Consequences of COVID-19
What kind of bizarre twilight zone world are we in? The coronavirus pandemic is a global altering moment. It has exposed huge fissures of vulnerability. The dead from COVID-19 in the U.S. now exceeds Vietnam War levels. The health crisis has triggered an economic crisis. Tens of millions have lost their jobs in the largest mass unemployment since the Great Depression. The bread lines of the 1930s have turned into car lines as people wait for hours to get some free food. The lack of preparation, the shortages of tests and medical equipment plus all the dissembling has been mind-boggling. “I don’t take any responsibility at all,” intones the president. What will emerge from this pandemic emergency? A more equitable decent society living in harmony with the Earth or more rapacious destructive capitalism? The choice is clear.
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka is on the faculty of the Department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington. He worked for many years as an emergency physician in Seattle. He worked in Nepal for more than a decade where he helped set up a community health project a week’s walk from the road. He also established a remote district hospital for training Nepali doctors whom he supervised. He is the author of Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19’s Health Lessons for the World.