Allow Us to Illustrate: Visualizing the Science of Covid

“Through Dr. Gounder’s work, lives will be changed and saved.”

With the end of the pandemic on the horizon, people are letting down their guard.

Dr. Celine Gounder cautions against easing restrictions too soon. “We may be done with Covid-19, but the virus is not done with us,” wrote Dr. Gounder along with other members of the Biden-Harris Transition Covid-19 Advisory Board. “Vaccination rates are ramping up, but cases have plateaued. New mutant variants have emerged and are spreading across the country. Some of these variants are more infectious. Some are more virulent. And prior infection with wild-type strains may not protect against others. Life is not back to normal,” she warns. Yet, some states are celebrating prematurely by opening up indoor businesses and permitting large gatherings. Other states are rolling back mask mandates entirely and reopening businesses at 100% capacity. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet. We must remain vigilant, or tens of thousands more Americans will become sick and die.

To share this message with audiences across the country, Dr. Gounder has released a brand-new illustrated guide on America’s “tug-of-war” with Covid. The free resource premiered on social media on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. Created and produced in collaboration with Just Human Productions, a non-profit media company she founded in 2017, the guide features illustrations by Oona Tempest.

Just Human blends science with storytelling to shed light on pressing public health issues and evidence-based solutions. Since 2017, the organization has produced the acclaimed podcast series American Diagnosis and Epidemic, addressing crises ranging from climate gentrification to Covid-19. Building on this audio programming, Just Human has recently introduced illustrated guides as part of its mission to democratize access to public health knowledge.

Just Human released its first illustrated guide—“The Science of Vaccines”—in December 2020.  Since then, Dr. Gounder has incorporated that guide into presentations with organizations across the country, from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer League to Morgan State University’s School of Journalism & Communication. In the Greater New York City Area, where Just Human is based, Dr. Gounder has utilized the guide in town hall conversations in collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals, the Bronx Community Health Board, and the Nassau Tabernacle of Praise Church. 

Across all of these highly accessible guides, Just Human and Dr. Gounder have empowered communities to put science into action. 

Keith Ashby recently served as the Co-Chair for the 2021 Black History Month Celebration at the Nassau Tabernacle of Praise Church. “This year, it was necessary to organize a health forum to address the current crisis,” Mr. Ashby says. “When we invited Dr. Gounder to speak with our congregation, we knew she would embody the forum’s theme: ‘It takes a village’. During her presentation on Covid-19, Dr. Gounder gave us the information to make wise choices to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. In a time where disinformation is rampant…Dr. Gounder’s illustrated guide on the science of vaccines was the perfect tool to dispel several myths regarding Covid-19 and the vaccines. Through Dr. Gounder’s work, lives will be changed and saved.

Just Human’s illustrated guides have magnified the organization’s impact across the United States. To access these free resources, and to learn how to become a citizen-scientist within your own community, visit www.justhumanproductions.org/resources or email hello@justhumanproductions.org.