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Few problems have simple solutions. Most require sustained, consistent work.

And so when an easy, one-time solution comes along, we naturally gravitate towards it. 

There has been a lot of enthusiasm about the upcoming vaccines to prevent COVID-19. I’m excited too! I hope that this will reduce suffering from the virus and the economic, social, and emotional challenges that have come in its wake.

And at the same time, hundreds of thousands of people have died in the United States because of failed public health leadership. The long, hard, effective sacrifices that could have been implemented were politicized rather than embraced.

The chronic and one-time solutions come through the same scientific process. But the cost of sustained, small effort always seems harder. Take the immediate solutions when they arise. But don’t forget that most problems can only be conquered through humble, practiced, collaborative repetition.