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Driven by FearEpidemics and Isolation in San Francisco's House of Pestilence$
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Guenter B. Risse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039843

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039843.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Modern Isolation

Modern Isolation

Humanizing Castaways

(p.171) Chapter 9 Modern Isolation
Driven by Fear

Guenter B. Risse

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes a shift in public attitudes toward those suffering from loathsome diseases, as the old pesthouse regime has given way for the innovations of the twentieth century. In 1912, the isolation hospital became part of the city's public charity bureau, a bureaucratic move emblematic of post-earthquake San Francisco's political shifts. At the same time, the stigma of loathsomeness attached to contagious diseases seemed in decline. Alongside the improved public opinion toward the institutionalized, the chapter also details further shifts and demographics in San Francisco's ecology of disease. It goes further on into the twentieth century, recounting a possible resurgence of the old pesthouse regime in the advent of AIDs in the 1980s.

Keywords:   loathsome diseases, public charity, post-earthquake, San Francisco, contagious diseases, modern isolation, AIDs

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