COVID-19: decision-making in public health

Against a background of stalling UK life expectancy, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a different way of working for public health to respond quickly to new and many demands. At the same time, public health teams had to ensure they did not concentrate on the immediate crisis at the expense of mitigating longer-term impacts of the pandemic. This was, and is, a major challenge with additional demands on an already hard-pressed workforce.

The 1918–19 influenza pandemic revisited

The worldwide influenza outbreak of 1918–19 was a medical catastrophe,
causing the deaths of around 50 million people. There is evidence however that the
major wave, in November 1918, was not part of the pandemic that started in the
summer of 1918. The virus responsible for the major wave has been isolated but the
structural features responsible for its severity remain incompletely understood. In
1918–19 influenza was an infection so little understood that the government was