The Top Public Health and Safety Concerns in 2021

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Since the beginning of 2020, the world has been dealing with a devastating, global pandemic. Causing around two and a half million deaths around the world, the COVID19 pandemic has affected over 110 million people worldwide. It has overwhelmed healthcare facilities and healthcare workers, and has quickly become a hot topic in public health and safety this year. However, it’s not the only public health and safety concern right now.

Every day, health and safety issues impact populations around the world. Some of them have been made even more challenging over the past eighteen months as a result of COVID19. Issues like climate change, terrorism, cybercrime, childhood obesity and drug abuse have continued to impact our society despite the novel coronavirus being at the front and center right now.

Whether you’ve always been interested in making a difference to the world, or public health and safety problems that we face today have inspired you to get into a career where you can make a difference, you might be considering a future in this line of work. But before you explore how to get into a career in public safety and health, it’s important to know what to expect. Here are some of the most pressing issues in public health and safety right now.

COVID19:

The ongoing global pandemic is one of the main public health and safety issues that the world is facing today. While the vaccination program has been mainly successful in various countries around the world, there are new variants to grapple with and people are still dying from this disease. Public health and safety officials are still recommending that the public continues to take precautions such as social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitation to control the spread of the virus. At the peak of the pandemic, healthcare professionals came out of retirement and worked in areas that were highly affected to help fight the disease.

Cybercrime:

Cybercrime is a public safety issue that is becoming more and more essential for professionals to focus on. Cybercrime is not only affecting businesses and governments, but also individuals. As organizations and government agencies begin to collect larger amounts of data on the general public, there are criminals who are working to get their hands on this data for nefarious purposes. Tackling cybercrime is something that public safety is becoming more and more concerned with, and you may be able to focus on this area of public safety when studying an MPS online degree program from Wilfred Laurier University. This is an area of public safety that has only been highlighted further by the COVID19 pandemic, with cyberattacks becoming even more commonplace with the rise of working from home.

Terrorism:

The constant threat of terrorism around the world is always looming. Terrorist attacks are likely or very likely to be attempted in many countries around the world, meaning that this is a public safety issue to which governments, intelligence agencies, law enforcement and other public safety professionals need to give a lot of attention.  Every day, terrorism that we may never hear about is stopped in its tracks by public safety officials. Gathering intelligence and information on terrorist groups, apprehending criminals, and educating the public are just some of the key areas that public safety officials working on this issue will focus on to improve safety for everybody.

Flooding:

Living in the era of climate change means that we have all gotten used to hearing news about environmental disasters that would once have been a much bigger deal. Flooding has been rapidly increasing around the world since the 1970s. In Canada, the five most destructive floods in history have all occurred since 2010. The glacial melt has led to water levels rising around the world, and even a small difference in water levels can have a significant impact on communities that are close to water and coastal areas. Experts report that widespread flooding is something that should now be regarded as a fact of life in these areas, and that it’s unlikely to lessen in the near future.

Fire:

Over the past few years, the news has reported on several incidents of fire. But, these are not house fires caused by accidents in the home. Devastating blazes in Australia were a main topic on the news around the same time as the COVID19 pandemic took hold. Forest fires can be the result of a single spark, with devastating consequences for both the environment and the people who are affected by them. Today, forest fires are often the result of climate change, which has led to summers that are longer and dryer. Increased dead trees only add more fuel for the fire, and natural firewalls are diminished by some reforestation and logging activities. Since more residential construction is carried out today in areas that were once natural countryside, more effort needs to be made by public safety officials to protect the homes and people in areas that are at greater risk.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse:

Substance abuse is a growing concern that is having an impact on the health and safety of the general public. This was one of the top public health issues to focus on before COVID19, but has only been highlighted further as the impact of self-isolation has caused mental health to decline and substance abuse risk to increase. Mental health itself has been a growing concern for public health officials for several years, but one of the many side effects of the global pandemic has been a worldwide decline in mental health and wellbeing. Remote work, quarantines, and distance learning may have been essential to curb the virus spread, but these measures have also left people feeling anxious, depressed and isolated. Around 70% of teenagers are currently struggling with mental health issues, and 60% of adults and young people are not getting the help with mental health that they need.

Public health and safety is a great career option to get into if you are interested in tackling some of the major health and safety concerns in the world right now.