. I think the biggest lesson I learned from John Snow is thinking outside of the box and taking action to improve the quality of life for people I pledge to help in the medical field.