Combating the Virtual Spread of COVID-19 Misinformation 2020-05-12
With so many media platforms out there. Information is not in short supply. Neither is Miss Information. We saw a lot of conspiracy theories and hoaxes about the source of the so this is misinformation about the the virus being created in the lab or being created as a bioweapon. I'm the best sue and today on the takeaway for Tuesday may twelfth. How the noise is overwhelming. The signal plus maternity wards are disappearing in predominantly black neighborhoods across the country. You cannot ignore race. You cannot ignore gender socioeconomic status you cannot ignore type of community someone lives in we. Give them care. We're GONNA talk about it and we round out the show by chatting with some old friends. The takeaways former movie date hosts give us some good suggestions for what we can watch during this stressful time. The suggestions yourself. Eight seven seven eight. My take is our number. Let's get to it last week. A Corona virus conspiracy video called plan damage was released on line. It's filled with inaccurate information and advice. That goes against just about everything. Medical experts have told the public about covert nineteen in the nearly thirty minute video judy. Mike Averts discredited research scientists espouses a number of conspiracy theories against Dr Anthony Fauci multiple public health agencies vaccines and she refutes the benefits of Masks of washing your hands and of social distancing. Why would you close the beach? You've got sequences in the soil in the sand. You've got healing microbes in the ocean in the saltwater. That's insanity that's a clip from planned dynamic in which Mike of its tells viewers that beaches should have remained open during the pandemic for unscientific reasons that experts say have no basis in fact. Science magazine actually did a big fat check on Mike of its recently and we have that link on our website for you to check out yourself still. The video apparently struck a chord with many Americans and within days it had been watched tens of millions of times and Mike visas book became a bestseller on Amazon Youtube and facebook have taken the video down because of its falsehoods. But it's massive. Spread came at a moment when getting clear accurate health information to the public was crucial and the spread of misinformation. At a time. Like this can be costly. We've got two people on the line to discuss the spread of misinformation around Kobe. And why it matters emily. Braga is an associate professor in the Hubbard School of Journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota. Thank you for being here emily. Thank you for having me and Daniel Funky a staff writer covering online misinformation for political fact. It's good to have you here to Daniel. Hi thanks for having me so emily. How you and your colleagues define misinformation so misinformation is probably best categorized as information that is considered accurate based on the best available evidence from relevant experts at the time Daniel. I know that you've been tracking Cova related misinformation for politic fact. What trends have you noticed? Emerging at different points in this pandemic yes so early on in the pandemic in January February. We saw a lot of conspiracy theories and hoaxes about the source of the virus misinformation about the you know the virus being created in the lab or being created as a bio weapon and then from there it kind of evolved into misinformation about cures treatments for the viruses. People started to take it seriously In now we're seeing the rise of politicalness information about the virus so trying to peg to a certain political party or trying to link financial connections to certain politicians. And how do you identify what is misinformation? Like how do you decide which misinformation is actually worth fact checking? Yeah so every single day I scroll through hundreds of social media posts and try to side which ones I want to cover and we look at a couple of different things. So I we WANNA see if there is a fact checkable claim so we see a lot of social media posts that are salacious or hyper partisan. But we're always looking to see if we can judge it based on some preconceived set of evidence whether it's data or Just other evidence that we can find online and then secondly we wanNA make sure that that post has reached enough people that it is worth covering because uplift fact. We don't want to re introduce people to misinformation that they might not have seen before so we look at things like how many times a post is shared or liked or commented on on. And there's no right answer here number that we use to justify our fact check but we use those signals to determine whether or not we pursue something and then finally. We always want to make sure that our readers are asking us about it so we have really engaged. Readers will send us. Dm's or emails asking us to look into certain social media poster claims and we assume that if we've received one email from a reader about a certain piece of content there are probably dozens of other others who had the same question but didn't reach out to us and are there specific characteristics that you're that you tend to find in misinformation that goes viral. Yeah so the most viral misinformation often taught taps into something that broad population as wondering about right so with plant dynamic it is a polished version of the conspiracy theories that we see single day online at answers some of the biggest questions that people have right now about the colonel virus pandemic one of the frustrating things about misinformation especially during a pandemic is that oftentimes the answer is we don't know or researchers are still looking into this or there's no evidence to back the suck and that's most of the falsehoods that are made a plan. Mak So this kind of misinformation is really appealing to people that want answers about something. That is really complicated. Like a factious disease that has recently emerged But that stuff is often fall. Sor unsupported and it goes viral really quickly on. Social Media. Emily I'm thinking about past public health. Crises does the misinformation. That's being shared right now about cove. Nineteen look similar or follow any similar trends to misinformation that was shared in the past. Yes and I think Daniel explained exactly why that would be People are looking for answers that science just can't necessarily give us. I also think people are looking for solutions. That science can't necessarily give us yet or that are really hard. No one particularly like social distancing and the difficulties created by that it would be much easier to believe that simply putting pepper in your food or or gargling water earth. Any of these other kind of false cures that we see online are effective than I have to distance myself from all my loved