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The Contagion Next Time$
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Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2022

Print ISBN-13: 9780197576427

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197576427.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

A Better and Healthier Time to Be Alive than Ever

A Better and Healthier Time to Be Alive than Ever

(p.3) 1 A Better and Healthier Time to Be Alive than Ever
The Contagion Next Time

Sandro Galea

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how the time of the COVID-19 pandemic was also a time when the world, in many respects, had never been better—or healthier. In a number of key areas—from life expectancy, to declines in poverty, to reductions in preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS—it was, and is, a more favorable time to be alive than any other point in recorded history. All these advances was a byproduct of foundational forces unfolding over time, forces like industrialization, global development, urbanization, and political changes. However, the incidental nature of this success has meant that we have yet to fully acknowledge why it occurred, which hinders our ability to advance it in the future. Why do we need to know how we got here? First, our understanding of the causes of health shapes our investment in health. America's investment in healthcare comes at the expense of their investment in the foundational drivers of health. The second reason is that if we do not understand the true causes of health, we will be unable to build a world that is ready for the next pandemic.

Keywords:   COVID-19, pandemic, life expectancy, global development, political changes, health, healthcare, industrialization, urbanization, poverty

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