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#1 COVIDCalls 3.16.2020 – The First Episode: Public Health & COVID-19 in the USA

How should public health systems in the U.S. respond to COVID-19, and what lessons can we draw from the past and for the future?

Dr. Gigi Kwik Gronvall, a Senior Scholar at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, joins to discuss the early national response to COVID-19 in the U.S. An expert on synthetic biology and biosecurity, Dr. Gronvall draws on her experience advising the Department of Defense to discuss how the response to COVID-19 compares to earlier responses to SARS and Ebola. Dr. Gronvall stresses the importance of learning from earlier epidemics as well as the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak to develop more effective responses to future disease outbreaks.

For further reading:

Synthetic Biology: Safety, Security, and Promise

Event 201: A Global Pandemic Exercise

Pale Horse, Pale Rider

#2 COVIDCalls 3.17.2020 – Journalism & Social Science in the Pandemic with Robinson Meyer & Kim Fortun

How can we understand disaster amidst the unknowns in the beginning of a crisis? How do journalists and academics approach information, disorganization, and uncertainty to further understanding during disaster events.

Robinson Meyer, a staff writer for the Atlantic covering technology and climate change, and Dr. Kim Fortun, an anthropologist at University of California – Irvine and expert on environmental risk and disaster, discuss the difficulties of reporting on COVID Testing early in the pandemic, what that reporting reveals about the state of governmental response, and how the knowledge of academic researchers can help us approach the uncertainties of the early pandemic. Meyer begins by talking about problems with COVID testing in March 2020 as well as the disparities in test data availability from public health departments across the United States. Dr. Fortun continues by reflecting on the varying time scales researchers of disaster inhabit, from rapid response to long-term analysis, and how analogies from her work on risk informs her assessment of COVID-19. Meyer and Fortun find common ground between academics and journalists and their use of “middle theories” to understand the ongoing crisis.

*SPECIAL NOTE: Robinson Meyer requests that listeners not quote his statements from this recording without his permission.

For further reading:

“The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing”

The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic

Advocacy after Bhophal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders

#3 COVIDCalls 3.18.2020 – Evacuation & Shelter Decision-Making & Coping with Pets

#3 COVIDCalls 3.18.2020 – Evacuation & Shelter Decision-Making & Coping with Pets

What are the psychological factors behind how individuals and organizations make evacuation/sheltering decisions during disasters? How are pets a source of comfort and resilience?

Dr. Sarah DeYoung, an expert on applied social and community psychology and core faculty member at the Disaster Research Center at University of Delaware, discusses the connections between evacuations/shelter in place orders, decision making, and various types of vulnerability. Dr. DeYoung stresses the importance of agreement among public officials for building trust in authority during a disaster and the damage open disagreement among authorities can do to public confidence. DeYoung delves into the factors, like neoliberalism and privatization, that have eroded the capacity of and public trust in the American government disaster response. Dr. DeYoung also shares insights from her research on how pet ownership affects how people respond to disasters and her worries about a possible increase of animal surrenders during the pandemic.

For Further Reading:

“The Pets of Hurricane Matthew: Evacuation and Sheltering with Companion Animals”

“The Effect of Mass Evacuation on Infant Feeding: The Case of the 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire”

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

“The Popular Culture of Disaster: Exploring a New Dimension of Disaster Research”

“Loneliness as a public health issue: the impact of loneliness on health care utilization among older adults”

#4 COVIDCalls 3.19.2020 – Public Health Update: Philadelphia

When should have COVID-19 testing started in the United States and what were the barriers to testing access in the early days of the Pandemic? What did testing look like on the ground in Philadelphia, PA during this time?

Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health and director of the Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication at Drexel University, discusses various Public Health responses to COVID-19 at the international, national, and local level. In particular Dr. Chernak discusses how the American CDC has reacted to community spread in the U.S., how that response compares to countries like those in China and South Korea, and what efforts she is working on in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Chernak also talks about the ebb and flow of public health funding in Post-9/11 America, stigma associated with diseases like HIV and COVID-19, and what she thinks we can expect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking from her experience and expertise in March 2020, Dr. Chernak argues that the pandemic will likely expose flaws in the American healthcare system and that disparities in health outcomes will likely hew along socio-economic, rather than just regional, lines.

For further reading:

Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

“China’s cases of COVID-19 are Finally declining. A WHO expert explains why.”

#5 COVIDCalls 3.20.2020 – National Disaster: Emergency Management in a Pandemic

What does it mean that COVID-19 was declared a disaster/emergency by multiple levels of government across the United States? How does the structure of emergency governance affect emergency managers responding to the pandemic?

Dr. Samantha Montano, an assistant professor in Emergency Management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (formerly University of Nebraska-Omaha), and Dr. Patrick S. Roberts, an associate professor at Virginia Tech University’s Center for Public Administration & Policy both discuss how government agencies in the United States respond to emergencies and the unprecedented nature of COVID-19 in terms of the field of Emergency Management. Both experts on American systems of Emergency Management, Dr. Montano and Dr. Roberts talk about the current state of emergency management and disaster governance in the U.S. and its historical roots in the “Civil Defense” approach of the Cold War era. They explain some of the basics of emergency management in the U.S., like the Stafford Act, and how emergency governance is being enacted in response to COVID-19. In addition to this important context Dr. Montano and Dr. Roberts both weigh in on the challenges facing government officials and emergency managers as well as illuminate what is inhibiting effective coordination and disaster response in late March 2020.

