We are all struck by how unique our present moment is, compared to other regional disasters. COVID-19 threatens all of us, and while it does not do so equally, it does call on all of us to take action.
As citizens, we are responding, and recognizing our need to do our part for the larger whole.
COVID-19 brings home the importance of Science as the driver that determines the specific ways we can make this positive contribution, through actions such as social distancing, testing, hand washing, and others.
It has taken us some time to get with the program, to understand the dangers, and the best course to follow. And yet, many are still not taking adequate action. Different countries are in effect conducting differing ‘Citizen Science for Health’ experiments, with widely differing outcomes. Italy for one is imploring the world to learn from its example.
Citizen Science’s strength as a movement to date has primarily been on enlisting grassroots participation so we can better understand and mitigate environmental issues such as climate change.
Those of us focused on Citizen Science for Health have most often embraced self-experiments, and efforts to evolve a new and improved “standard of care” in medicine, especially in areas like rare diseases, healthy aging, and brain health.
While this health experimentation starts out as mostly personal, we see from our current circumstance that our personal efforts, especially those related to COVID-19, directly impact one another.
Our personal health practices now have a clearer global context. In the face of this global threat, Citizen Science, whether focused on health or on the environment becomes a rallying point. And bringing a scientific mindset to learning from each of the choices we are making, is going to be critical to our collective future.