Major progress has been made in improving the health of millions of people. Maternal and child mortality rates have been reduced, life expectancy continues to increase globally, and the fight against some infectious diseases has made steady progress. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ENGLISH_Why_it_Matters_Goal_3_Health.pdf
These progress gave us confidence. But in the 21st century, the Corona19 reminds us that the “Pandora’s Box” has kept open.
It is not news that mankind will be facing a pandemic of infectious diseases. A speech in 2015 by Bill Gates was repeatedly heard: “When I was a kid, the disaster we worried about was most was a nuclear war…Today if anything kills over 10 million people, in the next few decades, it’s most likely to a highly infectious virus.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Af6b_wyiwI
At present, many scientific research teams around the world are fighting day and night, hoping to create a spectacular scene in which vaccines are introduced and applied during severe outbreaks. The antiviral drug Remdesivir entered the clinical trials. It gave people hope to fight the virus. However, when looking back on the SARS epidemic, the development of vaccines was urgent and many breakthroughs were made. After SARS, the development of special drugs and vaccines seems to be useless. There is no market for them, and no economic incentive mechanism. Therefore, many studies have halted. Looking back, it seems to be a pity.
Meanwhile, there are allies with disease: overconfidence about medical achievements and disunity across borders.
In the western countries，the public is more convinced than ever that their country is capable of withstanding new “pandemic” attacks. The popularity of vaccination has effectively reduced the mortality rate of newborn babies in cities, and local outbreaks of infectious diseases in the far east are regarded as synonyms for “lag behind”. Italian writer Beppe Severgnini said that if one word is used to describe the mood of most Italians who are new to the Corona19, it is not fear, not sadness, but confusion.
“Mood swings are obvious around any dinner table. Is coronavirus just a nasty flu, and we are overreacting? Or are we facing a serious epidemic and there are plenty of reasons to be worried?”
The corona19 still saw deteriorating relationships rather than strengthening cooperation across countries and between country and international organizations. The selfish gene of the virus would be very happy to see greater greater disunity and mistrust among humans.
“When humans squabble – viruses double.”
Lesson learned from the fight aginst corona 19, global crises can only be resolved through global cooperation.
In this epidemic, countries that refused to cooperate have already paid tuition. we must realize that the victory of the fight against virus relies on the least developed country with regard to medical care rather than the most one, and the spread of the epidemic in any country endangers the entire human species. Viruses know no borders, and no country can be alone in the face of an infectious disease pandemic. Therefore, it is also crucial to reiterate the importance of rapid and effective international cooperation. The ‘Bangkok Charter for Health Promotion has also made it clear that partnerships of health promotion is building on different alliances, sharing common goals, values and approaches. https://www.who.int/healthpromotion/conferences/6gchp/en/
In national level, countries should should take a long-sighted view upon public health problems. Continual and adequate funding should be delivered to research and health promotion. It has been proved that investments in health are significantly contributing to social and economic development. It is not a cost or consumption.
The last but not the least, the victory of fight against disease and virus depends on you, me, everyone of us.
Determinants of health include : who we are, what we do, and social determinants. We cannot choose who we are, but we can choose what we do. The results of many well-known scholars’ research on the contribution of medical services to health are surprising-the contribution of medical services to health is about 10%, and the higher estimate is only 20% (McGovernet al, 2014) . I am not belitting medical research and practice unimportant; on the contrary, it is extremely important and valuable. But recognizing the limitations of medicine and science is also an important scientific accomplishment; recognizing human ignorance and insignificance is the first step in gaining wisdom and power.
Since medical services contribute only 10% to health, what are the other health determinants? Studies have shown that behavior contributes about 40% to health (Mcginnis et al, 2002). For example, smoking is a behavior. A considerable number of public health professionals are engaged in tobacco control. Authoritative research also shows that tobacco contributes up to 18% of deaths（Mokdadet al, 2004）.
We can make healthy decisions like refuse tobacco, take physical activities or vaccinate our children to protect our health or those around us.
McGovern L, Miller G, Hughes-Cromwlck P. The Relative Contribution ofMultiple Determinants to Health Outcomes. Researchers continue to study themany interconnected factors that affect people’s health. Health Affairs 2014.
Mcginnis JM, Williams-Russo P, Knickman JR. The Case For More ActivePolicy Attention To Health Promotion. Health Affairs 2002; 21: 78-93.
Mokdad A, Marks JS, Stroup DF, et al. Actual Causes of Death in theUnited States, 2000. JAMA 2004; 10: 1238–45
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2 thoughts on “Coronavirus Reminds Us The Pandora’s Box Has Never Closed”
I couldn’t agree with you more that the fight against this virus depends on us. I feel like now that the restrictions are not as strict, people have forgotten that we are still fighting against Covid- 19. I feel like many people are very selfish and think that the virus doesn’t affect them. Like you said the problem is the ignorance of many people. People need to make their own research instead of listening to others. This way they learn what is really going on and how they can protect themselves.
Thank you for your writing.
These times we read many things concerning Covid19 and I don’t blame people for being ignorant when even reliable sources have difference in opinion. Restricting human rights is the most difficult restriction that governments can make in countries that have democracy. Many countries face this virus differently due to their policy and yet we don’t know the winner countries of this or the next virus that will come. But at least I hope that we have learned from this pandemic for upcoming cases like these.