For further reading:

Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected


Stafford Act

#6 COVIDCalls 3.23.2020 – Pandemic Perspectives: Chile, Germany, European Union

What is the timeline of the virus up to late March 2020, and what might the timeline to “normalcy” look like? What are the most promising treatments and what are their historical precedents?

Adam Rogers, a science journalist at WIRED Magazine, discusses the science and possibilities of serological testing to improve understanding and surveillance of the virus. Rogers explains the potentials of treatments derived from the blood of COVID-19 survivors, such as serum, convalescent plasma, and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, he helps us understand a rough timeline of the virus as of late March 2020, from its discovery in China in late 2019, to the creation of the first diagnostic tests in the U.S. and forward to the possibility of rapid diagnostic testing, therapeutics, and even vaccines. Rogers also discusses Silicon Valley, the re-emergent “cult of the inventor,” and the role tech can and can’t play in the pandemic.

For further reading:

#7 COVIDCalls 3.24.2020 – Disaster, Science, & Journalism with Andy Revkin

What are the challenges for journalists to report accurate information when there is a disconnect between science and politics? How do news consumers become discerning about the information they trust in the internet age?

Andrew Revkin, a path-breaking environmental journalist and founding director of the Initiative on Communication Innovation and Impact at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, discusses the role of journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as how mitigation measures and virtual connectivity are reshaping the possibilities of journalism. Revkin discusses how the make-up and leadership of newsrooms can lead to everything being seen through the lens of politics, and how that is affecting the coverage of COVID-19. He also talks about founding the Initiative on Communication Innovation and Impact at The Earth Institute, and the importance of communication and social science on the subject of climate change. Revkin talks about the roles journalists and academics can play during disasters as well as the importance of autoethnography during the pandemic and beyond.

For further reading:

“The Press and the Pandemic: Tips from Pulitzer Winner Laurie Garrett”

“The Pandemic was Predicted – So What?”

“Yelling ‘Fire’ on a Hot Planet”

#8 COVIDCalls 3.25.2020 – Tests, Treatments, & Vaccines with Adam Rogers

What is the timeline of the virus up to late March 2020, and what might the timeline to “normalcy” look like? What are the most promising treatments and what are their historical precedents?

Adam Rogers, a science journalist at WIRED Magazine, discusses the science and possibilities of serological testing to improve understanding and surveillance of the virus. Rogers explains the potentials of treatments derived from the blood of COVID-19 survivors, such as serum, convalescent plasma, and monoclonal antibodies. In addition, he helps us understand a rough timeline of the virus as of late March 2020, from its discovery in China in late 2019, to the creation of the first diagnostic tests in the U.S. and forward to the possibility of rapid diagnostic testing, therapeutics, and even vaccines. Rogers also discusses Silicon Valley, the re-emergent “cult of the inventor,” and the role tech can and can’t play in the pandemic.

For further reading:

Blood from COVID-19 Survivors May Point the Way to a Cure

Elon Musk says Tesla is working on ventilators for coronavirus patients but doubts there will be a shortage

#9 COVIDCalls 3.26.2020 – Pandemic Perspectives: Italy

What can the United States learn from Italy’s disaster management performance in the first wave, and what are the cracks that lie in Italy and the United States’ systems? What are the historical analogs we can use to understand various aspects of the pandemic?

Dr. Giacomo Parrinello, an assistant professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, and Dr. Luisa Cortesi, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University (now assistant professor at Erasmus University), and Paolo Cavaliere, a Ph.D. student at the University of Delaware and volunteer with the Italian Red Cross, all join to discuss the state of the Pandemic in Italy in late March 2020, with particular focus on the hard hit area of Bergamo, in the Lombardy region. Each discusses how the Italian response compares to the American response and the structural issues behind the problems in both countries. A wide-ranging conversation topics include: the role of media in shaping the narrative of the pandemic, the relationship between the EU and national governments in Europe, the issue of public trust and expertise, and possible historical analogs for patterns of grief and mourning coming out of the pandemic.

For further reading:

“We Take the Dead From Morning Till Night”

“Italy’s coronavirus death toll feeds fear of what lies ahead in Europe and the U.S.”

“Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggests he, other seniors willing to die to get the economy going again”

#10 COVIDCalls 3.27.2020 – Disaster & Disability

Why were tools of accessibility, like video conferencing and live transcription, only embraced by institutions in response to COVID-19, despite being denied to disabled people pre-pandemic? What can disability studies add to our understanding of COVID-19 and society’s response to the pandemic?

Dr. Aimi Hamraie an assistant professor of Medicine, Health, & Society and American Studies at Vanderbilt University and Dr. Amy Slaton, a professor of History at Drexel University, discuss how disaster, and COVID-19 in particular, reveals how society routinely devalues disabled people. Both experts in disability studies, Slaton and Hamraie discuss how extractive capitalism creates violent systems of value, to what extent disabled people are included in disaster planning, and the tradition of mutual aid in disabled communities. They explore what the pandemic means as a moment of great danger but also possibility for disabled people, disability justice, and disability studies. 

For further reading:

Crip Camp

What is History?

Critical Design Lab

#11 COVIDCalls 3.30.2020 – Pandemics in History I

Is there such a thing as an unprecedented moment? What is new about the COVD-19 pandemic and what aspects have echoes in the past? What lessons do the histories of past epidemics, even those that occurred centuries ago, have to offer our present?

