Questions to ponder on virtual reality

  1. Who are You™ and who are you virtually?
  2. Is the internet real?
  3. With the app-ification of the world, healthcare has seen more than its fair share of internet-delivered health interventions crop up. From mental health treatment (for anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, OCD) to addiction mitigation (for tobacco, alcohol, cannabis) to physical health improvement (diet, physical activity, hypertension), hundreds of apps have been developed to cure what ails us. On the whole, are these healthcare apps helpful, harmful, or neutral? Put more pointedly, do they represent “the shape of things to come” in medicine or is this the same old snake oil in new bottles?
  4. Is this discussion a “virtual” discussion? Is it a real one? (Is it “virtually real”?) 
  5. Iserson (2018) posits that “use of VR in medical education should increase patient safety and societal confidence in clinicians’ procedural skills, because inexperienced students, residents and practicing physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants will no longer need to use living and newly dead patients or animals as teaching fodder.” Do you agree with the general “gist” of that statement? Would you trust a newly graduated medical student who was taught primarily in “virtual” settings? What benefits are there to a medical education delivered “virtually” as opposed to one given in “reality”?
  6. In what ways can ethics be taught through virtual/extended/augmented reality?
  7. Is the reality of health care extending itself too far? No longer is a patient confined to the bedside for monitoring, often a physician will confirm a prediction first made by an algorithm, surgery is performed by robots: the human element slips away from the human science of medicine. Will these trends in the long run make for “objectively” better medical care?
  8. Has the internet made the world healthier?
  9. Physicians, it would seem, are already performing their work virtually. According to a 2013 study, a physician on average spends approximately 28% of their time directly treating patients, 12% of their time reviewing test results and records, 13% of their time in discussion with colleagues, and 44% of their time on data entry. The alarming figure of 4,000 mouse clicks a day entering and reviewing data was found. Physicians regularly speak of being overworked and interacting with patients less. Yet, more and more of their time is demanded in service of keeping records in lieu of treating patients. What can be done to mitigate physicians from becoming glorified data entrants? (Conversely, and in reference to question 7, what can be done to prevent data models from becoming physicians?)
  10. I understand that “killing” something playing a video game is not the same thing as “killing” something in reality. Yet, is there not some relation between the two? What does a consistent and readily available form of engaging entertainment involving mass violence do to people?
  11. Are you “accurately” represented by your social media presence(s)?
  12. Are “you” being tracked accurately by all those algorithms that find us? Could there exist a meta-bias for the types of algorithms you attract? (For example, do those with gambling problems preferentially face being presented with advertisements for sports betting?) And if so, what sort of “anti bias” training would we have to ensure these algorithms go through? 
  13. Can one be addicted to Internet?

