Psychiatric Times June 20, 2024
Vincenzo Di Nicola, MPhil, MD, PhD, FCAHS, DLFAPA, DFCPA

Children are subject to the world’s largest biosocial experiment.


COVID-19 is not a pandemic.

– Richard Horton1

COVID-19 syndemic is not global.

– Emily Mendenhall2

COVID-19: Pandemic or Syndemic?

Soon after the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic in 2020, Richard Horton’s1 editorial in The Lancet convinced me to radically change my thinking about this socio-medical crisis. His message was blunt and direct: “COVID-19 is not a pandemic.” This crisis was more accurately seen as a syndemic, encompassing 2 different categories of disease—an infectious disease (COVID-19) spread by a virus (SARS-CoV-2) and an array of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). Emily Mendenhall, a pioneer of syndemic studies went further: “COVID-19 syndemic is not global,” arguing that social...

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