The ideal time to act on COVID-19 was in January, says public health expert Raj Bhopal.
Economic shutdowns to encourage social distancing during the early pandemic period demonstrated seriousness on the part of national governments, but the time bought was not always taken advantage of in alignment with public health expert recommendations.
Key suggestions like encouraging lower risk recreation, frequent public health communications, or targeted interventions to protect high risk groups like nursing home residents and immune-suppressed youth seem to have fallen to the wayside.
Raj Bhopal, CBE DSc, BSc MD, MPH, MBChB, FRCP, FFPHM, is professor emeritus of public health at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He held the chair of Public Health in the university until his retirement in 2018.
Bhopal’s recent article, COVID-19 zugzwang: Potential public health moves towards population immunity, was published in Public Health in Practice.
Bhopal is also the author of Concepts of Epidemiology: Integrating the Ideas, Theories, Principles, and Methods of Epidemiology.