The effect of the pandemic has been overwhelming. And if the country has shown civility and unity in the face of restrictions, shortcomings and inadequacies, it is surprising that there is no critical assessment of the measures taken, made imperative in the face of the resurgence of the pandemic in a difficult fall. Proverbial incapacity for continuous and persistent action, a national idiosyncrasy that oscillates between dazzling, fear and indifference – whatever one may see.
What will happen in the different sectors of national life? In Education, whose problems have not been overcome, such as recurrent complaints from teachers to operational assistants (continuous, in the old nomenclature), structural deficiencies and pre-pandemic public protests are obviously warning signs. runners. Is the education system ready? The initial response to the pandemic shock was overall positive, despite known limitations. And if new technologies are indeed a valuable complementary means, which should not be neglected, guaranteeing indispensable means and resources – the promises of a great media impact, but not yet kept, are an additional factor of concern – no one doubts that face-to-face education is fundamental.
And another equally significant dimension: the participation and responsibility of Families, which, in connection with a discipline, burst into the public debate in an unexpected way, but perhaps timely and with surprises, from recourse to the courts, to the polarization of positions with national expression. And if there are valid arguments on both sides, it is important to stress that in a democratic society, education for citizenship is a public duty, it is not exclusive to any educational agent, but a shared responsibility, by the School, the Families and the social, cultural and sporting groups. It presupposes the defense of the fundamental values which are our civilizational heritage and the foundation of solidarity and multiculturalism – we often forget that the multicultural dimension has flourished only in Western democratic societies – as well as the promotion of individual rights, responsibilities and respect for diversity. Education is an exercise of and for freedom and cannot be confused with the pretext of cluttering or shaping the minds of students in the name of any political idea or philosophy of fashion. It is to give the tools and the tools of learning which allow the knowledge, the comprehension of reality, the capacity to solve problems and to learn to think.
I hoped, and I wrote, that the pandemic would give rise to a debate on education which, despite a solid basic training, would provide space and time for the exercise of reflection, the confrontation of ideas. and student initiatives. And let me remind you of Montaigne’s essays two lessons that I quote in the original so that they do not lose impact: testimony of his memory, more by that of his behavior. Perhaps they are useful, for an education which prepares citizens for the future, capable of adapting and changing, and not the obedient guardians of all orthodoxy.
Comparative evolution of the number of new cases (mean 7 and 14 days). Source: COVID Report No. 91, by JAS
I return to health. The successive failures in controlling the spread of the pandemic had a multifactorial etiology: limitations and neglect in institutions, especially in homes, indiscipline in the behavior of citizens, insufficient human resources, inconsistency among decision-makers. The situation is potentially serious, as shown in Table I, with an analysis of 11 EU countries, where the number of cases has increased significantly in France and Spain and maintains an upward trend with figures at 14 and 7 days greater than the values considered safe by the EU, combined in only three countries: Italy, Germany and Poland.
A communication strategy persists which has failed to sensitize and mobilize the population, to call for the discipline of behavior and the acceptance of sacrifices in the name of the health and good of all, including credibility and exemption were called into question, compromising the state. In the fight against the pandemic, we must recover from delays in clinical care, which is a pressing need and a serious health problem. Will we have to wait until 2021 to analyze the mortality statistics, as suggested, etc.? appreciate the full extent of the problem?
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Recovering delays in consultations, surgeries for non-covid-19 diseases and treating pandemics without blocking the most differentiated hospital capacity must be the goals. But what is the strategy? The same autism seems to persist that confuses health system resources with the public NHS, and the inability to mobilize all available resources, public, private and social. Refocusing the fight against covid-19 in the most different hospitals will necessarily lead to its paralysis.
We now know better that the disease is fundamentally benign, that only a small percentage of contaminants will require hospital care and even less intensive care, where the success of the treatment has benefited from experience. The challenge is to contain the spread of the pandemic in a functioning society. For this reason, outpatient medical services, public health centers, and private or social sector clinics are essential for effective screening and referral of patients. And public health with capacity for action, autonomy and consistency in action. It is essential to equip these establishments with the means, the preparation, the organization and the rules so that everyone knows what to do and how, without stopping the rest of the clinical activity. This is a challenge for the health system and the dimension of which does not seem to me clearly stated. Containing the pandemic and its damage will depend a lot on each of us, on our individual responsibility in respecting the rules of good health behavior. By knowing more about the disease and having better means to intervene, we must meet the challenge we face with sobriety, rigor and determination.
PS: Two notes. A few weeks ago, in this journal, I mentioned the Bismarkian and Beveridian models in the organization of health care. ADSE is an example of compulsory social insurance, of the Bismarkian type, which favors the patient’s right to choose. We have learned that the government recognizes its advantages and intends to extend its field of action to more civil servants. A sign of change? A breach in ideological monolithism? Professional organization is necessary. Noblesse oblige, it was said; replace the nobility with republican responsibility and a certain current controversy is perceived on the necessary independence of those who govern.