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Open Access Years of Neglecting Young and Old: Paying the Piper during COVID-19 – A Commentary

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objective: In this paper, we argue that COVID-19 has demonstrated the seriousness of long-standing neglect of public education infrastructure, particularly where school health education and school-based health services are concerned, as well as having accentuated long-standing vulnerabilities among older adults. Methods: We examined practices about the divide between evidence-based recommendations of experts and system responses that leave a sizeable number of Americans vulnerable to the worst aspects of COVID-19. Results: We identify practices in schools, as well as institutions that respond to the needs of older Americans that increase general risk across generations from the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. We also caution against making unwarranted assumptions or generalizations about older adults in and out of care settings. Conclusion: Authorities need to learn lessons from the present pandemic to avoid similar types of vulnerability in future public health emergencies.
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Keywords: CHILD HEALTH; COVID-19; HEALTH AND OLDER ADULTS; PANDEMIC; PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS; SCHOOL HEALTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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