The world is learning many crucial lessons about pandemic preparedness in 2020. While infectious disease outbreaks are not new, the scale of the coronavirus pandemic and the speed at which it has disrupted our daily lives has come as a surprise to many communities and their leaders.
Big, global problems require big, global solutions. As Panorama’s own Trisha Comsti wrote recently, “We need to take the lessons we’ve learned over the past few months and use them to prepare for the next public health crisis and then reimagine and rebuild a better world for us all.”
That’s why the Pandemic Action Network was created. What started in 2018 as a regular conference call of advocates and public health leaders from across sectors interested in taking action to increase the world’s ability to respond to the next pandemic, scaled up in to the Pandemic Action Network this spring, to drive collective action to help bring an end to COVID-19 and to ensure the world is prepared for the next pandemic.
The Network is made up of organizations ranging from philanthropy to civil society to business, and coordinating communications and advocacy opportunities across 37 Network members requires serious organization and attention to detail.
Luckily, Panorama team member Naomi Komuro has stepped up to the task. As senior project manager, Naomi’s role is critical in keeping the Network’s various workstreams moving and ensuring that Network partners stay connected and informed. Her work is constantly evolving: as of this writing, Naomi’s priorities for the week include drafting agendas for multiple Pandemic Action Network working groups, researching different countries’ policies on cloth face coverings, and preparing letters to global leaders, urging them to prioritize global pandemic preparedness. Here’s how she does it:
One of the Pandemic Action Network’s first projects has been the #MaskingForAFriend campaign, engaging influencers and celebrities to help increase awareness and use of cloth face coverings in public, along with continuing other protective measures like social distancing and handwashing. As of July, the campaign has generated more than 155 million social media impressions and more than 4.9 million engagements.
Wearing a mask matters more than ever: Parts of the United States are shutting back down as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths once again increase, and more than 130,000 infections globally were reported on July 12 – a new record. According to the latest research from Gallup, only 44% of U.S. adults say they "always" wear a mask when outside their homes, while 14% say they "never” wear a mask.
Continuing to wear masks will help us keep protecting our families and our communities. Join the #MaskingForAFriend movement, and follow the Pandemic Action Network on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see how else you can work with us to help end this pandemic and prevent the next one.