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My prescription for health in a time of coronavirus

In this unprecedented global health crisis, information is an antidote to panic. Your health and safety in a time of coronavirus will be improved by using proper information for proper steps of action.

By understanding the changes coming within our communities, states, and country, we can act together in solidarity even as we practice acts of kindness and responsibility like social distancing, work from home, canceling events and other significant changes to our way of life.

I’m an epidemiologist. I once founded and served as the Executive Director of the Global AIDS Alliance that helped build the cross-partisan political will to combat the global AIDS pandemic. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, we all were able to work together to forever alter the course of this deadly disease.

We can and will do it again. Now. Here’s my prescription for health in these troubled times of the coronavirus.

coronavirus prescription

RX: health in a time of coronavirus

  1. Take a healthy dose of optimism three times a day. Refills are unlimited. Based on a lifetime of experience working on crises just like this, I can tell you, it starts with one of the hardest, but most critical steps. It starts with Waging Optimism. I’m an unapologetic optimist. I’ve seen the power of my mindset at work. It’s the match the ignites of seismic change for good. My guide to Waging Optimism is here and can support you to be courageous and make a commitment for under a dollar.
  2. Waging Justice once a day: We don’t have to sit back, afraid and do nothing. We don’t have to binge Netflix. We can use our time to take action by Waging Justice for all. Every day we can exercise our rights and responsibilities as Americans. This is how easy it is: Contact your government leaders and legislators in Congress, in your State, and in your local governments , right now in less than a minute and demand they 1) Protect the People, 2) Test the People and 3) Heal the People during this coronavirus pandemic. Click here
  3. Waging Love daily: Humans are social animals. We need each other. At a time of pandemic we may easily slip into fear, isolation, and blame. Instead let’s transform this destructive approach that worsens our problems (and empties shelves of toilet paper from local stores!).  Please reach out to your friends and families and send messages of love and hope. Share your optimism with others who may be afraid. Urge others to join you in action online. Spread love far and wide. Post this and tag me @drpaulzeitz so I can send you back a heart emoji! Every little action beats back the fear that threatens us all.

A movement of systemic change

I’ve dedicated my career to catalyzing large-scale movements. I launched Build a Movement 2020 with the idea of giving back power and control to “we the people,” as  our very existence at stake. It was not an accident that we launched with five pillars, three of which are at play today, right now, this instance to threaten our existence: climate restoration, restoring democracy and health for all. 

Our problems are inexorably linked. Today it’s a coronavirus, but it’s also the unprecedented warming of the Arctic and our broken democracy that has failed to protect and defend our lives and our survival.   We need to win the battle against the coronavirus, we need to ensure the survival of humanity by restoring the climate, and we need to establish authentic democracy here in America. 

We are living in a transformative moment in human history. You are a part of it. We are the solution. Together we can heal America. Can you join us? Simply text BAM2020 to 52886 and take a ten-second pledge to Waging Justice, Waging Optimism and Waging Love and ensure the survival of humanity. 

We can do this. We will. But it starts with a start. A text. A pledge. A commitment. An act. It starts now. It starts now-NOW!

Moment of Truth for America: Coronavirus Epidemic Needs a United, Cross-partisan Crisis Response

The global response to the coronavirus health crisis has reached it’s moment of truth.

As an epidemiologist, I am no stranger to global pandemics. During my career, I have battled hantavirus and meningitis outbreaks in the USA and HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across the world. Today, against all odds, we are winning: Almost two-thirds of people living with the HIV virus are receiving lifesaving treatment, and more than 30 million lives have been saved. 

This turnaround came about thanks to smart science and the dedication of individuals who did not flinch in the face of overwhelming denial and inaction.

One of those individuals is Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., who last week was chosen to lead the White House response to the coronavirus epidemic, reporting directly to Vice-President Pence. 

Cross-partisan approval: Birx the right choice to lead coronavirus effort

This was the right move for these uncertain times. Debbie is the Coordinator of U.S. Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. She has served under three Administrations, and is one of the few high-ranking Obama appointees to continue in her position under the Trump Administration.

I worked alongside Debbie at the State Department for years. I believe her data-driven, evidence-based approach and her knowledge of global health equips her to navigate the scientific and epidemic control issues within the federal bureaucracy.  She is honest, smart and a true cross-partisan leader.

My confidence in the Ambassador assures me that we will come through the coronavirus crisis with smart leadership–although we don’t yet know how serious the damage will be. But what about the next one? And the one after?

Climate Emergency and pandemics linked

This will not be the last pandemic. The climate emergency, along with unprecedented levels of global mobility, means that disease patterns are changing. We are not ready.

