Will the epidemic curve for COVID-19 turn upward? There are some indications that the epidemic curve is no longer trending down, but it is not clearly heading upward either. In Colorado, the hospitalization count last week was at 63, comparable to the count of 59 the prior week. As we move into August and the opening of schools, there is further cause for concern.
Central to Public Health (big P and big H) is communicating “good information” and countering “bad information,” whether unintentionally or intentionally provided. The ruling on the Request for Preliminary Injunction and judges’ granting of elements of the plaintiffs’ request represents a disturbing potential threat to public health and yet another judicial decision isolated from its implications for the nation’s health.
We are concerned by yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to effectively strike down affirmative action. We are committed to advancing diversity in public health and we will continue to use a holistic admissions process to review our applicants, including understanding how each applicant’s life experience relates to their pursuit of a career in public health.
June is Pride Month, which began on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus with the 1st Annual CU Anschutz Pride Parade and Celebration. The first Pride Parade was held June 28, 1970, marking the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
As this was my last Colorado School of Public Health Convocation as Dean, I gave the Convocation address. My take-home message: there will always be much to do in public health, now and in the future; stay prepared to contribute and be ready for the unexpected.
Last week, I was in Madrid for the 9th European Conference on Tobacco or Health. My topic was an orphaned aspect of the tobacco problem—disposal of cigarettes and the myriad electronic devices delivering nicotine that are now in the marketplace, broadly classifiable as electronic vaping products.
Until Wednesday, April 19, I was unaware of the special significance of April 20, particularly in Colorado. My education on the topic was prompted by the school's release of a massive scoping review on high-potency marijuana and THC concentrates on April 19.
While the pandemic slowly fades in Colorado, the story of its origins remains heated. In my last commentary, I wrote about the analysis of briefly available genetic sequence data from samples taken in the Wuhan Seafood Market.
Two weeks ago, I questioned whether we would ever nail down the origins of SARS-CoV-2, motivated by the “low confidence” conclusion of the Department of Energy favoring the lab leak hypothesis. Only a week later, a new analysis of data from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan suggested that the mode of emergence may have been from animals in the market.
An anniversary edition, three years after COVID-19 abruptly transformed the way that we live. On Friday, March 13, 2020, we sent out a communication that announced that education would transition to remote and non-critical employees would also work remotely. I wrote the first of over 140 commentaries on the pandemic that week.
The saga of East Palestine continues as yet another public health problem is politicized and “lawyerized.” My distant read of the minds of people in East Palestine is that they are worried about health risks that they face now and in the future.
For more than two weeks, the train derailment and toxic spill in East Palestine, Ohio, have been in the news. Per the New York Times, more than 1,000 trains derail each year, many carrying toxic and flammable substances.
In Colorado, the “tripledemic” continues. Hospital capacity is strained. COVID-19 hospitalizations seem to be slowly ebbing downwards with the count dropping from 440 to 399 to 395 over the last three weeks. Test positivity has turned the corner as well.
We are nearing the three-year mark for the pandemic and facing an uncertain future that will depend on the mutational whims of SARS-CoV-2. With a lengthy pandemic ordeal perhaps coming to an endemic end, now is the right time for a full assessment of lessons learned.
I wrote this commentary over the Thanksgiving break, always a time to catch up on reading and pondering. This year, climate change captured my attention as the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ended.