Looking at stats of coronavirus by state, it appears that the coronavirus quarantine in the US has had the intended effect of flattening the curve. The next hurdle is safely reopening the country and getting people back to work, school, and socializing. But things are different now. There’s a “new normal” that we still have to get used to, and sometimes there seem to be more questions than answers. If you’re looking for answers and want to stay informed about how coronavirus reopenings are being handled, check out these 6 podcasts featuring updated coronavirus news, reviewed by Vurbl.
#1 – Coronavirus: Fact Vs. Fiction
Since day one, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been the leading authority for information about the coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast from CNN is dedicated to sorting through the overwhelming amount of information surrounding the pandemic in order to deliver listeners the factual and helpful information they need to know. Daily episodes are typically less than 10 minutes, and topics range from the science behind the actual disease and stats of coronavirus by state to discussions about what the future of education and travel might look like.
The Host: While Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon and does not specialize in epidemiology (the study of disease spread), his background in medical reporting gives him the unique ability to disseminate medical and scientific information in a way that the general public can understand. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Gupta has been on the front lines, reporting on the world’s most important health stories, bridging the gap between journalism and the medical community, and establishing credibility as an intelligent, compassionate, and relatable reporter.
The Guests: Dr. Gupta regularly invites guests on Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction, including fellow journalists and correspondents, such as Fareed Zakaria, Evan McMorris-Santoro, and Wolf Blitzer, as well as professionals from the travel, education, health, fitness and wellness industries, and of course, doctors and infectious disease experts.
Why You Have To Listen: Dr. Gupta uses strict facts, science, and unbiased research – no hype or fearmongering. He delivers information in an honest, calm and reassuring manner, and has become a trusted, go-to source during this unprecedented time. The episodes offer helpful and timely information in a quick, easy-to-digest format that listeners don’t feel bogged down or overwhelmed by.
Listen to Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction
Rating: 18+ (Although there are a few episodes specifically aimed at answering kids’ questions)
#2 – Coronavirus Daily
The Coronavirus Daily podcast from NPR is similar in format to Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction. Its daily episodes average just 10 minutes and cover a range of topics all surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Medical, economic, political, and social issues are discussed, as are concerns about a vaccine, the truth about treatments, and what the public can expect as states and businesses begin to reopen.
The Host: Kelly McEvers is a Peabody-award winning journalist and international correspondent. Formerly, she was the host of NPR’s All Things Considered, and she is the current host of the network’s award-winning podcast, Embedded. Listeners appreciate her authenticity, clear voice, and balanced reporting that looks beyond the science to understand the impact the pandemic is having on humanity.
The Guests: McEver regularly interviews guests on the show, including fellow NPR correspondents in the science, medical, business, and international fields. The show has also featured guest doctors and even chefs to offer tips for staying healthy and cooking during the coronavirus quarantine in the US.
Why You Have To Listen: NPR is well-known for its highly factual news reporting and journalism. You can be sure that the information shared on Coronavirus Daily is accurate and helpful to understanding coronavirus updates. The episodes are short and easy to listen to, and McEvers does a great job mixing in live commentary with clips and segments from other relevant NPR stories and correspondents that add value to the topics.
Listen to Coronavirus Daily
Rating: 18+ (Although there are a few episodes specifically aimed at answering kids’ questions)
#3 – Science Vs.
The Science Vs. podcast from Gimlet is a show that digs into current social trends, opinions, myths, and conspiracy theories to find the truth using science-based research. Every episode has been dedicated to coronavirus updates since January 2020, but before that, the show covered everything from healthcare and police shootings, to vaping, sleep disorders, food allergies, vaccines, and the buzz around the dangers of 5G. The coronavirus news episodes discuss the necessity of masks, the truth about asymptomatic carriers, pregnancy during coronavirus, and many other relevant and timely topics.
The Host: Wendy Zuckerman is the host of the Science Vs. podcast. An Australian science journalist, she is passionate about using science to bust common myths and find the truth of things. Her work is published in multiple science publications, and she has worked on Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s documentary and consumer affairs television series, Catalyst and The Checkout. Zuckerman’s voice is lovely to listen to, and she makes learning about science, studies, and sticky topics both interesting and entertaining. Her research is balanced and unbiased, and she breaks down both sides of an issue to deliver factual, science-based answers.
The Guests: Zuckerman regularly invites scientists, medical professionals, and other subject matter experts to weigh in on the show’s topics. Most recently, she spoke to epidemiologist Dr. Emma Frans; professor Annelies Wilder-Smith; Dr. Gary Weissman; and Dr. Eric Schneider to discuss coronavirus updates. In the episode that digs into the controversial topic of wearing masks in public, epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Cowling, microbiologist Dr. Anna Davies, and clinical psychologist Dr. Olga Perski discuss mask effectiveness as well as the psychology around wearing masks in public.
Why You Have To Listen: Science Vs. is a lighter podcast on serious topics. The host is both intelligent and witty, and her storytelling keeps listeners engaged and entertained while learning. Every episode is accompanied by a transcript on the show’s website, which contains all of the citations and links to the research discussed in the episode. Listeners are not simply told that something is true. They hear the science behind both sides of an issue, they’re offered the resources to conduct independent research, and they’re coming away with an informed opinion on an important public issue.
Listen to Science Vs.
#4 – This Podcast Will Kill You
Similar to the Science Vs. podcast, This Podcast Will Kill You has recently shifted gears to cover coronavirus news. Because the show’s basis has always been dedicated to the history of infectious diseases, it was a natural transition to devote the current season to COVID-19. In previous seasons, listeners can learn all about the history, biology, and evolution of some of the scariest and most prevalent infectious diseases in our time, including ebola, yellow fever, tuberculosis, malaria, polio, the plague, and more. Current coronavirus news topics include the biology, control, and treatment of the disease as well as its impact on education, economics, and mental health.
