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Fighting Coronavirus, from American Innovations

When public health is threatened on a mass scale, we have a long history of working together to take on the challenge. As the host of Wondery’s American Innovations, Steven Johnson has told the stories of some of the most crucial breakthroughs in health, medicine, and technology. He’s also the author of one of the seminal books on epidemics, “The Ghost Map.”On this new weekly series, Steven will speak with experts from the worlds of health and technology about how the current moment compares with past pandemics, and what the coming months might look like. What will it take to develop a COVID-19 vaccine? How will our educational system change? How can crowdsourcing help us battle the spread of the coronavirus? We’ve vanquished more dangerous threats before. Let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle this one together.

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  • 31.05.2021
    6 MB
    06:27
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    Wondery Presents: The Vaping Fix

    Two young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs set out to rid the world of smoking with an incredible new product. The device stands to disrupt the tobacco industry and make them rich, until it falls into the wrong hands and lives are ruined. From classrooms to hospitals, boardrooms to the Oval Office, what can be done to protect teenagers and is it too late? From Laura Beil, the reporter behind Dr Death and Bad Batch, comes The Vaping Fix, the inside story of the rise of Juul and the making of a crisis. Listen to the Vaping Fix: wondery.fm/VF_FightingCorona

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  • 31.05.2021
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    26:39
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    Larry Brilliant on Why We Need a Global Covid Response

    There are few people who have thought more about pandemics than epidemiologist Larry Brilliant. He worked with the World Health Organization to eradicate smallpox. He’s fought polio and blindness in India. And, in his 2006 TED Prize talk, he warned the audience that a pandemic was coming “within your children or your grandchildren's lifetime.” He was right. What he couldn’t predict, though, was how mismanaged our response would be – and how quickly we’d set aside the lessons we learned defeating smallpox. As Larry tells Steven, “We have to work together… and we're not doing it so far.” Watch Larry’s Ted Prize acceptance speech: https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_brilliant_my_wish_help_me_stop_pandemics?language=en Support us by supporting our sponsors! Great Courses Plus - Get unlimited access to the entire at thegreatcoursesplus.com/fightingcv . UV Clean - You can enjoy 15% off plus free shipping on your order of two or more when you visit getuvclean.com and use promo code FIGHTING CV.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Vaccines (But Were Afraid to Ask)

    The coronavirus has put our lives on pause, but it’s kicked the science behind vaccines into hyperdrive. Science writer Carl Zimmer walks Steven through some of the radical new approaches to making vaccines – and gives his best-case/worst-case scenarios for when a vaccine will be ready. Also: we get answers, kind of, about what’s up with Russia. And Steven drops a Taylor Swift reference. Read Carl’s latest on the vaccine race in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/by/carl-zimmer

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Back to School

    Back-to-school season is here, but students across the country aren’t going anywhere. Anya Kamenetz, NPR’s education correspondent, returns to the show to shed light on the greatest educational crisis of our time. How can we safely reopen schools? And what can we learn from countries that have tried – and failed? Listen to Anya’s stories for NPR at https://www.npr.org/people/302894536/anya-kamenetz .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    26:03
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    How We Can Still Win

    When National Geographic science editor Nsikan Akpan began researching his latest article on the coronavirus, he asked every scientist he talked to the same question: Has the U.S. already lost? Every scientist said no – but we need a better game plan. On this week’s episode, Nsikan tells Steven what we’ve been getting wrong – and what the new game plan should look like. You can find Nsikan Akpan’s articles, including “Here’s How To Stop The Coronavirus From Winning,” at natgeo.com/coronavirus .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Inside the NBA Bubble

    Back in March, the NBA pressed pause on its 2019-20 season. Now, the league wants to pick up where it left off – but with Covid-19 rates on the rise, it’s not going to be easy. This week, Kavitha Davidson, host of The Lead, walks us through the NBA’s plan to move 16 teams into a “bubble” at the Disney World Resort. What rules will players have to follow? And will the risks to players’ health be worth it? Check out The Lead, Wondery’s daily sports podcast, at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lead/id1478448344

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  • 31.05.2021
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    27:37
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    Forest Fires, Memes, & Covid-19

    Forest fires. Ant colonies. Internet memes. On the surface, they have nothing in common. But, according to network scientist Samuel Scarpino, they’re all complex systems that spread. Sam’s job is to crack the rules underlying their spread, and then apply them to epidemics such as Covid-19. Read more about Sam’s work in Steven’s New York Times Magazine article, “How Data Became One of the Most Powerful Tools to Fight an Epidemic”: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/10/magazine/covid-data.html

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  • 31.05.2021
    25 MB
    26:25
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    Can We Ditch the Office Forever?

