The Invisible Shield: Examining the Essential Role of Public Health in Today’s World

Unseen Protection: How Public Health Preserved Your Life Today without You Even Realizing It | The Exchange

In recent years, the importance of public health has become increasingly evident. Despite its crucial role in saving lives and protecting people from diseases, public health is often underfunded, undervalued, and misunderstood. This puts our health at risk, as seen in the current COVID-19 pandemic. The PBS/Bloomberg Four-Part Docu Series titled “The Invisible Shield” sheds light on this issue by exploring the unsung heroes in public health who work tirelessly to improve health outcomes.

In Episode 1 titled “The Old Playbook,” viewers are made aware of how public health has doubled life expectancy but is currently facing challenges that threaten its effectiveness. Episode 2, “Follow The Data,” delves into the essential role of data in public health since the seventeenth century. Meanwhile, Episode 3, “Inoculation & Inequity,” addresses challenges such as disinformation, skepticism of science, and distrust of government that affect public health efforts. Lastly, Episode 4, “The New Playbook,” discusses the declining life expectancy trend and the need to rethink the public health system before it’s too late.

For those interested in learning more about this topic or engaging in meaningful discussions around it, a discussion guide is provided with the docuseries. This guide includes powerful quotes and messages from “The Invisible Shield,” along with added context from each episode. It also presents questions to encourage critical thinking and enhance understanding of public health among viewers in various settings like classrooms, community groups, homeschooling or independent exploration.

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