Hello, humans at home! When I trained at the John’s Hopkins University (at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, JHSPH) over a decade ago, I had only one thing in mind — to train as a genetic counselor, get back to my country, and then establish global standards of genetic counseling in India. Genetic counselors across the globe have expertise in medical genetics and psychological counseling, and I’m very proud of the genetic counseling work we do here at Mapmygenome. I must confess, though, that I never once imagined that the skills I learned from training at JHSPH — public health communication, health education, health behaviour and society, advocacy, etc., —  would end up one day with me making a video during a pandemic.

I was so frustrated — as a health care professional and a scientist — with the misinformation and rumors floating around social media that I decided to make this video because someone needs to put this out there. During this public health crisis, when fear-mongering has been causing more distress than the actual virus, we need global crisis intervention, and I’m hoping to do my tiny bit through this light, educational, and much-needed video. When fear-mongering and rumors spread faster than the coronavirus, it’s time to intervene with powerful tools of common sense and comedy. These are trying times for humanity; education and empathy are key. And, also, we can all use a good laugh right now!

About the Author

Pooja Ramchandran is a pioneer in the field of genetic counseling in India and VP Genetic Counseling at Mapmygenome. She has been practicing clinical genetic counseling in India since graduating from Johns Hopkins University in 2008. She is a much sought-after expert in a niche profession and, being the first genetic counselor in the country with a formal degree in genetic counseling, she is committed to establishing the genetic counseling profession in India.

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