The Annual Maloy Distinguished Lecture on Global Health | Unmasked: COVID, Community, and the Case of Okoboji by Emily Mendenhall
On April 4, 2022, the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) Program, in partnership with the Global Health Initiative and the Mortara Center for International Studies, hosted The Annual Maloy Distinguished Lecture on Global Health. The panel discussion centered around Emily Mendenhall’s newest book, Unmasked: COVID, Community, and the Case of Okoboji.
Unmasked is the story of what happened in Okoboji, a small Iowan tourist town when a collective turn from the coronavirus to the economy occurred in the COVID summer of 2020. State political failures, local negotiations among political and public health leaders, and community (dis)belief about the virus resulted in Okoboji being declared a hotspot just before the Independence Day weekend, when an influx of half a million people visit the town. Unmasked is a fascinating and heartbreaking account of where people put their trust, and how isolationist popular beliefs can be in America’s small communities.