By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /


PAUL BIDDINGER: So
much has been made of education and knowledge. And I think we need it on
the public health side. We need it on the medical side. We need it for the public. The way the public
will feel better is by knowing how much
illness can be mild and what their
personal risks are as well as how to
protect themselves. Those are obviously
the factors that help to make people feel
somewhat more reassured. And I think with respect
to comments and others, I actually would say the
same thing about my comment with seeking medical care is
we are all in this together. This is a global disease. This is a global outbreak. This affects all of us. And we are all one population,
both in terms of our health and social distancing. We should be
grateful for actions of the Chinese, the
Italians, others, who have delayed some of the
spread to help us respond. And we should all
recognize that we have a stake in responding
effectively together. And that’s true in
our neighborhoods as well as in the country
and our global perspective. WINNIE CHI-MAN YIP: I think it
will be important for people to keep remembering that
this is a new coronavirus. By being new, it means
that we are living in a world of uncertainty. And so we all have
certain responsibility of making probabilistic
assessment rather than thinking that
someone will give them a deterministic reply. And I think that reality should
just be given to the people. But I also feel that
managing public expectation and knowledge is very important
to be done in a situation where the public and the
government and the system is in a trusting
relationship, rather than– and so being able
to be transparent, being able to provide
information in a way that we are working together,
I think is very important. ELANA GORDON: Yeah, so– MARC LIPSITCH: Could I– ELANA GORDON: I just wanted to– MARC LIPSITCH: Yeah. ELANA GORDON: In
terms of adding that, we have just a
couple minutes left. So I’m wondering
if you could also pack that into kind of final– MARC LIPSITCH: Final. ELANA GORDON:
–notes and wrap up. MARC LIPSITCH: Sure. ELANA GORDON: And we’ll
kind of go through. MARC LIPSITCH: That is
what I wanted to say for my final event anyway. [LAUGHTER] So I think my take
on quelling fear is really about what I
wanted to leave people with. I think that the fear is
a natural response that can lead us to do
good things if it’s channeled into
self-protection rather than into harming others. And self-protective
activities in this include all the hygiene measures
that were mentioned earlier, includes getting up to
date on vaccinations to prevent need for contact
with the health care system. It includes if you
smoke, quitting smoking, because you need
your lung function. And that is important for this. It includes staying home
from work to protect others if you’re sick. It includes making that possible
if you’re a business owner. These are all individually
self-improving acts that will reduce one’s own risk. And this is a happy case where
every one of those things also has benefits
to the community. Slowing the epidemic is what we
have to do if we can’t stop it. And all of those measures, small
though some of them may be, help to slow the epidemic. So there is a real coincidence– I mean, a real
coalescence between individually self-protective
measures and measures that will benefit the
community, as long as they are those kinds of measures
and not avoiding people you think are somehow
more contagious or because of their race. I mean, that is not helpful
to anyone, of course. But the basic hygiene and
self-protection measures are in fact socially beneficial. ELANA GORDON: Hilary,
I’d love to turn to you just for a couple quick
wrap up comments for the panel. HILARY MARSTON: Sure. So it’s hard to
come right after all of those excellent comments. I agree with everything
that has been said there. I would also come
back to something that I said at the
beginning, which is that when we talk
about trusted sources and getting the word out
there, you guys are at HSPH. You have access to all
of the best information. And you can be some of
the best communicators that we have out there. So I would really take it
upon yourselves personally to help in this effort. I’m sure many of
you already are. But I’m sure it would
be much appreciated by everyone up on that panel. So thank you.


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