Who would have thought, in the last few years, that public health would become such a scrutinized, misunderstood and distrusted issue?

But let’s be honest, the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen slow onset reactions, errors, changes in guidelines and fluctuating rules. This has left many confused and uneasy, and rightly so.

However, it doesn’t hurt to point out that the disease is clearly progressing and that as data are collected new information comes in and the recommendations have changed as a result.

Also, the country was unprepared for a pandemic of the magnitude of COVID-19. Lack of resources, inadequate staffing, certainly partly due to lack of funding, but also simple inattention to potential hazards that were not adequately addressed.When will the next pandemic come? I don’t know, but strategic preparation is important. It was very disappointing that relatively simple things like masks and other protective clothing were so scarce at first. .

In this ever-changing atmosphere, public health departments across the country were doing their best to educate, recommend, encourage, test, and vaccinate measures to contain the virus. Workers were caught in the crossfire. There was resistance in many places, and many public health staff were asked to leave their posts or simply resign for safety reasons. Helping and caring for people. They learned things about community, medicine, nursing, and the environment, but not how to deal with public backlash and threats. They didn’t have a program to teach them that politics can become part of everyday public health.

I hope our public health workers know that many people in our county appreciate the work they have done to support our communities and continue to do so every day. As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and it becomes easier to see public health in a more balanced way, there is a need to express our gratitude to public health workers. there is.

Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney lives in Jamestown and is a member of the Chautauqua County Board of Health.

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