Josh Garoon, an assistant professor in the UW-Madison Department of Community & Environmental Sociology, studies the sociology of public health. He can address the social, economic, and political dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially health inequalities, and he can speak about how we’ve handled preparedness, planning, and response to COVID-19 and how that has affected people who are already disadvantaged. Garoon can also speak about global human-wildlife interactions, including how zoonotic diseases emerge and are managed and studied, with respect to COVID-19 and other diseases.
“We must recognize that our pandemic preparedness and response plans rarely consider social justice seriously. This is not intentional, but it is by design. Our plans are designed to provide biomedical care; assist epidemiological analysis; and preserve the economy at the macro level,” Garoon says. “They are not designed to help localities deal with baseline inequalities, and they don’t dovetail with broader political, economic, and social reforms at the federal or state levels.
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