You already know that the challenge is the most heart pounding competition show on television, but do you ever wonder how challenge competitors are selected or which challenges were too dangerous for TV? Well, you can learn all that and so much more on MTV's Official Challenge podcast hosted by your girl Tourie and me. Ainissa, we're giving you the inside scoop on the brand new season of the challenge. Let's go, baby. Listen to MTV's Official Challenge podcast starting on December 10th on the IHA radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.
You probably heard a lot about Portland on the news about the tear gas and the federal agents with snatch vans and the the anarchy, what you probably haven't heard is the truth, because the reality of what happened in Portland is so much stranger, so much more incredible than what the mainstream media was willing to show. I'm Robert Evans. And along with all of the other voices on my podcast, Uprising A Guide from Portland, I was there. Listen to Uprising, a guide from Portland on the radio app Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Welcome to had a citizen with Buried Sunday, a show where we reimagine the word citizen as a verb and remind ourselves how to wield our collective power. I'm buried Sunday.
I'm recording this on Wednesday, the 4th of November, 20, 20 at roughly three thirty pm Pacific Time, six thirty PM Eastern Time, we don't yet have a confirmed winner of the presidential election, but we know the direction that things are moving toward. We expected this. They literally told us it's election season, not Election Day, Michelle Obama told us to bring lunch and dinner to the polls. We knew it could take days, possibly weeks, not hours to know the results.
And that's because we had record votes submitted by mail and those votes take time to count. So let them count. I am tired. I put a lot of energy into this election, and I am excited in part and hopeful, I am disappointed in part and angry. I am tired, but just edging out my fatigue. I am proud of you. I'm proud of us. We voted in record numbers, we demonstrated that first pillar of what it means to citizen, what we talk about in this show so much we showed up.
We participated, we stood together for each other, despite so many difficulties in an already too difficult year. We, the people. Claimed our power and. It's a beautiful thing. Democracy was on the ballot. And democracy, though, challenged. Is rising. Thank you, citizen. And thank you, local election officials who made this possible. Seriously, thank your local election official. Find them on the Internet, send them cupcakes or pizzas or cupcake pizzas or pizzas made out of cupcakes, whatever it is, they deserve some praise and some gratitude for making something so rough run relatively so smooth.
Joe Biden has received more votes for president than any person in US history. Every demographic group turned out the US experienced record turnout from everyone. This happened in a season of lawsuits and moves to restrict voting, a season of hurricanes and fires, a season of threats to the Postal Service. And above all. A season of covid. That's right, the pandemic isn't over just because you're over it, regardless of the outcomes of the various elections in the United States, covid-19 is here and stronger than ever.
We are near a hundred thousand average new cases every day. And that number is climbing. Our hospitals across the nation are reaching their limits again. Things will get worse before they get better. That's really all things will get worse. Before they get better. Our guests in this episode said. If you don't know someone who has died from covid, you will. Our guest is literally the one person I trust above all others on covid matters. And it was my dream, an almost literal dream, that he would agree to be on this show and thanks to one of you, a listener.
Thanks, Meshach. Two weeks ago, we've recorded with him and our live zoom audience. As we start to emerge from the intensity of a difficult election. We are landing right in the middle of the most intense version yet of a difficult pandemic. And there is no one in this world I would rather talk to and have you learned from than Dr. Michael Osterholm? I literally trust this man with my life and our lives, so I'm going to pass the mic to myself from two weeks ago, a little bit of audio time travel, and I'll meet you on the other side of this interview with one of the nation's premier and longest serving disease detectives.
And you'll see, as I do, that he's not just that he's also a stellar citizen.
This pandemic is not over. As far from it, in the United States, we're well past two hundred thousand people who are dead, hundreds dying each day, up to a thousand, even an covid-19 was supposed to bring us all together, supposed to come for us all equally, supposed to unite us. But in so many ways, it feels like it hasn't yet. There are voices out there. There are people out there, including probably you who have helped, who have stepped up, who have isn't hard in this hard moment.
And we have been looking for that good information in this time. I found that information at a very fortunate time in my life, I will never forget the date, March 11th, 20, 20, my flight back from New York City with Elizabeth, the last flight of the year, it seems like it will end up being and in the waiting area for the plane. I believe it's called a gate C. I almost forgot what you call those areas of airports because it's been so long.
