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As CDC leads coronavirus response, demonstrators show support for science

Avondale Estates COVID-19 Crime and public safety Decatur Kirkwood Metro ATL Tucker

As CDC leads coronavirus response, demonstrators show support for science

Photo provided by Joanna Wardwell-Ozgo
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DeKalb County, GA – Normally when people are holding signs near the Centers for Disease Control, the messages are ones of protest.

But on March 9 around 5 p.m., demonstrators had a different message for CDC workers dealing with the national response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Educator Joanna Wardwell-Ozgo noticed the signs and said they gave her hope.

“My child attends the Clifton School at the CDC campus on Clifton Road so it is not unusual to see groups of people with signs outside the CDC entrance,” Wardwell-Ozgo said. “Usually, the signs are full of misinformation about vaccines and the harm they cause children. As I was waiting at the light to turn into the campus I took time to read the signs.”

Demonstrators showed their support for CDC workers with signs that said “Thank You CDC” and “Science Over Fiction.” There were also some Joe Biden supporters mixed in.

“I am a scientist and an educator,” Wardwell-Ozgo said. “In those roles, I seek opportunities to try to dismantle the barriers that have put distance between science and the general population. I think about the best ways to communicate the what, how, and why of what I do to someone who doesn’t think about science on a daily basis or even trust science. While I was reading those signs I began tearing up.

“These citizens’ messages indicated their belief in evidence-based research. Their signs filled me with hope. I was also incredibly appreciative of the kindness they demonstrated by taking time out of their day to show up on a street corner to give their messages of support and appreciation to CDC employees who would be leaving. I am not a CDC employee, but I have many friends who are and who have been working excessive hours doing all they can to understand this virus’ risk to people worldwide. If it touched me I can only imagine how good it must felt to be a CDC employee and be seen by a stranger.”

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