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37 minutes | 13 days ago
How to Cancel Thanksgiving (Because You Should)
The coronavirus, in addition to being dangerous and terrifying, also makes everything socially awkward. But now is a time to make hard decisions and have hard conversations. Jim and Katherine answer listener questions about the holidays, and explain how to say no.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
34 minutes | 20 days ago
A 90% Effective Vaccine
Jim and Katherine get sent to the principal (the lead principal investigator of the Pfizer vaccine trial).Dr. Stephen Thomas, now a key figure evaluating the Pfizer vaccine, returns to explain promising preliminary data that shows it to be 90% effective.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
26 minutes | a month ago
‘A Long Misunderstood Region’
America hit 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time today. Unlike the wave in the spring, this one is spread across the country and especially hitting rural communities.Carlos Sanchez, the head of public affairs for Hidalgo County in south Texas, talks about the fight that he and his home have had against COVID. Read his story in The Atlantic here. And read Adam Serwer on a Blue Texas here.
29 minutes | a month ago
After the Vote
Could the election shape the course of the pandemic? Or is the ship too hard to turn by now? Staff writer Ed Yong joins the show to explain what a new administration can actually change—and what he worries may be built into our response now.Read Ed Yong’s writing about the election, how the pandemic defeated America, and why our “pandemic spiral” have led to the same repeated errors.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
36 minutes | a month ago
People Need Help
Americans now face a third wave of the coronavirus. New lockdowns may soon follow—this time, without economic support. Many provisions of the CARES Act ran out in July and Congress missed its deadline this week to pass new support before the election. We talk to Prof. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, an expert on the social safety net, about how dire the economic situation already is for many families.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Is COVID-19 a Pre-Existing Condition?
With worries about the Affordable Care Act looming over Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings, an expert gives us a refresher on the landmark health law—and answers questions about what it would mean to lose the law during the pandemic. Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
31 minutes | 2 months ago
So Trump Has COVID
Well it happened. But the president’s doctor isn’t providing a complete picture of Trump’s condition. What do we know about an outbreak coverup in the West Wing?Read Jim’s recent stories here. And subscribe to The Atlantic: theatlantic.com/supportus
43 minutes | 2 months ago
What Does COVID Do to the Heart?
At this week’s presidential debate, Donald Trump claimed he “brought back Big Ten football.” The college conference voted to send student athletes back on the field this fall—a decision that came only days after researchers at Ohio State (the current Big Ten champion) published a study of athletes who had contracted mild COVID cases, but showed signs of myocarditis, a potentially serious and long-lasting heart condition.Jim and Katherine ask cardiologist Dr. Amy Kontorovich what we know about COVID’s impact on the heart. And Jim calls staff writer Adam Harris to ask why schools are putting student athletes at risk—and whether the controversial decision could change college athletics.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
34 minutes | 2 months ago
How Bad Will Winter Get?
Katherine’s been dreading the cold months and the problems they might bring. She asks Jim what to expect and how to prepare. And Alexis Madrigal joins for a live Atlantic Festival taping to share the different winter scenarios with testing and a vaccine.Read Jim’s piece about winter here. And support this show by becoming an Atlantic subscriber at theatlantic.com/supportus.
36 minutes | 2 months ago
Fires Outside, Virus Inside
Katherine’s in California, where things could be better. She’s been wearing two masks—one for the coronavirus, and one for the wildfire smoke—but she isn’t sure how to interpret the air quality warnings. Jim wants to know how air pollution like the smoke interacts with COVID-19. So they called Dr. John Balmes, an expert who’s studied inhaled pollutants for decades and serves as the Physician Member for the California Air Resources Board.Join us live next week at the Atlantic Festival at 12pm ET. We’ll be joined by Alexis Madrigal and will take questions. Register for free at: theatlanticfestival.com
38 minutes | 3 months ago
Is Faster Better?
The path out the pandemic is a vaccine. Short of that, it could be rapid testing. And the sooner, the better ... right? Sarah Zhang and Alexis Madrigal explain how close we are to each solution — and how much of a solution each may be if rushed.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
43 minutes | 3 months ago
Herd Immunity is Not a Strategy
With news that a White House pandemic adviser reportedly pushed a “herd immunity strategy,” Katherine and Jim ask an expert about what that would mean. Dr. Howard Forman, a Yale professor and emergency radiologist, explains why Sweden isn’t the example people think it is—and why many people are talking about “herd immunity” all wrong.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
48 minutes | 3 months ago
Plasma and Immunity
Writer F.T. Kola had COVID-19 in March, and she’s still dealing with the aftermath. She calls to ask about whether she should donate plasma, and if she should worry about “reinfection.” Then, senior editor John Hendrickson talks about disability at the DNC. Read his definitive story on Joe Biden and stuttering here.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
38 minutes | 3 months ago
The Comedy and Tragedy of Virtual Live Events
When live events went online, they lost something indescribable. But did some gain something new? Maeve Higgins explains why comedy needs a crowd. James Fallows argues that politics might be better on Zoom.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
42 minutes | 4 months ago
Millennials Are Buying COVID Cars
Katherine takes a road trip. Jim talks to staff writer Robinson Meyer about COVID cars—and how a new wave of car ownership could change cities for better, or worse.Also: N95s! Surgical masks! Gaiters! What face coverings actually work? (And when should you wear them?)Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
37 minutes | 4 months ago
This Episode Has Not Been Peer-Reviewed
Jim explains the terms Katherine hears in news about scientific studies — and why the pandemic may be changing science. And Ed Yong joins to discuss how American healthcare needs to change to beat the coronavirus. (Read his cover story here.)Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
26 minutes | 4 months ago
Birding Outside the Home
Katherine tries to convince Jim to take on a new hobby with help from self-described “bird nerd,” Jason Ward.Follow Jason Ward on Twitter & Instagram.Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at www.theatlantic.com/supportus
16 minutes | 4 months ago
The Tree Army
Jim wants to see a modern version of the Civilian Conservation Corps. As it happens, there’s a bill in Congress to dramatically expand national service called the CORPS Act. Senator Chris Coons has led the effort to pass it. He joins the show to talk about solving two problems with one bill.Support the show by subscribing to The Atlantic: theatlantic.com/supportus
22 minutes | 4 months ago
'The Most Magical Place on Earth'
Staff writer Graeme Wood makes his first visit to Walt Disney World in the midst of a pandemic.You can read Graeme's piece here and support all of The Atlantic's journalism by subscribing at http://theatlantic.com/supportus.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
How Immunity Works
Katherine gets the results of her coronavirus and antibody tests. She has questions about what they mean, so immunologist Dr. Lisa Butterfield joins to explain the immune system (with help from Jim’s metaphors).Support the show by subscribing to The Atlantic: theatlantic.com/supportus
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