We're in the gate area and I come across a friend who's on the same flight and he said, have you listen to this guy home on Joe Rogan? And I said, no, I've never heard of it. And I hadn't listened to Joe Rogan in a while, actually. And so we downloaded the YouTube video version, just a little clip and the whole podcast to listen to to chill for the flight home. It was not at your flight home.
It was a very alertness raising moment, and we landed as different people than the ones we took off as because Dr. Osterholm presented pure information with humility, but with confidence at the same time. And I have been following him ever since as my primary source of trusted information in this time. If you've been listening to me on any platform, you know that Dr. O is my go to guy. It has been really beautiful to hear his podcast, The Osterholm update, which I encourage everyone to subscribe to.
It's the once a week must listen on this subject. And to give a little meat on the bones of this introduction to. Dr. Michael Osterholm is an American epidemiologist. He's a Regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He served as a science envoy for health security on behalf of the US State Department. He's the author of The New York Times best selling twenty seventeen book Deadliest Enemy Our War Against Killer Germs.
And in my opinion, he is citizen so hard on behalf of all of us right now. So welcome, Dr. Michael Osterholm, and thank you as you do with your show. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your schedule to spend time with us. Well, thank you.
And I want to be really clear about this. Any time you're on a program, you're supposed to be polite and thank the individual inviting you, all those kinds of things. This is not what these words are about. This is a true, sincere and very honest thank you to you for the message you've been bringing to this topic, because what you've added is something so much more important than just the facts. It's the context. It's the way we're going to get through.
So I can tell you at our center at the University of Minnesota, you're one of our heroes. We've listened to you. We follow you. And I've learned a great deal from you. So I just want to thank you for that. And it takes a bit to teach an old man, but you've been doing a pretty good job. So thank you. Thank you for that.
In the beginning, Dr. Osterholm, of this pandemic hitting the United States, what was your hope for how the people and the government of this country would react? Give me your best case scenario that you were hoping we'd step into it.
Well, maybe if I could just even take a step back from that to give you some context where we got into that. Our center began following the situation the last week of December, and we have our ears and eyes open all the time for what is going on around the world caused by an infectious disease. And we recognized that last week of December, something very unusual and very alarming was happening in China. Within the first week of January, it became clear that it was not being caused by an influenza virus and that it likely was being caused by a coronavirus which actually, believe it or not, temporarily gave me some hope in a way that I otherwise might not have.
And that is because I've been quite involved with working on coronavirus infections, having been quite involved with the SARS response that this country had, as well as the world back in two thousand three to that severe acute respiratory distress. And we learned in that pandemic almost kind of event was the fact that we could control this virus, because it is one that you did not become highly infectious until the second week of your infection. So if we could identify you early, we could get you isolated in a hospital, makes you treat and transmit to anyone else.
So based on that, when we saw Wuhan, we thought, well, you know what, if this is a coronavirus, we just have to identify all the clinically ill patients as soon as possible, isolate them. And then once we do, we will be able to stop this and we'll find the animal reservoir. Well, by January 10th, it became clear to us, wait a minute, something is very different here. This is not just another coronavirus infection like that.
People were getting infected. It looked like from having contact with people who weren't sick, people who were transmitting the virus with minimal symptoms, not later on. And by January 20th, it would be abundantly clear to us with transmission that occurred in multiple Asian countries and that we were seeing this pattern emerge, we went, oh, my, this is now going to cause the next pandemic in the world. It's not going to be good. It's going to be a serious challenge.
And so we tried to get the world to wake up. At that point. We put a statement out saying on January 20th, this was going to cause the next worldwide pandemic. And my first reaction, as you were asking about, was why over the course of the next month, did it take so long for people to actually buy into this? Because it really postponed our coming to grips with what we needed to do. On February 20th, I published an op ed in The New York Times again saying this is a pandemic is coming.
Get ready. You have to start dealing with it, and I cut so much negative feedback from people saying, you're scaring the hell out of us, don't do that. OK, this flu is much worse. And it wasn't really until several weeks later that we finally started to see the body of public health and medicine and the general public start to understand this. And it was at that point I went from despair that we weren't understanding as to what I'm saying, OK, now we get it.
Now we're going to do something about this and we're going to develop plans for what we need to do to detect it in our communities, how to treat patients, how to limit its transmission. And that's where I did have a great hope that we were going to do much more than we ever did.