ones so I think that the characteristics that make us what to believe. Misinformation are really similar across different diseases. And so yeah. I think there's a lot of similarities between the kinds of misinformation. We're seeing now versus what we saw earlier and emily is there any way of measuring Cova nineteen misinformation and the spread of misinformation with real life health consequences? I think that that's an. It's an especially important characteristic. The to think about is a lot of misinformation doesn't have necessarily any consequence so I mentioned the. Who has debunked this idea that putting hot pepper in your food is going to prevent or cure cova now if I believe that I don't take appropriate precautions than it does have really problematic consequences. If I'm still washing my hands and social distancing a little extra pepper in my food is probably not going to affect me one way or the other. So I think separating out those kinds of misinformation that have consequences versus those that are perhaps consequential is is important to do that being said. Of course the things we think affect the things we do. And so if you believe something that's untrue. You might act in ways that are not ideal Daniel. What responsibility do social media? Companies have to stop the spread of information on their platforms. And what are they actually doing? So far yeah so for a long time. Social media companies like facebook have kind of abdicated some responsibility when it comes to misinformation rates saying that they don't want to be an arbiter of truth and they don't want to remove false content but would rather leave it up the community to decide With the pandemic. We've seen a lot of social media. Companies take a harder line comes to misinformation. The reason why is because a lot of health misinformation can have director dire consequences so take for example. The false claim that drinking bleach cares the corona virus. Really dangerous claim that could lead to hospitalizations and even death in some cases so we saw facebook twitter and Youtube takedown claims that actually relate to this because they go against their community guidelines You know wanting to avoid harmful misinformation so we have seen some of the tech companies. Take lines when it comes to misinformation directly causing harm like that now when you get to a grey areas when you get to political misinformation right so facebook doesn't really want to touch of false claims made by politicians and that's an interesting policy choice but it does show that there are still gaps in their policies. Emily I'm thinking about just the rest of us who are on these social media platforms and when we see others sharing misinformation. What's the best way for us to respond? And I'm thinking of this happening in two ways. There's the postal at UC by people. That you don't really know well that you went to high school with and you're not really in touch with and then there's the people who are posting who you're actually close to or that you're related to What's the right way to respond? So I've been doing research on this topic with Dr Latisha Bodey from Georgetown University for a number of years and the answer is respond There's a lot of evidence that when you correct somebody on social media you can do a benefit for the entire community seeing that interaction so the person sharing the misinformation might be the hardest one to reach the ones who were convinced enough of something that they're willing to share it but everyone else. They're a step removed and might be more easily corrected. The other thing to point out is this is actually happening quite often so we did a survey at the end of March and we found that about a third of Americans said they had seen someone else being corrected on social media in the past week related to Cova One thousand nine hundred and even more importantly people tended to like that kind of behavior they said it was part of the public's responsibility or that explicitly that they like it when people are correcting others. So it's not something that people tend to. It might not always be comfortable but it is something people tend to appreciate but what happens when the social media users are put in the position of being the editors of what's on those platforms. I mean not only. Can it be exhausting for some people to constantly be trying to correct misinformation? Is that really the most effective way for people to be on these platforms with each other? It certainly can be exhausting. And I'm not saying you have to fact check every single claim you see but if you see somebody sharing something you know to be false. The best thing you can do is reply with the accurate information and provided linked to some kind of expert source. And that could be the. Cdc that could be your local health company. It could be a news media organization that you trust so making sure people have that accurate information and again. It's not necessarily about the person sharing the misinformation. We want to update them. We WanNa make sure they have the correct information that can actually become a difficult sell mom but it's about everyone else sees that post. You don't want them left with an inaccurate impression of what the evidence is right now and so finding ways to do that when you see misinformation correcting it makes social media better place for everyone Emily what do you think is the responsibility of the social media? Companies in these cases to combat misinformation. Daniel talked a little bit about what kinds of actions have been taken so far by twitter by facebook. But do we know what's actually effective? So we know that some of these types of steps can be affected so facebook's related stories algorithm where they show fact checks after you share misinformation has been shown to reduce misperceptions among people seeing those Misinformation stories other steps. They can take is trying to Again make it more difficult to see that misinformation making it clear that there is More accurate information. So that when you give people something that's misinformation but you also give them something that's accurate. Most people are going to take that accurate information instead but it's making sure that they have That accurate information there at that exact same point in time Daniel Politic fact has found a number of statements that president trump has made about Kobe. Nineteen to be false or mostly false. What's the best way to combat misinformation when it comes directly from the President? Yeah so this was a tough one right. Because president trump as opposed to some social media users has arguably the biggest step pulpit in the world by which he can make claims at a fact we take the approach that it is best to just call him out every time. There is a falsehood and being uttered on national television. I'm so we will re tweet ORF tweet. Fact