Quarantine rule breakers in 17th-century Italy partied all night – and some clergy condemned the feasting

17th-century outbreaks of plague in Italy reveal both tensions between religious and public health authorities.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts between religious freedom and public health regulations have been playing out in courts around the world.

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Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Join Matthew Yglesias and Charles Duhigg at 1pm ET on Monday, September 28.

US, Russia, China won't join global initiative to offer fair access to COVID-19 vaccines. Why not?

The U.S., China, and Russia are in a "vaccine race" that treats a global challenge like a winner-take-all game.

  • More than 150 countries have joined an initiative to develop, produce, and fairly distribute an effective COVID-19 vaccine.
  • But China, Russia, and the U.S. have declined to join in a bid to win the vaccine race.
  • The absence of these three economies risks the success of the global initiative and future collaborations.
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    Learn innovation with 3-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn

    Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.

    Big Think LIVE

    Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.

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    A key COVID-19 immune response in children has been identified

    This could change how researchers approach vaccine development.

    A South Korean child wears a mask to prevent catching the coronavirus (COVID-19) while riding a scooter on February 27, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea.

    Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
    • The reason children suffer less from the novel coronavirus has remained mysterious.
    • Researchers identified a cytokine, IL-17A, which appears to protect children from the ravages of COVID-19.
    • This cytokine response could change how researchers approach vaccine development.
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    The spread of ancient infectious diseases offers insight into COVID-19

    Archaeology clues us in on the dangers of letting viruses hang around.

    Credit: ImageFlow/ Shutterstock
    Surprising Science
    • A University of Otago researcher investigates the spread of disease in ancient Vietnam.
    • The infectious disease, yaws, has been with us for thousands of years with no known cure.
    • Using archaeology to investigate disease offers clues into modern-day pandemics.
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    Glassdoor lists the highest-rated CEOs during COVID

    If you want flexibility, transparency, and decent health policies, it seems like working in tech pays off.

    Credit: Peshkova/Shutterstock
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • The website Glassdoor has released their rankings of the top CEOs and companies to work for during the pandemic.
    • The rankings were based on a study of reviews placed on their website by employees which mentioned COVID or CEO performance.
    • The study isn't quite definitive, but offers an insight into what employees want during times of crisis.
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    Almost 300,000 guns sold without background checks as pandemic overwhelmed system

    The 'Charleston Loophole' has likely allowed thousands of guns to end up in the hands of people who would have failed a federal background check.

    Guns built by DSA Inc and other manufacturers are displayed inside the DSA Inc. store on June 17, 2016 in Lake Barrington, Illinois. Earlier in the day the facility was the target of an anti gun protest. DSA Inc. manufactures FAL, AR-15 and RPD rifles.

    Credit: Scott Olson / Getty
    Coronavirus
    • In 2020, both gun sales and gun violence have increased on a year-over-year basis.
    • Amid surging demand for guns, a recent report from the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety suggests that the nation's background-check system has been overwhelmed.
    • One likely consequence: nearly 300,000 people were able to buy guns without passing a background check.
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