A Post-Pandemic Playbook
Monica Gandhi, M.D.
A manifesto and action plan for future pandemics.
Endemic aims squarely at reckoning with our present condition: comprehending and living with a new respiratory disease and how to face the coming variants and next pandemic with reason, science, understanding, courage, and compassion. It does not shy from rigorous scrutiny, and it pulls no punches about where we have been, where we find ourselves now, and how we ought to manage the virus in the coming years.
“Endemic” refers to an Infectious Disease practitioner’s knowledge of what features of a virus make it both “eradicable” and which features make it “controllable.” These two things translate to becoming endemic or having achieved endemicity. As for eradicable viruses in recorded human history, only smallpox has reached this status. The features of SARS-CoV-2 make it non-eradicable. However, living with an endemic virus and using the tools we do have is possible and does not have to be disruptive to society. Instead, it becomes the “problem” of the medical community. We must first acknowledge that the virus is endemic and not eradicable. This takes a shift in both mindset and policy. Secondly, we must understand that we now have a greater knowledge of pathogens allows us to prepare for future variants, and for future pandemics.
This book is a clarion call for reason while also assessing the story, science, and politics thus far with its hits and misses, and providing a roadmap for the future of COVID-19 variants and future epidemic crises. Dr. Gandhi’s 10-point plan is the center of this book and will serve to guide us today and into our future. Her roadmap includes:
- the expansion of equitable vaccine distribution
- easing restrictions
- emphasising harm reduction over coercive or punitive measures
- encouraging outdoor activities
- avoiding school closures
- understanding the long-term economic and psychological consequences of sustained lockdowns
- eliminating ineffective measures
- reassessing testing policies and practices
- increasing access to outpatient therapies and prophylactics
- focusing on better preparation for future pandemics
Dr. Gandhi brings her unique blend of professional history, training and experience, academic authority, accessibility for general readers, and recognized role as expert commentator for general audiences to bear. Endemic is for readers confused by inconsistent mandates and policies who are concerned about and want to be prepared for the future, as well as public health professionals, medical professionals, and policymakers.
Hardcover • 5.5 x 8.25 Inches • 256 Pages • Mayo Clinic Press • 2023 • ISBN 9781945564543