checks over and over again. Some people say that this isn't enough to correct the president But fact checkers believe that we just WanNa put as much a credible information in front of people as possible our goals in necessarily to get the president to change his mind right but we want the American people to know. Hey the president's saying list during the current virus impress briefings and it's not actually true or it's half true or here's some context you need so that's something we're doing and I think a lot of journalists could do that and if you're someone watching the president during a press briefing and you hear something interesting or you go. Is that true on? Just do a quick Google search oftentimes. That'll turn up plenty of press coverage contextualized as what you're seeing and emily aside from to correct bad information that people see on social media on their friends posts. What can people do to avoid sharing or amplifying misinformation? What should they be looking for? Daniel said is actually the best thing that you can do is don't try necessarily to just look at a piece of information and decide within the context of that article is this true or not planned dynamic looks very professionally done. You have somebody who has the title of Doctor. But as soon as you do some searching you'll see All of the problems with that content. There are news web fake news websites that try to look like real news websites that mimic the things that we look for Googling or for their names elsewhere can give you really important cues about whether or not that source can be trusted so taking that extra thirty seconds to to search and look for that information that seems too good to be true Or just seems outlandish can really help you discover whether other people have already kind of debunked that information and prevent you from sharing something. That's false Emily you know. I'm sort of struggling with some of my family members older family members who may not be very tech savvy Who Don't spend a lot of time necessarily on the Internet and who have sometimes been sending me some things that are that are full of misinformation especially at a moment like this. How do I advise my family members on how to navigate information at a time like this? That's really hard. You're you're not just asking them to think carefully about the information they're seeing but learn a whole new set of skills. The idea of opening a new tab and searching for something is second nature for a lot of people but for others. They might not know what exactly that means so. I think that understanding where people are and showing a lot of empathy is a really important first step and then back to trying to get them to search for things. There's a lot of fantastic fact checking happening. A lot of people are doing their best to make sure the high quality information is available. It just involves taking that time to to go an extra step and not just re tweet something. That seems totally true to us. It matches what we feel our gut but Actually matches reality. Emily Ragas an associate professor at the University of Minnesota and Daniel. Funky is a staff writer covering online misinformation for politic. Fact thank you both of you. Thank you so much for having me as college and university campuses around. The country remained closed due to Kobe Secretary of Education. Betsy Devos released new rules this month around campus sexual assault. These new rules establish a more narrow definition of sexual harassment and require schools to allow direct cross examination victims many advocacy organizations are unsurprisingly. Concerned about the impact. This will have on survivors coming forward. They say these new rules allow schools to use a standard of evidence that might favor those accused of sexual harassment or assault. I spoke about this with Sage Carson a sexual assault survivor and a manager at know your nine. A PROJECT FOR EMPOWERING STUDENTS TO END Gender Violence in schools and I spoke to Anna North a senior reporter at box where she covers gender issues. The new rules defined sexual harassment as unwelcome conduct that is so severe pervasive and objectively offensive. That it denies person access to the school's education program or activity. I I asked Anna how that definition will change things for students. So what a lot of folks say that would mean. Is that really a student would have to feel that. They're forced out of something in their education. In order to really have a case under title nine they would have to feel that they couldn't go to class because they were being forced to go to class with their rapist or they can no longer stay in their dorm because someone that had assaulted them. Live there mid up to say that their education been severely on pervasively impacted in this way so if a high school student goes to their principal or goes to their title nine coordinator and says I'm experiencing harassment. The school could say it's not bad enough in turn them away. That's extremely concerning. Because we know that many folks when they seek out help the first time in their turned away will never seek out help again and the new rules also changed the standards for evidence. Can you explain what's different now? So under the Obama era guidelines the schools are required to use a standard called the preponderance of the evidence standard when adjudicating sexual harassment assault cases and that standard basically means that the accused person would be found responsible if the evidence showed it was more likely than not that the violation occurred now under the new guidelines. Schools may use that standard but they may also use a standard called clear and convincing evidence. That standard is generally seemed to be more favorable to the accused. Student also says it has to effectively deny someone access to education so that would mean that someone would have to drop out of class or school entirely before school can take action. The purpose of title nine is that students are able to continue their education even if they experienced gender violence. It's meant to be preventative. What this rule require is for students educations to already be detrimentally impacted before school ever takes action you experience sexual assault during college. And you've said that if these new rules had been in place at that time your case would have been handled very differently. I experienced sexual assault my Sophomore Year of college. I was assaulted at an off. Campus apartment after I'm attending an off campus party. I have been fed drinks by my abuser. Who was very aware that the more and more intoxicated? I was the more likely it would be able to all. I was taken to an off campus apartment and was assaulted their following my assault. I was really unable to succeed in school. I was in a really really small department my school and so was my my rapist. So that