How does social cohesion and social behavior affect the spread, control, and prevention of infection

Each of the 4 questions (or group of questions) addresses a theme in the readings for this lecture. Please write a paragraph or two on each of the themes. Write your thoughts, opinions, and responses to the readings as they pertain to these 4 themes and issues. Please refer to the specific authors or articles. 1. How does social cohesion and social behavior affect the spread, control, and prevention of infection? Ed young describes this patchwork is “psychologically perilous.” Why is this so? How do our notions of ingroups and outgroups affect our behavior in a pandemic? What about norms and social learning and behavior as they relate to our sense of responsibility to the community / collective? How does human travel and the structure of cities factor into the spread of infection and social cohesion? What about the complex systems that Debora Mackenzie describes? 2. What is the role of Government (Federal, State, and Local) during an outbreak, epidemic or pandemic, as it pertains to protecting the individuals, protecting the nation as a whole, and preserving individual rights? Consider Michael Shear’s article in the New York Times and Ed Young’s analysis of how a virus defeated America. How did the U.S. Government prepare and react to the growing pandemic? Some themes to consider (You only need to write a paragraph on one of these!): • Preparedness / Surveillance • Financial investment in health systems/research/preparedness (What is the enough / too much to spend?) • Risk assessment (How well do individuals assess risk? Should government scientist assess risk for people?) o Orders/Mandates vs recommendations/nudge o Warnings – when should government sound the warning (and at what cost, financial/economic vs safety) o Cassandra Curse – when one individuals identify a potential hazard, how can they make themselves heard and how can we listen better 3. How do American cultural beliefs of Individualism and Collectivism (and the polarization of the two) affect the public’s preparedness and response to the pandemic? What is Ed Young’s take on this issue and how it related to the pandemic? What do you think of his assessment and reasoning? What to you think about Ed Young’s assessment of Donald Trump? How is this a reflection of us (America)? What role does capitalism play? Is American capitalism culturally different from that in other countries, and, if so, how? 4. How have fundamental inequities and social determinants of health worsened this pandemic? What is our responsibility (as citizens and as Public Health officials) to make a more equitable society? For example, consider inequities and health disparities related to race and ethnicity, gender, age, wealth/poverty, zip code, type of work/employment. What affect do these inequities and disparities have on the health and well-being of the population as a whole? Think back to Dr. Beverly’s lecture and the video we watched for that class. Relate that material to what you learned from the Covid readings. Readings: 1- Michael D. Shear, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas, and Noah Weiland, “The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19, New York Times, March 28, 2020. See: 2-Jennifer Kahn, “How Scientists Could Stop the Next Pandemic Before It Starts,” New York Times April 20th, 2020 See: 3-Ed Yong, “America’s Patchwork Pandemic is Fraying Even Further,” The Atlantic, May 20, 2020” See: 4-Yasmeen Serhan, “Vilnius Shows How the Pandemic is Already Remaking Cities,” The Atlantic, June 9th, 2020 See: 5-Ed Yong, “How the Pandemic Defeated America,” The Atlantic, September 2020 See: Book: Debora MacKenzie, Covid 19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2020) ISBN# : 978-0306924231

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