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My colleague Nicole Willis and I were talking this week about how much ‘public’ health happens that is invisible to most unless there is an emergency or crisis that makes the mainstream news. A Hepatitis A outbreak, norovirus or the current coronavirus makes us aware of how critically important a strong surveillance and emergency response system is. And those systems don’t just pop-up overnight without preparation and training. We have amazing people who practice for these situations and therefore know what to do when they occur – hospitals, public health, first responders and more. 

We are all just one breath away from something unforeseen. A global economy brings many benefits along with challenges that may arrive. It is incredible to think that we can track tainted produce to its source; figure out who ate at a restaurant that may be at risk; identify who was on a particular flight, in an airport or facility and find them to check that they are okay. Technology helps, but people who are trained to do this work make the difference day in and day out.

Take a minute and thank the people who watch out for us, keep an eye out for threats to our health, who step into the space of caring for people who are ill, knowing that they often put themselves at risk in doing so. 

We are grateful for all (you!) they do.