    Most CEOs hated the idea of employees working from home. But when the coronavirus hit, they didn’t have a choice. They sent their white-collar workers home before they’d even learned how to mute themselves on Zoom. What happened next surprised everyone. Productivity shot through the roof. Now, companies don’t know whether they should bring workers back to the office, even if they can do it safely. We’ve invited Clive Thompson, fresh off his piece for The New York Times Magazine about remote work, to talk us through this rapid culture shift. What, exactly, makes remote work so productive? What do we lose when we work in isolation? What new technology will emerge from this moment? And how many of us will ever voluntarily do the 9-to-5 again? Links: Clive Thompson, “What if Working From Home Goes On … Forever?”, New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/09/magazine/remote-work-covid.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage And check out Clive's interview on The Next Big Idea about his book "Coders": https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/coders-the-invisible-architects-that-shape-our-lives/id1482067226?i=1000455369916

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Why Covid-19 Disproportionately Kills Black Americans

    There’s a saying in public health circles: “When white America sneezes, black America gets pneumonia.” When the coronavirus hit, health care experts knew that black Americans would be the hardest hit. But the numbers were still shocking. Black people make up 12.7% of the U.S. population but have so far made up 22% of its Covid-19-related deaths. On this episode, Steven talks to reporter Linda Villarosa about the reasons behind those numbers, and her quest to give them a human face in her New York Times Magazine article, “A Terrible Price: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America.” Along the way, she offers hope that we might be able to turn this current crisis into a call for action. Articles by Linda Villarosa: “A Terrible Price: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/magazine/racial-disparities-covid-19.html “How False Beliefs in Physical Racial Difference Still Live in Medicine Today,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/racial-differences-doctors.html “Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies are in a Life-or-Death Crisis,” New York Times Magazine: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/magazine/black-mothers-babies-death-maternal-mortality.html

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Can Your Smartwatch Detect Covid-19?

    These days, watches don’t just tell time. Smartwatches like Apple Watch and Fitbit measure your heart rate, count your steps, and track your sleep schedule. According to Dr. Michael Snyder, they can also tell you when you’re getting sick – and potentially spot Covid-19 before you’re even symptomatic. On this episode, Steven talks to Dr. Snyder, who runs the Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine at Stanford, about his new study on whether wearables can predict the onset of Covid-19. What has the study learned so far, and what else can your wearables be trained to detect? To participate in Dr. Snyder’s study, visit https://innovations.stanford.edu/wearables . Support us by supporting our sponsors! Express VPN - Visit expressvpn.com/fightingcv to get three FREE months a one year package.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Stopping the Spread of Bad Information

    According to the World Health Organization, we’re not just in the midst of a pandemic. We’re living through an “infodemic,” where misinformation is more readily available than facts. On this episode, Steven talks to Joan Donovan, who studies misinformation in her role as the Director of the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy’s Shorenstein Center. Joan shares how conspiracy theories spread and how each of us can practice good information hygiene. It’s not as easy as wearing a mask … but it’s close.

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  • 31.05.2021
    22 MB
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    Will We Remember 2020 A Century From Now?

    While the U.S. has countless WWI memorials, it has almost none dedicated to the 1918 flu pandemic. But the pandemic claimed six times as many American lives as WWI. On this episode, Steven talks to historian Nancy Bristow, author of American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, about the blind spot in America’s collective memory. Why did we forget 1918’s pandemic? And how well will future generations remember this one? Support us by supporting our sponsors! Keeps - Get your first month free when you go to keeps.com/fightingcv .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    We’re More United Than You Think

    Communication and cooperation across our society are as important as they’ve ever been. This week, Steven talks with Andy Slavitt, the former Medicare and Medicaid chief, who has emerged as one of the most effective communicators during this crisis. Andy and Steven how to find trustworthy news sources, discuss the future of healthcare, and how to make the most of your child’s senior year in isolation. (Hint: Start a podcast together!) Check out Andy Slavitt’s podcast In the Bubble . You can learn more about his new healthcare nonprofit, the United States of Care, here .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Is Social Distancing Enough?

