Viewpoints: Ways Covid Has Changed Health Systems; Genomic Sequencing Needed To Slow Pandemic
Opinion writers tackle these Covid issues.
How COVID-19 Broke Health Systems And Made Them Stronger
With patients afraid of our hospitals and clinics, guidelines changing on a daily basis, and no guarantee that we had what we needed to protect our community or ourselves, health systems faced a choice. We could dismantle our own structural pillars, redesign and rebuild them, and survive. Or we could refuse to change and watch the pillars collapse before our eyes. That choice was like jumping off a cliff without knowing for sure that your parachute would deploy. At WakeMed we swallowed our fear and jumped. But first, we had to trust our people to break down and rebuild core aspects of how we function, interact and lead in ways that have made us remarkably stronger. (Dr. Chris DeRienzo, 4/6)
The U.S. Needs A National Covid-19 Genomic Sequencing Effort
More than a year into the pandemic, the United States is at yet another critical inflection point. The number of Covid-19 cases remains high and is on the rise in more than half of states. And though vaccination rates are climbing here, topping 4 million shots on April 3 alone, we are in a race between vaccinations and the proliferation of viral variants, which continue to spread and may be even more dangerous than the coronavirus that triggered the pandemic. The country must drastically improve genomic surveillance of Covid-19 cases, which is not happening often enough. (James Crawford, Jonathan Slotkin, and Meg Wyatt, 4/6)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
In 2020, We Cheered For Poll Workers, So Why Aren’t They Now Prioritized For COVID-19 Vaccines Ahead Of The Primary?
On Tuesday, May 18, the voters of Pennsylvania will again take to the polls to determine the outcomes of the municipal primary elections. On the ballot at every voting division this year are your neighbors, the local election officials whose job it is to set up the polling places, greet and sign voters in, ensure smooth election operations, and tend to the voting machines that collect and tally the votes. Poll workers are a crucial cog in the gears of our democracy, and in Pennsylvania, every four years — including 2021 — many have the unique task of overseeing (among other offices) their own reelection. It’s crucial that they are able to do it as safely as possible, and this year that means making sure all election workers who choose to be are fully vaccinated by Election Day. (Ryan Godfrey, 4/5)