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How is Covid-19 going to affect the future of medicine, and sanitation.

With the Covid-19 pandemic around I wonder if this will push the medical community to improve sanitation everywhere, and be more prepared for another virus, in the future. #future

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Terence’s Answer

Covid-19 will push both of these areas, although I wouldn't say it's specifically the medical community focusing on sanitation. These are 2 separate fields that will be driven forward by Covid-19 and other global health issues.

Sanitation can affect the health and safety of a community/region, forcing a response from the medical field. In the United States, Sanitation is more a product of civic or state government policies and tolerances. In the United States, these are "ground up", civic level policies and programs that affect local sanitation. In other countries, sanitation norms and attitudes towards cleanliness are driven more by cultural norms and are a responsibility of citizens. In more "sanitary conscious" places (ex: Germany, Taiwan) people see health and cleanliness as the responsibility of every citizen. If you're, sick, it's your responsibility to protect others by taking care of yourself. Garbage and recycling (as part of sanitation), are the responsibility of citizens, not the city/garbage collectors. This is an important distinction, as everyone is doing their part to help out. In contrast, these are all issues (health, garbage, recycling) that "are someone else's problem".

Medicine as a rule, has very high standards for sanitation and cross contamination. Hospitals and medical research adjust and adapt to deal with different types of diseases, whether they are contact or airborne viruses.

Again, a global health crisis offers the chance to adjust and adapt to handle the "next" issue/crisis down the road. Governments can take learnings and apply them forward to avoid major issues, or they can choose to do nothing and leave it to private entities to deal with the next crisis. Taiwan, is a perfect example of this. After suffering through a major outbreak (SARS epidemic in 2002), they drafted a major overhaul to it's pandemic response policies. Applying these policies and procedures at the earliest sign of a potential outbreak, pre-Covid-19, helped it avoid the same devastating effects as SARS. It does have some natural defenses as an island, but the key policies and cultural differences in how communities and citizens approach health are major contributing success factors.

Thank you for your response, and information. Aden R.

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