While this podcast focuses on the likelihood of the continuing trend of viruses circling the globe, it was recorded just as the impacts of the novel coronavirus were coming into view in the United States. Just in the recent past, we have seen the swine flu, Zika, SARS, Ebola and, most recently, coronavirus. With each new virus and contagion come comparisions with past outbreaks that have devastated mankind. However, in this modern age we have imagined that our sophistication and medical advances would make us able to respond quickly to the danger. While that may be true when public health protocols are quickly put in place, in the recent decades we have developed economies around the world that center on megacities, mass transit and supply chains that wrap us all together. And public health emerges as a priority often only when these situations are close upon us. The question is ‘are we tempting fate believing inordinately in our own ability to quickly respond to any possible pandemic’? Clearly while we are treating the physical contagion we are also having to address the psychological ones that grip societies at warp speed on the other superhighway–that of social media. Yale University, in response to international threats, has recently established an Institute for Global Health. We discuss all these issues with its director, Saad Omer, Ph.D. on this podcast.
Guest movement throughout the course of the interview, due to his demand at the time, affected the audio quality of the podcast in limited spots. Please accept our apologies.