Dr. Cindy Ermus, a history professor at University of Texas-San Antonio, and Dr. Christienna Fryar, a lecturer in Black British history at Goldsmiths University of London, discuss how their own work on the Great Plague of Provence in 1720 and the Jamaican cholera epidemic of the mid-1800s (respectively) informs their understanding of COVID-19’s place in the longer trajectory of history. Both Dr. Ermus and Dr. Fryar talk about how aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, like debates over prioritizing economic or public health, wishful thinking about disease by elites, and resistance to quarantine measures, have precedents in eighteenth century France and nineteenth century Jamaica. They also discuss the history of scapegoating marginalized and minority populations during epidemic outbreaks. As historians Dr. Ermus and Dr. Fryar also discuss the challenges COVID-19 and the mitigation efforts meant to combat it present for historical researchers.

For further reading:

The Measure of Empire: Crisis and Responsibility in Postemancipation Jamaica

“The danger of prioritizing politics and economics during the coronavirus outbreak”

#12 COVIDCalls 3.31.2020 – COVID-19 in Rural America + The Defense Production Act

Does rural America have the infrastructure and supplies to navigate through this pandemic?

Lois Parshley, a freelance investigative journalist then based at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Dr. Peter Shulman, an associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, discuss the challenges COVID-19 presents for rural communities and how the Defense Production Act can play a role in allocating vital resources during the current surge. Parshley draws on her reporting in Alaska to talk about hospital capacity in rural areas, the ways rural Americans are vulnerable to COVID-19, and the politics of the pandemic in rural areas and red states. Dr. Shulman makes the argument for President Trump to utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA), explains the history of past national mobilizations, and contextualizes the DPA in the contemporary integrated global economy. Both discussions touch on the national implications of COVID-19, despite the disparate effects on localities across the United States.

For further reading:

“The coronavirus may hit rural America later — and harder”

“What happens when a city’s hospital closes ‘without warning’ during a pandemic”

“President Trump must act immediately to protect doctors and nurses from Covid-19”

#13 COVIDCalls 4.1.2020 – The World Health Organization and COVID-19 with Andrew Lakoff

How has global pandemic preparedness evolved over the years, and what is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) role in managing outbreaks of infectious disease? What were the impacts of 9/11, anthrax, and Hurricane Katrina on American systems of emergency preparedness?

Dr. Andrew Lakoff, a professor of sociology at University of South California, an expert on globalization, the history of the human sciences, contemporary social theory, and risk society, discusses the historical contexts of the WHO and American governmental agencies like Health and Human Services (HHS) and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Dr. Lakoff discusses the tension in the WHO between focusing on assisting countries with non-communicable diseases and responding to emerging new diseases. He talks about COVID-19 fits into the longer history of international health regulations. Dr. Lakoff also gets into the weeds of U.S. emergency response and inter-agency cooperation in response to infectious diseases.

For further reading:

Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency

The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security

“Coronavirus Pandemic ‘Is a Call to Action,’ U.N. Secretary General Says”

“From Crisis to Emergency: The Shifting Logic of Preparedness”

#14 COVIDCalls 4.2.2020 – Care, Grieving, Parents, & Children in the Pandemic

How is ageism influencing debates over whether or not to “re-open” the nation amidst rising infections and economic fall out? What does caring for the elderly during the pandemic look like during the early pandemic? How is COVID-19 affecting how and what we communicate with those closest to us?

Bernadette McBride, a registered nurse practitioner specializing in geriatric family practice and owner of Legacy Management and Tranquility Life Care, Dr. Sara McBride a Mendenhall Fellow at the US Geological Survey, and Dr. Yvonne Michael, associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health, discuss intergenerational dynamics in the pandemic and the effect of COVID-19 on the eldery. The group discusses the particular challenges facing the eldery during COVID-19 and the tension between the dangers of social isolation and the need to social-distance to prevent infections in vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes. Dr. McBride talks about the difficulty of disaster communication and public trust during a time when the facts on the ground are changing quickly, especially in diverse populations. The conversation ranges from the population level, discussing the elderly as a vulnerable population, to the personal level, where the experts talk about the conversations they’ve been having with their friends, family, and coworkers about how to prepare for the potential effects of COVID-19.

For further reading:

“Exploring the barriers for people taking protective actions during the 2012 and 2015 New Zealand ShakeOut drills”

“Uses and Gratification Theory”

#15.2 Part Two: COVIDCalls 4.3.2020 – Pandemic Politics w/ Julian Zelizer + Pandemic Perspectives: South Korea

Part One: 

With the 2020 presidential primary season underway in the United States, how might the pandemic affect the presidential election later in the year and the longer trajectory of American politics?

Dr. Julian Zelizer, a professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and CNN contributor, discusses the politics of COVID-19 during a presidential election year in the United States. Dr. Zelizer evaluates the Trump administration’s pandemic response and its possible political ramifications. He also discusses the still unsettled Democratic primary and the challenges the virus poses to campaigning, messaging, and voting. Talking from a historical perspective Dr. Zelizer discusses how the pandemic may change the presidency and what effect, if any, COVID-19 may have on partisan polarization.

For further reading:

“How to protect the 2020 elections from the coronavirus crisis”

Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party

Part Two:

What accounts for the starkly different pictures of the pandemic in various nations and what can we learn from the example of South Korea? How was South Korea able to respond and, as of April 2, 2021, report only 174 deaths due to COVID-19?

Dr. Seung-sik Hwang, a professor of epidemiology at Seoul National University, and Dr. Chihyung Jeon, an associate professor and department head at the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), both discuss South Korea’s comparative success in responding to COVID-19 and the lessons it offers the United States. Together they discuss the success of the testing and contract tracing regime in South Korea, particularly around the case of “Patient 31” in the city of Daegu. Also discussed is how the experience of the Sewol Ferry disaster in 2014 and  MERS Outbreak in 2015 in South Korea affected the government’s response to COVID-19. Ultimately Dr. Hwang emphasizes the importance of testing and contract tracing for preserving the healthcare system in a given country. Dr. Jeon also explains the inseparability of science and politics and the need to think about their relationship wisely during a crisis.

