Effect of Corona Virus( COVID-19 ) on Population Health
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Our anxiety and fears should be acknowledged and not be ignored, but better understood and addressed by individuals, communities and governments.
Governments and health authorities are pleading for individual responsibility in avoiding all unnecessary risks for infection with or spread of SARS-CoV-2. During these times, the discussion around human rights and personal freedom, democracy, social responsibility, and public health action are put to the test. Amid the pandemic, it is difficult to agree with the argument made by Wikler that “if people know they are taking risks but accept them as the price of pursuing goals to which they assign higher priority, then it is not the business of public health to insist that health be valued above all”. This argument might be true under different circumstances, but now, irrational behaviour in non-compliance with COVID-19 policies, which might be motivated by misperception of risks6 or other personal priorities, allows a so-called free rider problem (May T, 2007). This issue has been widely discussed in the context of vaccination, but it can also occur during the COVID-19 outbreak by deliberately neglecting precautions and protective behaviour (Buchanan JM, 1968).
Wikler D. Personal and social responsibility for health. Ethics Int Aff. 2002; 16: 47-55
May T. Public communication, risk perception, and the viability of preventive vaccination against communicable diseases. Bioethics. 2005; 19: 407-421
Buchanan JM. The demand and supply of public goods. vol 5. Rand McNally, Chicago1968