Subscribe to our weekly International update on Health Policies
The weekly IHP newsletter offers a digest of key global health (policy, governance, research) reads.
Select a newsletter issue or browse the topics in the current issue.
I know, I know, it’s Valentine today, so I probably shouldn’t talk about the eerily sounding “Covid-19” in this short intro, let alone about the even more dreaded “P word” but WHO and dr. Tedros were clearly in no mood for Valentine earlier this week, when describing the virus as “a global threat, potentially worse than terrorism”. “The world must wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one,” Tedros said. With world media and public opinion going berserk all around the world for a few weeks now, I think that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The other part of his message, however, that it’s about “solidarity, solidarity and solidarity”, might prove much harder in the weeks and months to come, given how Sapiens is wired.
When thinking of pandemics, in this visual culture of ours, we probably all have (subconsciously or not) a particular movie in mind when considering some of the most dire scenarios. For some of you, that might be “Contagion”, for me, it’s no doubt “Twelve Monkeys” (1995), with among others, Bruce Willis, a stunning Madeleine Stowe and a young Brad Pitt. Back in the innocent ‘90s, it all felt a bit surreal, even the obligatory rogue scientist popping up towards the end. But what a great movie! Now in the year 2020, with the scary ongoing public health experiment (aka ‘the coronavirus cruise ship quarantines’), occasionally I get the feeling that “Twelve Monkeys” is being mixed up with “the Poseidon Adventure” 😊. Anyway, as you can imagine, lots of focus again in this week’s newsletter on the coronavirus, now labelled SARS-CoV-2. (PS: on a different note, I had to look up the word “pangolins” this week, this sort of vocabulary comes a bit less naturally to me than, say, neoliberalism or capitalism 😊. )
In other news this week, the Munich security report 2020 coined the term Westlessnness, I let you find out for yourself what the term implies. It’s both good and bad, I’d say, but with huge implications for the world, not just for global health.
In the featured article below, Priti Patnaik gives her in-depth take on the latest (146th) WHO Executive Board meeting.
Enjoy your reading. (And Valentine, if you can 😊!)