The Grand Rapids Public Museum is showcasing a new exhibition from the Smithsonian, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” from Aug. 1-Oct. 18 in English and Spanish.
The exhibition will highlight how pathogens can spread to people from wildlife and livestock; why some outbreaks become epidemics; and how human, animal and environmental health are all connected.
“As an educational institution, it’s important for the museum to host an exhibit that’s relevant to today’s events,” said Dr. Cory Redman, GRPM’s science curator. “Through an informative and immersive exhibit experience, information related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be shared, along with stories submitted from the West Michigan community about how this current health crisis has affected daily lives.”
There will be panels and videos about outbreaks such as Zika, Ebola, influenza and new information pertaining to COVID-19. The exhibitions also will cover the vaccination process, stigmas associated with certain infectious diseases, different roles the community and international partnerships play in helping to stop outbreaks from becoming epidemics, and more.
“We want people in all countries and settings to have effective communication tools about infectious diseases and health,” said Sabrina Sholts, lead curator of the exhibition and curator in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. “We see this as an extraordinary opportunity to raise awareness about pandemic risks and make everyone safer in our connected world.”
The exhibition is free with general admission.