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Principles of Risk Communication and Health Crisis Outreach Management during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Abstract

Risk communication is a key factor able to affect the response of the population to an emergency and to promote correct actions and behaviors. The advent of a crisis on a global scale, as the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19, exposed some of the weakness of healthcare and political institutions worldwide, which failed to provide a proper and coordinated communication plan. With no effective preparedness and readiness procedures in place, the communication models used were arbitrary and distressed by the attempts of the many, some moved by good will, others merely by personal interest. In such a cacophony of often unsolicited opinions, any contingency plan and any procedure aimed to prevent the spread of the virus seemed to fail, often because the general public was simply unable to understand what was going on and why some measures were needed.

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