Intended for healthcare professionals

Editorials Christmas 2020: M*A*S*H

A new year’s resolution for health workers

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 15 December 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4602
  1. Martin McKee, professor of European public health1,
  2. May C I van Schalkwyk, NIHR doctoral research fellow1,
  3. Nason Maani, assistant professor in public health evaluation12,
  4. Sandro Galea, dean2
  1. 1Faculty of Public Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2School of Public Health, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to: M McKee martin.mckee{at}

Having faced the full force of the covid-19 storm, they must now set out a vision for the future

Few health workers will be sad to see the end of 2020. There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel, with several vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 coming on stream1 and advances in treatment reducing deaths among those infected.2 The prospect of a return to normality seems within reach. But what will that normality look like? We believe that health workers, who have been at the frontline of the pandemic, must offer a vision of a healthier future. We must not let the terrible events of this year recast the pre-pandemic world in a glowing light. The normality we departed from at the onset of the pandemic was unjust, unsustainable, and shaped the evolution of, and responses to, the pandemic with devastating consequences, particularly for the most deprived and vulnerable.

The start of a new year offers an opportunity to question old ways of working and to ask how we can create a better future for everyone. It is a cliché to say that you should never waste a crisis. Just as in …

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