Public Health student Deividas explains what Public Health is, why he chose to study it, and how it helps us understand and contain COVID-19.
When I tell friends that I study Public Health, most do not know exactly what that is and what it involves. They ask questions like: is it medicine? Physiotherapy? Or maybe psychology?
I tell them that Public Health is the protection and improvement of people’s health. Moreover, the subject includes different disciplines, such as disease prevention and control, epidemiology, health economics, health education, policy, and much more. I have almost finished the first year of my course, and have so far studied health and wellbeing, epidemiology, health statistics, health inequalities, determinants of health, different diseases and health promotion. In other words, Public Health specialists do everything that enables people’s lives to be better and healthier.
This course attracted me because I’ve always wanted to help people and make an impact. Although there are many professions where I can do that, Public Health fascinated me because I can help not only one person, but many people at the same time. This course allows me to learn about different diseases and their control. My goal for the future is not to treat people with diseases, but to do everything I can to prevent them from getting ill in the first place.
The current situation with COVID-19 has given me the opportunity to see how everything that I have learned so far works in real life. I can see the strengths and weaknesses in the strategies, and how these are applied in different countries. The knowledge I've gained helps me to understand the infection and mortality rates, and what is happening around the world as a whole.
A coronavirus is a contagious disease which transmits from person to person. Currently, each country is in a different situation with COVID-19 and is implementing various policies and strategies to prevent it spreading. However, the best way to protect yourself from this infectious disease is to stay at home. Some main advice that continues to be given and is important to reiterate is:
- if you are going outside, wash your hands at least 20 seconds as often as possible
- if you do not have the opportunity to wash your hands, use hand sanitiser
- according to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (2020), hand sanitiser should include at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol to kill the coronavirus
- wear a mask; even if you do not feel sick, you can still be contagious and spread the disease
- do not touch your face
- eat healthily and exercise at home
- do not visit other households, including those of your family and friends.
I hope everyone keeps safe and calm and that this pandemic finishes sooner rather than later.
By Deividas Nikulin
Deividas studies on our BSc (Hons) Public Health course. Sign up for our next Virtual Open Day to find out more.