8Catching Your CurrentAll of Us Can Change the World

Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

Martin Luther King Jr.

EVEN THOUGH I had been engaged with global and national health security issues for many years—helping teams respond to Ebola epidemics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, setting up Emergency Operations Centers in Vietnam and Senegal, sitting on panels and national congressional commissions on health security, and being an early participant in the founding of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI)—in March 2020 the novel coronavirus brought home the deeply human meaning behind all these discussions with an immediacy I had not seen before.

Rather than advising the WHO or Congress on strategies to address an outbreak, I found myself counseling my own son about whether he should go to work with a face mask, and helping friends weigh decisions about halting travel or closing their businesses due to a virus. Even as it has torn through communities, the COVID‐19 pandemic has provided a visceral reminder of how truly interconnected our world is, effectively obliterating borderlines between local and global activism.

The complex scientific and economic issues that spooled out from the pandemic are beyond the scope of this book. Yet they underscore so many ...

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