meant that anytime. I walked into the single building that all of our classes were in first to see him so I really stopped attending classes. I stop participating in activities related to my education and stopped really leaving my apartment at all my scholarship that allowed me to attend school as a low income student was also tied to my participation in that department so while my grades were falling. I was unable to transfer because I couldn't get funding to go to another school with how low grades dropped and I really saw no other options besides dropping out of school. I was lucky enough to be in contact with the campus advocate. Who helped me file a formal report and helped me seek support from my institution? I should say that devices. Current rules allow schools and actually require schools to dismiss cases of sexual violence that occur outside of a university program activity so off campus housing as well right absolutely so what this means is that schools would be required to dismiss cases of sexual assault. That happened at off. Campus Party is out campus housing also outside of the US so that means violence. That happens in study abroad programs or possibly international travel that schools would go together. This also doesn't clued unmarked fraternity houses so while the department says that they are not allowing fraternities to be excluded from this permission. Actually if a school doesn't recognize the fraternity or doesn't recognize the fraternity house. They could never be punished by the school for committing sexual ants. In one of the new rules requires schools to hold live hearings where direct cross examination would be allowed. And say Gee you actually did face cross examination when you accused. You're assaulter. What did that mean for you? Yeah when I was a student and I reported Maya Salt may school. I was told to Davis before hearing that I was going to be going through cross examination by best and because of that I drop my case. I've gotten a lot of pushback when I talked about that. Folks have said Look. You were telling the truth. Why would you be scared to be questioned about it in the first place and I was scared of the questions that would be asked? Moore that the only thing that I could really remember about the assault what my rapist said the entire time and I was terrified to hear their voice again. It gave me. Nightmares can be panic attacks and stopped me from going to class because I was scared to simply hear their voice and so I dropped my case because I would rather have you know not move forward with that at all than had to go through that process and talked to many other survivors who feel the same way. Cross examination can happen through neutral third parties where both parties pose questions to a neutral third party. They decide what questions are appropriate and then ask them to both parties. What devices rule requires that? Many courts don't require up due process in school. Is that both parties question. Each other through the representative and Devos's ruled does not put any limitations on who can be the representative for each party. Besides that either cannot represent themselves. This means that survivor could be questioned by their rapist parent fraternity brother friend or new partner. Which could be an extremely traumatizing process. And also I lead itself open to being very harassing nature. I've talked to many survivors. Who when they named their rapists and report it to their school very collected statements from their fraternity brothers about how they were a great man and they would ever done. This demosthenes new rule would now allow ray best to bring their friends into examination to question survivors and their witnesses as well secretary of education. Betsy Devos has said in a statement too. Many students have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint of sexual harassment or sexual assault and has divorce been pushed on that claim? Do we know how many students in the united have been expelled or bound from their universities or colleges do to sexual harassment disciplinary process. So something I found really interesting about that. Statement is that it's actually not clear that it applies only to accuse students If you look at it. She's saying that they have lost access to their education because their school inadequately responded when a student filed a complaint now the point of title nine is to prevent people from losing access to their education because of harassment. So she may be trying to thread the needle and in that statement. Say you know that students may have lost access to their education because they reported harassment or assault but their school mishandled that claim. And certainly we have heard from many survivors who say exactly that this siege. I just wanted to add that. One study found that about a third of survivors drop out of school after experiencing sexual violence. So we do know that. A large majority of survivors leave school because of the violence that they experience while there isn't a nationwide data on how many students have been punished because of sexual misconduct accusations. A good place. I always look is at the University of Michigan. Who publishes there the outcomes of their reports and investigations every year and one of their reports showed that there were over two hundred reports to the school of sexual violence and of that only one student was expelled for Sexual Islands? Many college and university campuses are closed right now. Due to the pandemic and this rule has sort of quietly been enacted does school or campus closures. Have anything to do with that. Is there anything to this timing? Do you think sage? I think that the department itself showed when it thinks of its own rule by releasing it during global pan-demic when schools are in crisis. These rules proposed two years ago at they were originally supposed to come out last fall and it is now. They are now chosen to be released in the middle of a pandemic would say that. No you're nine. Sent a letter to over five hundred university administrators entitlement coordinators because we heard from survivors across the country that their title nine coordinators were either not responding to their questions about what school closures would mean for their case or for the academic at combinations that they were receiving under title nine coordinators. Were ignoring them or delaying their cases indefinitely until they returned to school. And so no. You're nine sent out resources for schools to know how to better respond to sexual misconduct during rote learning. How they continue carrying out cases schools have been begging for months for further guidance on how they should be handling school closures. How they should be supporting students right now and how they should be handling title mind but diverse has largely failed to respond to them and provide them