Thank you for the first the background to take us all the way back to December, which it feels like 50 years ago, when when you rewind, just not even quite a year. I have been very frustrated by the months since March since everyone knew and publicly knew what needed to happen. And I think a lot of us have been drowning in the bad news. And I want to know from you, what have you seen during this time, especially even now, that gives you hope that we can still rise to the occasion?
What are you proud of in the response? Because I searching and it's very hard to find.
Well, and thank you. And let me add context to this, because I'm like you in the sense that I approach this as someone who has had a role in the last five presidential administrations. I served two Republican governors, two in Democratic governors, one independent governor in Minnesota as a state employee just over the years. You know, the public and close contacts have little understanding of my partisan politics there. And my job is just to be an umpire and calls balls and strikes.
So today I'll do that for you. Also, you know, it's not partisan, but I have to say that as we talk about this, the one thing that has given me so much hope is something you've experienced, and that is with our podcast. We now have had many hundreds of thousands of listeners and the communications we hear from them, people still believe in their heart of hearts that as bad as this virus is and what it's doing, kindness, empathy, understanding will win the day.
And they just want that type of context. We'll take the facts. We'll take the hard information. But how can we do this with understanding? How can we reach out? And, you know, I've been working now for the better part of twenty five, twenty six weeks on these podcasts to actually build a whole movement of what I call the kindness pandemic to take on the terrible virus pandemic. And so I think that there are many, many people who want to help however they can.
They will take the scientific information, they will take the medicine of what we need to do. But they don't want to miss out on the understanding of if there was ever a time now, it should be humankind versus a virus, not humans versus humans. It is now. And I think that has been so encouraging to me. The number of emails, a number of follow ups we get from the people who listen have just given my hope, such a strong backing.
And and that's why I said coming on this show today was really important for me and for our group because you to understand that how important that whole concept is. And that's why I'm here. Let the kindness pandemic wash across the land. It takes a lot of grit to serve your country and the lessons that military service members learn in uniform are valuable no matter which path they've chosen. That's why T-Mobile is supporting Iroha radios vets you should know podcast sharing, inspiring stories of dedication, perseverance and camaraderie from U.S. veterans.
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How do you stay connected to the human part of this story? A lot of us are inundated with numbers and trailing seven day moving average is and the death rate for the day. That's on the home page of so many of our news organizations. And you've been in this work for decades. So how do you stay connected to the people behind all these numbers?
Well, first, I work with an incredible team of people who every day remind us that these are not numbers are people. These are loved ones, these are someone's very special person in their life, and so you and I, we try never forget that. And it's not like you have to try. It's just a reminder of put it in context and then, you know, it's just reaching out to people because kindness is so much easier to do.
It's like love. The more you give away, the more you have. And I think that in this time, this is what sustains me. This is what keeps me from going to bed at night and saying to myself, I can't get up in the morning and do this one more time. It's just the opposite. I got to get up. I want to get up. I got to be there. You know, yesterday I recorded a podcast live and we started a new part of the podcast where we're now each week detailing and living and morally, you might say, someone who has died recently of covid-19 and just telling their story because there are so many stories to tell.
And so I took the prerogative to tell a story about somebody from my own small hometown in Iowa, an individual who had had a distinguished career in the Air Force, retired as lieutenant colonel, came back to my little hometown in Iowa and took over the family green house. And over the course of several decades, he was responsible for the flowers that lit up our town where they were for funerals, where they were for weddings. Well, they were for any other special occasions.
But what I remember most about him was the fact that my mother and I come from a family of very little means, was a very proud, good Irish Catholic woman, Abbie Ryan. And every Easter I would save up my money for my paper out to go and buy a corsage for her to go to Easter mass. And she was so proud to wear that it could have been 20 below zero and she would have made sure her dress had no coat on.
So that corsage was standing out there and I used to go up and get that corsage every Easter Friday. From Jim, the gentleman who died on September 20th, being able to tell that story again last night, being able to actually share this was not a man that died from covid. This was my friend. This was my somebody who had a major influence in my life, who brought something. And I think we just don't forget that if we don't forget that there are so many people.
And if you don't know somebody who's died already, I'm sorry to tell you, but you will we're going to see an increasing number of people are coming, what we call long hallers people who are not necessarily that ill early in their illness with covid-19. In fact, many have very mild symptoms. They're often otherwise previously healthy young adults. And unfortunately, 10 to 20 percent of these people are going out and developing a very, very severe syndrome, a collection of signs and symptoms, fifth or sixth week.
