How does pizza help with managing fears?

Learn from a healthcare system expert and a survivor of two life-threatening events on how to face uncertainty without fear.

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illustration by

Spending 9 weeks in quarantine with two children in the middle of Barcelona, Lucia feels good. She is smiling with her typical calm reflective demeanor and states what is unthinkable for most of us: ‘I’d be ok even if we had to live this way for the rest of our lives’ and moves on to the next topic leaving me speechless.

How did her experience of surviving two life-threatening situations help her to cope with fear? And what does pizza have to do with it all?

This video is part of The Fear Project:

How I know Lucia …

Lucia and I call each other on birthdays, for Christmas and at special family events.  Even though we have lived in different countries for the past 20+ years, our conversation feels always kind, deep, and inspirational.

As a daughter of a pediatric immunologist, Lucia had a natural interest in healthcare since we met in high school. She has obtained her MA in the field of International Economics and International Development at John Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in the field of Health Policy and Health Economics at the Long School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

She worked for the Council of Europe, the World Bank, and later as a consultant on issues of health and social development in various countries around the world. She also worked as a senior researcher for an independent think-tank, Nuffield Trust, in the field of health and social development.

Lucia co-founded the non-profit organization PROVIDA ( and became fully professionally dedicated to the vision of its main program BUDDY ( as of 2017. BUDDY focuses on connecting children from children’s homes with volunteers to give every child the chance for a decent life.

Before dedicating herself to the non-profit world, Lucia focused professionally on healthcare systems in developing countries and research in varied international organizations. You can view her many accomplishments on her LinkedIn profile.

Lucia lived in the USA, Netherlands, Italy, Costa Rica, the UK, and now Spain. Lucia is fluent in 6 languages and has twin daughters, one of them battling a chronic disease juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and uveitis.

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