Friday, December 1, 2023

Are the Covid Inquiries Just for Show?

How many inquiries do we need before Public Health kicks into gear again?? 

Wastewater in my area is hitting the tippy top of the graph, and that's after the y-axis was doubled from 2 to 4 standardized concentration of SARS-CoV-2 gene copies. But we're still carrying on as if everything's normal. Tra-la-la. Soon university students will sit in very crowded rooms to write exams with nothing allowed on their desks but a pen or pencil: no mini-HEPA, no far UV tech, absolutely nothing. We care more about the possibility of kids cheating than we care about their health and well-being.

From Rebecca Owen, who's finishing a PhD in physiology:

"As we hear evidence at the Covid Inquiry UK about how the emerging pandemic was handled, it is important that the words of those who were affected are also shared. Our article, "Acute Covid-19, the lived experience, and lessons to learn for future pandemics" captured those voice. 

Trigger warning: This study and thread shares experiences from teh early pandemic with references to death. The trauma of being extremely unwell in the early stages of Covid-19 and not receiving the appropriate support is also discussed.

The paper captures the experiences from March 2020 to January 2022. This study included people who were 'mildly', moderately' and 'severely' unwell with Covid-19, who shared how they coped with their symptoms. Within this study, 55% of people report that the care they received during the early pandemic was not adequate. People report being sent home after trying to receive medical support as hospitals were full, as well as struggling to speak to GPs and 111 (911) services. People report relying on family for medical support, which was described as incredibly important for survival during the worst stages of their infection. People described severe struggle and fear as they did not think they would make it through the night. People also referred to the uncertainty of the virus and how this impacted the care received. This paper also discusses the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Responses report, and emphasizes how a lack of political leadership negatively impacted the UK's response. 

Pandemics cannot be controlled by science alone, but lessons should be learned to stop future catastrophes like the Covid-19 pandemic from happening again. Management should include scientists working with those who are responsible for creating policy to help the control of future public health emergencies. We are incredibly grateful and humbled by all of the participants who shared their moving and sometimes harrowing testimonies. Their willingness to share their truth allows us all to understand better and make positive changes for the future." 

In the U.K., as I imagine happened in many places, no thought was given to alerting the public about the threat of Long Covid. Most people are blissfully unaware what damage has been done by repeatedly allowing themselves to be infected by this level 3 pathogen.

Dr. Gosia Gasperowicz provides some historical context:

"Children are not naturally resilient. We made them 'immortal' by eliminating pathogens from their environment. In Canada in 1910s, 30% of kids died before the age of 5. Now it's 0.5%." 

A commenter added information from a text on sanitary reform

Imagine living at a time in Montréal when over 1/3 of infants died, and, throughout Canada, half of our children didn't make it to 15. It might feel like things changed with all our new medications that healed the sick, but it primarily changed by avoiding sickness in the first place. It changed because we had excellent public health leaders and organizations. We're still paying many people for the job of public health, but what they're doing - mainly a whole lot of nothing - is clearly not working. 

If we continue to neglect the pathogens' principle of actively and doggedly guarding the public against disease, we'll be back to those early 20th century numbers again.

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