the resources that they need to do right by students right now and instead is prioritizing rolling back the rights of students survivors instead of providing them protections that they need right now to continue education. Sage Carson is a sexual assault survivor and a manager at know your nine and Anna. North is a senior reporter at. Vox thank you both very much. Thanks so much in some cities across the country maternity wards are disappearing in black neighborhoods experts. Call these areas maternity care. Desert's those are areas where women have limited access to maternity care services such as prenatal care or maternity wards or they have none at all. Now many are worried that as the corona virus pandemic continues. These desert's could become a truly nationwide trend. Kelly glass recently wrote about this for the New York Times. She's a freelance journalist. Who reports on the intersections of parenting health and race? Here's what Kelly told me about. Why hospitals are closing their maternity wards. And something that we saw with rural hospitals. I think one thing that we have to remember is that hospitals are businesses. And I think we don't talk about that enough but the fact of the matter is they want to make a profit. Maternity wards tend to not be as profitable as other areas of hospitals so when things need to get cut. Those are often on the chopping block. First you mentioned rural areas being a place where this happens a lot but I understand also from your reporting and others that maternity wards in black communities are often among the first things to go when slashing hospital budgets. Why is that happening? We have the data on Rural Hospitals. Because that's what has been previously looked at but maternity wards and even hospitals closing and black neighborhoods has been something that's sort of. I guess quietly under the scene been going on for a while so in the case of Chicago in particular we saw three maternity wards close within the last year and again hospitals are business. So we're talking money. We're talking prioritizing who gets care. Unfortunately so he's in Saint Bernards Arts closed. They announced the closure as out of necessity to accommodate covert nineteen patients so decisions were made people removed and the people who ended up being displaced often Black people in black neighborhoods and are we seeing that happen. A lot right now is covert nineteen playing a role in the shuttering of these types of words. The data we have on that is like it's really not there. Nobody is keeping track of this at all but we saw this in Washington. Dc where several hospitals and maternity wards closed we saw it in Philadelphia where again several hospitals and maternity wards close. So we know what's happening. We know what's been happening in cities and we know that the corona virus pandemic stands to worsen it because if there is a need for space in cities you know again descends. Decisions are going to be made against the major concern. There is that we become aware of it sooner rather than later. So that we can mitigate it before it has devastating effects on the black community. What do we know about how this is affecting health outcomes for black mothers in these called Desserts? We know that the maternal mortality rate in this country is tragic. It's it's the highest of any developed nation. So we have that going on. We know that black women basically bear the brunt of that high maternal mortality rate. And we know that black women do not have a few things going on so we need continuity of care. They need to have ongoing relationships with the care team that they know it's going to take care of them. They need to have a care team. That is culturally competent so an community hospitals such as Saint Bernard Hospital in Chicago which I discuss in this piece. They basically reimagined healthcare to fit the needs of their population. And we do know from research that social determinants are very important you cannot ignore race you cannot ignore gender socio economic status you cannot ignore the type of community someone lives and when you give them care so considering that we cannot do this you know. I treat everybody the same approach to healthcare that I think has been prevalent. Black birthing people. They need more of a community based approach than that and when they don't get that unfortunately we see deaths go up. We see morbidity an injury an birth trauma go up for that population. I have some numbers here in front of me. I just want to Read them for you and also ask you to sort of respond to them and talk about how your reporting has also supported these but according to the Centers for Disease Control Black Women in the United States are three to four times more likely to die of Regmi related complications than white women and even studies that compared black women and white women who had the same common medical complications around pregnancy. Black women were still more likely to die than their white counterparts and this disparity. I know I'm I'm based in New York. It's even higher in New York City. What are some of the reasons for these disparate? Maternal health outcomes. There's very real implicit bias. That's going on at the hospital level. Unfortunately back factors into how these women are getting care. Black Women simply do not feel listen to you by their doctors. And when that happens a lot of things get overlooked. A lot of these deaths are preventable and a lot of them. Publicly be preventative. Black women felt listened to if they listen to buy the care team at the hospital. You have that going on. You also have this physiological thing going on where we know that the chronic stress of racism fire effects on a woman's body. So you have black women who are carrying this chronic stress in our wombs basically it makes pregnancy more complicated oftentimes. If we're really really honest about it. Racism is at the root of this. When you talk about black women not feeling listened to by their doctors. Masumi there you mean by their doctors who are not of the same race corrales. So what do we know about what's happening in hospitals where there are more providers of color or at the very least ones who are more culturally? Competent happens in those cases what happens especially for black mothers. There was a piece in the Journal. Pediatrics recently showed that lack Nikki. Babies received better care in what would be considered a poor quality Nikki or hospital and they were considered poor quality because those hospitals are majority black neighborhoods so we know that black women and black babies have better outcomes when they half black doctors. Are there any ways in which this particular crisis the pandemic but we're all experiencing can affect maternal health outcomes for black women in particular? I think our healthcare system was already overwhelmed. Already headed structural