Contagion: epidemiology, snake oil, and curve-flattening

Current events

Our world is on the brink of some possibly extreme unpleasantness. Known unknowns threats to civilization. Humanity is bad at planning for statistically-likely-but-not-definite disaster.

Bullshit

The anti-scientific garbage that starts to overflow in the face of a public health crisis. Goop. Alex Jones. Snake oil. Homeopathy. Price gouging. Levels of understanding and respect for the severity of the current pandemic across age groups.

Epidemiology

R0, or basic reproduction number. Vulnerable sub-populations. Prisons. Social distancing. Hoarding toilet paper and… meat? The nipah virus.

Human behaviour

Social distancing. Hoarding steak and toilet paper.

Epidemiology

Historical pandemics. Rate of spead and pandemic reach in the premodern and modern worlds. Propaganda and the “Spanish Flu” of 1918. Wildlife as natural disease reservoirs. Wildlife farming and infectious disease overflow. Disease-spread mitigation. Getting germs in your holes Wash your hands!

Links!

Contagion: iTunes | Amazon
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center: JHU.edu
Why new diseases keep appearing in China by Vox: YouTube
Medlife Crisis: YouTube
Planet Money Podcast: NPR.org
The Indicator from Planet Money: NPR.org
Self-experimentation in medicine: Wikipedia