For further reading:

“What We Can Learn from the Korean Response to COVID-19”

“How a South Korean church helped fuel the spread of the coronavirus”

#16 COVIDCalls 4.6.2020 – Disaster Researchers’ Roundtable

How is the disaster of COVID-19 impacting how early career disaster researchers are approaching their own research? How will academia in general react to the crisis and how will that affect graduate students and early career researchers?

Dr. Nnenia Campbell, a research associate at the Natural Hazards Center of University of Colorado-Boulder, Dr. Ryan Hagen, a postdoctoral scholar in Sociology at Columbia University, Dr. Yeonsil Kang, a visiting assistant professor in History at Drexel University Zachary Loeb, a PhD Candidate in History and Sociology of Science at University of Pennsylvania, and Valerie Marlowe, Assistant Director of Archives and Collections at the Disaster Research Center of University of Delaware, all rising disaster researchers discuss how COVID-19 has affected their ongoing work. The roundtable talks about how disaster researchers and academics can prove their value beyond the classroom. The researchers discuss how academic work can be applied, communicated, and used to raise awareness. They also talk about the ethics and practicalities of doing research while the COVID-19 crisis is ongoing.

For further reading:

The Monster at Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago

The Foxfire Museum: COVID-19 Oral History Project

#17 COVIDCalls 4.7.2020 – Disaster, Resilience, & Data

What are the social factors that shape people’s understanding of disaster? What ties communities together and helps them remain strong, cope, and recover? What are the data that help us understand how people support each other during crisis?

Dr. Daniel P. Aldrich, full professor of political science and Director of the Security and Resilience Studies Program at Northeastern University and Dr. Robert Soden, assistant professor of computer science at University of Toronto (formerly a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University), each discuss their work on social capital and crisis informatics, respectively. Dr. Aldrich defines social capital as the ties that bind us to other people, argues that these ties are one of our most important resources in a disaster, and explains how physical distancing mitigations during COVID-19 might affect them. Dr. Soden discusses the reemergence of mutual aid during the pandemic, how mutual aid groups are using technology, and mutual aid point of departure for crisis informatics research. Both bring in their research on past disasters in places like Haiti, Nepal, and Japan to contextualize grassroots and policy responses to COVID-19. Together they see the pandemic as a pivotal moment that could shift awareness of Climate Change and bring people into the field of disaster studies. 

For further reading:

Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery


#18 COVIDCalls 4.8.2020 – Emergency Management Update & COVID-19 and Crime

What role do the police have in public health crises? How have crime patterns shifted in the wake of shelter-in place orders? What is the state of the pandemic from the point of view of emergency managers in early April 2020?

Dr. Samantha Montano, assistant professor in Emergency Management at Massachusetts Maritime Academy (formerly University of Nebraska-Omaha), rejoins to discuss the lack of a coordinated response to the pandemic, the frustration felt by emergency managers, and the mixed messages from the federal government as of April 2020. Dr. Robert J. Kane, professor and head of the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies at Drexel University, discusses how the pandemic intersects with crime and policing. Dr. Kane discusses the difficulties of collecting crime data in the early pandemic and the rise of crimes within the household (such as domestic violence) during shelter-in-place orders. Dr. Kane also explains the role of the Police in enforcing public health measures, as well as the potential roles they could play in the pandemic outside of a traditional enforcement rubric. He talks about the ways in which police in America are in danger from the virus, but also how police practices themselves can hinder public health efforts.

On this episode musicians Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis Jr.,  John “Bucky” Pizzarelli, and John Prine are remembered after passing from COVID-19.

For further reading:

Improvising Disaster

“New York Police Fight Coronavirus in Department as 1 in 5 Go Out Sick”

#19 COVIDCalls 4.9.2020 – Disaster Research in a Time of Crisis with Lori Peek

How does the backlash against Asian Americans, especially those of Chinese descent, during COVID-19 parallel backlashes against other minority groups that followed events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina? What is the role of researchers during disaster events like COVID-19?

Dr. Lori Peek, professor of sociology and Director of the Natural Hazard Center at University of Colorado-Boulder, discusses patterns of post-disaster backlash violence and the importance of funding transdisciplinary disaster research. Dr. Peek talks about her work on anti-Muslim backlash following 9/11 and it it relates to current anti-Asian violence, the difficulty of researching backlash violence, and how to balance psychological and historical explanations for backlash responses to disasters. She also discusses the history, mission, and ongoing work of the Natural Hazard Center. Dr. Peek argues that the pandemic could be a pivotal moment for social science research on disasters, encouraging the funding of new work and the rediscovery of existing work.

For further reading:

Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11

“The Continuing Significance of Race: Antiblack Discrimination in Public Spaces”

Lessons of Disaster: Policy Change after Catastrophic Events


#20 COVIDCalls 4.10.2020 – Pandemics in History II

What can history teach us that prepares us for COVID 19? What are the issues with asking historians to provide us with concrete advice from imperfect and incomplete historical examples?

Julia Engelschalt, a doctoral candidate in history at Bielefeld University, and Dr. Jacob Remes, a professor of history at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Director of the Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies, both discuss how their own work on historical disasters informs their understanding of COVID-19. In particular Engelschalt and Dr. Remes both talk about how their work intersects with the history of public health in 20th century America. They both discuss what an archive of COVID-19 might look like in the future, the challenges historians will face when accessing information from this time, and how inequality will affect what stories are available to historians. They both speculate on how historians of the future will periodize COVID-19 and when the pandemic will be considered “over.”

