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Doctor turned video sensation urges precaution, not panic

The most dangerous symptom of the coronavirus crisis is anxiety, the doctor who founded a Las Vegas clinic with backing from Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project says in a video released last week.

“It’s March 16, 2020, and the ‘ish’ is hitting the fan,” says the doctor, whose real name is Zubin Damania. He’s spent the past decade creating and sharing videos about health care as ZDogg MD.

He continues: “And when I say that, I mean medically, which is just one piece of that, and also psychologically, socially, economically …”

Damania’s videos, which can be seen here, are aimed at providing viewers a clear way to understand what’s going on.

“We’ve taken it on ourselves to spread as much actual knowledge as we can and speaking with no BS,” Damania said. “You don’t treat the audience like children and dumb it down too much. There’s a big appetite for the public to understand.”

Damania argues for cool-headed consideration of the coronavirus pandemic, rather than panic responses such as overshopping and resource hoarding that hurt communities.

“The main thing I’m seeing is the media creating a state of fear and panic that is becoming counterproductive,” Damania said. “The way you fight that is with knowledge and preparation.”

Part of that knowledge and preparation includes taking warnings from health authorities seriously about social distancing, washing hands and more. With Las Vegas being a travel hub, using precautions will not only help stop the spread here, but across the globe.

“The main thing with Las Vegas, which is a community I’m still close to and love, is there’s an independent libertarian streak that serves it well. But this is one of those situations where the good of the many has to outweigh your own good. Listen to the authorities when they say don’t leave your house unless you have to. And especially don’t leave if you feel sick. This is crucially important. Las Vegas is a travel hub. You’ll not only help the city out, but also the world.”

In addition to following precautions, Damania said, it’s equally important to show support for health care workers.

“The main thing I want to say right now is we really need to support and provide resources for our health care professionals,” he said. “We need to treat them like heroes because they are our hope.”

Though Damania now works in the Bay Area, he founded the Turntable Health clinic in 2013 and lived in Las Vegas from 2012 to ’19. He’s seen Las Vegas rise together in the face of great adversity after the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting. He says a similar effort is going to be needed now.

“Our health care workers, the community came together when they needed to,” Damania said. “People need to understand this is like October 1 on steroids. That kind of effort is what’s going to help people.”

Contact Max Michor at mmichor@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0365. Follow @MaxMichor on Twitter.

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