Linking past to present, Madison museum opens ‘Cholera to COVID-19’ | Madison Eagle News

Noble Horvath

MADISON – A new exhibit that links past to present has opened at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts at 9 Main St. in downtown Madison. “Cholera to COVID-19: Epidemics, Pandemics, and Disease” explores America’s experience with infectious diseases. Deborah Farrar Starker, the museum’s executive director said, “This exhibit […]

MADISON – A new exhibit that links past to present has opened at the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts at 9 Main St. in downtown Madison.

“Cholera to COVID-19: Epidemics, Pandemics, and Disease” explores America’s experience with infectious diseases. Deborah Farrar Starker, the museum’s executive director said, “This exhibit intends to reveal the impact disease had on daily life, but more importantly how resilient Americans were throughout instances of widespread illness.”

Starker noted, “The emergence of COVID-19 revived interest in the history of infectious diseases. As Americans continue to incorporate social distancing, working from home, and wearing masks into their daily lives, many ask: ‘Have we experienced this before?’ or ‘What can we learn from the epidemics and pandemics from the past?’ Infectious diseases have plagued our nation throughout its history. In the 18th and 19th centuries, smallpox, typhoid, and tuberculosis affected communities across the nation.”

‘Share Your Story’

The executive director added, “Throughout this exhibit, primary source documents and historic objects will highlight the resources, tools, and techniques physicians used to diagnose and treat patients. To incorporate contemporary perspectives in this exhibit, testimonies from the ‘Share Your Story’ project will be featured alongside historic sources. These stories from everyday people living through the COVID-19 pandemic have allowed the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts to document history as it happens.

“Visitors can still participate in the ‘Share Your Story’ project by submitting their story to www.metc.or/share-your-story.”

As a precaution against infection during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts currently is open to the public by reservation only. No walk-in visits are available at this time. For information on making a reservation and the museum’s safety measures, visit www.metc.org/reopening.

For general information about museum programs, visit www.metc.org.

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