They're almost disabling their own oxygen. In some cases, their X-rays or their hearts and their lungs look terrible. And they have what is, in essence, a severe chronic fatigue syndrome like picture. You know, we need to be there for these people. It's not just the people who are in our hospitals, in intensive care units.
And so I think now's the time where if we let kindness shine, you know, like I said a moment ago, the more you give away, the more you have, the better you feel. And so that's how I stay connected is just understanding these people and that knowing that every one of these numbers is someone's loved one, every one of these numbers is somebody who made a difference. And that's why we can never forget.
You said something there about if you don't know someone who's died of covid, you will. That feels like a very depressing forecast for the path of this disease. Can you expand on that a little bit in terms of what you see over the next year that we should all be preparing ourselves for?
Well, first of all, here's your opportunity. I mean, I'll cover that. I hope no one in your life does die from cold, but the chances are increasing with increasing numbers. They will so, you know, treat everybody around you as if today was the day before they die. And you know what? Almost none of them will, but, boy, everyone will be better for it. Now, the reason I say the dying part is because, in fact, we're seeing the case numbers go up precipitously right now.
What's happening? Well, first of all, pandemic fatigue has set in. People are saying, I've been doing this for long enough. I need to be out. I need to be with people. And I understand that. That's not to say that that's not a reality, but also understand the consequences of those behaviors. We see college students coming back to school. That's great. But they're socializing means that transmission is sometimes pretty dramatic. And the challenges many of these people won't go on to be hospitalized or serious illnesses.
They will go on potentially to develop this one condition. But what really also is important is they transmit this virus to their mom and dad, to their grandpa and grandma, to the older colleagues they work with. And so that's a challenge. And then finally, this category that I call pandemic anger, it's up to a third of the people of this country right now believe that this pandemic is a hoax. They believe it's some kind of politically motivated action to impact negatively on someone.
And I don't understand that. You don't have to look far to see the pain and suffering. But if you add this all up, that means we're going to see a lot of additional transmission today. We estimate that about 10 percent of the US population has been infected by this virus. That's all for all the pain and suffering, economic disruption and death, only 10 percent. We won't see this virus slow down transmission until it gets to 50 to 70 percent of the population.
And then only then it slows down transmission that doesn't stop. And so we've got a long ways to go now. Our hope is that we can keep people from becoming infected, having to develop their immunity that way, and that we can see vaccines coming forward early next year into midsummer that can actually be administered. That will help protect us. And that's the way we want to find ourselves becoming immune to this virus, not through some illness. And the one thing I covered in my recent podcast, as we get closer and closer to the holidays, think about that for yourself.
You don't want to be the reason mom or dad or grandpa and grandma get infected because you came home not knowing that you were carrying the virus and they died. We have far too many examples just like that.
I want to pick up on this thread of it doesn't have to be this way that there are things we can do. And you've been clear and proactive and I appreciate that about the disproportionate impact. So you know more than most how this isn't fair. What can we do? What are you calling on us to do collectively to improve the situation beyond what you've already said?
Well, you know, and I don't mean to sound trite by saying this, but we will be held accountable if we don't take advantage of this crisis to understand the lack of what I would call just human decency when it comes to life and who we want to be as a society. Racial disparity, socioeconomic issues are by themselves, I think, such an under appreciated issue by far too many. We're seeing more and more understanding of that. And unfortunately, it happens through painful events.
But I think this disease is putting a spotlight on this. You know, why and how can we have such disproportionate impact? Well, first of all, we have to understand that this pandemic is not only cruel, but in some ways is so unfair. And what I mean by that is it has been shoulder by the black, brown and indigenous communities in ways that so many others haven't had to know. You know, when you're an essential worker and you don't have a choice whether you can go to work or not, you have to go to work when you're in a living condition where you have three generational families living in a two bedroom apartment and you're supposed to isolate yourself from mom and dad or grandpa and grandma and your kids when you get infected.
I could go through a litany of these kinds of experiences that I think have been so challenging because they really have created this racial and ethical barrier that I think is such a problem. I must say, you know, I was very challenged. My emotions were on the boiling edge when we saw large outbreaks in meatpacking plants in this country in the early part of the pandemic, and for which if you know who is working shoulder to shoulder, incredible hours, a very, very tough work.
