Pandemic Preparedness. Unusual times mean learning from as wide a range of schools of thought as possible to formulate meaningfully layered policy.
Pandemic Preparedness: Need for inclusion
Experts repeatedly warn we will never be ‘back to normal‘ but leadership practices throughout the world lead a reputation for ignoring details.
Poor professional judgment impacts economically powerless people.
Ethics, Leadership and Pandemic Preparedness
When unethical leadership practices are an acceptably exploited norm, they obstruct social justice for much wider and broader communities. This allows brands to be attacked as disreputable and face dwindling market value.
Unethical decision-making results in inequality. Leaders must ensure their policies are compliant and inclusive to be prepared for future disruptions.
A study published by the American Journal of Public Health finds:
“Pandemic influenza planning in the United States and most of the world violates the demands of social justice in 2 fundamental respects: it embraces the neutrality of procedural justice at the expense of more substantive concern with health disparities, thus perpetuating a predictable, preventable, historical social wrong, and it fails to move beyond lament to practical planning geared toward alleviating access barriers.
A substantive social justice approach should inform pandemic planning.
Planners should partner with at-risk communities to ensure that their needs are met. Those who will suffer disparate effects of pandemics or other public health disasters should receive preference in the distribution or rationing of resources, so that they may be protected from further harm. Social vulnerabilities linked to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and other social stratifications should not carry a sentence of avoidable ill health and death from infectious disease.”
I want to encourage you to read the full, short report and consider the implications for your organisation in a post-COVID world (whenever that happens).
Pandemic Preparedness and OHS Policy Questions
Occupational health and safety has many considerations:
- How to ensure all workers are compliant with new safety regulations?
- How to ensure equitable access to information, support and counseling?
- Will we prevent discrimination against those who are most vulnerable to epidemics/pandemics and who are predisposed towards being more vulnerable?