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    The AtlanticEd Yong6/9/2123 min
    5 reads1 comment
    7.0
    The Atlantic
    5 reads
    7.0
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    • Jessica4 months ago

      Ed Yong recently won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic; well-deserved! This piece describes why "individualism is still sabotaging the pandemic response" and why "our collective problem still exists." He outlines the reasons behind support for the CDC's latest guidance and also why critics argue that the latest guidance is actually abandoning so many citizens (namely, by putting privilege before equity).

      Public health itself became more individualistic. Epidemiologists began to see health largely in terms of personal traits and exposures. They became focused on finding “risk factors” that make individuals more vulnerable to disease, as if the causes of sickness play out purely across the boundaries of a person’s skin.

      The CDC represents a field that has only recently begun to rebalance itself after long being skewed toward individualism. And the CDC remains a public-health agency in one of the most individualistic countries in the world. Its mission exists in tension with its environment. Its choice to resist that tension or yield to it affects not only America’s fate, but also the soul of public health—what it is and what it stands for, whom it serves and whom it abandons.