The Great Chinese Famine (1959-1962) was probably the greatest man-made disaster in history resulting in tens of millions of deaths. The responses to the famine and that to COVID-19 are all to similar, characterized by false claims, misinformation and, most of all, political posturing at the expense of public health. The importation of Russian sparrows helped lead to ending the great famine. We await the arrival of the sparrows in the the form of a vaccine. There is no guarantee that a safe and effective vaccine is forthcoming, but even if one or more are developed it will be 12 or more months before it can be given to enough people to end the pandemic. In the absence of a vaccine an infectious disease will only burn itself out as a result of Herd Immunity. We need to understand that Herd Immunity is not an intervention we choose, it is a natural phenomenon that is evolving case by case.
A discussion of how we inappropriately continue to define a “case” is also given and an argument made to utilize daily COVID hospital admissions as a much more valid measure of the medical impact of COVID-19.
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.