217 headlines from March 2021

  1. France’s Sarkozy convicted of corruption, sentenced to jail
  2. Hundreds claim decades of abuse by 150 youth center staffers
  3. Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment
  4. USDA puts brakes on land transfer for Arizona copper mine
  5. US announces $125 million defense aid package for Ukraine
  6. India Suspects China May Be Behind Major Mumbai Blackout
  7. Ex-pope Benedict chides ‘fanatical’ Catholics who reject his resignation
  8. Biden vows enough vaccine for all US adults by end of May
  9. Texas governor lifts mask mandate and allows businesses to open at 100% capacity despite health officials warnings
  10. FBI chief warns violent ‘domestic terrorism’ growing in US
  11. Jihadis attack town, humanitarian posts in northeast Nigeria
  12. Hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls released days after kidnapping
  13. SUV-big rig crash kills more than a dozen in Imperial County
  14. 6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images
  15. Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol
  16. Man injures 8 with an ax in Sweden before being shot, arrested
  17. Man who used van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto guilty
  18. Myanmar security forces kill at least 34 protestors
  19. Germany Places Far-Right AfD Party Under Surveillance for Extremism
  20. SUV in crash where 13 died came through hole in border fence
  21. Pipe bomb found, safely detonated at Iowa polling location
  22. WHO Investigators to Scrap Plans for Interim Report on Probe of COVID-19 Origins
  23. Indian man accused of beheading daughter in apparent “honor killing”
  24. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett delivers 1st opinion
  25. SpaceX Starship lands upright, then explode in latest test
  26. Transgender Woman Expelled From South Korean Army Is Found Dead
  27. Police request 60-day extension of Guard at US Capitol
  28. Army, private firm, fights accused of Mozambique war crimes
  29. Pope Francie Arrives in Iraq
  30. Yemen’s Houthis claim missile attack on Saudi oil facility
  31. Tsunami Warning Lifted for New Zealand After 8.1-Magnitude Earthquake
  32. Earthquake swarm in Iceland could hint at even bigger event
  33. Quake-ravaged part of Croatia sees gaping sinkholes emerge
  34. Great apes receive COVID-19 vaccine at San Diego Zoo
  35. China boosts defense spending by 6.8% amid debt, pandemic
  36. Senate passes Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 bill
  37. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama gets vaccine shot
  38. California OKs reopening ballparks, Disneyland
  39. At least 20 killed by suicide car bomb near restaurant in Somalia capital
  40. Protests intensify as Senegal opposition leader Ousmane Sonko faces rape charge
  41. Venezuela’s Maduro receives first dose of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine
  42. China-Linked Hack Hits Tens of Thousands of U.S. Microsoft Customers
  43. Pope Prays Amid Ruins of Iraqi Churches Destroyed by IS
  44. Top China Diplomat Warns Biden to Tread Carefully on Taiwan
  45. Idaho parents and kids burn masks in front of state Capitol
  46. Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides
  47. UN fails to approve call to end Tigray violence
  48. China confirms African swine fever outbreaks in Sichuan, Hubei provinces
  49. Switzerland Approves Ban on Face Coverings in Public
  50. Fully vaccinated people can gather without masks, CDC says
  51. Death toll soars to 98 after arms depot explosions in Equatorial Guinea’s largest city
  52. U.S. says Russian-backed outlets are spreading Covid vaccine ‘disinformation’
  53. Myanmar Military Storms Universities and Hospitals, Revokes Press Licenses
  54. Philippines police kill 9 in raids on suspect rebels
  55. Saudi Arabia oil facilities targeted in drone and missile attack by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen
  56. US presents warring Afghan sides with draft peace agreement
  57. Arkansas governor signs near-total abortion ban into law
  58. Bangladesh TV hires country’s 1st transgender news anchor
  59. US prosecutors allege Honduras presidents helped move drugs
  60. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs $2.5 billion COVID-19 relief funding
  61. Pentagon to extend National Guard troops at US Capitol
  62. Student says she lied about beheaded teacher sharing Muhammed caricatures
  63. Mich. High School Student Accidentally Detonates Explosive in Class, Injures Himself and 5 Others
  64. Merrick Garland Is Confirmed as Attorney General
  65. House passes landmark $1.9T COVID bill, delivers Biden first legislative win
  66. Ghost Towns of Fukushima Remain Empty After Decade-Long Rebuild
  67. Brazil, Hit by Covid-19 Variant, Surpasses U.S. in Daily Cases and Deaths
  68. Asia Shoppers Buy Taiwan Pineapples as Support, Defying China Ban
  69. Mexico to rely heavily on Chinese vaccines
  70. Malaysian court rules non-Muslims can use ‘Allah’
  71. President Biden signs $1.9T Covid relief stimulus bill into law
  72. Gov Cuomo groping allegation reported to police
  73. Aruká Juma, Last Man of His Tribe, Dies