    If we really want to reopen our economy, we need to do more than just flatten the curve. In the words of Dr. Jim Kim, the former president of the World Bank, we need to “start coming down the mountain.” And to do that, Dr. Kim says there is only one valid solution: “contact tracing,” one of the most low-tech and labor-intensive weapons in our public health arsenal. On this week’s episode, Steven talks to Dr. Kim about how he convinced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to invest in contact tracing when other governors wouldn’t even return his calls, and why contact tracing is the best way to contain the spread of Covid-19.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Makers Take Us Back To The Future

    When health care workers began running out of protective equipment, makers around the world powered up their 3D printers and got to work. This week, Steven talks to journalist Clive Thompson about the maker movement, an informal network of sewers, tinkerers, and engineers whose ingenuity is bridging supply gaps and increasing the pace of technological innovation, sometimes in a very retro way. Read Clive Thompson’s article, “When Government Fails, Makers Come to the Rescue,” on Wired.com . Download Budmen Industry’s templates for 3D face shields. Enter the CoVent-19 Challenge.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    30:30
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    Taking Care Of Our Kids

    Let’s face it: we’re worried about our kids. How can we protect their mental health? Should the normal rules around screen time still apply? What will school look like come September? This week, Steven talks with Anya Kamenetz, an education correspondent for NPR and author of the book The Art of Screen Time, to find some answers.

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Can Data Save Our Lives?

    Where are new cases being detected? How many beds are available in local hospitals? What’s the growth rate of ICU admissions? These are some of the most urgent questions in the world right now, and they’re being answered by data pioneers like Dr. John Brownstein, the Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Brownstein talks to host Steven Johnson about his new crowdsourced website, CovidNearYou.org, and how public health data doesn’t just track deaths, but helps prevent them. Contribute to Dr. John Brownstein’s live map of Covid-19 symptoms at https://covidnearyou.org/ .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    When Will The Lockdown End?

    Reading the forecast models that track and predict the spread of the coronavirus can feel like a glimpse into the future. And epidemiologists – the scientists behind these models – have suddenly become the most important figures in this fight. Dr. Tara Smith, an epidemiologist and professor at the Kent State University College of Public Health, talks with Steven about what most people misunderstand about these models, whether there’s an end in sight for social distancing, and why the public health sector is our “invisible shield.” For more stories about challenges and triumphs of science and technology, hosted by Steven Johnson, listen and subscribe to Wondery’s American Innovations at https://wondery.com/shows/american-innovations/ . Follow Dr. Tara C. Smith at https://twitter.com/aetiology .

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  • 31.05.2021
    25 MB
    26:09
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    Protecting City Life After Covid-19

    Civilization needs cities. The population density of cities has always been key to driving new ideas, new collaborations, and new social movements. But today, as the coronavirus spreads, that density is creating danger. Steven talks with Richard Florida, a bestselling author on cities and urban rebirth, about how cities can protect their way of life, and how they can come out of this crisis even stronger than before. Listen and subscribe to Wondery’s American Innovations at https://wondery.com/shows/american-innovations/ Read Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo’s 10-Point Preparedness Plan for Cities .

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Prospects for a Vaccine

    How can we speed up vaccine development for COVID-19? Steven Johnson speaks with Dr. Bruce Gellin , President of Global Immunization at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington D.C.. Dr. Gellin is also a former director of the National Vaccine Program at the Department of Health and Human Services, and he led the creation of HHS’s first pandemic influenza preparedness and response plan . Listen and subscribe to Wondery’s American Innovations at https://wondery.com/shows/american-innovations/

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  • 31.05.2021
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    Introducing Fighting Coronavirus

    Premieres March 31st.

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