Story of Typhoid Mary … “There Is Something About Mary”


When a cook who carried typhoid fever refused to stop working, despite showing no symptoms, the authorities forcibly quarantined her for nearly three decades. Perfect villain or just a woman scapegoated because of her background? What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.

After listening to the NPR segment …. Please offer your thoughts on the following questions :

Why was Typhoid Mary forcibly quarantined ? … (Briefly explain her tragic story)
As a matter of public health, was Mary’s quarantine legal ? … Was the quarantine initially effective ? …. Why was Mary ultimately quarantined for life ?
Taking into consideration our current quarantine issues involving the Covid-19 crisis, do our state governments have the legal right to enforce a quarantine on the general public ? … (Your personal thoughts on compliance to that order.)
Why does the knowledge of this historical event matter ?


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