  74. Judge reinstates third-degree murder charge against ex-cop Derek Chauvin in George Floyd’s death
  75. Mexico Passes Bill to Legalize Cannabis
  76. Parliament votes to declare entire EU an LGBT ‘freedom zone’
  77. China passes law to control Hong Kong elections
  78. City of Minneapolis reaches $27M settlement with George Floyd’s family
  79. 30 Students Kidnapped in Northwest Nigeria
  80. Bolivia’s ex-interim president faces arrest warrant for terrorism and sedition
  81. Schumer, Gillibrand call on NY Gov. Cuomo to resign
  82. US offers temporary legal residency to people from Myanmar
  83. Olympic host Japan will not take part in China vaccine offer
  84. Live Action Role-Playing Love Triangle Ends in Pipe Bomb Attack
  85. Sri Lanka to ban burqas, close over 1,000 Islamic schools
  86. US resumes aid to Yemen’s rebels north as famine threatens
  87. Chicago River dyed green in surprise move by city’s mayor
  88. At least 12 killed in protests in Myanmar; civilian vice-president vows resistance to junta
  89. London police officer charged with murder of Sarah Everard
  90. Italy imposed Easter lockdown amid COVID-19 spike
  91. Tesla Plant Elon Musk Reopened Logged Hundreds of Infections
  92. Dutch police break up anti-gov’t protest on eve of election
  93. North Korea ‘not responding’ to US contact efforts
  94. Fury as Charlie Hebdo magazine cover shows Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck
  95. Mormon leader says family donation to Biden was ‘oversight’
  96. Sarah Everard’s vigil aggressively broken up by London police
  97. Protests erupt in Jordan after COVID-19 hospital deaths scandal
  98. Major arms sales flat in 2016-20 for first time in more than a decade
  99. Vatican Says Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Marriages
  100. 2 Arrests in Assault on Police Office Who Died After Capitol Riot
  101. Factory Fires Point to China Tensions as Violence Escalates in Myanmar
  102. Flights canceled during China’s worst sandstorm in a decade
  103. Nigerian Gunmen Kidnap Primary-School Children in Latest Mass Abduction
  104. Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine
  105. Myanmar junta orders martial law in large area of Yangon
  106. Israeli experts announce discovery of more Dead Sea scrolls
  107. China authorizes fourths COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
  108. Ethiopia’s Amhara Seizes Disputed Territory Amid Tigray War
  109. 7 dead in shootings at 3 massage parlors across metro Atlanta
  110. Gunmen kill at least 58 in attack on Niger market sellers
  111. US woman givers birth to first known baby with Covid antibodies, doctors say
  112. Senator alleges FBI’s Brett Kavanaugh investigation may have been “fake”
  113. John Magufuli, Tanzania leader Who Played Down Covid, Dies at 61
  114. IRS postpones April 15 U.S. tax deadline to May 17
  115. Texas Man Arrested With Guns, Ammo Outside of Vice Presidential Residence
  116. Racist extremists pose most deadly terrorist threat to US, intelligence report warns
  117. Japan’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional By District Court
  118. House passes bill to renew Violence Against Women Act
  119. Michigan Murse Arrested For Stealing Covid Vaccine
  120. 21 states sue Biden for revoking Keystone XL pipeline permit
  121. AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine Cleared by EU After Blood-Clot Concerns
  122. Spanish lawmakers approve bill legalising euthanasia
  123. China and U.S. open Alaska meeting with undiplomatic war of words
  124. Over 300 victims ‘sexually abused through Germany’s top diocese’ in Cologne
  125. Gunmen kill 13 police in ambush in central Mexico
  126. U.S. Homelessness Rises for 4th Straight Year
  127. U.S. Surpasses 100 Million Covid-19 Vaccines Administered
  128. CDC Says Schools Can Now Space Students 3 Feet Apart, Rather than 6
  129. Cuomo Faces New Claims of Sexual Harassment From Current Aide
  130. Biden stumbles multiple times, falls as he scales Air Force One stairs
  131. Biden, Harris offering solace to grieving Asian Americans
  132. Samia Suluhu Hassan becomes Tanzania’s first woman president
  133. Idaho Legislature shuts down due to COVID-19 outbreak
  134. Miami Beach declares state of emergency over spring break crowds
  135. One dead, 12 injured in separate Texas nightclub shootings
  136. Volcano erupts in Iceland for first time in 6,000 years
  137. 6 Lions Found Dead In Ugandan National Park
  138. Jury members seated for Chauvin trial, judge denies defense request for delay or move
  139. Russian man pleads guilty in Nevada to plot to extort Tesla
  140. UNLV plans in-person graduation in May
  141. Donald Trump plans to launch a social network in ‘two to three months’
  142. Doctors protest in Myanmar as state violence continues
  143. Canadian Pacific to buy Kansas City Southern in $25 billion railroad merger
  144. Congo-Brazenville presidential candidate in hospital with Covid-19
  145. Turkey pulls out of international accord aimed at protecting women from violence
  146. Saudi-led Warplanes Strike Houthi Rebel Targets in Yemen After Aramco Attack
  147. Philippine troops rescue Indonesian hostages and kill top Abu Sayyaf militant
