Planetary Health (PLH) is a framework for research and actions put forward by a paper published on Lancet, a famous journal in medicine, in 2015, emphasizing the human health and civilization depend on healthy earth and ecosystems. The notion, research, and actions in PLH are hence cross- and trans-disciplinary in nature, involving various stakeholders in the society. To achieve good PLH status, sustainable relationship between humanity and earth subsystems needs identified and unsustainable relationship need to be fixed. One of the barriers to achieve PLH is how to attract the attention of society toward PLH as replacing the current socio-ecological relationship. In this presentation, influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s recognition on the socio-ecological system will be discussed based on literature search and observations mainly in Japan.
During the epidemic period under COVID-19, two major lines of interventions have been implemented in various countries, i.e., direct (or pharmaceutical) and indirect (or non-pharmaceutical) interventions. Direct interventions involve conventional (but with state-or-art biotechnologies) biomedical approaches such as vaccination, drug development, and progress in treating/managing patients, while indirect interventions involve social distancing, tele-working, self-restraint of social activities. The latter line of actions not only affects disease transmission but also changes social/psychological environment for substantial component of the society in many countries including Japan. Available literature/statistics suggest that these changes generally shift the attention/awareness of the people toward more PLH-oriented activities. This could lead to societal transition triggered by an external force, which exerted spillover effects on the various aspects of the society that are not necessary linked with the triggering event: in this case, pandemic.