Oriole Mettg regrets the small case that health authorities are bringing to scientists when they actually warned in February 2020 of the danger of the Coronavirus.
Pamplona Auriol Metja, a Catalan epidemiologist who specializes in strategies to combat infectious diseases related to poverty, confirms that government officials ignore the experts.
She has become a Jiminy cricket for management as he tells in his book A year with an open heart, A real set of experiences and interests from February 2020 to last March.
– Everything we suggested was unsuccessful. Not only in Catalonia, where I work, but also in the rest of the state. Politicians, no matter how much they are said, have not implemented the decisions they should have taken to stop the pandemic, possibly due to the tactics of their own formations.
What are the questions that address your book One year with an open heart ?
The epidemic management camera. I recount how the various authorities in our country faced on numerous occasions for managing the most important crisis in decades. I also narrate my origins in the profession and how my profession arose, but above all I am talking about the difficulties in obtaining scientific standards that are being adopted by inundated governments.
How do you summarize it?
–One year with an open heart It is a testament to an organized life but with so many passions. In it, I defend the importance of thinking about the crisis caused by the Coronavirus. Because we must learn from mistakes. We must draw conclusions for the coming pandemics that will surely come.
Will the reader feel familiar with what is written?
-I think so. I have organized the book into seven parts. In the first two I talked about my character. Three of them are dedicated to the arrival of the Coronavirus and how to manage the epidemic. In another story, my relationship with the political class in general. Finally, I encourage the reader to keep fighting. It’s a reflection full of hope, because there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t you think that too much information confuses citizens who no longer know what to think?
-Yeah. We must be very careful not to mislead the information. And in such a situation it was vital. The data that keeps getting to people about the occurrence of vaccines is quite messy. There has to be a leadership that is not there to dispose of, in addition, the endless false messages that reach us. Although there are some pluses.
The arrival of live information allowed the population to witness the development of science in real time. This is very positive because it made the role of research clear and the necessity to bet on it.
Do you think transparency of information is necessary?
-Completely. I’ve always defended it, because it’s part of people’s right to health. So while it might be uncomfortable, I never fell silent. When advised by Zapatero and some health authorities in Venezuela, providing information on health programs, transparency has always prevailed.
Can we be proud that we believe that the virus will not infect us?
-Yeah. In the so-called First World, we thought we were ready for a pandemic. We used to think that this only happened in poor countries and that it would not reach us here. We’ve been arrogant, and that’s how Zapatero gets to know him when he talks to me.
Has the epidemic been politicized?
Fighting between parties, in all sects, has been very harmful in the face of the virus. Several branches came into play.
Evaluation from the natural sciences, scientific evaluation from the social sciences, and finally the political decisions that are made.
Are scientists, health workers, and politicians still not working together?
Politicians look to the short term. Many of his decisions are opportunistic and don’t argue well. They don’t have to know everything, but they do have to be smart enough to hear those prepared for health crisis issues.
What could they do?
With such a health emergency, it was necessary to implement vertical programs to stop the disease and reorient the entire structure. It should not be trusted that with only the current system, we have already had enough. In fact, it has proven not to be the case. Volunteers from all private centers and assistants from all health specialties and pharmacists should be trained, recruited, and included in a common strategy against Coronavirus.
In other countries, management seems to have been inadequate either.
But in many other people around us, with which we should compare ourselves, the number of deaths was much lower than in the state.
Does the epidemic reveal a lack of public health?
Yes, control of infectious diseases. It must be resolved as well as continue to be socially conscious. We can all take a lesson in how to combat infectious diseases.
What do you think of the biggest mistakes the Ministry of Health?
– In the beginning, when the first wave reached us, they weren’t flexible enough to conduct strict surveillance, with the definition of a COVID-19 case related to people who had come to the country from abroad. There were significant limitations to the PCR work. Deep down, they did not trust what they did in China, Korea, Norway … which, thanks to the intensity of their strategies, are in an excellent position. We had leaders who did not prioritize supporting the technical infrastructure to courageously face what was happening.
Do you think the alert status was announced too late?
-Yeah. The confinement came when the sports model said there was no other way out. The sudden rise in deaths was a direct consequence of this.
Do deficiencies also occur in the fourth wave?
There is little capacity to accept innovation, antigen tests and passports â € ”there is no confidence in the strategies of countries emerging from this epidemic.
Will the wrong dichotomy between economy and health make the same mistakes again?
The economy is suffering a lot, but raising the alarm in May will be reckless, and it is still too early. On this topic, I doubt that policymakers have heard of experts in the natural and social sciences. They did not listen to us to make a correct assessment.
You argue that politics has changed science. it’s the truth?
-Yeah. There was contamination in all respects, also from scientists and the media, who showed that upon reporting they were not as sterile as they claimed. I am very critical of partisanship, because I refuse to dogmatically defend any position.
One year with an open heart He concludes with a reference to the book the fish By Camo.
He severely criticized administrations, stating in his book that many epidemics have occurred in human history. Explain how the authorities at the time did not realize what was happening and believed the plague was not with them. For this reason, I end the book by remembering that despite some shouts of joy, the plague does not disappear, it will return. But I also give in to hope, because in spite of everything, there are things in man that are more admirable than contempt.
“From the mistakes of this crisis, we must draw lessons so that we do not repeat them in future epidemics.”
“A year with an open heart” a reflection full of hope, because there is light at the end of the tunnel
“The data that comes to us about vaccines is messy; there is no reliable information leadership.”