A highlight from David Wallace-Wells
Everyone welcome dr podcast as always we appreciate you. Supporting people support the pods. We can keep the winds in the sale. The corolla pirate ship again. Do out after dark and don't forget we do a streaming show. We've had some great guests who've dr ben carson. I'm going to have been a persad who else i had. All kinds of people in their leave had more people than i can count on recently. Oh my god so please you check that. Three minutes at dr do dot com. Today is no exception to that Great lineup we've had lately. We have david wallace wells. His book is the uninhabitable earth life after warming. There's originally released in two thousand and nineteen now paperback as of march twenty twenty It's an expansion of a two thousand seventeen essay of the same name which appeared in new york magazine where David is the editor at large. Andy would follow. Dave eanet twitter at d. wallis w. a. l. l. a. c. e. like william wallace wells d wallace wells Thank you so much for joining me to be here. Good stuff too. So i see you caught my attention with a recent newark are a new york magazine article around the world response to cove it and i just thought to myself that there was a ton packed into that article and and i wanted to share it with his audience. A and ahead this sense that you were being a good journalist and we're just reporting but you had a i don't know i felt i felt like there's there's an opinion burgeoning underneath. All you've learned something you learn something and i just wanted to myself. What did he learn from this. I'd love to hear from his point of view. Is that fair enough. Is that a fair statement. You know liberal. Americans lived through the pandemic. I spent many the first month's freaking out about the american response freaking out about donald trump's leadership and how little was being done at the federal level to really prepare a proper respect to what you know seemed pretty clear to me was a really terrifying disease threat And in fact. I wrote a few pieces along those lines in early spring faults in the president and not just the president. But you know american leadership all the way down the hierarchy and as time moron Got through the summer and the fall. I started thinking a little more expansively about our response. I noticed that you measured by the sort of crude metric of deaths per million citizens league. Which is it's an imperfect metric but it's is probably the best thing we have to do comparative national Analysis measured by that. You know the. Us hadn't done especially or job. We did much much worse than the countries of east asia and no she earlier but compared to the country of as our peers germany the uk really the eu as a whole and indeed also the americas we were you know a little worse than average But especially considering our rates of commodities that that probably qualifies us about an average performance. So so let's let's let's stop right there and try to parse out. What is your hunch on east asia. I don't see where their policies were much different than ours. Really what do you think went on there. I think there are a lot of tractors and you know one of the things. Try to write about the story. Is that even a year year on. Even you know we know this disease up have developed incredible vaccines against it. Nevertheless there are a lot of things about the dynamics of spread that are still mysterious. Dos and not just spread but the physiology of infection a lot of that too not. We have no idea where we think we know but we really have no idea. Yeah but especially when you get out Out of consideration of the individual patient right now on cases grow under what conditions you know. They're just a lot of variables that we we know. We're playing some role but we don't know what role so there are. climate factors. There are some sunlight. Factors are how people live in. Whether they're denser spread out how the commute there are cultural things about you know comfortable you are wearing a mask or whether you kiss on the cheek or shaking horns and You know all the way down through there some some scientists. I spoke to hypothesis about you. Know if you're living out in in the more natural environment you encounter more More threats to your immune system your immune system may be just better trained people in places like say you know northern europe or the. Us are living in sanitized. Environments in our immune systems are compromised as a result and there are a lot more speculative like that the populations of asia are more people living closer proximity bats like the center of the world population and so may have been some additional exposure to not this growing the virus similar corona viruses which could have trained us to some degree to respond But the short answer. Is you know a lot of that is really mysterious and indeterminate. And one thing we can point to is not about the policies adopted per se but how quickly those policies were enacted which is to say like when you have a disease the grows at a rate like this possibly the most important determining factors just. How quickly do whatever it is. You're going to do because if you wait until you have. You know in the us when new york city shut down there were three million cases already in the us. If you wait to that point no matter. How much testing surveillance you're doing and how much contact tracing how much quarantine you're doing.