Pandemics Past

The good doctor comes across a 19th-century book on pandemics in his library while visiting England over at Takimag.

The lesson, however, is that the doctors who treated their cholera patients in the way Dr. Hawkins describes were not stupid or wicked men, and yet they believed both absurdities and that they were doing good. Indeed, they were convinced of it: Their experience, they said, proved it to them. Dr. Hawkins quotes one of them to the effect that no patient survived without his treatment, but many did survive with it.

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