Should We All Have a Pandemic Health Index?
I become heartily sick of programmes analysing our lack of preparedness for the pandemic. We were not prepared and I doubt we ever will be. As mentioned in a previous post, I was tasked in 2005 to prepare a pandemic plan. I was the manager of Bereavement Services in Croydon. It was pure frustration. Nature, of course, has its own plan by which it simply kills people. This is usually, but not always, in due proportion to their vulnerabilities. However, people are not good at self analysis. Fitness, sex, weight, anxiety, these can be subjective states. So, it then begs the question, should we all have a pandemic health index?
Fit for what
The pandemic health index would be completed by your surgery. Because they hold a record of all your appointments, it would remove much of the subjectivity. They know whether you are on anti-depressants and therefore have a weaker immune system. The highest risk is age, and it worsens each year. Add a figure for weight, for fitness and co-morbidities, and you soon understand your risk factor. As the figure rises so your chance of recovery is reduced. This means that pandemic statistics can relate these figures to the death rate. Consequently, no longer will age be the defining factor. A fit old person, with a low index, will not be in the figures.
Pandemic health index
Without an index, people can readily sit back and rely on the NHS to rescue them. In their various age groups, if they see a lowish death rate, they can relax. Why bother? If, on the other hand, they know their index figure then it is far more meaningful. The risk is in the overall figure, not in any single factor, like age or weight.
The truth of the matter
Government should be far more truthful about risk factors. The cost, for the NHS, Public Health, housing and benefits, is far too great for our weakening economy. People must not believe lying politicians who say we can spend our way out of this problem. We will see more people in poverty and this means more ill health. For most of us, sitting back and relying on government spending is a futile quest. The answer, to a high degree, has to include personal responsibility. That is about reducing ones index. If we fail, the next pandemic will reduce our number all on its own.