As the world and the United States continue efforts to reduce infections and deaths, the Covid pandemic reveals weaknesses and opportunities in virtually every aspect of our public and private lives.
From a public perspective, particularly in the United States, the pandemic caught our public health departments and health care providers woefully unprepared. Despite the warnings that it was just a matter of time before we would be confronted with another major pandemic, those warnings seem to have gone unnoticed or not taken seriously.
Countries across the world have managed infection rates and deaths with varying degrees of success. The United States has fared worse than most. Why? There are many reasons at the public and private level. The Covid pandemic reveals weaknesses and opportunities in both areas.
Publicly, the highest elected officials have either refused or allowed politics to prevent or delay them from enacting measures to reduce the spread of infections and deaths. Privately, many Americans have confused individual rights with the need to practice good individual common sense like wearing a mask to protect yourself and others from getting infected in the first place.
Publicly, there was an exceptional effort to fast track the development of a vaccine. But, an effective plan to distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable populations still seems to elude governmental entities on the national and local level-still. Privately, many Americans still express skepticism about taking the vaccine even when it becomes readily available.
The Covid pandemic reveals weaknesses and opportunities in the readiness, execution and communication needed to get this public health crisis under control. In the last few months, the fight against the spread of Covid has significantly improved. But there still needs to be more consistency and coordination among the federal, state and local health agencies and providers. More people should be willing to take the vaccine.
This pandemic has not only been, and continues to be, a case of life and death physically. But it has impacted every aspect of our lives, loss of jobs, loss of businesses, school closures, food shortages, separation from loved one even as they faced death. We will continue to pay a high price until the virus is under control.
The Covid pandemic reveals weaknesses and opportunities in our public systems and private lives. What will be done to address them so that the next pandemic, which will surely come, will not find us so unprepared?
It will require all of us to do our part.