It was communities of black, brown and indigenous populations, and when they were forced to go back to work as essential workers, even though transmission was widely spreading in that meatpacking facility as they worked shoulder to shoulder, and then for some states to not only just declare them essential workers, but that if they were to not go back to work out of fear of contracting the virus and then possibly bringing it home to a loved one that could be having risk factors for serious disease, they didn't get their unemployment.
That was just wrong, wrong. And so I think that what we need to do is understand the lessons of this pandemic has taught us about the goodness of being human and that, you know, if there is anyone in our country, we're suffering from disparities, we all suffer. And I hope that we can shine a positive light on how to change this. You know, this is an us versus them. We are all together in this. And so if there's a silver lining to this very dark cloud is one of them is just that.
Let's shine this light and let's make it loud and clear what happened and why and what can we do about it. You know, imagine if this is your child or your aunt or uncle who are living in that two bedroom apartment with three generations of people. And because you did go to your job every day and you took public transit and you were an essential worker and now you're coming home infected, how do you protect them? You can't in that setting in any meaningful way.
You can't that shouldn't happen like that. So I hope that that we take this opportunity to take a step back and look not just as our bodies, as something that can get infected with the virus. We look at our souls as something about how do we right the wrongs that I think our society continues to suffer.
And I thought you were going to say wear masks. That was way more impressive and deeper, deeper work. Well, I think you should do that, too. But I think, you know, we can't hide behind the mask, as you well know. We have to start looking at ourselves and asking ourselves as citizens, what does this mean? The work that you do when your team does depends on the rest of us listening and and doing our part as citizens as well.
I want to ask you, how do you think about our power as citizens? And what do you want to see more of from us? You know, the long journey starts with the first step. So how do we help educate the public about what you can do simply to protect yourself? You know, if you're going to spend a lot of time in large social gatherings together, indoors, you put yourself in real risk for getting the virus. You say, but I can't not do that.
You know, I look back on generations before us and think about some of the wars, World War Two and others, where people sacrifice for years in major ways, putting their life on the line to get us somewhere. We're not asking to do that. But if you can just wait and minimize the risk you have until we have vaccines, that's going to be everything in terms of preventing transmission. If you can never forget about the kindness, we're asking so many people to bubble themselves up so they don't put themselves at risk because if they did get infected, they have a great likelihood of having a very severe case.
But think how lonely that can be. Reach out to these people even if you can't physically hug them, go to their house, stand outside their door or have a conversation, spend time on the phone with them, help them out however you can. Maybe you're the one that can go deliver some product or something if they need. You know, our democracy is critical. It is so critical in today. We know the poll workers or some of the bravest people we have out there working.
Go help out with that. That's the kind of thing if we do that, that feeds our soul, that doesn't let the virus defeat us. And then finally, we have to, as a society, address head on racial inequality and disparities. And let's use this as a positive example to shine light on a terrible thing to actually make a difference. I'm an old man. You know, I don't have a lot of years left in this business, OK?
But I want a world where my kids and grandkids grow up, where the things that we have had to experience now don't occur in the future, whether they be pandemics or whether they be some of the other social ills. And so I think all of that is what we need to be doing right now. And I ask you to be a part of each one, reduce the risk of the transmission of the virus, reach out to others who are hurting and think now how we'll get actively involved so that we can deal with the racial disparities and move us to a higher place in the world.
As you are a doctor, I will infer that as a prescription and encourage us all to take that medicine as very sound. It is a question we like to ask all of our guests, and it comes back to the title of this show and this word citizen. We interpret this word citizen less about legal status or any kind of status, to be honest, and more as a verb, as actions. If you are to interpret the word citizen as a verb in that way, what is your definition of what it means to citizen?
Well, first of all, it's to open your heart to whatever the cause is that we need to address. The fact that you're even on this webinar today by itself is a very substantial commitment to listening and understanding and thinking about this issue. Second of all, it's action. You have to be there with action. It's wonderful to intellectualize and to basically take all this information in and, you know, in kind of form thoughts and feelings, but act on whether it's being kind, whether it's being safe, whether it's helping to organize communities around certain issues that will bring all of us to a better place, particularly when it comes to the issues of inequality.
So I think citizenship in my mind and citizens in general is about action. And none of us are going to necessarily ever change the world. But collectively, we can do a lot. And so I also say, don't ever think you can't make a contribution in our little group of CIDRAP. We're just a small little center in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota and we're trying to make a difference. And we're not going to let anybody tell us we can.