faults. But I do think that. The Corona Virus Pandemic has highlighted in. Maybe even exaggerated some of those faults and when you have a system that is overwhelmed. Decisions are made people are prioritized in people are under prioritized and often that means black women that means black people in general. It's safe to say that if there is not some active awareness about this being a possibility and solutions in place to make sure that we have an equitable approach to fixing these faults that we could stand to see this. Maternal mortality rate especially among black women rise. What I do hope comes out of this is that we finally realized that. We don't need to wait until a public health crisis becomes a public health crisis. Tuesday art action that the sooner the better so it sounds like you're saying that there is data to support that. Having doctors who are black nurses who are black providers who are black actually makes a big difference on the health outcomes of a black mother and her child What are some other ways to mitigate the maternal health disparities both in the short term and in the long-term? There are a lot of things that need to happen. It's hard to find a one-size-fits-all approach but there are some things you know. For example we tend to have a I care for everyone the same attitude in healthcare. And we don't need to do that what we need to do. Is We need to care for everyone. Based on their needs based on their social determinants of health and that education needs to happen at the medical school level. So when they're teaching doctors make better real part of the curriculum. Make sure that they're learning those things learning about the different populations. They might work with learning about what they're different needs are if they have something else going on at home that it is a part of their. Ob Care to talk to their doctor about it and it makes a big difference. I mean imagine simple things like not having transportation to your appointment I want now at my. Ob'S OFFICE IF I cancel an appointment there's not a consideration that may be just didn't have a way to get there in have a hospital staff where clinic staff call me up and say hey. Can I help you arrange transportation reimagining healthcare altogether to make sure that we're not ignoring these very very important? Social determinants of health. I think is going to be key. I mean of course. We cannot erase racism. But we can mitigate its effects with those things and I think we need to start thinking that way and how might Dulas or midwives help to fill in the gaps here? Yeah that's a great question. I think dul isn't midwives. Are a huge part of the solution. I think that one of the barriers with that is again policy for example in Illinois in in the state I'm in there are about ten certified nurse midwives in the entire state and CPM certified professional midwives. Which is a different kind of credential are not recognized at all we do not allow us to be paid with. Medicaid as most states. Do I think right now. Only two states allow Dulas to be paid with Medicaid so we have those Israel options if only they were more accessible and we need the policy to make them more accessible. What I hope comes out of this is that we again. Say Options for birthing. People are important so not just hospital births but yes Holmberg star. A real option Dula attended birth midwife attended births in hospitals in birthing centers so more options but also more access obviously to make those options real. Kelly glass is a freelance journalist. Who reports on the intersections of parenting health and race? Kelly thank you for being here. Thank you for having me. This was great ever seen accommodate. Why do you want a little bit? Because if you're GONNA drink at Radley Dude in the house just to say hello. Did you see the memo about this and you won't be angry. I will not be angry. Healthy that's the intro. Music used to accompany these fine folks. Two thousand eleven nineteen sixty six and nineteen fourteen. Which of these years if you if you had to choose. Which of these years would you go back to? Oh man not nineteen. Fourteen one's about to die doesn't sound that great. Does it great war? They didn't use the word great correctly in that one. That was not great. That of course is Rafer Guzman film critic for Newsday and longtime contributor to the takeaway and Kristen minds her a culture critic and the author of how to be fine if these voices sound familiar. It's because Rafer and Kristen hosted the takeaway movie podcast which ended back in early twenty sixteen but since then they told us longtime fans have been getting back in touch and asking for recommendations on what to watch in the era of Cova nineteen so rafer and kristen have reunited to create a new podcast called movie therapy and we're so excited to have them back here on the takeaway to talk about their movies prescriptions for this moment. Welcome back to the show. Kristen and Rafer. I should be excited to have you. We'll Kristin it. Sounds like you definitely got a nudge from but why did you want to get back together again to talk about movies at this time Well refer I have always enjoyed Movies together and talk about movies and I think we always thought it'd be great. If at some point we could work together again but then you know old listeners reached out kind of asked us to so that gave us the to do it and we understand why they are at home more than ever and a lot of people are needing some comfort. A lot of people are watching more. Tv than they ever have in their lives. They don't necessarily know what to watch. And in some cases people really just want a movie or a TV show. That's going to speak to their particular feelings whether those feelings are I WANNA kill my husband. He's driving me nuts or I need a vacation for my kids or I need a good cry. Whatever it is. Rafer movies can therapeutic at a time like this. Well I think movies first and foremost You know whether you want to admit or not they really are just an escape you know when I was a kid and I fell in love with movies. It was because they were a real escape. You could go into this fantasy world and you could kind of maybe see your best self on screen. You could sort of. See the world as you'd like it to be the way you wanted it to be There's a lot of escapist elements to that. I know You know film critics and film snobs will talk about how you're supposed to reflect reality and you want to see deep things with a lot of nuance and Things that are believable and convincing and show the world and I was realism. But I think when you really get down to it they're wish fulfillment and their fantasies and their dreams And so I think they can be pretty helpful at a time like this kristen. What are some of the most common things that people have been writing to you about and asking for you to sort of solve for them with movies