• Vivek Murthy

Former Surgeon General, Director of Doctors For America Talk Positivity in the COVID-19 Era

Former United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy ’98 and former director of Doctors for America Alice Chen spoke to students about hope amid the coronavirus pandemic in a Tuesday webinar.


Murthy and Chen, who are married, were invited by South Asian Americans in Public Service, a Harvard College student organization. Both have previously spoken at SAAPS and Harvard Kennedy School events.


Aman A. Panjwani ’20, SAAPS co-founder and event co-organizer, said in an interview that he felt that there was a “lack of rhetoric” on hope and positivity during the outbreak, and that SAAPS sought to create an event to close that gap. As of March 29, there were 200 registered to attend the webinar, according to Panjwani.


In the webinar, Murthy and Chen took questions from student moderators and then opened the virtual floor to the audience.


Murthy predicts that even when the virus is under control, going back to normal “won’t be like flipping a switch.”


“It will be like a gradual phase-in,” he said. One such circumstance, he postulated, could be reopening of schools and workplaces but still banning large gatherings and concerts.

Both stressed the importance of self-care and mindfulness from home during the uncertainty of the developing pandemic.


“It’s so easy to be buried in an avalanche of everything that’s coming at you,” Murthy said.


“Be easy on yourself.”


“No shame in Netflix!” Chen said, discussing ways to pass time at home.


Read full story on the Harvard Crimson: https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/4/1/harvard-coronavirus-hope-webinar/

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