The Hosts: “The Erins,” Erin Welsh and Erin Allman Updyke host This Podcast Will Kill You. Both Erins hold PhDs and are disease ecologists and epidemiologists. They are passionate about sharing their knowledge about infectious diseases, and they do it in a light, entertaining, yet highly informative manner that breaks down the science behind disease for normal people.
The Guests: The Erins regularly invite guests on the show. The beginning of many of the coronavirus episodes begin with pre-recorded firsthand accounts of people close to the episode topic; teachers spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on schools, and the manager of education at a symphony spoke about the economic impacts the disease is having on the local arts community. The Erins invite guests on the show for live format interviews; interview questions are posted on the show’s website so that listeners know what the interview will cover. Most recently, The Erins interviewed Dr. Mike Famulare from the Institute for Disease Modeling to help people learn how to interpret disease models, and understand what some of the current COVID-19 models are telling us about the trajectory of the disease (link to this must-listen episode below!).
Why You Have To Listen: Like other podcasts about coronavirus, The Erins use science and fact-based research to deliver helpful information that people can really use. The Erins promote that the show helps people understand how scared they need to be. What is the risk level, how long will the disease be around, how bad will it get? These are legitimate concerns with the current COVID-19 pandemic, and The Erins use their own knowledge as well as interviews with experts to provide science-based information in layman’s terms to provide a realistic outlook on the disease.
They also both enjoy imbibing in their favorite adult beverages, and each episode comes with its own “Quarantini” (get the recipes here!)
Listen to This Podcast Will Kill You
#5 – America Dissected: Coronavirus
The America Dissected podcast from Crooked Media was just getting off the ground when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Fortunately, the host, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is well-qualified to change gears and bring listeners coronavirus updates. Dr. El-Sayed speaks more on the political and social issues surrounding coronavirus and what policies might be able to fix the cultural, economic, and political issues affecting public health. Dr. El-Sayed discusses coronavirus reopenings, how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to the ebola pandemic, how the disease has impacted schools, how it’s virtually impossible to separate politics from coronavirus, and how Americans are spending their stimulus checks.
The Host: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a physician, epidemiologist, politician, and former city health commissioner. He ran for Governor of Michigan in 2018 and is an unapologetic advocate for universal healthcare, free higher education, renewable energy, and politics that value public health. Dr. El-Sayed’s background and advocacy uniquely position him to speak to the science of the disease, as well as the social and political impacts being felt worldwide as a result of the virus.
The Guests: America Dissected regularly features guests, including Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor who discusses what went wrong early on in the pandemic response, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, Zenei Cortez, co-president of the National Nurses United, Nikhil Goyal, a sociologist and education researcher, and many other experts.
Why You Have To Listen: While it’s true that it’s virtually impossible to separate politics from coronavirus, Dr. El-Sayed insists that politics should be about people’s well-being, first. Politics are how we allocate resources (like healthcare), and politics should affect how we respond to situations that impact every single person in our country — like a public health pandemic. Dr. El-Sayed believes different public health policies could have better prepared the US for the pandemic, and he believes that only a change to those policies will lead us out and prevent a future collapse of our economy and healthcare system.
Listen to America Dissected: Coronavirus
#6 – Epidemic
The Epidemic podcast is similar to America Dissected in that it focuses on the big picture impacts of coronavirus. Topics on the show cover the deep problems plaguing our public health system, including how today’s essential workers were once seen as disposable. It tackles major problems like homelessness during a pandemic and the higher risks that people of color and low socioeconomic status face when forced to return to work. The show also explores what the new normal will look like for work, school, events, sports, and socializing, as well as the challenges of working from home, the risk of returning, and the hard choices employers have to make about employee health and profit.
The Host: Epidemic is hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder, an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist with experience on the ebola, tuberculosis, and HIV outbreaks in recent years. Ronald Klain is the co-host of the show, and he is known for his role as the US Ebola czar from 2014-2015. Listeners appreciate Gounder’s soothing voice and calm demeanor as she tackles hard topics and breaks down medical and scientific topics so that anyone can understand. With a background in law, Klain is an expert interviewer and steers the conversations to get the most out of guests.
The Guests: Gounder and Klain invite a wide range of guests to the show, including fellow physicians, epidemiologists, infectious disease experts, public health officials, and more. In one episode, Syra Madad, Senior Director of the Special Pathogens Program, New York City Health and Hospitals discusses how preparation helped health professionals during the NYC outbreak, and in another Stanley Perlman and Dr. Jon Yewdel join the show to talk about how the body reacts when a virus enters it, and how immunity might occur after a COVID-19 infection.
Why You Have To Listen: Epidemic is the perfect blend of science, facts, and the untold and often heartbreaking stories of the people on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Produced by Just Human Productions, the show aims to “Give voice to the voiceless through a focus on the lived experiences of affected persons on the ground.” From healthcare workers and fast-food employees at risk, to advocates for undocumented workers who remain essential to some of our country’s largest industries, Epidemic reveals the true impact of the coronavirus and the long road ahead to fix our broken systems.
Listen to Epidemic
While coronavirus reopenings are happening worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic is nowhere near over. Still, in our desire to return to normal, it’s natural to look at where we are post-coronavirus quarantine in the US and wonder… what’s next? If you want to stay on top of coronavirus updates, tune in to some of these top podcasts for coronavirus news, reviewed by Vurbl.