The Uncertain Hour
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A group of men wait in line for unemployment benefits in the early 20th century.

Season 4 | Episode 2

An unequal history of quarantines

On this week’s show, we take a tour of quarantines through history, from the bubonic plague outbreaks in 14th and 17th century Italy, to the a typhoid outbreak in New York in the early 1900s and a few other stops along the way. Those quarantines looked very different if you were, say, an immigrant, or a Jewish textile merchant, or a sex worker.

Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic shine a spotlight on all the inequalities already lurking in the system, and ideas of what the government owes to people in quarantine have changed over the centuries too. Long gone are the days of the government sending your family fennel sausage, cheese and wine to make it through.

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The Uncertain Hour
In “The Uncertain Hour” podcast, host Krissy Clark dives into one controversial topic each season to reveal the surprising origin stories of our economy.  Because the things we fight the most about are the things we know the least about.
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