American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Bounce Back Better: Sustainable Strategies for a Healthy Recovery from the Pandemic

"The pandemic is a reminder of the intimate and delicate relationship between people and planet. Any efforts to make our world safer are doomed to fail unless they address the critical interface between people and pathogens, and the existential threat of climate change, that is making our Earth less habitable."

-WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.Address to the 73rd World Health Assembly. May 18th 2020.

Newswise — The American Thoracic Society (ATS), European Respiratory Society (ERS) and International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) are dedicated to improving health around the globe, with ATS and ERS achieving this goal by advancing research, patient care and public health in pulmonary diseases, while ISEE advances research on environment and health. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has presented unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts. Like the climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic is an existential threat.

This novel zoonotic disease, like others in the past, emerged from a shrinking wildlife habitat. Unlike many other zoonoses, COVID-19 hitched a ride on our globalized and highly mobile society to rapidly devastate populations worldwide (1). The virus has exposed the massive disparities in social determinants of health faced by most of the world’s population, including poor access to health care and structural inequalities that promote unhealthy living (2). Minority status and economic inequality are plainly visible in the pandemic epidemiology, serving as a pressing call to action.

This crisis offers a global opportunity to leap forward instead of slipping back into unsustainable and unhealthy ways of the past. A robust systemic response to the pandemic recovery can better equip us to face the climate emergency that threatens the health of people of all ages across the globe. Society has demanded, and received, extraordinary courage and stamina from frontline providers, including those providing food and other critical services, families and healthcare professionals risking their lives to care for the sick and vulnerable and every person who has stepped forward to help those in need during this unprecedented public health crisis. We have come together in neighborhood support groups, online and physically distanced gatherings.

For the sake of health, we have made tremendous economic sacrifices. Recovery from the pandemic will be difficult and costly, but it is also an opportunity to re-think spending priorities and make decisions that will improve human health and well-being for generations. In this letter we voice our support for the WHO Manifesto for a healthy recovery from COVID-19 and, using an example from the European Commission, outline major opportunities to improve global health and ensure a sustainable future as we move ahead beyond COVID-19.

The WHO Manifesto has six major points, all of which align with the missions of ATS, ERS and ISEE.

Read the detailed statement and recommendations here.




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Released: 23-Oct-2020 4:55 PM EDT
Woman recovering from COVID-19 shares experience as monoclonal antibody clinical trial participant
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

When Christina Loville tested positive for the coronavirus, she was terrified. She decided to channel her fear into researching COVID-19 treatments, where she discovered a local clinical trial led by experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Released: 23-Oct-2020 4:30 PM EDT
"Third spike" in COVID-19 cases, plus the vaccine trials: Live Expert Panel for October 29, 3PM EDT
Newswise

"Third spike" in COVID-19 cases, plus the vaccine trials: Live Expert Panel for October 29, 3PM EDT

Released: 23-Oct-2020 1:50 PM EDT
Are we really “rounding the corner" when it comes the coronavirus pandemic?
Newswise

“We’re rounding the turn,” Trump said during the debate. This implies a meaningful improvement. We rate this claim as false. On that very same day the U.S. recorded 77,000 new cases, according to NBC News. This tops the previous high that had been set in July. We may be learning to "live with it," as Trump mentioned, but this is not an improvement.

Newswise: 246719_web.jpg
Released: 23-Oct-2020 12:50 PM EDT
NRL researchers evaluate ultraviolet sources, combat COVID-19
United States Naval Research Laboratory

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory researchers evaluated commercial ultraviolet (UV) sources for viral disinfection to combat COVID-19 on land and at sea, and established a dedicated UV characterization lab in five days to ensure safe introduction and effective operation of UV sources across the Fleet.

Released: 23-Oct-2020 12:05 PM EDT
COVID-19 anxiety linked to body image issues
Anglia Ruskin University

A new study has found that anxiety and stress directly linked to COVID-19 could be causing a number of body image issues amongst women and men.

Newswise: 246747_web.jpg
Released: 23-Oct-2020 11:45 AM EDT
Eliminating COVID-19: What the world can learn from NZ and Taiwan
University of Otago

Both Taiwan and New Zealand have successfully eliminated COVID-19 with world-leading pandemic responses. By taking a particularly proactive approach, Taiwan's response was probably the most effective and least disruptive of any country's, researchers say.

Released: 23-Oct-2020 11:00 AM EDT
Healthcare's earthquake: Lessons from COVID-19
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally disrupted U.S. healthcare organizations.

Released: 23-Oct-2020 10:50 AM EDT
COVID-19 lockdown reduced mental health, sleep, exercise
Pennington Biomedical Research Center

A first-of-its-kind global survey shows the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown dramatically altered our personal habits, largely for the worse.

Released: 23-Oct-2020 10:45 AM EDT
New Data on Increasing Cloth Mask Effectiveness
Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

A new study published in Risk Analysis, “Reinventing cloth masks in the face of pandemics,” by Stephen Salter, P.Eng., describes how Effective Fiber Mask Programs (EFMPs) can help communities find a balance between the economy and curbing community spread.


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