Viewpoints: Lessons On Making Up For Failed Leadership, Ridiculous Rules (One-Way Grocery Store Aisles?)
Editorial. writers focus on these pandemic topics and others.
The Washington Post:
American History Is About Outcomes. Will We Pass The Covid-19 Test?
The vaccine is coming, but the crisis is already here. History’s account of Americans in this pandemic will focus on what we do starting now. Our lack of leadership has been depressing. But we’ve learned enough through these past nine months to make up for absent leadership by exercising citizenship. Wear a mask in public places and keep a safe distance from others. Wash your hands and use sanitizer frequently. Stay close to home this year and keep your holiday gatherings small. Monitor yourself for symptoms and get tested at the earliest signs. Quarantine if you’re sick. It’s not Normandy. It’s not Gettysburg. But this is what history demands today. There is just enough time — just barely — left for us to pass the test. (David Von Drehle, 12/8)
Which Covid-19 Rules Are Useless? Too Many Of Them
A clutter of unhelpful pandemic rules is wearing people down. One-way systems in stores, outdoor mask mandates, ceaselessly cleaning groceries and packages — should these things be our top priorities for limiting the spread of Covid-19? Harvard’s Joseph Allen is an associate professor of exposure assessment science and one of the world’s experts on why some indoor spaces are worse than others for spreading viruses. Like other experts, he agrees that poorly ventilated indoor sites are the prime spreading ground for SARS-CoV-2. So the longer people spend in any indoor space with other people, the greater the risk they pose to themselves and others. (Faye Flam, 12/6)
To Defeat Covid-19, We Must Acknowledge The Fear It Engenders
My career as a hospital epidemiologist has been based on science and evidence, which I believed to be the touchstones of my work. But Covid-19 has taught me that fear — gut-wrenching, all-consuming fear, like the fear of dying from a horrific respiratory virus — can be much more powerful than science. (Shira Doron, 12/9)
The New York Times:
Pandemic Fatigue, Meet Pandemic Anger
Over the weekend, I received a text message from a good friend that made me angry. “I wanna treat myself to a Christmas dinner,” he wrote. “Where should I go?” I wanted to respond that I needed to double-check which restaurants would be open for Christmas on whatever planet he was living on. My friend had no reason not to know about the dreaded winter virus surge, I felt, and had every ability to avoid risky activities like being unmasked at a crowded restaurant. (Spencer Bokat-Lindell, 12/8)
How Biden Can Use 'Covid Diplomacy' To Rein In North Korea's Nuclear Program
Five hours. That's how long the man standing behind the anesthesia screen at North Korea's top university hospital had been squeezing the football-sized balloon, every three seconds, to push oxygen into the lungs of the patient. Even at Pyongyang Medical College, ventilators are rare. (Kee B. Park and Katharine H.S. Moon, 12/9)
If Technology Causes Mental Health Issues, Can It Also Be A Therapy?
The must-see Netflix documentary, “The Social Dilemma,” released early this year, draws attention to the link between heavy smartphone use and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. But there’s a paradox brewing, because the latest solutions for mental health ask people to spend more time on their phones. (Payal Marathe and Ravi N. Shah, 12/8)
America Is Subsidizing Europe's Socialist Medicine — With Higher Drug Prices Here
President Trump finalized a “most favored nation” (MFN), or “best price,” prescription drug-pricing rule on Nov. 20. The goal of the MFN concept is to deliver fair prices to Americans without diminishing drug company profits. While there is controversy as to whether the final rule genuinely implements the concept, the MFN approach should be followed. Opponents of the rule should improve it, not oppose it. (Red Jahncke, 12/8)
Seniors' Pattern Of Out-Of-Pocket Co-Pays Says Much About US Healthcare
The Supreme Court is currently debating whether or not the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Whether the court does or does not overturn the law, affordability will be an issue for many Americans, even those with health insurance. The problem: copayments. (Tal Gross, 12/7)