This post will focus on the Amish and COVID-19.
I was curious about how this small, close community did during the pandemic and reached out to a researcher who has done a lot of studies on the Amish community. Besides the fact that I’ve always been enamored by the Amish families and farms, having grown up in Pennsylvania and not too far from Lancaster, I’ve also been intrigued by their lifespan. For the longest time, their lifespan was significantly better than those of us in the mainstream. Some folks are shocked by that, because the Amish traditionally have shunned technology and modern medicine, so what was their secret? We talk a little about that in the podcast.
In one of my recent episodes of Causes or Cures, I chat with Dr. Rachel Stein about the Amish and COVID-19. Dr. Stein is an Associate professor of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University. Her research focuses mostly on community building and health in Old Order Amish Communities. You can learn more about her here.
She will discuss how she became interested in studying the Amish, specifics about the Amish community (their values and way of life), how the Amish responded to the pandemic and any risk-reduction strategies they used. She will discuss their excess death rate during the pandemic (and how that compares to the mainstream), their views on preventive medicine and vaccination in general, and then their views specifically on the COVID-19 vaccine. She will discuss where and how the Amish obtain health information compared to the mainstream society and any issues with what people call “misinformation.” Finally, she’ll discuss their lifespan and the certain attributes they value that might give them an advantage over mainstream society.
I hope you guys enjoy this episode! I hope to feature more “country” and “community” specific episodes, particularly related to vaccination and public health, because how people respond has so much to do with their culture and experiences as a community.
You can listen to the episode here!
If you are interested, I did a previous episode on vaccine skepticism in a Jewish Orthodox community with a member of the Jewish Orthodox community. You can learn more about that here.
As always, thanks to everyone who supports the podcast and provides feedback. I really appreciate it. I’m currently working on guests for 2023 and already have a great lineup!!