Why “Focus on Health?
In 2020, a Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic spread rapidly across the globe leading to dramatic loss of human life, and to economic and social disruption. In many countries social distancing became the norm, face masks became compulsory and businesses, and sometimes even schools, closed their doors.
The world was not prepared for a health crisis on this scale, which became painfully visible when, in March 2020, one was able to watch Italian army trucks transporting coffins in Bergamo. Months later we saw photos of overcrowded ICU hospitals in London, followed by coverage of mass graves in Manaus, Brazil. Those images and others are burned into our minds and make us wonder how safe and healthy we really are.
The death toll is high. Worldwide, as of April 26, 2020, 3,092,410 people have died from COVID-19 and it is still not possible to say what the indirect costs of the pandemic will be.
What should we do and, possibly more importantly, what lessons should we learn?
Although the world has made progress with vaccinations, more pandemics might play out in the years to come. Preparing for predictable health challenges is the only way to go. How do we adapt to the new reality, what do we need to understand about our own behaviour, and what can we do to maximise health and wellbeing for all?
With “Spotlight on Health”, we hope to foster the spirit of community, gain insight into the way we interact with our environment and each other, and to seize the opportunity to spread ideas on health and well-being into the community. We hope our speakers will contribute inspiring ideas about our collective potential to improve health and societies globally.