How “America first” undermines our health
Huffington Post - 04/11/2017
People value their health. It allows them to pursue their aims and enjoy their lives, and it contributes to their well-being. But health is not only good for particular healthy individuals. It is also good for their families, communities, nations, and in a world in which people flows are global, health is good for the global community. Health fosters robust economies and fruitful innovation. It has a spillover effect. Because people are socially embedded, it is difficult to exclude others from the good and bad health of individuals. This can be clearly seen with respect to contagious diseases, and with vaccinations and herd immunity. If enough people have been vaccinated, the immunity provided by the vaccination is conferred on people who have not been vaccinated. In the absence of social isolation, the benefits (and harms) of health extend to others. Not only does one person’s health not deprive others of health, it very often contributes to the health of others.