Think Tank: Covid-19 x Preparedness

By: Hannah El-Sabrout, Tasnia Haider, Chantel Thomas-Nguyen, Mili Patel

We are a health systems comparative think tank that dives into an interdisciplinary analysis of South Korea and the United States, creating a proposal to improve preparedness for pandemics such as COVID-19.

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COVID-19 has swept the globe, first emerging in Wuhan, China, spreading to the rest of the world with the WHO declaring it to be a pandemic on March 11, 2020. What is both fascinating and upsetting about the global response to COVID-19 is how much the response has varied from country to country.

South Korea and the United States had their first diagnosed case of COVID-19 within domestic borders on the same day; however, it is clear that South Korea is doing significantly than the US better in terms of containment and mitigation of the outbreak.

Through a health systems comparative analysis think tank, we hope to analyze the differences in preparedness and response between both countries to suggest improvements of the United States tactics of decreasing the severity of a pandemic such as COVID-19.

We explore preparedness and response through an interdisciplinary approach, looking at many different levels of interaction between individuals and society. When examining preparedness, we focus on the history of previous pandemics and how each country used this information to create progressive policies that will protect their nation and basic knowledge of epidemiology to show the importance of understanding how both biology and society interact.

By analyzing the response made by both countries, we hope to show the role that individuals have in combating the pandemic as well as how the private sector and the government have a role in promoting scientific research and advances to reduce the spread of an infectious disease. Our proposal for preparedness acknowledges the different roles that society has in a global pandemic, even recognizing the cultural differences that come into play when creating preventive measures and response tactics.

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