News Release

Are we "Waiting for Godot"-- A metaphor for Covid-19

Arrival of an effective vaccine might prove to be more an illusion of hope than a reality

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.

Are we "Waiting for Godot"- A Metaphor for Covid-19 "Waiting for Godot", one of the greatest works of the Theater of the Absurd is used to illustrate the dystopic nature of our approach to COVID-19. The continued use of a lab test to inappropriately define a "case" and the use of that measure to define the health impacts of the pandemic is discussed. Given the broad variability in COVID-19 tests and their characteristics, coupled with the estimated prevalence of the disease further clouds the validity of conclusions drawn from testing to date. The continued unqualified reporting of this statistic does little to guide appropriate intervention policies but does continue to fuel the levels of public fear. Much of the conflict over appropriate policies revolves around waiting for a vaccine that, like Godot, may never arrive. The contribution of Herd Immunity in decreasing the transmission rate is also addressed as is the concept of individual risk.

Going forward we not only have to accept the fact that we are war with the virus but also the fact that war generates casualties. The most prevalent casualties of this conflict have become the 55 million K-12 school children who are, ironically, essentially immune. To continue this travesty on what might be an illusion of hope is akin to systematic child abuse.


About the Journal

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness is the first comprehensive and authoritative journal emphasizing public health preparedness and disaster response for all health care and public health professionals globally. The journal seeks to translate science into practice and integrate medical and public health perspectives. DMPHP is the official journal of the Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health.

About the Society

The Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health aims to evolve a discipline around disaster medicine and public health. The society's goal is to improve global health security, with the involvement and development of global health professionals and others who are involved in responding to and or managing significant events. The mission of the SDMPH is to advance and promote excellence in education, training and research in disaster medicine and public health for all potential health system responders based on sound educational principles, scientific evidence and best clinical and public health practices.

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