We see evidence of U.S. unpreparedness almost every hour as the current crisis unfolds. Our public systems are stumbling, testing kits are missing, essential supplies are unavailable and scientists are being muzzled. In a time of epidemic crisis, we must change gears and come together as a society to help each other, tempering our partisan reflexes.

Every person in America needs to wake up and get ready­—for coronavirus and what comes next.

My advice as an epidemiologist is to create a plan for preventing infection, illness and social disruption. Know what to do if your child’s school or your work close for a lengthy period. Make sure the elders in your family, pregnant women and vulnerable people in your lives are protected. Consider having extra food supplies and nonperishables on hand. These are good ideas even when no crisis is present.

My advice as a physician-activist is to call on our political leaders to stop blaming and start acting. Fortunately, Congress approved $8.3 billion of emergency funding to mitigate the potentially devastating health, security, and economic impacts of COVID-19 to the United States.  This large infusion of resources – and before a larger crisis unfolds – is vital to ensure that U.S. domestic responders are adequately preparing, support the global response needs, and develop a vaccine and countermeasures to ultimately end the pandemic. 

As we continue the full-throttle implementation of our current coronavirus crisis, let’s also take a longer view, as we will surely have to respond to new and resurgent emerging infectious diseases.  Preparing for the worst is a cross-partisan challenge and requires an apolitical response.

This is about policy, not politics.

Interconnected  pillars for global change

Last year when we launched Build a Movement 2020, we built it on five interconnected pillars of change. Today, I’m writing about one of those pillars, Gender and Health, and it’s impossible to disconnect it from two others: Restoring Democracy and Climate Restoration.

By building a cross-partisan movement of change we can collectively raise our voices about emerging threats like the coronavirus. By demanding our political leaders invest boldly in climate restoration, we can likely prevent and mitigate future outbreaks.

Comprehensive change demands comprehensive solutions. At this critical moment in history calls for us to leave behind segmented, partisan approaches of the past and forever change how we operate. Our goal is simple: ensure the survival of humanity. We do this with a comprehensive approach through prevention and rapid response to emerging threats. We do this by restoring trust with our government by healing our democracy.

No matter what comes next, I believe we will thrive, heal and strengthen our epidemic response systems–if we act with unity and compassion. Together, we can create a culture of trust, openness, and cooperation. 

This is our moment of truth. So what will we choose?

CREA for a Better World

Just what is CREA and why am I writing about it about so often? 

It’s a good question, one I’ll answer in this post. But first, let me ask you a question: Did you happen to catch the World Series? 

Of course, as a resident in the Washington, D.C. area I couldn’t avoid it. The city was galvanized by a baseball team winning it all against all odds. It was fun and brought a lot of good cheer.

But it’s still a game.

What if the entire city of Washington, D.C. came together to win the biggest battle facing humanity today? What if the entire country could be on the same team, working with others around the world to ensure this miraculous blue, green ball of life keeps on providing a safe and secure home for humanity for generations to come? 

Now that would be a celebration, right? 

Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. I know this because earlier in my career the world faces another perilous threat. The AIDS epidemic was spreading around the world killing millions. We needed a collaborative, innovative, large-scale effort to alter the course of the disease.

And we did it. In the process, we saved 32 million lives! 

So here we go again. We’re going to save humanity, and we’re going to do it by securing large-scale support for CREA. 

 

CREA: a bold solution for a critical problem

For the past several months I’ve had the privilege to work as a senior policy advisor with the Foundation for Climate Restoration who is leading the global effort on Climate Restoration Emergency Action, or CREA.

We can return atmospheric CO2 to safe pre-industrial levels by 2030 and restore Arctic ice to prevent permafrost melt and the resulting disastrous methane emissions. Climate restoration legislation and investment will remove carbon from the air, spur clean energy investment and help reverse the impacts of climate change.

Climate Restoration is the global endeavor to return the Earth’s climate systems to a proven safe state in which humanity and our natural world evolved.

Climate restoration won’t be easy — in fact, it will be the most challenging endeavor humanity has ever undertaken — but it can and urgently must be done, as fast as possible.

 

Join a worldwide movement of change

We launched Build A Movement 2020 to provide grassroots support for these game-changing initiatives. 

Our mission is to bring together political parties, movements, coalitions, organizations, and individuals to save humanity, protect the Earth and solve our existential challenges.

Our vision is to break barriers to bring everyone together to challenge our current government through grass-roots and institutional advocacy to do better and to do more. Together we will not only ensure the survival of the human species, but we will usher in a more just and peaceful world.

Subscribe to get action alerts and invitations to make a difference right in your inbox. Being involved has never been easier. Join us and help build a movement of change for 2020.