The Los Angeles Lakers took home the NBA championship this week. But the close of the season also marked a big victory for the league itself. The NBA played its finals in a unique environment that came to be known as the bubble.
Players were frequently tested and social distancing was heavily enforced. And, the experiment worked. The NBA did not report a single positive coronavirus case from players or staff. Reporters Emma Court and Brandon Kochkodin describe how the league did it, and whether other organizations can replicate its success.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, the power of protest and the legacy of George Floyd; (11:07) life in great cities after the pandemic; (17:55) and the lessons from one hundred Bartleby columns on work and management.
“We have to operate a hospital within a hospital, taking care of the needs for patients who have had strokes or a newborn delivery or need surgery while dealing with an otherwise healthy 35-year-old who picked up Covid-19 at a social event,” says James Linder, chief executive of Nebraska Medicine…
For instance, more hospitals are remotely triaging and registering patients before they even arrive. Clinicians can consult with patients from their home via telemedicine to help determine how sick they are and if they need to come to the ER at all. From there, admissions are made with as little contact with staff or other patients as possible.
Hospitals are rethinking how they operate in light of the Covid-19 pandemic—and preparing for a future where such crises may become a grim fact of life.
With the potential for resurgences of the coronavirus, and some scientists warning about outbreaks of other infectious diseases, hospitals don’t want to be caught flat-footed again. So, more of them are turning to new protocols and new technology to overhaul standard operating procedure, from the time patients show up at an emergency room through admission, treatment and discharge.
Originating during the Black Death of the Middle Ages, face coverings to protect against the transmission of disease are not just medical requirements; they’re now a fashion statement. Mark Phillips talks with medical historian Mark Honigsbaum (“The Pandemic Century”) about the purpose and style of facemasks.
Interview with Dr. Nicole Lurie on rapid vaccine development, including new tools to facilitate vaccine testing and manufacturing and persistent challenges.
The need to rapidly develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 comes at a time of explosion in basic scientific understanding, including in areas such as genomics and structural biology, that is supporting a new era in vaccine development. Over the past decade, the scientific community and the vaccine industry have been asked to respond urgently to epidemics of H1N1 influenza, Ebola, Zika, and now SARS-CoV-2. An H1N1 influenza vaccine was developed relatively rapidly, largely because influenza-vaccine technology was well developed and key regulators had previously decided that vaccines made using egg- and cell-based platforms could be licensed under the rules used for a strain change. Although a monovalent H1N1 vaccine was not available before the pandemic peaked in the Northern Hemisphere, it was available soon afterward as a stand-alone vaccine and was ultimately incorporated into commercially available seasonal influenza vaccines.
Nicole Lurie is a strategic advisor to the CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Executive Managing Editor of the Journal.
Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade talks with host Sarah Crespi about the role of inequality in past pandemics. Evidence from medical records and cemeteries suggests diseases like the 1918 flu, smallpox, and even the Black Death weren’t indiscriminately killing people—instead these infections caused more deaths in those with less money or status.
Also this week, Aaron Wech, a research geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, joins Sarah to talk about recordings of more than 1 million earthquakes from deep under Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano, which hasn’t erupted in 4500 years. They discuss how these earthquakes, which have repeated every 7 to 12 minutes for at least 20 years, went undetected for so long.
A selection of three essential articles read aloud from the latest issue of The Economist. This week, how will governments cope with the expensive legacy of covid-19? (11:05), unscrupulous autocrats in the pandemic of power grabs (17:52), and, why Netflix’s success will continue. Zanny Minton Beddoes hosts.