The Invisible Shield: A Four-Part Docu Series Highlighting the Critical Role of Public Health and Its Underfunding, Undervaluation, and Misunderstanding in Modern Times

Unseen Protection: How Public Health Preserved Your Life Today without You Even Realizing It | The Exchange

The PBS/Bloomberg Four-Part Docu Series “The Invisible Shield” highlights the importance of public health in our modern lives. Despite its critical role in saving lives and protecting people from diseases, public health is often underfunded, undervalued, and misunderstood, putting our health at risk. The series sheds light on the unsung heroes in public health, including physicians, nurses, scientists, activists, and government officials who work together to improve health outcomes from historical battles with diseases like cholera and smallpox to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

In Episode 1 titled “The Old Playbook,” viewers are made aware of how public health has doubled life expectancy but is currently facing a crisis in its system. Episode 2, “Follow The Data,” delves into the vital role of data in public health since the seventeenth century. Meanwhile, Episode 3, “Inoculation & Inequity,” addresses challenges like disinformation, skepticism of science and government distrust that affect public health efforts. Lastly, Episode 4 titled “The New Playbook” discusses declining life expectancy trends and the need to rethink the public health system before it’s too late.

For further learning and discussion, a discussion guide is provided with the docuseries. It includes powerful quotes and messages from “The Invisible Shield,” along with added context from each episode. The guide also presents questions to encourage critical thinking meaningful discussions among viewers in various settings such as classrooms community groups homeschooling or independent exploration.

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