COVID-19: opportunities for public health ethics?

Public health ethics is the discipline that ensures that public health professionals and policy makers explain what they do, and why. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ethical deliberations often did not feature explicitly in public health decisions, thus reducing transparency and consistency in decision-making processes, and resulting in loss of trust by the general public. A public health ethics framework based on principles would add to transparency and consistency in public health decision-making.

From the ‘fragile rationalist’ to ‘collective resilience’: what human psychology has taught us about the COVID-19 pandemic and what the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us about human psychology

A successful response to the Covid-19 pandemic is dependent on changing human behaviour to limit proximal interactions with others. Accordingly, governments have introduced severe constraints upon freedoms to move and to mix. This has been accompanied by doubts as to whether the public would abide by these constraints. Such doubts are underpinned by a psychological model of individuals as fragile rationalists who have limited cognitive capacities, who panic under pressure and turn a crisis into a tragedy. Drawing on evidence from the UK, we show that this did not occur.