COVID-19: through the eyes through the front line, an international perspective

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Abstract

COVID-19 is continuing to ravage the globe. In many Western Countries, the populous has not embraced public health advice which has resulted in a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. In the United States, there is an absence of a coordinated Federal response. Instead, frontline workers and average citizens are having to cope with extensive mixed messaging regarding mask usage and social distancing from the highest levels of government. This has resulted in the United States not being able to achieve a low level of infection since the pandemic began. In addition, many citizens hold a profound belief that individual freedoms must be preserved, even at the expense of public health; and view the wearing of masks as renouncing this right. These engrained political beliefs can be traced back to the late 1800s. The response of the United States has also been hampered by a highly cost-efficient healthcare system, which does not provide universal care and has a just-in-time supply chain, with far too few supplies in reserve. This efficiency prevented a rapid scaling up of the healthcare response, which resulted in severe deficiencies in available personal protective equipment (PPE) and healthcare staff. To compound issues many healthcare staff are not provided an economic or healthcare safety net. Other frontline workers, such as those who work in transportation and food services, are working under even greater adversities. Many of these workers are from diverse backgrounds, who, along with their families, are at even greater risk for COVID-19. This vulnerable population of frontline workers are faced with a choice of going to work with inadequate PPE or placing food on their families’ table. In the United States, official recommendations seem to be ever changing, based more upon supply and test availability, than on science. We must rely on science and learn from the lessons of past pandemics or we will relive, even to a greater degree, the deaths and devastations experienced by our ancestors over 100 years ago.

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APA

Kavanagh, K. T., Pare, J., & Pontus, C. (2020). COVID-19: through the eyes through the front line, an international perspective. In Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control (Vol. 9). BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-020-00850-2

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