suggestions? Oh well I already mentioned a few of them. You know. Some folks are really Feeling a little bit tense with the other people under their roof right now. Some people are feeling quite anxious But also we have people who very commonly right to US saying. They're addicted to reading the news. They stay up late to scrolling through their phones. And we've been hearing a lot just in the last few days from people who have cancelled summer plans and are are worried about that and Are Thinking about what they can do to replace that. Yes so tell us what your recommendations are for those people who are in new overload. Land Rafer describe what you're telling people to watch. Yeah sure You know I think what you want At a time like this like I said is something that would kind of get you out of this bubble and get you to weigh a happier place. You know it's funny. There are a lot of movies that come out over the years where that are kind of sort of trivial and insubstantial happen. I was sniff at those movies back in the day. Although now during the pandemic They seem six a lot better in hindsight and one of the ones that I might recommend a little movie by John. Fabric called chef which came out in two thousand fourteen mid little bit of a splash but wasn't a big hit. You know he's the guy that did the ironman movie and the First Iron Manning. The recent lion king usually a big budget director. You know you usually works with a lot of a lot of money but he did this little small personal film in two thousand fourteen where he plays a chef who has a meltdown on social media becomes the laughing stock of the Foodie oral. He's unemployable starts out at the bottom has to drive a food. Truck drives it with his son and of course it does so well that they drive it across the country and everything ends terrific and it's one of these movies that has no plot no conflict no villain of any kind Bus Got Great Cast Scarlett. Johansson John Leguizamo and Amy Sedaris small role for Robert. Downey Junior. He's in it and it's it's just one of those. Forget your troubles movies. It's the kind of thing that would have been like a blockbuster during the great depression or something and You know like I say I I didn't I didn't lavish it with praise at the but You know in the middle of a pandemic. I think it might be the thing to watch you know. In my household we literally put on a kids film the other day. And it's just me and my husband here. We watched the animated film Rio. We were just feeling overly needed to see some dancing and singing parrots and it was just perfect. Sort of Kristen. We have about a minute or two left. You talked about people who might be missing their summer plans or maybe travel plans. What are your prescriptions for that while one of my most basic prescriptions? As always if you're going to go on trip watch a movie that will get you in the mood for that so you can't go on that road trip. Maybe watch a movie like National Lampoon's vacation so you get that road trip feeling Maybe watch a movie that takes place once in each. Stop along the way. If your kids were going to be going to some sort of day camp the summer maybe you can do something like watch. Adventure movies together. That kind of gives them that sense of excitement of going off into the world troops zero that is on not flex right now or you know different kinds of Movies that captured their imagination as kids like back to the future. Something that you can vote together as a family. Let's watch this movie tonight or have the kids pick out the movies and then next week you can the movies as grownups and you can take turns and one other thing. You don't have to stop having adventures just because you're at home. You can try maybe creating a drive in movie experience in your backyard or on your front driveway by projecting movies there and then you can still feel like you're going on maybe a little vacation just by watching a movie outside Nice. We have just a little bit of time left so I'm going to try and squeeze this end. Do you have any recommendations for people who are actually wanting to lean into the dystopia of our current reality? Oh so many yes referred. I disagree on this but I think a lot of people enjoy leaning in Seattle Wienand. Chris what are your favorites? I think it's great to watch. Us chose let us Charlotte Grey's anatomy something that's kind of a procedural where there's an answer and under the episode. There's disaster happening everywhere Things are being people are on gurneys. But at the end of the episode you always get an answer and I think that can be comforting for a lot of people because there aren't a lot of answers right now so sometimes leaning in seeing a beginning a middle and an end and then on the next episode there's a whole new problem can be very comforting so rafer even though you're not a huge fan of the dystopia in movies for this moment do you have any recommendations maybe dystopia films that have a sense of yeah not too many. Do you know one movie that I always find myself going back to these days. It's the old John Carpenter movie escape from New York where he has become a giant prison and Russell has to go inside and rescue them. Rescue the downed president. And you know take dragon back out of out of New York and all the prisoners are trying to keep them there because they want to hold them hostage. And it's it's just a great then as now it was just a perfect metaphor for For Manhattan and it's a lot of fun at. It's got that John Carpenter over the top really vivid feel to it and it's it's always been a real favorite of line you know and it's not a dystopia movie that you know it's going to. I think make you depressed. Not like handmaid's tale or something like that you know. Yeah I sometimes you to take a break from some of those kinds of films and TV shows from some people that they are re watching movies that they've washed many many times before at this moment and I know that I tend to do this a lot and I sometimes feel guilty about it because I know there's so many great movies that I haven't seen before that I should probably be watching. Should I feel guilty? Have you heard this from other people? Oh yes we've heard from a lot of people in there. Actually some studies that indicate that it is a good thing to do to help ease anxiety to watch a movie or TV. Show where we already know what this character is going to say next and we already know what's going to happen in this scene and the scene after and we know there's going to be happy ending because there aren't going to be any surprises. There aren't going to be anything with you know. Throw US off kilter because all of it is predictable. All of it's comforting. Even the scary parts are comforting. Because we were there. We know they're coming and I think that's totally fine. I've been doing the same thing. I've been watching an episode of Little House on the