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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

Who We Are: The Foundational Forces

Who We Are: The Foundational Forces

(p.65) 4 Who We Are: The Foundational Forces
The Contagion Next Time

Sandro Galea

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the foundational forces that shape health. Even without a pandemic, the United States is faced with public health threats that are shaped by foundational forces. From the political and economic roots of the obesity epidemic, to the social stigma that informs the opioid crisis, to the many structural drivers of climate change, the social, economic, political, and demographic foundations of health are central to the challenges that must be addressed, nationally and globally, in the years to come. Engaging with these forces helped inform the response to COVID-19; they can help in addressing these other challenges as well. And just as a virus can have long-term effects on the body, the pandemic reshaped the societal foundations, with lasting implications for the economy, culture, attitudes towards core issues like race, politics, and more. Whether the experience of the pandemic leads to significant long-term benefits will depend on whether Americans retain the hard lessons of that moment and apply them to foundational forces.

Keywords:   health, pandemic, United States, public health threats, politics, economy, societal foundations, race, COVID-19

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