And I think that's what citizens have to feel as a citizen. Feel like you can make a difference. And don't anybody tell you you can't and back it up not only with commitment, but with action. You knock that out of the park, Dr. Osterholm, that was really I've I've been listening to you. I've been listening to you, but that was your words there. You said it was. But, you know, but I think this is the collective feeling.
I mean, I think this is what's important here. We have a collective feeling here that we all can understand and resonate with. Let's grow that was grow that. Let's take that out and plant that, just like we're planting seeds and let's grow and let this pandemic not just be a painful experience, but let it be a reason why we can do these things.
And I believe in my heart of hearts we can do this. I do believe it. This is savage, and I have some exciting news to share. We are back for season two of my podcast. Let's be real with Sammy J. Season one had some amazing guests, including YouTube sensation by the Koshy and NBA All-Star Kevin Love.
Nothing robs us of more human potential than mental illness.
This season will have more revealing and unfiltered conversations with celebrities, influencers, activists and athletes, including the amazingly talented Anthony Ramos.
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Happy mess on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast. I'm going to grow this moment in the show to encompass voices beyond mine. We like to involve a live audience before the podcast goes out to those who listen on demand. And we have a live question from Priya.
I thank you so much, Dr. Osterholm, for your work and for being here with us today. I love the kindness pandemic idea. I presume I'm from Portland, Oregon. I am a psychiatrist. So I wanted to ask about kind of the mental health secondary pandemic that we have been seeing. I'm a psychiatrist, so I have seen the depression, the anxiety, the PTSD symptoms. I've seen depression with people who are struggling with the kind of chronic fatigue that they have gotten from covid-19.
And it's gotten to the point, I think, where even some people have questioned lockdown measures, whether that's good or bad, given how it's affecting our mental health, which I think is misguided. And I think we can work around that. But I would love to kind of get your thoughts. As people who are listening to this podcast, we're probably all doing what we need to do in terms of lessening the risk of virus transmission. But I'd love to hear your thoughts on taking care of our mental health as well, knowing that pandemic.
Well, thank you. And I could not be a stronger supporter of the sense that we have to deal with both the virus itself and the mental health aspects of it that is was all about being human. Now, let me just back up and say a lot of people, I think, have a misconception that there are these lockdowns that are occurring, but we really have gotten away from any of the kinds of you can't leave your home or you can't do these things.
And what it is, is the actual occurrence of the pandemic that has us afraid. If you're afraid to go to a public place, if you're afraid to go to church, if you're afraid to do a lot of things, you don't, you can't. And so this is where controlling the virus transmission is really, really important. Now, having said that, there are things we need to do. For example, like I think bars and restaurants have been a place for major transmission.
I've not been to a bar or restaurant since March. I miss it immensely. But what I also understand are the people whose lives have been adversely impacted, the owners of the restaurants and bars, the people who work there. I wrote an op ed piece in The New York Times on August 2nd with Neel Kashkari, the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, in which we made the strong argument that to really get this virus better under control and to reduce or people were much less afraid to go into public places was the fact that we needed to drive down transmission that was going to require us to be distance for several weeks.
And if we had done that back then, we would be in a very different place today. And at the same time, we need to take care of people. This is where the part that gets the most. The savings rate in the United States is gone from eight percent to twenty two percent during the course of this pandemic. Absolutely unheard of. We could borrow the money our government could from ourselves and pay us back ourselves with interest to pay for all these people whose lives have been impacted in such a negative way.
And I know today, if you don't have enough money to pay for the roof over your head or food on your table, you've got kids you have to deal with. You know, you're struggling. That just adds to the mental health problem. So our whole plan was if if it is a bar, a restaurant or a business like that that's adversely affected, pay the people for what's happening. Keep them all keep our governmental keep our colleges and universities whole in its borrowing and investment in ourselves.
And if you look at the economic models, we actually do much better over the long run in recovering that money back by bringing society back up in a hopeful manner. So I would just say this is part of the plan that I talked about. A compassionate, kind, caring response to this actually turns out to be the financially best response to this. And that's what we've missed. And so while we see them debated in Washington, D.C., about getting relief back out to the public, what a missed opportunity to help us through.
Imagine if your clients and I were only making a an assumption. One of the challenges they have besides the loneliness is the fear of financial ruin and the fact that they don't have money to pay for the food on their table. Imagine if we could take that off the table and we should be able to do that as a nation. And I want to end by saying thank you. I had dedicated one of my podcasts to the mental health support in our communities as people like you that are more critical now than ever.