  148. U.S., allies announce sanctions on China over Uyghur ‘genocide’
  149. Saudi Arabia offers cease-fire plan to Yemen rebels
  150. Taiwan Grounds Aging F-5 Fighters After Fatal Mid-Air Collision
  151. Congolese presidential candidate dies from Covid on election day
  152. Fire destroys thousands of homes in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh
  153. Philippines demands Chinese fishing flotilla leave disputed South China Sea reef
  154. China Is Investigating Heaps of Dead Pigs Along the Yellow River
  155. North Korea Conducts First Weapons Test Since Biden Inauguration
  156. Sens. Duckworth, Hirono Will Block Biden Nominees Over Lack of AAPI Representation
  157. No clear winner in Israeli election, signaling more deadlock
  158. Volcanic ash shuts down international airport in Guatemala
  159. Top Saudi official issued death threat against UN investigator
  160. Colorado Shooting Suspect Surrendered to SWAT, Charged With 10 Counts of Murder
  161. Undetonated bomb found at apartment in Kalamazoo Westlodge Hill neighborhood
  162. Ever Given, the massive cargo ship that ran aground in Suez Canal, is still stuck
  163. Facebook says Chinese hackers used platform to hack Uyghurs abroad
  164. GSK fires ex-Operation Warp Speed chief Moncef Slaoui over ‘substantiated’ sexual harassment claims
  165. Pope order salary cuts for cardinals, clerics to save jobs of employees
  166. 137 People Killed in Niger in Series of Attacks on Villages Along Mali Border
  167. Rachel Levine Is First Openly Transgender Official Confirmed by Senate
  168. First Dogs Return To White House After Major Biden Causes Minor Injury
  169. Biden Holds First Formal News Conference
  170. Man with body armor, guns, possible explosive arrested at University of Kentucky hospital
  171. Bank of England Unveils 50-Pound Note Featuring Alan Turing
  172. New Zealand Approves Paid Leave After A Miscarriage
  173. Taiwan says it has begun mass producing long-range missiles
  174. China attacks foreign clothing, shoe brands over Xinjiang
  175. Georgia Gov. Kemp signs GOB election bill amid outcry
  176. Trains Collide in Egypt, Killing at Least 32
  177. Yemen rebels hit, set ablaze fuel tank in south Saudi Arabia
  178. Ethiopian Prime Minister says Eritrea will withdraw troops from Tigray
  179. China sanctions Britons over West’s Xinjiang criticism
  180. Iranian missile hits Israeli-owned cargo ship in Arabian Sea
  181. U.S., Taiwan Sign Coast Guard Deal to Counter Chinese Pressure
  182. Michigan GOP chair calls top Democratic women ‘witches’, mentions assassination
  183. At least 114 killed in Myanmar in deadliest day since start of protests
  184. Convoy of fleeing civilians ambushed in besieged Mozambique town
  185. China flies at least 20 war planes in Taiwan airspace
  186. Baltimore will no longer prosecute drug possession, prostitution, and other low-level offenses
  187. Modi’s Visit to Bangladesh Sets of Violent Protests
  188. Homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake cleared after 2 nights of protests resulting in arrests
  189. Iran, China sign 25-year cooperation agreement
  190. Suicide Bombing Wounds 20 In Indonesia Church on Palm Sunday
  191. New York lawmakers agree to legalize recreational marijuana
  192. 8 people injured and 2 killed in mass shooting in Virginia Beach
  193. Islamist insurgents seize northern Mozambique town of Palma
  194. Beijing Hit by Sandstorm Again as Pollution Goes Off the Charts
  195. Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia accuse soldier of abuse
  196. Pope, on Palm Sunday, says devil taking advantage of pandemic
  197. Suez Canal Ship Is Free
  198. WHO draft report says animals likely source of COVID-19
  199. CDC chief warns of ‘impending doom’ as Covid cases surge
  200. Maryland man fatally shoots 4, including his parents, before killing self
  201. Serial killer on federal death row dies at Indiana hospital
  202. SolarWinds hack obtained emails of top U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials
  203. US Suspends Trade With Myanmar Over Civilian Deaths
  204. Report from WHO team finds virus likely jumped from animals, not from lab leak
  205. Brazil on edge as three military chiefs resign after Bolsonaro fires defense minister
  206. China sharply reduces elected seats in Hong Kong legislature
  207. Nato intercepts Russian planes ’10 times in a day’
  208. Three Women Working to Vaccinate Children Shot Dead in Afghanistan
  209. Cherry blossoms’ earliest peak in 1,200 years linked to climate change
  210. 10 Chinese military aircraft intrude into Taiwan’s ADIZ
  211. Biden Details $2 Trillion Plan to Rebuild Infrastructure and Reshape Economy
  212. Macron Announces France Going Into 4-Week Lockdown
  213. Pentagon Announces New Policies For Transgender People To Serve Openly
  214. Navalny Declares a Hunger Strike in Prison Over Medical Care
  215. Niger Government Confirms Military Coup Attempt Thwarted
  216. Myanmar protestors launch ‘garbage strike’ as death toll since coup tops 500
  217. Fighting Escalates in Eastern Ukraine, Signaling the End to Another Cease-Fire

