Public Health, Political Pressure, and Tough Decisions

Posted on April 24, 2020

Kobayashi Maru

Today’s Buzz is by Morning Buzzer Kim Nakahodo – connect with her on LinkedIn & Twitter!

What I’m Watching: With the kiddos: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations   Without the kiddos: #blackAF

What I’m Reading: The Witcher: The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

What I’m Listening To: KCUR; GovLove; Hidden Brain

I would like to start this blurb by warning you that you will not find any answers or sage advice to the subjects in the title.

As we all know, the last several weeks have been interesting to say the least.  We have learned new-fangled terms like social distancing and old terms like contact tracing.  Welcome to the wonderful world of public health.  In my earlier years, I worked quite a bit with public health and I am lucky enough to call a few public health Public Information Officers (PIOs) friends.  Public health PIOs are like a 4-leaf clover in a parking lot.  There just aren’t that many of them.

Public health gets lumped into science, biology, or medical studies – but they are very different.

There are a lot of commonalities to public health and civics class.   Schools teach students about them in elementary school and never revisit the subjects again.  Both of these subjects are vitally important to our society, yet woefully misunderstood.

I know all about civics! My mom drives one and says it's a nice car!

The COVID-19 pandemic event has created a circumstance where these two worlds are clashing together.  Public health and governance.  These two have always danced around each other, but it has been generations since they have truly clashed.  The result has been beautiful, chaotic, encouraging, and gut-wrenching all at once.

To complicate things, our old friend economics has also joined the party.  Economics is even more complicated than public health and civics.  This has had a multiplier effect on the frustration and political pressure of this pandemic.

Elected officials in all levels of governance are in a tough predicament.  They are being bombarded with complicated public health reports, updates on the lack of medical supplies, and thousands of heart-breaking stories.  They need to make tough decisions, under the spotlight in their own Kobayashi Maru.

Kobayashi Maru

So what am I saying?  Great question, I have no idea.   I searched around for inspiring quotes and found this one:

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”  ― John F. Kennedy.

My hope is that more people will get interested in public health and public service.  I feel this is the opportunity in the crisis.

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