We are excited to announce the first annual ARHE Policy Brief Award is now open for submissions. The aim of the award is to encourage and acknowledge the contributions of anthropologists by providing the humanistic side of policy recommendations for responding to health emergencies.
There are two levels for the award (student and professional), both have a $100 award each.
No more than 10 pages
All health emergencies topics are accepted
Must integrate anthropological insights necessary for a successful response effort
Exciting new project launched out of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health: Communivax. “The coalition will conduct rapid ethnographic research related to COVID-19 vaccination among historically underserved communities of color in the United States. Local research teams will listen to community members and work with them to develop suggestions on how to strengthen COVID-19 vaccine delivery and communication strategies”.
The argument to “open up” society for everyone who is determined to not be at high risk does not take into account the true numbers of who fits in that category.
•Obesity, increasing age, diabetes, and other cardiometabolic conditions are just a few of the factors that have been observed to be associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and/or death.
•In 2017-2018, over 35% of the entire US population (children and adults) were determined to be obese
•Furthermore, it is estimated that 13% of the adult US population has diabetes.
•This doesn’t even take into account the percentage of US adults that have other pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk of severe COVID-19.
Click here for a critical review of the Great Barrington Declaration (by Collin Catalfamo, MPH 1, Mark Nichter, PhD, MPH 2 from University of Arizona)
Check out the newest set of COVID resources slide deck focused on Health Care Workers -cases-mortality- stress and burnout and attrition. Health-care workers account for 1 in 7 coronavirus cases recorded by the World Health Organization. We need to focus effort on protecting these vulnerable frontline workers.
From the award website: The SMA’s Anthropological Responses to Health Emergencies Special Interest Group is recognized for rapidly mobilizing a wide range of valuable information resources in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, including a series of highly informative webinars, online background information resources, and an expanded roster of content area specialists ready to share their insights with response partner organizations and affected communities.
We are so honored to be recognized for our Special Interest Group’s work on COVID-19 and for the efforts of everyone involved in the webinars, the calls to action, the workshops, business meetings, and panel presentations that ARHE has sponsored or assisted with since 2016 on Zika, Ebola, Measles, and now COVID-19. Thank you to everyone involved in the Special Interest Group. Thank you to the American Anthropological Association for your recognition of our work and the mission of our Special Interest Group.
Kristin Hedges (Grand Valley State University) Deon Claiborne (Michigan State University) Co-Chairs, Anthropological Responses to Health Emergencies
Claudia Morales, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has written about the added effects to quality of life for disabled migrants in the United States during the Covid-19 pandemic. See the link below for the pdf.
A couple of differences from recent outputs: we have a new design, and this one is a longer review, not our standard brief format. It explains why home care is important, provides an overview of existing guidance and models for home and community-based care, and provides themed recommendations for guidance and support.
As usual the infographic and translations will follow on the website in the coming days. This is our 10th output, and requests keep coming, so you’ll hear from me in due course.
Hugh Gusterson writes a powerful article on the influence that magical thinking has on coping with the types of stress we are facing now with the coronavirus pandemic. He compares the early 20th century Maji Maji Rebellion against German occupation of what is now Tanzania to the (mostly) U.S. protesters arming themselves while the practice their first amendment right to dissent.
He notes that “people turn to magic when they feel powerless” and how this magic can lead to a “sense of false security.” Conspiracy theories abound when the world around us is uncertain as well. Gusterson, briefly, lists the types of rumors and false cures that people around the world latch onto in the face of chaos and concern. He then focuses his attention on the U.S. and the different examples of magical thinking and pseudoscience. He argues that, while magical thinking and pseudoscience are coping strategies in uncertain times, they are ultimately no match against the realities of a viral pandemic and can even cause harm.
We will be managing ourselves, our children, our governments, our economies, and our world for months to come in the face of COVID-19. Part and parcel in that management is managing our stress, fears, and phobias related to sickness, health, and our health and democratic institutions. A management strategy, for better or for worse, is magical thinking, unfounded cures, and yes, sometimes violence against our most vulnerable.