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Dr Sarah Taber @SarahTaber_bww
, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Right? Mary Mallon is a great example of human systems on safety.

In her time, Irish women in the US got hired for just 2 jobs: cooking or doing laundry.

Doing laundry paid way less than cooking. She did laundry for a while, & came back to cooking bc fuck poverty.
Public health officials at the time tried to fix it all up by ordering her to stop working as a cook.

AKA ordering her to voluntarily commit to lifelong poverty.
Even under the primitive hygiene of the time, here are a ton of jobs she could have been doing that wouldn't have put people at risk like cooking did. Tailoring or anything else in the textile trades; non-food gardening; laundry, if it had paid a living wage.
But thanks to stereotyped hiring practices, these low-risk (and higher-paying) trades were out of bounds. So she kept pursuing the one living-wage job people would actually hire her for: cooking.
You gotta say this for Mary Mallon: she hustled. People literally asked her to stop working. She said fuck no, changed her name, and kept working for that coin.
Eventually the state of New York put her in quarantine to prevent further infections. She lived in a hospital for 23 years until she died in 1938, in quarantine.
Which seems like a lot of lost lifetime & fuss that could've been avoided if only, you know, somebody would have paid her non-starvation wages to do literally anything else besides cook.
fwiw it appears Elizabeth Moss is working on a series about her life, based on the book Fever. hopefully these larger issues get a chance to play through.…
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