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Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus: Can Anybody Hear Us?

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve left my house amid the coronavirus-induced quarantine. And in this strange new virtual world, as the U.S. teeters on the brink of a nationwide shutdown, I can’t help thinking to myself: Didn’t we see this coming? Of course, for those of us in the global health community, this question can be answered only by a resounding, “Yes!”

And yet, here we are.

Since this novel coronavirus, which we now know to cause what has been named COVID-19, was first reported in Wuhan, China, we’ve seen it sweep regions and continents, crippling communities and economies in its path. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 635,000 cases have been reported in 202 countries or territories to date, and more than 30,000 people have lost their lives to the highly infectious virus. And these numbers continue to rise by the hour.

While little is known about COVID-19 – and perhaps because of this absence of information – the disease has become ubiquitous over the past three months, dominating news cycles and capturing imaginations around the world.

Above all, it has turned a spotlight on the cracks in health systems around the world, including here in the U.S. The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is getting worse by the day for our front-line healthcare workers, and a lack of available testing fuels frustration and chaos in communities. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has elucidated in a very real and personal way the health inequities that have been conveniently kept at bay in “poor” countries.

But it has also showcased a breakdown in our communications.

Continue reading this article on the Global Health Council website.