March 23, 2021
The momentous, devastating COVID-19 pandemic has been chronicled in a unique series of articles primarily conceived and written by Richard Seifman, JD, MBA. Seifman is also a member of the One Health Initiative team’s Advisory Board (Hon.).
Seifman says, “A good deal of my World Bank career focused on epidemics, some of which evolved into pandemics, such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola. With the first warnings of a COVID-19 outbreak, I thought I had a perspective to offer. My first article was in January 2020. As the months passed, I continued to write COVID pieces on subjects which were not being addressed—fairly or fully—in mainstream media. I was heartened by the fact that the leadership of the online Impakter Magazine especially Senior Editor Claude Forthomme, thought my first efforts had value and encouraged me to continue. Subsequently, I became an Impakter staff writer and have written nearly weekly in 2021.” In addition, Seifman recruited select co-authors with appropriate subject matter expertise in some articles.
Below is a collection of Seifman’s 2020 articles, broadly grouped by subject matter. Samuel Seifman provided major editing assistance in putting this collection together.
Workers and the Workplace
As the pandemic developed, unemployment rapidly spiked. Even for those employed, it required new ways of working and living—adjusting during lockdowns and teleworking. For those embarking on a career, it meant new ways of learning.
COVID-19 emerged as a global issue, with heightened attention to Asia and Africa, a departure from the normal focus on Western nations. Attention has also been directed at how different regions, countries, and institutions were dealing with its rapidity for choosing different pathways. China was ground zero for COVID-19, which had multiple implications and drew world attention. My experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa, and my time spent working around the world, often guided my analysis of the pandemic.
Health Science and Health System Responses
From the beginning, the infectious disease outbreak was feared in terms of morbidity and mortality. It garnered concerns about the extent of scientific knowledge, public health system capacity, and broader sustainable development impact. Institutional trust, which is critical, was often lacking. This was largely due to poor past performance of leaders and institutions, and/or charlatans creating doubts about public health measures to contain, protect, or prevent infection.
I have continued writing on COVID-19 and the broader One Health concept/approach issue in 2021. I do so with the hope that there are those who find it of value.