prairie. At least three times a week since this started it was a show that I just absolutely adored growing up in syndication after school every day for many many many years in Minnesota and it was such a huge part of my life and yes I think I know every episode by heart but it still makes me feel good just to sit down and watch something I know by heart right now refer. What's something that you like to watch? That just makes you feel at ease and comforted. Well you know I think having Two kids both boys nine and twelve And my poor wife. surround surrounded by men in the house. But you know we're big guys at so you know. This has been a lot of fun to go back and watch all the old great Harrison Ford Action Films which they've just loved unusual. We saw Air Force One and You know they're they're really corny They're really well made. Though too and a lot of fun they start really hold up as entertainment. out My my older kid. I guess you would. You would think being the son of a movie critic. He would be a little different but he says I don't like dramas just want comedy action or action comedy exactly. I don't think he wants to dwell on feelings a lot and so These have been perfect and and they're fun and who doesn't love Harrison Ford and so next up might be witness. We're trying to decide whether the kids can handle that one So you know these old kind of eighties nineties Action Films You know I find that I find. They're pretty fun and and my kids so they They fit the bill. Do you have any recommendations for people who are thinking that this is a great time to bone up on their classics on the Criterion Collection. Or anything that they feel like. Wow that's in the. That's that's in the Canon. I need to watch that. I would say it really depends on what kind of household you're in you know if if you don't have kids then you know maybe you're you're free to to to go through that. I had the luxury that I I did put on. Not Too long ago live. Ampere is the French silent serial about the kind of the cat burglars that crawl in and out of people's houses. It's this very influential French series silent film. Not a lot of people are GonNa Watch that. I really enjoyed that but you know. Let's be honest if I'm watching that starting at about nine thirty PM. There's just only so much that I'm GONNA be able to stay awake for you. Know even even me Mr Film critic you know I'm not going to be able to staff until eleven or twelve. Pm Watching old silent films. So I don't know I would kind of say that people should maybe get themselves a bit of a break on that and try to bite off too much and you know. I don't know if you want to sit through Berlin Alexanderplatz at this point in time I really I really advise going for the going for the field and stuff. What are your thoughts on on classics? Well if you're GONNA do classics I am going to vote that you go in for some fun. One for the same reason that refer said like you know a lot of the classics during this time might put you to sleep. They might be too much to concentrate on And I'm also a big believer that during this time you don't have to live your best pandemic. You don't have to walk out of this having accomplished a lot. If you don't want to that's fine you can just relax but if you are going to dip your toes and does something like the criterion collection. Maybe start with something fun like one movie that I like quite a bit. That's on the criterion collection. Is Dentistry Rides again. In which Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich He is a Man. Who's essentially the sheriff of the small western town and he doesn't use guns. Marlene Dietrich Talking Saloon. Gal they You know overcome bad. Kyw's they get up to no good. There are lots of laughs in it. So maybe if you're going to get into the criterion collection maybe start with those kinds of movies where you can laugh and Maybe learn a little bit of something about you. Know who these big stars were back then. You know if you've never seen a Marlene Dietrich movie. If you've never seen a Jimmy Stewart movie maybe this is good place to start. And wonder if you're coming up with little sort of projects for people or if anyone's asked to be assigned or given a whole list of movies to watch like the other day. My husband and I decided because we really enjoyed watching parasite the long whole films such a good move up best film last year and he won best director and so we decided to go back and start watching some other bunk June home films and we really enjoyed it. We watched oak jaw which was fantastic really enjoyable. And then we watched his film snow Piercer. Which is about people who are the last remaining people on Earth who are all on this one train together and for me that was really intense? And maybe it's the intensity being locked in my house or something that just kind of mess with my mind. Are you coming up with any any sets or sort of projects for people to take on? Yes absolutely recommended larger watching projects for example. We have had parents right in saying. I'm just so overwhelmed with the kids being at home at at all hours while I'm trying to still work a fulltime job and I'm supposed to somehow be a teacher right now when I am not a good teacher and Anita break for my kids and in those cases You know I'll sometimes giving them a long list of TV. Shows that you can have your kids watch guilt free. You don't have to feel bad about your kid watching you know twenty hours a week of Mr Roger Sesame Street and then Dolly Parton reading bedtime stories to you for example so sometimes they list right there. I wonder if you could both leave us with one last recommendation. Maybe a great new ish movie a movie. That's come out in the past couple of years that you love recommending to people You know one one that we recommended to a listener a while back somebody who was Really Missing New York And just sort of the feel of around the neighborhood We recommended top five. Chris rock movie where he's just sort of plays version of himself. He's with Rosario Dawson. Who plays a and they just kind of spend sort of a day in the night Walking around New York and kind of meeting people and talking and meeting his friends and family. And it's just really fun lively Kind of love letter to New York. I it's kind of cliche but it really is. And it's not a long ago film so it really does kind of captured the New York that you remember and and it's very funny and fun and recommended that one and I thought that was a good pick on our part. Rafer Guzman is a film critic. For Newsday and Kristen minds are is a culture critic and the author of the book how to be fine and together. They are the hosts of the podcast movie. Therapy thank you to both of you for coming back on the takeaway thank you. That's all for today. Thank you so much for listening. I'M SHUMITA BASU. This is the takeaway. I'll meet you back here tomorrow.