Noting that the United States spends more money on health care than any other country, Pothof adds: “You just shake your head and wonder: How did we get to the point where, here in the United States, we need to turn exposition centers into field hospitals?”
In projecting how 2021 plays out, Richard Besser, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and former acting director of the CDC, believes that it “depends, to a large extent, on what we do right now.”
Bernard Chang, an associate professor of emergency medicine and a psychologist at Columbia University, explains to Edwards that the human behavior he has witnessed “gives him hope for a brighter 2021.”
“People are adapting to this new world that we’re living in,” Chang says. “People who were untethered from their traditional social connections found new ways to engage with people.” Things such as videoconferencing and going on walks. The crux of it being that “societal adaptation” may be the thing that propels Americans through the pandemic — where we not only survive but also thrive once again.
In biology, adaptation refers to the process by which a species becomes fitted to its environment. In business, adaptation leads to innovation and taking calculated risks. As noted by Besser, the administration “invested big time in vaccines and medications, telling companies: Go for it, start the manufacturing even before the studies are done, because hopefully some of these will turn out to be keepers.” “Those bets paid off,” Edwards writes.
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