Healthcare and public services

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    Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

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Poor public health policy leads to deeper distrust, further undermining the effectiveness of public health policy, write Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen and Orkun Saka.

It is widely argued (by, inter alia, Fukyuama 2020) that the keys to success in dealing with COVID-19 are “whether citizens trust their leaders, and whether those leaders preside over a competent and effective state.” By […]

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    What past epidemics tell us about public trust in science — and scientists

What past epidemics tell us about public trust in science — and scientists

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People aged 18 to 25, whose core beliefs are still being formed, are likely to suffer the strongest impact of Covid-19 on their faith in scientists, but not in science, write Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen and Orkun Saka.

Covid-19 will change everything. One effect, it has been argued, will be to reverse the secular trend of challenging the value […]

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    States with a Democratic governor and women-headed public health agencies were more likely to implement COVID-19 stay-at-home orders earlier

States with a Democratic governor and women-headed public health agencies were more likely to implement COVID-19 stay-at-home orders earlier

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Much of the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the responsibility of state governments, with some issuing stay-at-home orders earlier than others, and some not issuing them at all. In new research which analyses the timing of state stay-at-home orders, Laine P. Shay finds that Democratic states were over 400 percent more likely to implement early stay-at-home […]

Why public trust in the WHO matters

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Public faith in the World Health Organisation has held up so far. But Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit it are damaging not just because they inhibit America’s co-operation with other countries, writes Renu Singh. They also make it less likely that, in the absence of strong domestic leadership, US citizens will trust the WHO enough to follow its recommendations.

As […]

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    Politicians can’t hide behind scientists forever – even in a pandemic

Politicians can’t hide behind scientists forever – even in a pandemic

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It is dangerous when politicians ignore expert advice. But it is just as dangerous when politicians outsource their judgement to experts, especially if the margin of error is huge and the advice is contested, write Tim Besley and Andrés Velasco. Ultimately, it is the job of politicians to make the tough decisions about trade-offs.

It is tempting to describe the […]

The Covid-19 crisis reveals how much we value old age

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Given that older people are an increasing share of society and that other pandemics will come, countries should revisit their priorities, writes Joan Costa-Font.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the older population more than other age cohorts, as their weaker immune system makes it harder to fight diseases and infection. Although all age groups are at risk of contracting the […]

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    How hoax information on social media about COVID-19 might be worsening the pandemic.

How hoax information on social media about COVID-19 might be worsening the pandemic.

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Information claiming that the COVID-19 is a hoax has unfolded on social media at the same time as the virus has spread across the world. Ralf Martin has analysed nearly 12 million tweets for spikes in COVID-19 hoax related content. He finds that those posting coronavirus related hoax content are more likely to mention Donald Trump, and that many […]

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    Book Review: Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change by Alison Kenner

Book Review: Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change by Alison Kenner

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In Breathtaking: Asthma Care in a Time of Climate Change, Alison Kenner uses a multi-sited ethnography to examine the myriad infrastructures and material practices of care in the United States that mediate the relationship between disordered breathing and the environment. By tracing connections between lived experiences of asthma, environmental conditions and our bodies, the book allows us to imagine […]

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    The Covid-19 pandemic means that the running down of the US Strategic Stockpile of medicines could not have come at a worse time. 

The Covid-19 pandemic means that the running down of the US Strategic Stockpile of medicines could not have come at a worse time. 

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As pain relievers, opioids are a vital part of treating patients with Covid-19. But, as Katherine Pettus writes, the combination of reductions by the US of its buffer stock of opioids, and the chronically low stocks in 80 percent of the world, mean that patients are now abandoned in their hour of need. She urges governments to listen to guidance from UN […]

When will the coronavirus pandemic peak?

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An analysis of the available data suggests the number of daily new global cases will be negligible within 40 days, writes Oliver Linton.

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We have carried out some analysis of the daily data on the number of new cases […]

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