The Contagion Next Time: How to prevent future pandemics

Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash.

1) Now is the time to learn the lessons of COVID-19.

Dr. Galea on the need to absorb the lessons of the last 20 months.

2) Health is a public good.

We can only shape a healthier world when all sectors are oriented towards this goal. Dr. Galea makes the case for this big-tent approach to supporting health.

3) Health inequities are a global challenge.

Dr. Galea discusses the challenge of closing health gaps at the global level and how addressing asset inequality is core to solving this problem.

Photo by Valdimir Fedotov on Unsplash.

4) Health is downstream of the public conversation.

Shaping a healthier world means engaging with the conversation about the issues that matter most to health.

5) We all need to be engaged in pursuing a healthier world.

Dr. Galea on the importance of collective engagement, as a counterbalance to the outsized influence of those with money, power, and political clout.

6) Despite the challenge of the moment, there are reasons to be optimistic about health.

Dr. Galea on how COVID-19 showed our capacity to come together and make big changes in support of health, and why this is cause for hope.

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7) Health is a means to the end of living a rich, full life.

Fundamentally, we wish to be healthy so we can live the kind of lives we want to have.

8) Health is a product of the world around us.

Often, when we think about health, we are just thinking about the narrow context of healthcare. Dr. Galea makes the case for a change in how we think about health, one rooted in health’s core social, economic, environmental, and political determinants.

9) Shaping a healthier world means balancing the profit motive with concern for the public good.

The success of COVID-19 vaccines reflects the importance of private innovation in shaping a healthier world. However, Dr. Galea argues we should not let the imperatives of the market crowd out concern for health as a public good which should be accessible to all.

Photo by Brano on Unsplash.

10) We need to follow the data, check our biases, and collectively address the structural causes of poor health.

Dr. Galea on working together to address the foundational drivers of health.

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