Questions to ponder on accidents

  1. Who are you and why are you here?
  2. Diagnosis is a conclusion resulting from an observation of symptoms and a knowledge of human conditions during the practice of the medical arts and sciences. Error can manifest in the enterprise at just about any level – a mistake in observation, an omission of symptoms, an incomplete knowledge of human conditions – and cascade forward, affecting prognosis and treatment. As such an incorrect diagnosis is a singular form of “accidental” medical error. Under what circumstances is an individual practitioner at fault? Can the medical system itself be at fault? Are there times when neither is error and accidents just happen?
  3. Schubert et al. identify four aspects to a framework of identifying liability in medical error: intent (what was a practitioner trying to do), etiology (is there a causal connection between an action and an undesired result?), context (could others of skill in the art have identified/prevented the error readily?), and outcome (does the error result in harm?). Are these four facets sufficient? Is there any feature you would add/eliminate/(de)emphasize?
  4. How do we assign blame?
  5. A surgeon, working 12 hours straight on a difficult and complex open chest heart surgery in the final hour nicks a small vein. After completing the surgery, the patient awakens, spends a few days in recovery, is able to go home. A week after surgery, on the way to their check-in appointment, the patient suffers a cardiac event resulting from the small wound in the nicked vein. Could anything have been done to prevent this or is this “just the way that it goes”?
  6. There has been a trend in modern healthcare systems to shift away from blame and punishment of medical errors in order to facilitate disclosure of said errors. What’s more, self-blame – such as guilt, regret, and remorse – can lead to negative psychological effects on individual practitioner, possibly worsening their abilities. Tigard posits “those who take the blame are in the best position to offer apologies and show that mistakes are being taken seriously, thereby allowing harmed patients and families to move forward in the wake of medical error.” Should medical practitioners take on more active role in their errors (I made a mistake) or a more passive role (mistakes were made)?
  7. Do the “systems” of medicine preferentially/implicitly/necessarily induce accidents in people of color more often than others?
  8. “Medical error” has been identified as the third leading cause of death of the United States with studies putting the annual toll in the hundreds of thousands. Who or what is at fault for these massive casualties? Can the regularity of these deaths (on the order of one every other minute) be said to be accidental or systemic? 
  9. Tort law is ultimately intended to promote rectificatory justice, i.e., to pay for harms done. One study found the cost of the medical liability system to be approximately 2.4 percent of total healthcare spending in America (or about $91 billion last year). Is this too much, too little, or just about the right amount of money to be spending on medical errors? (Note, this does not account for the cost of the loss of life due to medical error, merely in the insurance and litigation of such errors.)
  10. “Moral luck” is the contingency of circumstance in moral actions. Consider the scenario in which two doctors are tasked with determining the presence of cancer in their patients, one in the habit of ordering a standard suite of tests intended to diagnosis a wide range of cancers (resulting in larger medical bills, but fewer misdiagnoses) and one who orders narrowly tailored tests based on the observation of symptoms, conditions, and second opinions (resulting in lower medical bills, but an increased possibility of a missed diagnosis). Is one practicing medicine more legitimately than the other? If a patient presents with a difficult case (uncommunicative patient, incomplete medical records, rare cancer), and one fails to diagnose the patient, are they “in error”? Would the patient’s demise in such a case be an accident?
  11. There will come a time when our condition(s) will be diagnosed by both an artificial intelligence and a human medical practitioner. Who ought to make the first diagnosis and who the confirmatory diagnosis?
  12. If a machine-learning algorithm used to aid diagnosis makes an “error” who is at fault?
  13. Fate and Fortune being as they are draw our souls into a world of circumstance and happenstance. Are/Were we meant to be here?
  14. Is it better to come (or go) “on accident” or “on purpose”? 

Their names

Tralona Bartkowiak, 49

Suzanne Fountain, 59

Teri Leiker, 51

Kevin Mahoney, 61

Lynn Murray, 62

Rikki Olds, 25

Nevan Stanisic, 23

Denny Strong, 20

Eric Talley, 51

Jody Waters, 65


Their names

Daoyou Feng, 44, “just the sweetest, kindest, most giving person”

Hyun Jung Grant, 51, “I could say whatever word that comes to my head for her, but it doesn’t encompass a fraction of what she meant to us.”

