April 28th 2023
“We need to change our vision and create an intergenerational pact capable of creating a virtuous circle of health and well-being not just for individuals but also for the community and for the common home we all inhabit.
A circular health spiral fueled by commitment, respect, equity and other values that we have let go, perhaps simply out of distraction.”
The enormous advances made by medicine in the last two hundred and fifty years have made it easy to take health for granted. Then, out of the blue, the pandemic revealed to us that we have many hidden vulnerabilities, and that individual health is not, in fact, so disconnected from collective and system health. The challenge of today is therefore rethinking our relationship with health in a way that is more conscious and sustainable.
Ilaria Capua helps us build this new relationship by weaving a dialogue between past, present and future, introducing some key words as a source of inspiration. Taken together, these words define a new concept of health: circular health.
She reminds us of the way curiosity was the spring that helped break down the walls of what was invisible, and the way the courage to pick up a map stopped a cholera epidemic. She leads us through a reflection on how we exploit the planet’s resources, forgetting that we are fully immersed in the four elements that govern our own health and the Earth’s overall balance. She traces a path for future renewal, identifying new cornerstones in respect for nature, and for the millennial balance that it has been able to create well before us, in commitment, especially if it passes through small gestures of individual responsibility, and in equity, since we live in an integrated system of which people, animals, and plants are part, and to save ourselves we cannot leave anyone behind.
In short, Ilaria Capua draws a historical and emotional atlas to help find our way through the present, a guide for imagining how our health could change if only we change our paradigm and our vision. This is a direct and easy-to-understand work that does spare the inclusion of in-depth study and higher reasoning, reaching from the head to the heart.
ILARIA CAPUA is Senior Fellow of Global Health at Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. She has been the recipient of countless awards, including, in 2021, the Hypatia Prize, awarded by the European Academy of Sciences. From 1993 to date, she has published over 220 articles in international journals and textbooks. She is a columnist for Corriere della Sera and a popular science author for adults and children.