Letter to the Editor: Should public health be policed in pandemic?

Letter to the Editor: Should public health be policed in pandemic?
Government interventions need to be evidence-based and congruently applied.

There is much discord brewing within society regarding the incongruity of inward international travel to Ireland from locations internationally where the Covid-19 virus is surging.

It rather begs the question should public health be policed by the politicians and public officials at all in these pandemic times?

You see smoking and drinking to excess are very bad for your health, but cigarettes and alcohol aren’t banned. Actually for longtime consecutive government profited from excise duty and the old reliables for tax income generation.

There’s been much talk about pub reopening — but drinking alcohol isn’t an essential activity of daily living during a global pandemic.

If governments globally or nationally are going to intervene in matters of public health during the unprecedented global pandemic of Covid-19 and want the population and citizenry to comply with their interventions — the measures that governments introduce need to be properly scientifically evidence-based, consistently and congruently applied.

At present, government interventions in many countries internationally including Ireland are haphazard and disjointed.

It seems that the current measures being introduced by many first world countries to stem the spread of Covid-19 are becoming much more clearly driven by political and economic considerations.

It also incomprehensible how internationally, political decision-makers are ignoring the sound historical lessons of previous pandemics at grave peril to humankind.

This virus is surging internationally with slightly in excess 230000 new cases in announced in one day by the WHO yesterday.

It is abundantly clear that until we can get a vaccine — this virus is humanity’s enemy number one threatening to collapse healthcare systems, societies, and economies.

The virus's ongoing surge will continue to cause havoc and challenge humanity politically, socially, psychologically, and economically until world political leaders unite to develop a global strategy to tackle this 21st-century plague.

Paul Horan

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin

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