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COVID-19 Challenges Update 5
May 14, 2020. New York. – COVID-19 continues to present a global challenge for citizens, governments, healthcare professionals, scientists, corporations, and the media.
While the disease creates new challenges, it also highlights long-standing ones in terms of policy, communication, and societal awareness of key issues and how the media reports on these issues.
As the crisis continues, national prime time news programs have followed their governments and reported about the coronavirus with an extreme national view. Other countries have received coverage if their news was particularly alarming. Italy, Spain, France, the UK, and the US were the preferred choice of those in charge. Countries with amazing success – like Slovakia and Taiwan – were rarely presented. And what about Sweden? While the Irish WHO expert who monitors progress on a global scale referred to this Nordic state as a lighthouse (Sweden seems on track to reach immunity by June 2020), Austria’s ORF suggested people not even think about the Swedish model by over-exaggerating the number of deaths in Sweden compared to Austria. This, despite the fact that the number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants are 32 in Sweden, less than the 76 in Belgium, 57 in Spain, 51 in Italy, and 39 in France.
Despite the crisis, according to Fitbit, positive changes in heart health have been seen in women in most countries due to increased sleep, lower resting heart rates, and attempts to maintain activity despite stay-at-home orders.
Large scale societal changes from the COVID-19 crisis are likely. In the U.K. 32,000 people have died in five weeks, more than half of those lost during the six years of World War II. An additional 8,000 deaths outside of hospitals – with similar numbers expected in other countries – make the news even more grim. This type of mass trauma will change how we talk about disease, society, and government and corporate responsibility. In fact, the overall frame for treating all lives as dignified and valuable already exists and has been accepted by 193 heads of state in the form of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals with their 169 clear targets.
To see our complete findings this week on COVID-19, please visit:
These findings are produced in partnership with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the African Union, the Universities Network, UN Academic Impact, and diverse faith communities as we need better data and reporting on solutions for tackling the pandemic.
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