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Author: Dr. Malika Siker

Lessons on Resilience, Empathy, and Magic from “Life is Beautiful” and Roberto Benigni in the COVID-19 Era

In 1997, the Italian movie Life is Beautiful (La Vita è Bella) burst on our cinema screens and became an international sensation. In this story, a Jewish father named Guido is imprisoned in a concentration camp with his son Giosuè and goes to absurd and humorous lengths to shield Giosuè from fully realizing the monstrous reality surrounding them. Roberto Benigni, who co-wrote, directed, and starred in the film, played this epic role with conviction, compassion, and comedy, challenging viewers to wonder how far they would go to spare their child from ugly truths. I recall Guido’s charm, wit, and...

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Building community bridges to improve health equity in the COVID-19 era and beyond

City officials revealed recently that Milwaukee’s African American community is being disproportionately harmed by the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. At this time, a majority of the city’s cases and deaths involve members of our African American community. Public health officials are racing to track and identify the sources responsible for the spread of these cases as well as launching a public awareness campaign targeted to communities at greatest risk. Milwaukee institutions and civic leaders are looking to collaborate, motivated to address these disparities. While it is unclear what is specifically driving these COVID-19-related findings, we know that health disparities...

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Being Positive during a Pandemic: 5 tips for getting through the coronavirus as a better person

The arrival of COVID-19 to Milwaukee brought a great deal of uncertainty in its wake. Beyond the obvious health risks is an economic vulnerability that has not been experienced before. Many people feel that the routine of daily life has been sidelined, because COVID-19 has shut down educational institutions, entertainment venues, public events, places of business, and leisure activities. Dr. Malika Siker was a recent guest of the GoGedders Podcast on the subject of the coronavirus. She offered suggestions for people seeking ways to cope, and those eager to help others. These 5 tips expand on that advice. 1....

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The supply and demand of COVID-19: Predicted infection rates would overwhelm Milwaukee hospitals

If you are concerned that the measures taken to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are excessive and alarmist, here is my pitch to those with a business mind to better understand the urgency of the situation. Our hospitals are managed like businesses and are not designed to have a ton of extra equipment and staff for operations. We run near capacity under normal conditions. This makes sense from a business perspective. It is not economical to have a lot of equipment sitting around depreciating, or the responsibility of paying additional staff who are not needed to provide care or service....

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Making our festival grounds Smoke-Free Is good business for Milwaukee

As a cancer doctor, I have dedicated my life to taking care of patients with cancer. While we are working tirelessly to find new treatments for our patients, we know that the best way to cure cancer is to prevent it. Approximately 30% of cancer deaths, impacting almost 350,000 people in the United States each year, are attributed to smoking. Smoking is directly linked to some of the most difficult cancers to cure including those that arise from the lung, pancreas, and esophagus. The societal costs associated with smoking are staggering: in Wisconsin, smoking costs us $2.66 billion in...

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