Parents, Schools Face Another Reckoning Over COVID 19 Cases

FOR ALMOST TWO YEARS, the coronavirus has battered the world, with millions of deaths and hundreds of millions of cases. This winter’s omicron variant surge is just the latest example of the pandemic’s unpredictable trajectory. It has resulted in personal tragedy for many. It has left survivors with long-COVID-19 symptoms, and it has overwhelmed health care systems and caused burnout among health workers. It has changed our behavior, acquainting people with mask wearing and social distancing. It has changed the way we work, forcing the fortunate to work remotely and resulting in furloughs or layoffs or constant risk of exposure for the less fortunate. And it has been an impetus to scientific innovation, with effective vaccines created and distributed at a historic pace.

The world is a different place from what it was two years ago, and we are still learning to live with all the sorrow and change the pandemic has brought. At the same time, COVID-19 has taught us a lot. Through the global crisis, we have reevaluated aspects of our societies and examined what is working—and what isn’t.

Here HKS faculty members and other experts examine lessons learned during the pandemic.

 

National suffering and solidarity

Matthew Baum and John Della Volpe

Mathew Baum and John Della Volpe

It is difficult to conceive of anything good borne of COVID-19. As of this writing, in the United States, more than 700,000 are dead; 5 million have fallen worldwide. Millions of us grieve the untimely loss of a family member, a loved one, or a friend. And while our team of researchers from the Covid States Project has charted the extreme stress, anxiety, and depression so many Americans are facing, we also have found reason for optimism. 

Partnership between the public and private sectors has spurred tremendous innovation in vaccine development and distribution logistics, which will likely prove enormously beneficial in the future, both with routine vaccines and with future pandemics. COVID-19 has also provided a rare real-time window into the workings of science, which while not universally helpful, provides valuable education for many people. Life-saving developments like these are probably why the public’s trust in science has largely remained intact while trust in other institutions has fallen since we began tracking such measures in April 2020. In a recent wave of more than 21,000 interviews across 50 states and the District of Columbia, we found that 92% of American adults trust doctors and hospitals, nearly 90% trust scientists and researchers, 78% trust the CDC, 74% trust pharmaceutical companies, and 68% trust Dr. Anthony Fauci on how best to deal with the coronavirus. Although overall levels of confidence in the scientific community remain very strong in general, evidence suggests that trust has eroded somewhat over the past 18 months and bears watching.

Source : https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty-research/policy-topics/health/ongoing-lessons-long-pandemic

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