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Amanda Hanemaayer
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Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been clear that COVID-19 respects no bounds. It doesn’t heed to the borders forged on a map by previous generations — the lines that define our political will to protect our common compatriots while leaving out the other; the virus makes no distinctions between our land and their land; us or them.

But somehow, we have done just that all by ourselves, through reiterating and reinforcing the inequities that exist in our societies in the ways that we choose to respond. Although the virus affects us all, we have given it favourites.

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“It is only within the moment of time represented by the twentieth century that one species — man — has acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world, and it is only within the past twenty-five years that this power has achieved such magnitude that it endangers the whole earth and its life.” — Rachel Carson, 1962

Rachel Carson’s article Silent Spring — first published in the ink-stamped pages of The New Yorker in the summer of 1962 —was a pivotal dissertation in the early awakening of public consciousness regarding the harrowing impacts of human activity on environmental…

Let’s take a step away from COVID-19 this time.

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At this point, it’s quite clear that climate change is driving the expansion of zoonotic diseases. With rapidly changing temperatures and weather patterns resulting in an evolution of natural habitats — putting people and animals in closer proximity and expanding the regions hospitable to vectors that transmit infectious diseases like malaria and yellow fever — it’s not exactly surprising. Undeniable risks to human health have emerged from the upheavals of our planet as she wanes and warms.

But what about the impacts of climate change on infectious diseases already present within our communities — diseases that no longer depend on…

Actually, you are your brother’s keeper

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I grew tired of the privileged complaints of pandemic skeptics and anti-everythings somewhere between the first lockdown and the second. As a public health graduate, I was trained to sympathize with confusion, which — given the inevitability of evolving information that comes in-tow with a novel disease — there has been a lot of that lately; I was taught to challenge misinformation with the utmost grace, presenting the best available evidence in a way that makes scientific reasoning more accessible; and perhaps most importantly, I was told to always listen.

But finishing my master’s degree amid the height of the…

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In 2019, amid growing concerns around the re-emergence of communicable diseases whose impacts had largely been nullified, for decades, by routine childhood immunizations, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as the 8th largest threat to global health. In a world seemingly so polarized by a progressive entitlement to one’s own opinion, I was somewhat surprised to learn that indifference was considered more problematic than downright denial.

But throughout the ensuing semesters of my graduate studies in public health, we were taught to target those who are unmoved by the urgency of immunizations above those strongly opposed to the idea…

Thanks so much for the kind comment!

So please, be curious

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Living in Uganda for a time, the daily rhythms of life often felt slowed — sun-worn men and women waved happily from the shade of their palm groves as children walked in red-checkered uniforms to school. I would usually journey by foot in the mornings to the medical clinic where I worked—in a light still dim, as the sun rose softly to cast shadows through the maize and trees of jackfruit that embraced the rolling mountainside.

Boda boda motorcycle drivers would stop in the village to fuel their bikes with petrol-filled Coca Cola bottles, and on Mondays, farmers buzzed about…

I really love the philosophical approach you took in writing this introduction. I too, prefer jumping to deeper questions when getting acquainted with someone new. It was nice to read about you!

I really enjoyed reading your introduction! I look forward to reading your future articles on Christianity. Wishing you the best as you work towards your MA!

Amanda Hanemaayer

MPH | Striving to live a more compassion-filled life.

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