Throughout a pandemic, nobody’s well being is totally in their very own fingers. No discipline ought to perceive that extra deeply than public well being, a self-discipline distinct from drugs. Whereas medical doctors and nurses deal with sick people in entrance of them, public-health practitioners work to forestall illness in total populations. They’re anticipated to assume massive. They know that infectious ailments are at all times collective issues as a result of they’re infectious. A person’s decisions can ripple outward to have an effect on cities, international locations, and continents; one sick particular person can seed a hemisphere’s price of circumstances. In flip, every particular person’s odds of falling sick rely on the alternatives of everybody round them—and on societal elements, corresponding to poverty and discrimination, that lie past their management.
Throughout 15 agonizing months, the COVID-19 pandemic repeatedly confirmed these central ideas. Many important employees, who held