How the Pandemic Will End: MassNews100 Health Summit

How long the COVID-19 pandemic will last is one of the biggest questions facing the world at present—and one of the major issues addressed at the TIME100 Health Summit that took place on July 15.

At the summit, White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Ashish Jha said this pandemic will end, just as all previous pandemics have ended, but that’s not likely to happen in the next few months. “We need to get to a point where we have vaccines that are truly variant-resistant,” he told Senior Correspondent Alice Park at the virtual event, which was sponsored by Fujifilm. He said such vaccines could still be three to five years away, though that timeline might be sped up with strategic investments, as the science is “moving very quickly.”

Mental well-being was also covered at the TIME100 Health Summit. Michelle Williams, a mental-health advocate and former member of Destiny’s Child, opened up about how she has struggled with depression since the seventh grade—even though she didn’t receive an official diagnosis until her 30s. She told TIME100 Talks host Lola Ogunnaike that while her success did not “heal the pain” of mental illness, it gave her a way to afford therapy, hospitalization, and retreats.

John Simons the executive editor interviewed Michael Acton Smith the co-CEO of Calm and James Park the Fitbit vice-president and general manger about their collaboration in technology and health. Park stated that Fitbit helped him develop better habits like exercising throughout the day. Smith also explained how Calm data revealed that users were listening to meditations at night to help them fall asleep. He created a series of bedtime stories with stars such as LeBron James or Harry Styles.

Lauren Underwood (a Democratic Congresswoman and nurse from northern Illinois) spoke about how the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned her decision. Roe V. WadeIn June. She called for the end of the filibuster so that the U.S. Senate, which has a narrow Democratic majority, could take up the Women’s Health Protection Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, which enshrines abortion protections into law. “The Senate Republicans are united in their opposition to protect[ing] our health care despite the majority of the American people wanting this solution,” she told senior correspondent Janell Ross.

Watch the whole summit from your computer.

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