Pandemics have constituted challenging and recurrent episodes of humankind history. Major pandemics such as plagues, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis and influenza have afflicted the health and well-being of millions, bringing societies and economies to their knees. The world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As of April 25, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) had confirmed over 500 million positive cases and over 6 million deaths worldwide. While most infected by COVID-19 do recover, many will suffer long-term consequences, such as fatigue, fever, tiredness and depression.
As COVID-19 is turning endemic, it is time to reflect on how to better prepare for future similar threats. In addition to national public health responses and global detection and coordination efforts, much of the preparation can be done at the household level. Understanding and addressing inequalities in access to basic services in the household is a place to start.