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Social Distance

The Atlantic

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798
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Social Distance

Social Distance

The Atlantic

62
Followers
798
Plays
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About Us

James Hamblin is a doctor. Katherine Wells is not. But she has a lot of questions. Listen in as Jim and Katherine keep in touch with other journalists, experts, and friends about the latest science and health news⁠—and, more important, what to do with it.Email us with questions, stories, or feedback at socialdistance@theatlantic.com.

Latest Episodes

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

36 min1 w ago
Comments
People Need Help

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

40 min2 w ago
Comments
Is COVID-19 a Pre-Existing Condition?

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

31 min3 w ago
Comments
So Trump Has COVID

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

44 minOCT 1
Comments
What Does COVID Do to the Heart?

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.

33 minSEP 24
Comments
How Bad Will Winter Get?

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

36 minSEP 17
Comments
Fires Outside, Virus Inside

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

38 minSEP 10
Comments
Is Faster Better?

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

43 minSEP 3
Comments
Herd Immunity is Not a Strategy

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

49 minAUG 27
Comments
Plasma and Immunity

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

39 minAUG 20
Comments
The Comedy and Tragedy of Virtual Live Events

Latest Episodes

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

36 min1 w ago
Comments
People Need Help

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

40 min2 w ago
Comments
Is COVID-19 a Pre-Existing Condition?

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

31 min3 w ago
Comments
So Trump Has COVID

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

44 minOCT 1
Comments
What Does COVID Do to the Heart?

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.

33 minSEP 24
Comments
How Bad Will Winter Get?

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

36 minSEP 17
Comments
Fires Outside, Virus Inside

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

38 minSEP 10
Comments
Is Faster Better?

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

43 minSEP 3
Comments
Herd Immunity is Not a Strategy

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

49 minAUG 27
Comments
Plasma and Immunity

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

39 minAUG 20
Comments
The Comedy and Tragedy of Virtual Live Events
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