Columns When the next pandemic comes, we are ready to repeat our old mistakes

Health care has been gnawed thin long before the coronavirus disrupted our lives.

As one the day of this endless vanity is over. Finally, cheers.

Maybe we dare to celebrate the end of the pandemic for a while. Then we continue as before, because that is what we are.

Then when the next pandemic comes, we are ready to repeat the same mistakes.

Epidemiologists Jussi Sane has been on the show lately mainly to talk about how this pandemic is ends. I am too ignorant to judge the timetable. Instead, I wonder how he sees our preparedness for the next pandemic.

After all, the coronavirus has shown that our health care is being too tight. It has been weakened for years. There is a huge shortage of professionals everywhere, and the rest are exhausted.

Even the slightest extra load takes a huge number of people to queues to wait for treatment.

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Sane is the first to raise primary health care. It is the foundation on which special medical care capable of responding to even the sharpest peaks of the disease is needed. Likewise, an effective monitoring system and laboratory network.

The best way to prevent the next pandemic is to improve public health and the well-being of the entire population. This in turn means that it must be possible to tackle various chronic diseases and health inequalities strictly.

I would add that strong social welfare is needed alongside. A pandemic, when forced, also wreaks havoc on social relations and the economy, not to mention our mental health.

These too the means to prepare are, of course, peppery, although it sounds impossible.

The next pandemic comes because we live the way we live.

We pretend we are not part of nature. We are wasting natural resources, taking up living space from other species, for example by cutting down forests, moving goods and ourselves along the ball at a rapid pace. We are not capable of global cooperation.

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Therefore, one should even prepare better, be it a year or a hundred years ago.

Preparing isn’t just about checking to see if the rubber bands have gotten from the edges of the masks in the safety stock. The best preparation for the next pandemic is scientific knowledge.

And science shouldn’t just mean that we’re willing to invest in sexy and fast-monetized product development. It means basic research. To survive, we also need civilization.

The author is an urban editor of HS.

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