For further reading:

Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progessive Era

Seismic City: An Environmental History of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake

Sympathetic State: Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State

#21 COVIDCalls 4.13.2020 – Public Health Update + Risk, Climate, & the Pandemic

How can we effectively communicate about the risk of compound disasters during the continuing pandemic as the United States also enters hurricane, storm, and wildfire season? What is the state of the pandemic in Philadelphia?

Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, rejoins to update listeners on the state of COVID-19 cases, testing capacity, mitigation measures, and the stress on the healthcare system in Philadelphia as of April 13, 2020. Dr. Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor Emeritus of Decision Sciences and Public Policy and co-director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, also discusses the importance of communicating catastrophic risk. Dr. Kunreuther talks about the difficulties of communicating about the risk of low probability/high consequence events like COVID-19 and the opportunity the pandemic provides to get people to pay attention to similar global risks. In particular, he explains the ways exponential curves, myopia, simplification and more can hinder risk perception and communication. He connects COVID-19 to other global risks like climate change and examines how we face similar challenges in responding to these disasters. He advocates for better leadership as one vital tool for facing the future and for young researchers to “take advantage of the disaster” as a chance to make changes.

For further reading:

“At Least 29 Are Killed as Tornadoes and Severe Weather Strike Southern States”

A Coordinated, National Approach to Scaling Public Health Capacity for Contact Tracing and Disease Investigation

“What the Coronavirus Curve Teaches Us About Climate Change”

The Future of Risk Management

#22 COVIDCalls 4.14.2020 – Disaster Victims & Memorials

What is the future of COVID-19 memory? Will there be a memorial to remember the lives lost and honor the heroes during the COVID-19 Pandemic? What would memorials to COVID-19 look like, and what role will the politics of the pandemic play in them?

Dr. Jay Aronson, professor of science, technology, and society in the department of history and founder for the Center of Human Rights Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Adia Benton an associate professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, discuss how memorialization factors into their work on 9/11 and HIV in Sierra Leone (respectively), and possible futures of COVID-19 memorialization. Dr. Benton talks about her work on Sierra Leone and the memory politics of AIDS, Civil War, and Ebola. Dr. Aronson talks about the debates surrounding memorializing 9/11 at ground zero. They both talk about how international, regional, and local politics can overlap in memory spaces and how survivors and bereaved families can feel left out of the memorial process. They also discuss how the fractured politics of the pandemic might affect the form and message of COVID-19 commemorations.  

For further reading:

HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone

Memories of the Slave Trade: Ritual and the Historical Imagination in Sierra Leone

Who Owns the Dead?: The Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero

#23 COVIDCalls 4.15.2020 – Disaster Plans & Disaster Realities with Lee Clarke

What level of risk will we choose to accept and how do we come to accept it? Is that choice rational or irrational? How do organizations plan for worst case scenarios and to what extent are those plans works of fiction?

Dr. Lee Clarke, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, discusses his research on risk, organizations, disaster plans, and elite panic in connection with COVID-19. Dr. Lee talks about “worst case” events like Hurricane Katrina or COVID-19 and how they stretch the imagination of those witnessing them. He also talks about the difference between “probabilistic” and “possibilitistic” thinking and how these categories help us understand seemingly irrational choices. He also discusses how disaster plans and models are “fantasy” documents, and discusses the dangers of early COVID-19 models being inaccurate. Dr. Lee also discusses the inherent interdisciplinary nature of disaster research and the problems COVID-19 will pose to doing further disaster research.

For further reading:

Normal Accidents

Mission Improbable: Using Fantasy Documents to Tame Disaster

Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination

“Elites and Panic: More to Fear than Fear Itself”

“Fukushima, Risk, and Probability: Expect the Unexpected”

#24 COVIDCalls 4.16.2020 – COVID & Environmental Justice in Louisiana I

How are the racial injustice of slavery and environmental injustice of petrochemical plants compounding to impact the health effects of COVID-19 in southern Louisiana? How are communities, especially communities of color, responding to a high COVID death rate amidst the continuing legacies of racial and environmental injustice?

Dr. Joy Banner, the Director of Media and Marketing at Whitney Plantation, Sophie Kasakove, a freelance reporter based in New Orleans, and Ashley Rogers, the Executive Director of Whitney Plantation and doctoral student at Louisiana State University, discuss the state of the pandemic in St. John the Baptist Parish and how past and present injustices are exacerbating the effects of COVID-19. Dr. Banner and Rogers discuss the long history of extractive logic that connects the economies of sugar plantations and petrochemical plants in southern Louisiana and how that has affected Black Americans in the region. Dr. Banner and Rogers also talk about their work on Whitney Plantation and how the site presents the perspective of enslaved people. Kasakove talks about her reporting on the effects of pollution from petrochemical plants on nearby residents and how pollution links to underlying conditions like asthma that can make people vulnerable to COVID-19. She also talks about how communities affected by the petrochemical industry have organized and engaged in activism in response to pollution and further development.

For further reading:

‘Cancer Alley’ Has Some of the Highest Coronavirus Death Rates in the Country

Concerned Citizens of St. John

Rise St. James

“New Research Links Air Pollution to Higher Coronavirus Death Rates”

#25 COVIDCalls 4.17.2020 – COVID & Environmental Justice in Louisiana II

How does COVID-19 overlap and intertwine with the deeper histories of Louisiana, and how can we understand these connections? What effect will COVID-19 have on long-term efforts for racial and environmental justice in Louisiana?

