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How would Victorians have handled the Covid-19 pandemic?

Long before the current flare-up in Leicester, some of my ancestors were devising ways to limit the spread of infectious disease in the very same city

By Peter Kellner  

The Victorian clock tower in Leicester citycentre. Photo: Haymarket Memorial Clock Tower

At the moment, Leicester has Britain’s worst Covid-19 infection rate. One of the grim ironies of the city’s current plight is that once it blazed a trail for preventing the spread of infectious diseases. It was, admittedly, a long time ago—1878 to be precise—but the story prompts the question: would the Victorians have handled this year’s pandemic better than we have done?

My journey down memory lane—amnesia lane might be more accurate, for this is a…

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