The New York Times had a great article earlier this week: 14 Lessons for the Next Pandemic.
I know not all of you can open it. So here are a few of the lessons:
- Put Science First – science and data need to rule the day
- Don’t Leave it Up to the States – there needs to be some commonality on response and vaccine access across the US
- Stop the Mixed Messaging – we needed a uniform and consistent message on masks
- Invest in the Numbers – state and local public health agencies have been starved for decades and are now expected to turn on a dime to control COVID 19, vaccinate on demand, and have robust IT systems to boot!
- Don’t Let Race and Class Determine Who Lives and Dies – when systemic racism is ignored it results in the health inequities we have seen in the pandemic
- Don’t Be Ageist – older people were often treated as expendable. See my July 9th post and this article on the subject.
- Let Teenagers be Teenagers – kids need to be with kids and have a structured routine
- Look in the Mirror and See Who We Are – more on this below
All of these lessons are worth posts, but the last one hit me the hardest. I agree that many people became much more aware of ‘essential workers’, but others discounted them. They did this by saying, ‘it is my right not to wear a mask’ and then demanding the right to grocery shop, eat in restaurants, go into bars and party for spring break. That really demonstrates just not caring about anyone else!
This pandemic has shown us who we are, at a level of clarity that is shocking to most people. It’s hard to imagine there are that many people in our country who really don’t care about others. That is the scariest thing, it takes your breath away and you can diagnose everything else that is happening in our society through that lens. That you could tolerate 500,000 deaths in less than a year is incomprehensible to me, that we are a nation that is so callous.Dr. Reed Tuckson, co-founder, Black Coalition Against Covid-19
Please wear a mask as a sign respect for those essential workers and others. I will be back on Monday.