Since COVID-19 is here, tonight’s episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine again looks into the nature of pandemics. The November 5, 2015 show asked the question: “What’s the next pandemic going to look like?” Our guest was Tony Goldberg, epidemiologist in pathobiological sciences at UW-Madison. My, that is PNM’er Dennis Shaffer’s, feeling was that the next pandemic would be a zoonotic transference of a completely unknown virus from animals to humans. Who could’ve thought that a pandemic of this nature would occur within 5 years? But tonight’s guest, virologist Kristen Bernard, says that even though COVID-19 is called a SARS CoV-2 coronavirus that is related to SARS CoV-1, it still migrated, jumped, to humans from animals. And yet COVID-19 still caught us by surprise. As Tony also explained, Kristen explains how difficult it is to predict pandemics, and even prepare for one when it happens. This experience should provide us with plenty to learn. Also, since Kristen’s primary field of study is the West Nile Virus contracted by mosquitoes, she discusses the factors it would take for insect-borne diseases to become pandemic.
Since you are now reading this post, please scroll down further to the Nov. 5, 2015 show post to listen to the audio of the show.