Suncha Kim, 69, “She represented everything I wanted to be as a woman, without an ounce of hate or bitterness in her heart.”

Paul Andre Michels, 54, “He was just a regular guy, very good-hearted, very soft-natured.”

Soon Chung Park, 74, “She got along with her family so well.”

Xiaojie Tan, 49, “She did everything for me and the family. She provided everything.”

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, “She has two beautiful babies she is leaving behind.”

Yong Ae Yue, 63, “She was always there for her kids.”

 


A march in March in Ann Arbor

About three dozen people walked from the steps of Hatcher Graduate Library through downtown Ann Arbor and back to the Diag on March 13 to call attention to systemic racism in policing and the mattering of black lives.

The march began at about 2:45 p.m. local time.

The participants walked through E. William St. up to S. Main St. with a police escort at their front, their rear, and their sides, with multiple police vehicles blocking intersections and crosswalks to protect the demonstrators from traffic.

Leading the group were two women who initiated call and response shouts with those in tow including “No justice”/”No peace”, “What do we want?”/”Justice”/”When do we want it?”/”Now”, and “How do you spell ‘murder'”/”A-A-P-D”.

A couple of families participating brought up the rear.

From S. Main St. traveled north to E. Huron St. to stand for a moment at the intersection in front of the Washtenaw County Courthouse. Upon reaching the intersection, the leaders listed off names to be remembered including Aura Rosser, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Two minutes of silence were asked for, only one was taken.

A police officer, having heard from a driver trying to make a northbound turn from Huron onto Main, directed traffic around the demonstrators.

The moment of silence observed, the protestors walked east down Huron St., where the street had been cleared for blocks by police in anticipation of the protestors route. Outside of City Hall, the leader with the microphone noted that rather than being fired for having killed a black person, an Ann Arbor Police Officer received a promotion.

Locals along the route watched with varying degrees of agreeableness. 

The protestors turned south onto State St., close to the University of Michigan.

Finally, the protestors returned to the Diag for a short speech from the leaders commending their participation and urging them to continue in their efforts.

The event ended around 3:30 p.m.


Questions to ponder on infection

  1. Who are you and how are you holding up on this pandemiciversary?
  2. Communicable, infectious, and “tropical” diseases kill millions each year. Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, typhoid, influenza, hepatitis, meningitis, pertussis, malaria, dengue, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, ebola, and others causes by bacterial, viral, and parasitic infection have ended the lives of billions of the humans who have ever lived. And yet, these infections do not kill equally. According to the WHO, of the top 10 leading causes of death in high-income countries, only one is due to infection. In low-income countries, 6 of the top 10 are from infections. What is it about money that protects populations from infection?
  3. Certainly, we can all agree that we each have a responsibility to avoid (as best we can) infecting others with diseases we might have. To what extent do we have a responsibility to prevent infectious spread between others?
  4. If you could eliminate one infectious disease, which would it be and why?
  5. It is argued by some that vaccines development could be accelerated/improved by conducting controlled human infection studies. That is, if we infect folks with a known virus at a known time and subject them to a known treatment, researchers could potentially get “better” data than what presents (sporadically) in clinical situations. Under what conditions would intentional infections in human studies be acceptable? Could similar arguments be made for the intentional breaking of bones or the development of cancer within human beings to “improve” treatment for those disorders?
  6. Infectious diseases can be and has been used as weapons against others. From small pox blankets to HIV-infect men raping others, the purposeful spreading of contagion can be a means of inflicting a unique form of violence. And at least to my mind, a singularly onerous form. What facet(s) of this violence make it distinct from others?
  7. In war there is violence: violence “justified” by state actors (or their equivalents) for state interventions (or their equivalents). Can/Could/Should infectious disease ever be a legitimate form of violence waged in war? Why or why not?
  8. When does a herd have a right to demand immunity? What just means do we have at our disposal to enforce it? Put more practically, could/should/will the University of Michigan require proof of a Covid-19 vaccination to be a student campus?
  9. Morens & Fauci (2007) suggest “if a novel virus as pathogenic as that of 1918 were to reappear today, a substantial proportion of a potential 1.9 million fatalities (assuming 1918 attack and case-fatality rates in the current US population) could be prevented with aggressive public-health and medical interventions”. Was the United States’ response to the novel coronavirus met with sufficiently aggressive public-health and medical interventions? Is it currently meeting it aggressively enough?
  10. When/Will SARS-CoV-2 infections end?