Partly prompted by and responding to the effects of Covid-19, our project takes a long-shot view of text, contagion, and ideas of the rights-bearing human over time. We focalise contagion not only for its topicality but also its endurance in the Humanities as it continues to pose difficult questions about being human in situations where widespread and rapid physical contagion of bodies becomes a more virulent pandemic of fear and anxiety, prompting a proliferation of texts that attempt to comprehend human interconnectedness and the desire to deny, suspend or end it. In our project, texts include but are not limited to personal narratives, newspaper articles, literary texts, and social media texts. We argue that contagion is both literal and metaphoric, as indicated by the realisation that the virality of texts outstrips the virology of SARS-Cov-2 to create an infodemic that attempts to make sense of precarity and trauma. We use biological contagion as an additional lens to complicate and rethink humanness under the far reaching and evolving effects of attempts to contain Covid-19. Through the prism of contagion, we also investigate how new forms of cultural life are emerging, old ones discarded or modified.