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A Critical Analysis of the Eurocentric Response to COVID-19: Western Ideas of Health

By Hayley Evans

The international response to COVID-19 has paid insufficient attention to the realities in the Global South, making the response Eurocentric in several ways.

This series of blog posts looks at three aspects of the COVID-19 response that underscore this Eurocentrism. The first post in this series scrutinized the technification of the international response to COVID-19. This second post looks at how the international pandemic response reflects primarily Western ideas of health, which in turn exacerbates negative health outcomes in the Global South.

This series draws on primary research conducted remotely with diverse actors on the ground in Colombia, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom, as well as secondary research gathered through periodicals, webinars, an online course in contact tracing, and membership in the Ecological Rights Working Group of the Global Pandemic Network. I have written about previous findings from this work here.

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Busy Nurse's Station In Modern Hospital

Violence Against Health Care Workers: Legislative Responses

By Stephen Wood

COVID-19 and other diseases aren’t the only threat to health care workers. Violence in the workplace is a common occurrence and on the rise.

Despite these troubling trends, the policy response at both federal and state levels has, so far, been lacking.

In a recent survey of nurses, 59% reported that they had been the victims of workplace violence. More than half of those respondents went on to report that they were not satisfied with how the incidents were handled.

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Second Amendment Rights and Mental Illness

Editor’s Note: An updated of this post was published on March 6, 2017, entitled “The Balancing Act Between Mental Illness and Gun Rights.”

By Mariam Ahmed, JD/MSPP (2016)

In recent years, there have been a multitude of state- and federal-level discussions about how to use law to minimize gun violence as active shooter events increase. During these deliberations, one point that has repeatedly been debated is whether people with mental illness should have their gun possession rights limited.

Here’s how the legal landscape currently looks.

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Gun Violence: A Public Health Concern?

By Michele Goodwin

Posted from Amsterdam

I was in India when the tragic news hit; 26 people dead–20 of them children in a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012.   In India, NGOs struggle with ending violence against women and children. Acid tossed in the faces of women by scorned boyfriends is not uncommon nor the increasing, random acts of slitting women’s throats on trains.  Sensational it may seem to us; but very real for women in Mumbai and Bihar.  In fact, the day before learning of the tragedy in Connecticut, Delhi officials announced the hiring of thousands of guards to deploy at 548 elementary schools in South Delhi amid reports of rapes and molestations of little girls who are followed, harassed, and in too many cases harmed on their way home after leaving school.  The government’s response comes on the heels of parents threatening to remove their daughters from school.

In that country and others, broad scale violence is understood as more than a national problem; it is a social and public health problem. In cases of sexual violence and the externalities that result, including sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies, the public health component may be more visible to those of us in the West.  However, the public health indicators extend physical health problems; violence causes emotional and psychological trauma.  The mental health component of public health must be better understood.  Americans who live in gang infested communities, where violence seems almost endless and difficult to escape, understand this all too well as their kids experience anxieties closer to post traumatic stress disorder as part of their daily lives.

The Newtown shootings offer a moment for reflection on the lives lost and also our nation’s first principles and commitments.  Perhaps this will be a time to consider gun control beyond a very divided constitutional law debate to also understand its public health dimensions.  Who benefits from current policies?  Who are those harmed?  Physical wounds do heal, but the mental health traumas, grief, and anxieties often take a lifetime to manage and overcome.