Even after a vaccine, smallpox took two centuries to eradicate

In supposedly unprecedented times such as ours, there are compelling reasons to turn to the history of medicine. For hope, that epidemics do indeed come to an end; for consolation, that the people of the past suffered even more than us; and for insight into how we could be doing better. The story of smallpox satisfies all three. Imagine an airborne disease such as Covid-19, but one in four people who get it will die. It causes a fever, but also a rash which cloaks the body in disfiguring pustules that fuse into reptilian scales. It leaves its victims, if not dead, scarred or blind. Few agree about why this