As the pandemic kills millions, governments and public health officials rarely want to talk about family planning and the factors that fundamentally drive pandemics. Why? Because these officials are intentionally relying on unsustainable family planning models designed to promote economic growth, but which also exacerbate the threat and impact of pandemics.
The decision to stick with these old models cost lives, and will cost more.
Here are the facts.
- Overcrowding, or the quantity of people around us, helps pandemics like Covid-19 spread. Worldwide, public health officials are admitting that the failure to contain the pandemic is largely a function of the quantity and civic qualities (e.g., amenability of wearing masks) of the people crowding the planet, which are factors that depend on our family planning policies. India is exemplifying this; so are communities in the United States. Key UN agencies were urged to change modeling well before the pandemic, but did nothing.
- Civic qualities that are largely contingent on the conditions of our birth and early development, like our overall health and risk of comorbidities, as well as empathy deficits which are reflected in the refusal of many to engage in easy and life-saving public health measures like practicing social distancing and wearing masks, substantially contribute to the impact of pandemics like Covid-19.
- The economic disparities we inherit at birth lead to massive disparities in how pandemics impact different communities, and hence determine the average impact of things like Covid-19.
- Our growing population is degrading our natural ecologies, which sets the stage for future and worse pandemics.
- Massive populations prevent the effective distribution and update of vaccines.
- Overcrowding ensures deadly variants in the pandemics as they spread.
These factors are currently moving in a direction that exacerbate the threat and impact of things like Covid-19. We are moving in the wrong direction. Right now the United Nations takes the position that these factors are not our collective concern.
That makes no sense. And because of that position, countless pregnant women are now at severe risk from Covid-19. Governments and public health officials dropped the ball by not taking family planning more seriously in the past, and now we are paying the price. If we want to address the fundamental drivers of social and ecological crises like Covid-19 we will change the way we plan families, and begin to constitute legitimate and democratic communities, not bloated economies incapable of dealing with threats to public health.
TAKE ACTION: Urge world leadership to do what they should have done long ago, and adopt universal, sustainable and equitable family planning policies.