Chopra Jonas hosted an Instagram Live conversation on Tuesday with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Infectious Disease Epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove and Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom. Dr. Tedros and Chopra Jonas first met in January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Chopra Jonas helped to launch Global Citizen’s Give While You Live campaign, which calls on some of the world’s billionaires to donate at least 5% of their wealth every year to end extreme poverty.
The WHO staff thoughtfully answered the questions people asked about COVID-19 on Chopra Jonas’s social media accounts throughout the week. Chopra Jonas’s husband, singer Nick Jonas, also made an appearance on the livestream to ask an important question of his own.
The talk was a part of Global Citizen and the WHO’s "Together At Home" virtual experience. Launched on March 16, the initiative aims to unite the world and combat loneliness while social distancing to help stop COVID-19. Chris Martin, Shawn Mendes, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, Common, Julianne Hough, Hozier, OneRepublic, and more have all hosted at-home concerts as part of the series, with many more talented artists and influencers to come.
Almost 45,000 people tuned into Chopra Jonas’ Instagram Live. She started the chat by thanking the unsung heroes, from health care workers to grocery store employees, who are on the frontlines of the outbreak.
"Thank you, to all of you out there who are taking your responsibilities so seriously," Chopra Jonas said.
Chopra Jonas also reminded viewers that there is hope as China, which once had the most COVID-19 cases in the world, reported they had zero new cases on March 19.
"You say it’s scary times," Dr. Tedros told Chopra Jonas. "And, of course, this is an unprecedented challenge, but I also believe with strength, courage, and unity we can overcome it."
The pandemic cannot be addressed without cooperation from governments, corporations, and civil society, Dr.Tedros said.
Chopra Jonas received questions from her fans about what they can do to protect themselves and others, how to support people who do not have access to water and soap, and more.
Nick Jonas, who has type 1 diabetes, wanted to know if people with pre-existing conditions like him and his wife, who has asthma, should take extra precautions to prevent coronavirus.
"Taking extra precautions to prevent yourself from being exposed is good," Dr. Kerkhove said.
She also advised vunerable people to make sure they pratice safe hygiene and call their doctors immediately if they think they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Dr. Tedros and Dr. Kerkhove helped debunk myths and misinformation about coronavirus and asked Chopra Jonas how she is using her platform to end the pandemic. After addressing everyone’s questions, Dr. Tedros reminded Chopra Jonas to participate in the WHO’s now-viral #SafeHands handwashing challenge.
The WHO is working around the clock to respond to COVID-19 by accelerating research and development, helping countries prepare and respond, coordinating the global response, and communicating about how people can protect themselves and others. The organization recommends people practice good handwashing and self-isolate to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
"This is temporary, we are going to get through this," Kerkhove said. "People are scared, that’s normal, nothing about this new world we’re living in is normal, but people are showing solidarity, they’re showing ways to turn that fear and that spirit into something positive."
“You asked what is your part,” she said to Chopra Jonas. “Every single person on the planet has a role to play and if you don’t know what this is you need to find out.”