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After COVID-19, business as usual: is this the right goal?
  1. Roderick J McClure
  1. School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roderick J McClure, School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia; rmcclure{at}

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At a personal and public level, the world is experiencing true devastation. In homes, hospitals, streets and societies, loss is profound. Public health, and what it means in terms of individual and collective responsibility, is forefront in public and political discourse. Expertise (and science) is being recognised as friend not foe, and the technical tools used by public health scientists and practitioners are standard fare in the lay press.

So, what happens next? It is hard to know, and many of us are needing to focus so much on survival that we don’t have the luxury to think about it. However, many of us are hoping that soon things will return to ‘normal’ and that we can again get about our business as usual.

The business world has been quick to point out that whatever we get back to, it will not be business as usual as we currently know it.1 People will adapt practices to mitigate day-to-day threats of endemic disease, and the structural changes brought about as an acute phase response will become system-level enablers with long-term benefit for national and global economies …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.