How can we effectively communicate about the risk of compound disasters during the continuing pandemic as the United States also enters hurricane, storm, and wildfire season? What is the state of the pandemic in Philadelphia? Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, rejoins to update listeners on the state of COVID-19 cases, testing capacity, mitigation measures, and the stress on the healthcare system in Philadelphia as of April 13, 2020. Dr. Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor Emeritus of Decision Sciences and Public Policy and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, also discusses the importance of communicating catastrophic risk. Dr. Kunreuther talks about the difficulties of communicating about the risk of low probability/high consequence events like COVID-19 and the opportunity the pandemic provides to get people to pay attention to similar global risks. In particular, he explains the ways exponential curves, myopia, simplification and more can hinder risk perception and communication. He connects COVID-19 to other global risks like climate change and examines how we face similar challenges in responding to these disasters. He advocates for better leadership as one vital tool for facing the future and for young researchers to “take advantage of the disaster” as a chance to make changes. For further reading: “At Least 29 Are Killed as Tornadoes and Severe Weather Strike Southern States” A Coordinated, National Approach to Scaling Public Health Capacity for Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation “What the Coronavirus Curve Teaches Us About Climate Change” The Future of Risk Management
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