And it was funny because I made a comment of this thing about the fact. Thank God I'd had my therapist of 30 years, she's amazing and I had more men contacting me. You actually said that in public, that you see a therapist. I see one. Oh, my God, I'm embarrassed. Let everybody know and I'm sure why we all need that help. We all need to be there. So all the men I'm here who have seen a therapist, don't be afraid to acknowledge it and really make the case that this is a good thing.
This is mental health, just like we want to have our physical health improved to improve our mental health. So thank you very, very much for the question. And I I hope that gives you a sense of why I think you're right on the mark. Thank you for that.
If you're up.
All right. Yes, I'm awesome. And I'm in San Francisco and I focus on digital health and startups in Silicon Valley. Yeah, I did. Following your weekly updates, thank goodness it's refreshing to have someone like you do weekly updates. And I've just wanted to ask if you are committed to doing it throughout the whole pandemic. No longer no matter how long that will be. And also, I just wanted to mention how I love I'm a big Springsteen fan.
So I really loved how you brought Bruce Springsteen to music and into one of your songs.
Thank you for your very, very kind company. First of all, I love music. OK, so I'm committed to this, OK? And so that's great. I think that one of the reasons I can't let this virus get me myself, it's that old line. Don't look back. They might be gaining on you kind. If anything, I got to do these podcasts gives me purpose. So. So I'm going to keep doing this as long as I possibly can and for as long as it's helpful to the public.
And I work with the most amazing team of people at CIDRAP who co-produced this thing. They make it possible for me to do. It may be possible to be here. So, yeah, I'll keep doing it for as long as people find it useful. And I want to be here to celebrate when we get over this virus. I want to be at that celebration. I'll invite you all to it. OK, we'll get you all there. We'll have one heck of a time and it's hard to beat the virus party.
OK, we're going to do it. So thank you. And we'll keep we'll keep plugging away at it. Thank you for that, Eve.
And I look forward to that party. I already know what it looks like. It's that scene from The Matrix when they're all underground and it's like a rave and there's way too close to each other. So many shared droplet. Can I tell a very brief story here? I give you hope in the fact that my niece, who I'm very close to and her husband lost their House and Senate, the Santa Clara fire almost seven weeks ago. It was tragic.
They barely got out. They had their dog. They couldn't find their cat. They had to leave it. The daughters, the three grand nieces were traumatized beyond. I can tell you make a long story short. Two weeks ago, somebody thought they saw it up there. Last week, they actually captured alive, trapped with food. How it survived for six weeks after that severe fire is incredible. And her name is Momma Kitty. And Momma Kitty should give us all hope that if a cat can do that, survive that fire and live for six weeks without food and water, a man, anything's possible.
So I have hope.
Oz and Momma Kitty are we have one more live question came in under the wire. This is a family member of mine, my uncle Dana Robinson.
OK, I'm back in the gym now area, Washington, D.C. My name is Dana Robinson. They've just allowed the gyms in the hospitals to initiate social distancing in the gym. I've been waiting for that. I didn't think it was going to come until twenty, twenty one. It looks very, very different. You're used to seeing fifty people in the gym. Now you only see ten. Do you think that's safe or you think I should wait to twenty twenty one until we get that vaccine.
Well, first of all, let me say that we do know that you can get indoor air transmission in a relatively smaller room setting. And so I would say that if you are at high risk of having a very serious case of covid-19, I might still take a pass for a while on this. But I think the idea in the gym is a good thing physically. You want to be active and that's a very good thing to be out and about.
So what I would do is add a little twist to that and find out the time of the day that these number of people are there and then go then and then that's your way of accommodating and making it as safe for yourself as possible. So but the big thing is you're taking care of yourself. You're thinking about it in the right way. This is the smart decisions that are going to allow a lot of people to avoid getting infected. So congratulations.
And some other time we had to I'd love to hear a lot of stories about your relative. You're OK, but we'll wait and see about that one. OK, well, they will definitely save that one. Thank you again, I. I heard a lot of good things from you, I'd summarize it as just be safe, be kind and be active is one way to put it. I think just thank you for having me and thank you for what you do.
Let's hang together, OK? And let's get through this with a pandemic of kindness. And again, thank you so much for having me and for all what you're doing out there. We appreciate you, too. Good luck. And we're rooting for you're rooting for us all. Appreciate your doctor, Mike Osterholm from CIDRAP in the great state of Minnesota.