Karen Gadbois, the co-founder of The Lens, Dr. Andy Horowitz, an assistant professor of History at Tulane University, and Dr. Beverly Wright, an environmental justice scholar/advocate and executive director at the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), all discuss how COVID-19 connects to long-term histories in Louisiana like racism, economic inequality, pollution, and even patterns of sociability. All talk about the resonances they see in the COVID-19 Pandemic and Hurricane Katrina, as well as the ways in which these two disasters have compounded in Louisiana. All emphasize the need to grapple with these entangled history at the same time, despite the difficulty. Drawing on their experience with Katrina, Dr. Wright and Gadbois also discuss how activists, organizers, and journalists can sustain themselves economically, physically, and emotionally in the months and years ahead. 

For further reading:

Race, Place and the Environment after Hurricane Katrina

The Wrong Complexion for Protection

Katrina: A History 1915-2015

“Louisiana facing highly inflated prices for medical masks”

#26 COVIDCalls 4.20.2020 – Governance & Disaster: COVID-19

How will COVID-19 shape the way the American government operates? Where were the points of governmental failure when it came to the American policy response to COVID and how can the U.S. adjust its policy and politics to deal with future hazards better?

Dr. Rob DeLeo, an associate professor of public policy and global studies at Bentley University, Dr. Thomas Birkland, a professor of public policy at North Carolina State University, and Dr. Kristin Taylor, an associate professor of political science at Wayne University, all discuss governance and policy before, during, and after disasters.  Dr. Birkland discusses whether the COVID-19 can be understood as a “focusing event,” in terms of its effects on U.S. policy or if we should use indicator-driven policy as the model for understanding the response. All the researchers debate the extent to which federalism has worked or did not work as intended in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the role federal, state, and local governments have in disaster preparedness and response. Dr. DeLeo and Dr. Taylor both discuss new joint research on voter preference around disaster preparedness as well as the structural issues that lead to chronic underinvestment in disaster preparedness. All comment on how COVID-19 might affect the presidential election and how politicians might adjust their agendas to meet the moment.

For further reading:

Lessons of Disaster: Policy Change after Catastrophic Events

After Disaster: Agenda Setting of Public Policy and Focusing Events

Anticipatory Policymaking: When Government Acts To Prevent Problems and Why It Is So Difficult

Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies

“The White House Has Erected a Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE”

Disasters and Democracy: The Politics of Extreme Natural Events

#27 COVIDCalls 4.21.2020 – What Should We Learn from COVID-19 with Kathleen Tierney

What are the long term effects of disaster on society? What were the lessons of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and to what extent were they heeded? 

Dr. Kathleen Tierney, Professor Emerita of Sociology and former director of the Natural Hazard Center at University of Colorado-Boulder, discusses how her long career in disaster research informs her view of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a wide ranging discussion Dr. Tierney talks about how disasters are a “never-ending kaleidoscope” of societal issues, and how vulnerability has social roots. She also talks about the capacity for prosocial response to disaster and how the current neoliberal political economy limits resilience. Dr. Tierney also argues that good disaster planning will require a paradigm shift in how we understand vulnerability.

For further reading:

The Social Roots of Risk: Producing Disasters, Promoting Resilience

“The Red Pill”

“The ‘Mother of All Rorschachs’: Katrina Recovery in New Orleans”

A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster

“Disaster as war: Militarism and the social construction of disaster in New Orleans”

#28 COVIDCalls 4.22.2020 – Public Health Update + COVID & the Law

How much legal power does the U.S. federal government have to regulate states during pandemic? How are various issues related to the pandemic, from shelter-in-place orders, state specific quarantines, limits on religious gatherings, and deportations being litigated? How is Philadelphia dealing with the pandemic in late-April 2020?

Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, rejoins to provide an update on the state of the pandemic in Philadelphia and the local public health response as of late-April, 2020. In particular Dr. Chernak discusses the vulnerability of elderly in nursing homes, the continued inadequacy of testing, asymptomatic transmission, and various reopening plans. Then, Professor Kathy Bergin, adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School and member of the steering committee for Project Blueprint, discusses the emerging field of disaster law and legal issues surrounding COVID-19 in America. In addition Professor Bergin talks about her work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She breaks down some of the recent legal filings and cases related to COVID-19. Professor Bergin also discusses the constitutional limitations on federal and state powers when it comes to pandemic response.

For further reading:

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

“Missouri Sues China, Commuist Party Over The Coronavirus Pandemic”

“Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Governors Order Limiting the Size of Easter Services”

#29 COVIDCalls 4.23.2020 – Pandemics in History III: Philadelphia

What can public officials and public health experts learn from a series of yellow fever epidemics in the 1790s and other historical epidemics? What factor has race played in emergency management and infectious disease in American history?

Dr. David Barnes, a professor of public health and the history of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Michael Yudell, Vice Dean and Professor at College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University and former chair of the Department of Community Health and Prevention at Drexel University, both discuss historical analogues for the COVID-19 pandemic in American History. In particular Dr. Barnes and Dr. Yudell discusses Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793, its subsequent resurgence, and the similarities to today’s pandemic. Dr. Barnes talks about the contentious politics and practice of quarantine in 1790’s Philadelphia and its parallels into debates over lockdown measures. Dr. Yudell explains the deeper histories that cause harmful effects of disease to map onto social inequalities. Both also discuss the tension between research and activism in advocating for changes in public health policies. 

