Tech Talks: Pandemics and Public Trust
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that pandemics come with many different faces. Fear, distrust, and false information go viral more rapidly than the SARS-CoV2 (or COVID) virus itself. Scientific research and integrity of message are the greatest tools we have for protecting public health and trust in the midst of a pandemic and in facing the challenges that lie ahead. Some countries have mitigated the spread well, only to leave themselves with a largely naive population still susceptible to infection. Other countries have struggled to bring the numbers of daily cases down and maintain control of ongoing spread. What have we learned, who do we trust, and what can we do as we anticipate the arrival of another flu season even as we await development and testing of vaccines and treatments? How do we navigate the challenges together in ways that facilitate our well-being and care for one another? There is room for hope as we dive into these topics, but there’s also room for clear-thinking and sobriety as we consider whether we will learn and prepare well for pandemics after COVID.
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