Prevention through design (PtD) is a proactive approach to risk management often used within the safety and health field. Given the fact that we are in a global health pandemic and our approach to preventing the spread of the virus has been less than stellar, please share your thoughts on ways you feel PtD could have been used when our public health officials first became aware of the potential threat (last year) to minimize the spread of the Corona virus in the United States.
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One way I think PtD could have been used is in a national response to the pandemic, rather than forcing each state to come up with solutions. This would have included the US government using its purchasing power to acquire PPE and ventilators and create a national repository, instead of forcing the states to scramble to get the necessary supplies. Nationwide guidance on closures and travel restrictions might have helped reduce the confusion. Once we learned more about the virus, directing money to schools and hospitals to improve their ventilation systems might have helped reduce the spread.
Focusing on prevention, maintaining a pandemic response task force to coordinate the response to a future pandemic as well as a national PPE repository could make a future pandemic less severe. The “just-in-time” inventory system may increase efficiency, but it doesn’t work when a lot of a certain item is needed in a short time period.