In this week's episode of The Adelaide Show, we invite you to an audience with an epidemiologist during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we're doing this so you can be armed with more understanding of the complexity of this field and why our health authorities make decisions we often don't understand. Dr
Publish Date: Nov 29, 2020
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In this week's episode of The Adelaide Show, we invite you to an audience with an epidemiologist during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we're doing this so you can be armed with more understanding of the complexity of this field and why our health authorities make decisions we often don't understand. Dr Jacqueline Stephens, Research Fellow and Epidemiologist at Flinders University, is our special guest and we were also joined by former host, Nigel Dobson, cognitive scientist.
In the Musical Pilgrimage, we have a perfect song by Fergus Maximus, which is most fitting during this time of Covid-19 restrictions.
To kick things off, in the SA Drink Of The Week, we return to Rojomoma for a hearty, Barossan red.
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Running Sheet: An audience with an epidemiologist during the Covid-19 pandemic
Introduction to the show.
00:02:13 SA Drink Of The Week
The SA Drink Of The Week is a Red Art Shiraz from Rojomoma in the Barossa Valley. We taste it with winemaker, Sam Kurtz.
00:10:34 Dr Jaqueline Stephens, an epidemiologist
I've been saddened by the growing volume (both noise level and number of voices) of people who are citing anti-science and consipiracy-theory views about our government's approach to dealing with Covid-19. And it is not so much the content - although that's misleading enough, eg, I already have my Covid vaccine it's called Vitamin D - but there is a snide and toxic tone to the commentary. At a time when we all need to be working together for the common good, these voices of dissent are dangerous.
As our contribution to helping inform public debate, I am joined by fellow podcast host and cognitive scientist, Nigel Dobson, and Dr Jacqueline Stephens, Research Fellow and Epidemiologist at Flinders University. Thank you both for braving a heatwave day to join me.
I'd like to start by getting some reactions to a little grab bag of thoughts and comments, then settle into some definitions, and then dive more deeply into the complexities of your field, Jacqueline, as an epidemiologist.
Grab bag one: Heat wave - I've heard someone say that we're lucky Covid struggles in heat and thrives in the cold, unlike some other threats. True?
Grab bag two: Serving food today. I had to find separate dishes for our allocation of olives.
Grab bag three: I'd like to insert a reading here from The Plague by Albert Camus (read by Luke, on the episode of Blind Insights entitled, The Plagues of 2020). In that passage, Camus writes that the plague never dies or disappears for good; it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests, etc. Is this generally true?
Grab bag four: Former guest, Dr Bill Griggs just shared a thought about vaccinations - sure to be a hot topic again. The right to choose not to vaccinate is like the right to chose not to drive on the correct side of the road. Both are expressions of individual freedom. Both may cost you your life. And both may result in death or injury to others. - Quick comment?
Jacqueline, can you give us an overview of your field because Susan Payne writes: Infectious disease epidemiology (which includes the epidemiology of viruses) is the study of the complex relationships among hosts and infectious agents. Epidemiologists are interested in virus spread or transmission, with or without disease. Viral epidemiologists try to predict the potential for development of epidemics, a