On doing the most possible good while doing the least possible harm.
Hi Professor Galea, thank you for the post! I very much agree with you that basic public health services should be equalized, and that all residents have equal access to basic public health services regardless of gender, age, race, place of residence, occupation and income. At the same time, we should awaken people's awareness of actively pursuing equity and provide suggestions so that policymakers can do something to improve equity.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” — Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
Some very important and thoughtful points here, Dr. Galea, thank you. However, in your examples of the potential harms of Covid public health interventions, you don’t clarify/distinguish the negative effects of the interventions from those of the morbidity and mortality due to the pandemic itself (eg mental health impacts of severe Covid illness, hospitalization, losing a parent or other loved one, etc.). Similarly, Covid morbidity and mortality itself had an inequitable impact on population health, as exemplified by worse impacts on life expectancy and and excess mortality in the most disadvantaged groups. Perhaps you could address how, in an evolving crisis, you propose weighting these considerations in the future.