Perspectives: Ethical Decisions About Who Gets Vaccine First Have To Include Minorities; Future Health Needs Cry Out For Mobile Heath Model
Editorial pages focus on these health care issues and others.
With A Covid-19 Vaccine In Hand, Who Should Get It First?
The ethical challenges that have arisen so far in the coronavirus pandemic largely boil down to the age-old struggle between individual freedoms and the public good... Ethical questions in the next phase of the pandemic are bound to be more fractious. They will turn from our common goal of maximizing the greater good to brokering disagreements between individual groups that may not be so easy to resolve. (Jauhar, 5/23)
Los Angeles Times:
How Coronavirus Is Revealing The Problem With 'Fast Science'
Garlic and sesame oil will not, we repeat, will not safeguard you from the new coronavirus, unless the garlic keeps others at a safe distance. Nor is bathing in bleach a good idea. The myths traveling the social media circuits about COVID-19 are sometimes ludicrous and occasionally dangerous. Yet at the same time, the evolving advice from experts about this novel threat has left the public uncertain what to believe. The news media haven’t always helped matters by publicizing seemingly dramatic findings prematurely or without adequate vetting or context. (5/26)
Coronavirus: The Pandemic Is Exposing The Limits Of Scientists
The 2008 financial crisis led the public to discover the limits of economics. The Covid-19 pandemic risks having the same effect on scientists and medical doctors. Since the start of the outbreak, citizens have struggled to get clear answers to some basic questions. Consider masks, for example: The World Health Organization said early on that there was no point in encouraging healthy people to use them, but now most doctors agree that widespread mask-wearing is a good idea. There was also confusion around lockdowns: In the U.K., scientists argued for weeks over the merits of closing businesses and keeping people at home — a quarrel that may have cost the country lives. And now that the outbreak is fading in Italy, there is growing debate between the country’s public health experts and doctors over whether the virus has lost strength or remains just as deadly. (Ferdinando Giugliano, 5/25)
Mobilizing Health Care During Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has upended existing approaches to health care and forced the medical community to reimagine health care delivery. Patient visits not related to COVID-19 have dramatically decreased as facilities implement infection control strategies and patients stay home for fear of contracting the virus. Beyond COVID-19, patients experience several barriers to accessing essential health care services at traditional brick-and-mortar institutions. Financial instability, housing insecurity, lack of transportation, and stigma often render people unable or unwilling to enter health care facilities. (Elsie M. Taveras, Craig Regis, and Josh Kraft, 5/26)
We Owe Front-Line Workers A Debt Of Gratitude For Their Courage And Compassion
American workers are the best in the world. Hard-working, dedicated, committed and innovative. We can achieve anything with American might and ingenuity. In the history of this country, times have tested us but we always emerge stronger, better prepared, more enlightened and together. (Rep. Debbie Dingell, 5/21)
Los Angeles Times:
Why Democracies Do Better At Surviving Pandemics
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the debate over whether authoritarian states are gaining the upper hand across the world. Although there are plenty of signs that strongmen leaders have used the crisis to try to tighten their grip on power, the coronavirus has revealed the vulnerabilities of autocracies rather than their strength. In contrast, democracies are showing their capacity for innovation and adaptation, as one would expect, and signs of renewal, as one would hope. (Robin Niblett, 5/26)
How The Pandemic Could Help Our Deadly Fight Against Stress
As the health-care system and society-at-large scramble to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, long-held norms and practices are being torn up like disposable paper gowns. Answering my patients’ questions, I’ve noticed another big change underway: Patients and providers are finally talking about how much stress is affecting our health. (Dan Henderson, 5/26)
Bubonic Plague Hit France In 1720. Officials Dithered. Sound Familiar?
On May 25, 1720, a ship named the Grand Saint-Antoine arrived in the port of Marseille, France, laden with cotton, fine silks, and other goods. The invisible cargo it also carried, the bacteria known as Yersinia pestis, launched the Great Plague of Provence, the last major outbreak of bubonic plague in Europe. Over a two-year period, the bubonic plague spread throughout southeastern France, killing up to half of the residents of Marseille and as much as 20% of the population of Provence. (Cindy Ermus, 5/25)