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Create a memorial for COVID-19 victims to prepare for next pandemic. 9
What are the most important things that we can do as a society, as professionals, that prepare us for the next pandemic?
I think the single most important thing is to keep the memory of this COVID-19 pandemic alive. It is to make sure that we don’t forget the lessons, learn from the mistakes. I’ve been proposing a memorial [to COVID-19 pandemic]. You know, that’s not very scientific. But these kinds of things start with a societal recognition that something that drastic happened. And we as a society did not perform optimally. And that’s the starting point. As a professor, as a researcher, as someone who interacts with students, my goal will be to keep the academic and scientific memory of this pandemic alive so that my mentees and their mentees continue to learn from the lessons that we have learned the hard way in COVID-19 pandemic.
Well, this is a great proposal, a very poignant one, and a very timely one. And I hope that it catches up. And it’s a very important idea because that helps us to prepare for the next pandemic. And pandemics are cyclical. It is best to keep the memory in the active recall. I always ask our guests to share perhaps a clinical or a patient story or public health story that illustrates the topics we discussed. Could you perhaps think of a real or maybe hypothetical scenario from your work highlighting the key points that we talked about? COVID-19 coronavirus, epidemiology, and international health in that context.
Well, things sometimes strike close to home. And one of the COVID-19 stories is this. It’s not a story with a lot of depth and nuance but a lot of sadness. Last week to 10 days ago, a friend lost her mother, and another friend has lost his brother. And this is in the context of declining rates of COVID-19 here in the US. Just a reminder that until we have COVID-19 infections 100% under control or substantially under control, we all remain vulnerable. That continues to break our hearts.
Professor Omer, thank you so much for this conversation. It has been most helpful and we do hope to be able to return to you in the future as things develop. And in the meantime, I really would like to wish you huge success, continuing success in your research and in your clinical and public health work, especially internationally, because it’s so much needed. Thank you very much!
Thank you. My pleasure.
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