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World War Z Author Explains What We Should Do To Stop The COVID-19 Spread

The coronavirus pandemic is disturbing lives and daily routines around the globe. It has affected everyone — including members of the film industry, as countless television and film productions are being put on hold due to safety and health concerns. During this time of outrage and uncertainty, we look to experts to help guide us through the clouds of panic and misinformation.

One such expert — or, at least, someone who's spent a great deal of time writing about the spread of disease and pandemics — is Max Brooks, the author of World War Z, a book about an oral history of a zombie apocalypse that was adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt.

As restaurants are forced to take-out services only and bars close, not to mention toilet paper and other household essentials fly off the shelves at grocery stores, the current state of affairs can, quite literally, feel like an apocalypse. No one knows how bad the COVID-19 spread will get or when this madness is going to end. Although this pandemic is changing virtually every industry and can rightfully cause rip-roaring panic, Brooks recently said in an interview with Alissa Wilkinson of Vox that "our biggest enemy is panic. When asked how he would advise the U.S. president on how to proceed if he were in charge, Brooks detailed what we should be doing to stop the COVID-19 spread.

Max Brooks' answer is simple, fact-based, and practical

Brooks detailed to Vox an approach that's grounded in facts and would be relatively simple to carry out. 

"You appoint a single voice, and then what that voice communicates is dictated by facts — the facts on the ground, science, public health. That voice tells the American people what is happening and what they should be doing about it. You start with that," he explained. "That voice probably should not be the president. Ronald Reagan was smart to give it to [then-U.S. Surgeon General] C. Everett Koop. We need a C. Everett Koop. That's the person who needs to be on TV making addresses and tweeting and going on social media telling us what to do, backed up by facts."

From there, Brooks noted, "you let the facts dictate where we divert our resources." He continued, "Is it to shutting borders? Is it to test kits? Is it to funding hospitals and training emergency workers? Is it all of them?"

The biggest and most important thing Brooks feels we should do in the face of the coronavirus pandemic is to " listen to the qualified experts and then have a unified, single voice and face communicating those experts' findings to the public." That, in Brooks' opinion, is "how you beat this thing."

Brooks — accompanied by his father, writer-director-actor Mel Brooks — also explained social-distancing in a funny yet effective PSA on Twitter. "If I get the coronavirus, I'll probably be OK," Max Brooks said. "But if I give it to [my father], he could give it to Carl Reiner, who could give it to Dick Van Dyke, and before I know it, I've wiped out a whole generation of comedic legends [...] When it comes to coronavirus, I have to think about who I can infect. And so should you."

If anyone knows how to stop an apocalypse or at least shed some light, truth, and guidance, it's the writer of World War Z.

This pandemic can feel like a nuisance as all our favorite things are taken away from us (such as season finales and sporting events), but it's also scary and can even, in a worst-case scenario, be life-threatening. That's why it's essential for the public to listen to health professionals and practice whatever's necessary. This too shall (hopefully) pass with strong leadership, guidance, and proper measures being taken.