That was something I'm not sure if I should call him Dr. Osterholm or Dr. Wolstenholme. Yeah, I did it, yeah. What are you going to do about it? Nothing, because it's already recorded, so just accept it.
Dr. Michael Wolstenholme, host privilege.
OK, settle down. Buried today, the way that Dr. Osterholm weaved in our opportunity and obligation to deal with racial disparities and inequality. That was impressive and honestly a bit unexpected. Major, thanks to Dr. Michael Osterholm and his team at CIDRAP, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Thanks for joining us and reminding us to be safe, be kind and be active. You can follow Dr. Osterholm on Twitter, M. T.
Osterholm, Ostara, Elim or follow at CIDRAP our on the Sociales and visit the website CIDRAP that you m in as in University of Minnesota. Daddy, did you. Like we always do. We're going to post this episode of transcripts, show notes and more at How to Citizen Dotcom. I'm going to ask a special favor on this one, because I think this is a public health. Value to everyone, please share this episode with everyone, you know, they don't have to dig the whole series, but let them listen to this one and listen to Dr.
Osterholm. He's been such a straight shooter throughout this whole thing. And I think if more people heard him and followed what he said, more of us would make it through this whole. Now, time for some action on the internal front. I want you to subscribe to the Osterholm update, covid-19 Michael Osterholm podcast. You can find it wherever podcasts are found. Search for it online. The euro is a mess, so I'm not going to say it out loud.
But if you see the show notes on your podcast app, you should just be able to click the link there. I want you to think about the worst and the best for you in this pandemic. Like, what's the worst thing you've experienced, maybe you lost a job, maybe you lost a person. Make a little space to grieve and acknowledge that. And on the flip side, what's the best thing that's happened to you during this pandemic? Have you had more quality time with your friends?
Did you finally clean your garage? I don't care how big or small the thing is. Embrace it, embrace the positives and the negatives of this covid year we are in without guilt, without shame. And know that you are not alone in that. I want you to recommit to suppressing this virus, we can do this, but we all need to show up to this. We know with hard. We're tired and we're angry. But I want us to remember why we are making these sacrifices.
It's not to satisfy a public health bureaucrat. We make these sacrifices to save lives. We make them to keep our health care system from being overrun, which we all need, whether we have covid or not. Keep physical distance, wear masks, wash hands. Let's dig deep and rediscover the spirit of shared sacrifice that has enabled us to rise to other difficult moments in our past. I'm not asking you to go overseas to enlist in the armed services.
I'm not asking you to melt down all your spare copper. I'm asking you to work with each other to help each other and recommit to that, because I'm tired, too. I'm not sitting up here just like adhering to everything easily. It is exhausting. But we can do this. We must do this. All right, on the external action front, if you can support a local covid relief fund. Dr. Osterholm talked about the increased savings rate.
Many of us are suffering extraordinarily financially. Some of us are doing much better or good enough and can spare something. So I want you to search in your search engine of choice for donate covid relief fund and then the name of your city. Find a way to support someone who needs it right now and make it easier for them to help us all stay safe. Reach out to someone who's isolated, just comes right from Dr. Osterholm. There are so many of us who have had to retreat from company, from each other for our health check in on those people, give them a call, a video chat, stop by safely, distantly to let them know that they're not, in fact, alone because you're there.
And finally. Be kind and spread that pandemic of kindness to counter the pandemic of fear, the pandemic of covid do something nice and unexpected for someone today. Anyone small is OK. Just do it. And then do something else for someone else tomorrow and repeat that. And tell us about it, hit us up, tell someone about it, put it on the hashtag, email us action. How does it isn't dotcom? Stretch beyond your comfort zone.
That we're struggling through in these unprecedented times. We're in a hard moment. And I acknowledge that. But we're here so we can still do and we must we must show up and invest in each other, know our power and serve the many, not the few. Let's do this. For each other. Thank you. As always, we welcome your contributions, your thoughts, comments, and how much a citizen dotcom, you can visit the website, How to Citizen Dotcom, find me online wherever Berita and the username is found.
That is me, Patreon on Instagram everywhere. I got them all. And you can text me to go to eight nine four eight eight four four. Put the word citizen in there so I know how you found me. Congratulations, we made it through another election and we are going to make it through this pandemic if we do it together. How does that fit in with Baratunde Day is a production of I Heart Radio Podcasts executive produced by Miles Gray.
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