For further reading:

The Making of a Social Disease: Tuberculosis in Nineteenth-Century France

Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

The Lazaretto Quarantine Station

“South Africa’s War on COVID-19”

#30 COVIDCalls 4.24.2020 – The Trump Pandemic with Virginia Heffernan

What explains President Donald Trump’s disastrous response to COVID-19 and can he politically survive the pandemic? What do Trump and his vices say about our society and why can’t we look away?

Virginia Heffernan, a journalist for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Political and more, discusses President Donald Trump, his White House’s response to the pandemic, and the effect it might have on his re-election campaign. Heffernan also questions what Trump, and our inability to ignore him, says about our present era. Heffernan talks about how Governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsome of California, as well as collections of states are trying to counter Trump’s ineptitude and chart their own paths in the pandemic. She also discusses the power the “canon of plague literature” has for helping us cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 For further reading:

“What Donald Trump Doesn’t Get About Disasters”

“Is COVID-19 Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina?”

The Captain and the Glory

“Journal of a Plague”

“Mitch McConnell’s Bankruptcy Campaign Makes Zero Sense on Any Level”

“The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By”

#31 COVIDCalls 4.27.2020 – Pandemics in History IV

How can we see past monolithic depictions of nations and understand the underlying differences within national borders that are shaped by demographics, geography, and historical experiences? What can we learn from the Great Sea Islands Storm of 1893 and a bubonic plague outbreak in the 19th century about how local politics and racial animus can shape responses to disaster?

Dr. Caroline Grego, an assistant professor at the Queens University of Charlotte, and Dr. Tiago Saraiva, an associate professor of History at Drexel University, both discuss the links between disaster histories, the histories of racialized politics, and our current experience with COVID-19. Dr. Grego talks about her research on the Great Sea Islands Storm of 1893, how White Supremacists used the hurricane to disrupt Black political power in Jim Crow South Carolina. She also discusses how worries about epidemic disease in the wake of the hurricane connects to racial disparities in COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Dr. Saraiva talks about his own research on the 19th-century bubonic plague outbreak that spread from mainland China, highlighting the politics of covering up epidemics in various cities, the rise of the laboratory, and the politics of race around the plague that affected Chinese-Americans. He also discusses the connections between global capitalism, food production, and the history of pandemics.

For further reading:

“COVID-19 Reveals a Long History of Health Inequities affecting African Americans”

“The Black Plague”

“Why Coronavirus is Killing African-Americans More Than Others”

Fascist Pigs: Technoscientific Organisms and the History of Fascism

#32 COVIDCalls 4.28.2020 – COVID-19 and Mental Health with Maiken Scott

With 57,812 confirmed COVID related deaths in the United States as of recording, how will we cope with the amount of death brought about in such a short time by COVID-19? How do we cope with trauma when our usual social connections and interactions are restricted?

Maiken Scott, a Health and Science reporter for WHYY Philadelphia and host of The Pulse a weekly Health and Science show, discusses covering mental health in the COVID-19 pandemic. Scott makes comparisons to other moments of collective trauma while pointing out the unique aspects of trauma associated with COVID-19, like loneliness brought about by social distancing measures. She also discusses the positives and negatives of the shift of mental health services to online spaces. She discusses the use of history during this moment, not as a collection of easy lessons, but as a way to put events into perspective. Scott also discusses the impact of the pandemic on journalism, which was already facing loses to revenue and local news outlets.

For further reading:

“U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Now Surpass Fatalities in the Vietnam War”

“Outbreak 1793”

“Who wants to hear an audio tour about a disgusting Philly epidemic? 10,000 visitors, that’s who”

#33 COVIDCalls 4.29.2020 – The Pandemic’s Impact on Immigrant Communities

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting immigrant communities in the United States? How are those in the Trump administration and in the immigration restrictionist movement broadly using the emergency to further their policy goals?

Dr. Carly Goodman, a visiting assistant professor of Modern American History at Lasalle University, and Camille Mackler, the Executive Director at Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative, both discuss the legal, health, and economic challenges immigrants face due to the pandemic and the Trump administration. Dr. Goodman discusses how the immigration restrictionist movement is using the pandemic to further restrict legal immigration. She also talks about the longer bipartisan history of hardline immigration policy in the US, and how the U.S. often plays a role in creating conditions that cause people to migrate. Mackler talks about the risk of infection at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities and the difficulties of conducting immgration court during the pandemic. Dr. Goodman stresses the importance of historian voices to help us understand this moment. Mackler highlights the need for activism, volunteerism, and everyday acts of solidarity to help the immigrant communities in the United States.

For further reading:

“President Trump’s Immigration Suspension Has Nothing to do with Coronavirus”

“ICE Moved Dozens Of Detainees Across The Country During The Coronavirus Pandemic. Now Many Have COVID-19”

“The poultry industry recruited them. Now ICE raids are devastating their communities.”

#34 COVIDCalls 4.30.2020 – COVID-19, Disaster Governance, and Federalism

How has COVID-19 revealed and exacerbated fundamental disagreements over federalism in the United States that have been brewing for 230 years? Why does disaster reveal the broken linkages between different layers of government?

Dr. Don Kettl, the Sid Richardson Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at University of Texas-Austin, discusses the impact of federalism on disaster governance in the United States and how this dynamic has played out during the pandemic as of April 2020. Dr. Kettl gives a broad stroke history of American federalism from the founding to the present day, showing the problems presented by federalism are still unresolved. He also talks about the surprising correlation between state lockdown policies and ACA Medicaid Expansion, revealing the larger systemic differences between states. Dr. Kettl talks about why he sees the current configuration as unsustainable and discusses a path forward for the government after the pandemic ends.

