14 February, 12:00 noon: Attending to Religious and Global Perspectives and Conflicts
Within the U.S. and globally, different religious and cultural perspectives shape different responses to the pandemic, sometimes even engendering serious conflicts. Societies face difficult questions about how to resolve such conflicts—for instance, should risky religious gatherings be less restricted than other risky gatherings and should those who claim religious objections to vaccines be granted exemptions from vaccine mandates? Pandemics also challenge and sometimes change religious and cultural beliefs and practices, for instance, in how we care for the dead and the dying. In addition, a fundamental ethical question is how to balance policies to protect a particular country with policies that prioritize global protection, particularly when successful pandemic control in any particular locale ultimately depends on international cooperation.