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"Speaking of pandemics: The art and science of risk communication"

Knowable Magazine interviewed Deborah Glik, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of community health sciences, about best practices for informing the public about the pandemic. 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci. Coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx. County health officials across the United States. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the emergence of a new set of household names: those in the media spotlight who are charged with helping the public understand what is happening, what is likely to happen next, how to behave to reduce the pandemic’s spread, and why.

Through these health officials, millions have heard about social isolation, flattening the curve, mask-wearing, vaccines, antiviral drugs and more.

The footing is tricky: Downplay a threat and the public might not react strongly enough; overdo it and they might not listen next time. And how can officials remain trustworthy when scientists’ understanding of a new virus is changing by the week?