A Short and Long-Term Look at the Global Effects of COVID-19—Steve Luby, MD—Professor of Medicine and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute


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Jun 12 2020 28 mins  
Dr. Steve Luby is a communicable disease epidemiologist who joins the show to discuss his work over the years, as well as provide insight on the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, you will discover: How low-income countries with a high population density are being affected by COVID-19 In what ways and what countries strict lockdown measures have actually resulted in more deaths, directly and indirectly Why the COVID-19 pandemic might change the way politicians think about infectious diseases, and how it will shape the future of economic and global health Unlike many communicable disease epidemiologists, Dr. Luby spent a long time living in low-income countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh with the goal of seeing problems firsthand before trying to sort out how to address them, and identifying opportunities to make a difference. Through this experience, Dr. Luby gained unique insight into the patterns of infectious diseases and transmission in different areas of the world. He uses the current COVID-19 pandemic as an example of such patterns, explaining that the high population density in areas like Bangladesh make social distancing measures impossible, and encourage the efficiency of infectious diseases like COVID-19. The result? It’s tragic in the short term, he explains, but in the long-term it will result in fewer people in the area remaining susceptible to the virus. By virtue of the virus moving through these areas so quickly, these areas are likely to normalize a lot sooner than the US and other high-income countries where better medical infrastructure exists and social distancing measures are possible. In addition to a number of other important and interesting topics, Dr. Luby explains why it can be so problematic for governments to make ill-informed decisions out of a desire to simply “take action” amid a pandemic, and the importance of sound scientific support for political leadership worldwide. Tune in for the full conversation and learn more about Dr. Luby’s work by visiting https://woods.stanford.edu/people/stephen-luby. Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK