As the second anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic approaches, the world looks significantly different than it did nearly two years ago. According to recent statistics, the virus has infected more than 383 million people and has caused nearly 5.7 million deaths, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.
The world needed to rapidly change. Strict rules were put into place that saw many countries across the globe come to a sudden standstill in an attempt to confine the spread of COVID-19 during the early stages of the pandemic. As scientists learned more about the virus, social distancing and mask wearing became commonplace.
With the release of a vaccine, there was hope that a return to “normalcy” may be possible; that we could begin living as we did before the word ‘COVID’ became a part of our daily lexicon.
But will that ever be the case? Or will COVID-19 remain a part of our lives similarly to the flu?
These are important questions as we continue to adapt to living in a COVID world. Experts at UC San Diego are working to find answers using epidemic modeling and data-driven approaches. They are looking at the promise of proteins as anti-viral COVID-19 therapeutics. And they are analyzing what we’ve learned about disease transmission, and what mutations of the virus could mean for the future of this pandemic.
Watch Deep Look into COVID-19: Adapting to a COVID World.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with UC Berkeley students to explore the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 and what lessons that pandemic might have for our current situation. Lesson number one: good communication is essential.
According to Sebelius, Epidemiology has a couple of core principles – one of which is providing clear, concise, accurate communication on a regular basis. One of the dramatic differences between the 2009 outbreak and what happened in 2020 was that the communication was inconsistent, often inaccurate, and contradictory.
During a fast-moving, global health crisis, you have to make decisions based on the information you have, says Sebelius. Taking no action is not an option. You’re going to probably makes some mistakes along the way, but then you correct them and move on. Napolitano adds that during the H1N1 pandemic, it was important to hold press events regularly and repeat basic public health messages like washing your hands and practicing social distancing because, if you get the communication part wrong, your crisis management will lack credibility. Indeed, it’s essential to communicate with the public not only what is known, but what is not known, as well.
Hear more about the importance of good communication and other lessons learned during the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009. Watch The United States Pandemic Response: Lessons from the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009.
The medical breakthroughs that have accompanied the heartbreaking realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have been hard won. Years of research in the areas of AIDS and infectious diseases, epidemiology, aerosols, and more have come together to create vaccines at an unprecedented pace and community health guidance to reduce transmission rates.
What are the takeaways from all this? How will it impact current treatments for patients as well as management of future pandemics? Experts from UC San Diego share what the medical and scientific communities have learned, what is next for COVID-19 therapies, and what the statistics tell us about the past, present, and future.
Join Robert “Chip” Schooley, MD, Davey Smith, MD, Sheldon Morris, MD, MPH and Catriona Jamieson, MD, Phd for A Closer Look at…COVID-19.
Along with global health and economic devastation, the COVID-19 pandemic has forged an unprecedented path to research and education innovation. Bold scientific advances and cooperation led to a novel vaccine developed in record time, groundbreaking tools for detecting viruses and a pioneering vision for safely educating students. Gain an in-depth look at the trailblazing insights and innovations that led to the broad success of UC San Diego’s Return to Learn program with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, along with scientists leading groundbreaking innovations related to detecting and analyzing SARS-CoV-2, as well as the future of at-home diagnostic testing in response to COVID-19.
Watch A Deep Look into COVID and a New World of Innovation.
While a Sars CoV-2 vaccine is here providing hope for the year ahead, the pain and devastation caused by the pandemic will persist as new infections currently continue to expand at an ever-increasing rate.
Amidst all this, UC San Diego has established itself as a recognized leader in proactively responding to this disaster. Hear from UC San Diego’s front-line health and medical experts as they discuss disparities in the clinical impact and outcomes of COVID-19, their first-hand experiences and lessons learned in dealing with the disease.
Also, as the economy continues to suffer from the pandemic, hear about scalable and practical solutions for returning to work in a safe environment.
Watch A Deep Look Into: Social Inequities and Suffering Caused by COVID-19 – Reports from the Front Lines.