After months of living with COVID-19, many of us feel we are experts in what we should do to be safe. We wash our hands, wear our masks and disinfect our surfaces. Although we have thought a lot about the health effects of our actions, fewer of us have given serious consideration to the ethical effects, especially as more companies reopen and orders start to relax. Is it OK to go to restaurants? Going supports a local company (good!), But could endanger workers (bad!). Traveling out of town, getting in touch with friends and family, ordering things online … In the words of Jonathan Van Ness, just because you're an American doesn't mean you should be an American.
“When we look at the balance of the economy and protect public health and think about what risk (in terms of infection with the virus) is acceptable, we come across a number of ethical problems,” he says. Shira Shafir, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and an expert in the field of health ethics. "I think it's particularly important to ask two questions: First, do my actions increase the risk of someone being infected? Second, I ask someone else to take a risk of exposure to this virus that I don't want to go in? "
“First, do my actions increase the risk of someone else getting infected? Second, am I asking someone else to take a risk of exposure to this virus that I do not want to take? "
Dr. Shafir notes that, in her opinion, it would certainly be helpful if the government intervened to reduce the economic burden that the pandemic has put on so many – but if it doesn't, we just have to take care of each other.
“To survive this pandemic, we have to move from a focus on individual wellbeing to a focus on the wellbeing of the entire community. Until we have a safe and effective vaccine, we will rely on people to change their behavior to control the spread of this pandemic. This means that you always have to wear a mask when you're not at home to protect others. Keep a distance of two meters from anyone you are not in a bubble with and generally consider the wellbeing of others at all times. "
With this in mind, we have Dr. Shafir asked to consider some common situations we find ourselves in as we navigate life during these times.
Hire a tutor or babysitter to come to your home for childcare or lessons
"In general, this situation is not an ethical problem as people have a clear discussion about expectations regarding Behaviors to prevent the spread of the virus, I think this illustrates a much larger ethical problem in society where we will see a huge gap between those who have the resources to pay at home Childcare or instruction and those who don't. "
Dine on site in a restaurant
“I assume that formulates the question as follows: Do I risk life or do I save restaurants? The answer is both. The person offering this table service may have had to work to take care of their family. It is therefore important not to increase the risk of infection. Take away is a better option that allows you to have the food you crave, but still
support a restaurant and its workers. Outdoor activities are generally less risky than indoor activities. Wearing masks when you are within three feet of someone with whom you are not in a “bubble” helps to significantly reduce this risk. So if you dine outside on a restaurant terrace, the risk is less. However, it is important that you always wear your mask when you are not eating so that you do not unnecessarily increase the risk to the server. And tip well. "
Invite friends or family to your home
"We now have plenty of evidence that people spread COVID when they have it social gatherings. I would recommend not having social gatherings. If Someone chooses it, outside is better than inside and masks on critical! Creating a bubble or pod is a better option. That means finding A small group of people with whom you agree to only socialize. To do This allows people to engage in human interaction, but also reduces the risk of Outbreaks. "
Order food delivery
“For me, this is an example of how you ask someone to take a risk that you are taking are not ready to take. In my opinion, if you are healthy and low risk, it means go to the supermarket myself. In any case give a good tip. "
Order packages from Amazon or other online stores
“Amazon workers have protested to demand safer working conditions in the middle of the pandemic. We know that people risk their health and their family’s health to make sure consumers have what they need, so I would recommend buying only the bare minimum. "
Leaving a city with a high infection rate to stay in a more remote area with fewer cases
"We now have a lot of data to support the fact that when people have done so They took the virus with them and sowed new outbreaks in the distance Resorts that often have less capacity to deal with serious problems Infections. Unless someone brings all of their food with them and not interact with the community in the place you're visiting, me think this is looking for their own interests above those of Community. "
Watch professional sports or other entertainment that require players, performers, or staff to work personally
"I actually feel a little different because for most Professional athletes were given the opportunity to unsubscribe play. That means all major sports leagues need regular Testing their players and other collaborators, and where I think we'll get involved An ethical problem is the use of these tests for athletes so that they can play if we still don't have enough tests to diagnose those who are infected in time."
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