For further reading:

“New Jersey reports 460 coronavirus deaths, highest single-day death toll”

A Failure of Initiative

The Divided State of America: Why Federalism Doesn’t Work

#35 COVIDCalls 5.1.2020 – Labor, Gender, and Essential Work

Dr. Eileen Boris, Hull Professor of Feminist Studies at University of California – Santa Barbara, Dr. Silvia Federici, a professor at Hofstra University, and Juliana Feliciano Reyes, a journalist for the the Philadelphia Inquirer, all discuss the intersections of labor, gender, and a pandemic that has forced many workers into new forms of precarity. Dr. Boris and Dr. Federici both talk about working from home during the pandemic, both for people who have been thrust into remote work and those who were already doing work at home and reproductive work, like mothers and domestic workers. Reyes discusses her recent labor reporting that examines new forms of worker precarity and organized resistance brought about by the pandemic in Philadelphia. They all talk about the simultaneous valorization and devaluation of “essential work” during the pandemic and talk about how we could move towards a more just valuation of work and human life.

For further reading:

“When the Home Is a Worklplace”

Patriarchy of the Wage: Notes on Marx, Gender, and Feminism

“The Coronavirus Shines Light on a Dark Side of Subcontracting”

#36 COVIDCalls 5.4.2020 – The Maintainers of the World During a Pandemic

Who do we rely on to keep the world running during the COVID-10 pandemic? What makes a worker “essential” during a pandemic, and is there really a difference between essential work during a pandemic and during normal times?

Dr. Andrew Russell, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, and Dr. Lee Vinsel, an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech, both discuss what makes work and workers “essential” in the pandemic. Dr. Russell and Dr. Vinsel both talk about their research on maintainers, maintenance work, and the long history of assigning low status to workers who help our world run. Dr. Lee discusses how the idea of essential work relates to maintenance and how the pandemic makes essential work visible. Dr. Russell discusses how the pandemic has also been a stress test for our infrastructure ranging from supply chains, food production, and even the internet. They both discuss how prizing innovation, “genius” inventors, and disruption obfuscates the work that is required to maintain our world.  

In this episode Host Scott Knowles begins the reading of an obituary of someone who died of COVID-19. The obituary of Paul Cary of Colorado Springs, CO is read in remembrance of his life.

For further reading:

The Innovation Delusion: How Our Obsession with the New Has Disrupted the Work that Matters Most

“Hail the Maintainers”

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

“Whitey on Mars”

#37 COVIDCalls 5.5.2020 – Public Health Update + Disaster Research In the Age of COVID

What are the challenges and opportunities COVID-19 presents for disaster researchers? What are the central problems with emergency management in the United States? What is the state of the pandemic in Philadelphia in early May 2020?

Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, rejoins to update listeners on the state of COVID-19 in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania as of May 5, 2020, focusing particularly on the data of the pandemic and how it affects modeling. Dr. James Kendra, Professor at the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration and co-director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, discusses how COVID-19 has impacted disaster research, what it has revealed about our political economy, and how emergency managers have responded. Dr. Kendra discusses the familiar and unfamiliar aspects of the pandemic and how it has affected the fieldwork of disaster researchers as they work from home. He also discusses the fragmented system of disaster management in the United States and the consequences of its discontinuous structure. He also talks about the crisis of legitimacy faced by higher education and how academics can explain their value in this moment.

In this episode the obituary of Daniel and Valerie Zane of Haverford, PA is read in remembrance of their lives.

For further reading:

“As Trump Pushes Reopen, Government Sees Virus Toll Nearly Doubling”

American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation in Manhattan on 9/11

“Before Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded”

“States Made it Harder to Get Jobless Benefits. Now That’s Hard to Undo.”

#38 COVIDCalls 5.6.2020 – COVID & the Apocalyptic w/ Chuck Strozier

How does the COVID-19 pandemic evoke fears of the apocalypse and what is the psychology of apocalyptic thinking in the United States? How does COVID-19 fit into the history of apocalyptic visions and narratives from the Book of Revelation to nuclear holocaust?

Dr. Chuck Strozier, a practicing psychoanalyst and professor emeritus of History at John Jay College, discusses COVID-19 and its connection to the history of the apocalypse, apocalyptic fears, and apocalyptic thinking in the United States. Dr. Strozier talks about the resonances between nuclear radiation and the coronavirus as invisible threats of death. He also offers his analysis of the Trumpist mindset and the reactions of the President and his followers to the pandemic. Dr. Strozier discusses historical analogues for the pandemic and COVID-19 survivors, emphasizing the long process of mourning and the ultimate resilience of the human spirit.

In this episode the obituary of Guillermo Frestan of New York City, NY is read in remembrance of his life.

For further reading:

Apocalypse: On the Psychology of Fundamentalism in America

The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History

Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima

#39 COVIDCalls 5.7.2020 – COVID & Climate Action

Is the COVID-19 pandemic a preview of the type of disruptions that will come with the climate crisis? How are cities responding to and preparing for climate change related threats in a way that promotes environmental justice?

Daniel Zarrilli, the Chief Climate Policy Advisor for the New York City Office of the Mayor, discusses how New York City is preparing for the climate crisis and working towards environmental justice. Zarrilli discusses his experience with Hurricane Sandy and how it put him on the path to dealing with climate change in municipal government. He also talks about the OneNYC 2050 long-term strategic plan for climate change as well as the C40 Cities network that connects cities around the globe to respond to the climate crisis. