The Editor’s Podcast: The Public Health Challenge of Our Era, COVID-19

by Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH

The Editor’s Podcast with Dr. Lloyd F. Novick appears with each new issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and offers a closer look at the articles published in the latest issues with guest appearances by authors, guest editors, and others.


This episode of the Editor’s Podcast highlights articles appearing in the July 2020 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practicewhich focuses on COVID-19 and some of the challenges the pandemic has brought to bear on public health and our public health system. One of several important commentaries in this issue looks at clinical versus public health ethics. While much has been said about the difficulty of deciding which patients receive our limited clinical resources such as ventilators and hospital beds, we must also consider how we balance our community resources. For example, to mitigate COVID-19, we need to use social distancing and wear face coverings, but how do we balance that with respecting individual liberty? And, when a vaccine does become available, how do we prioritize which groups receive it? Important scientific articles in this issue include two from China, one from mainland China and one from Shanghai, which report measures taken in that country to contain the pandemic. Another study looks at CPIP scenarios to determine the “true” underlying infection rate of children in the US, which has been underreported by the media. Another looks at the feasibility of social distancing practices in US schools to reduce Influenza transmission during a pandemic. The findings of that study suggest that schools have many options to increase social distance other than closing, lessons that may be useful during the present crisis. Another commentary highlights the exacerbated burden of COVID-19 and its aftermath on the elderly, the chronically ill, communities of color, rural communities, and other populations that are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. The authors outline a number of actions that local and state health departments can take to help mitigate the crosscutting consequences of worsening social determinants of health. Another study in this issue looks at the relationship between  COVID-19 and indoor plumbing, English-speaking households, and overcrowded houses on American Indian reservations.

Learn more about these and other articles in our podcast below.

Other Important Articles in this Issue:

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. He is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. [Full bio]