8 October 2021

Viral Loads

New publication

Drawing upon the empirical scholarship and research expertise of contributors from all settled continents and from diverse life settings and economies, Viral Loads illustrates how the COVID-19 pandemic, and responses to it, lay bare and load onto people’s lived realities in countries around the world.

Front cover of publication
Part of publication cover - UCLPRESS

Professor MSO Ayo Wahlberg, has co-editid the anthology 'Viral Loads - Anthropologies of Urgency in the Time of Covid-19' together with Professor Lenore Manderson, University of Witwatersrand and Professor Nancy J. Burke, University of California. 

As COVID-19 spread across the world in 2020 continuing to this day it was so important to ethnographically document its impact on the lives of millions. Viral Loads - Anthropologies of Urgency in the Time of COVID-19 (UCL Press) brings together anthropologists working in 19 different countries (Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, Turkey, Romania, Israel, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Cuba, USA, Ireland and Poland) showing how the virus and efforts to contain it through lockdowns and restrictions inevitably loaded onto already existing socio-economic inequalities, racial discrimination and uneven access to healthcare, exacerbating what might be thought of as stratified livability.

A crosscutting theme pertains to how social unevenness and gross economic disparities are shaping global and local responses to the pandemic, and illustrate the effects of both the virus and efforts to contain it in ways that amplify these inequalities. At the same time, the contributions highlight the nature of contemporary social life, including virtual communication, the nature of communities, neoliberalism and contemporary political economies, and the shifting nature of nation states and the role of government. Over half of the world’s population has been affected by restrictions of movement, with physical distancing requirements and self-isolation recommendations impacting profoundly on everyday life but also on the economy, resulting also, in turn, with dramatic shifts in the economy and in mass unemployment.

By reflecting on how the pandemic has interrupted daily lives, state infrastructures and healthcare syst

ems, the contributing authors in this volume mobilise anthropological theories and concepts to locate the pandemic in a highly connected and exceedingly unequal world. The book is ambitious in its scope – spanning the entire globe – and daring in its insistence that medical anthropology must be a part of the growing calls to build a new world.

Manderson, L.Burke, N. & Wahlberg, Ayo20 Sep 2021, London: University College London Press466 p. (Embodying Inequalities: Perspectives from Medical Anthropology).

front coverOpen Access
Read more about the publication and download a free copy at the UCLpress website: 

Image: Cover of the publication, published by UCLpress.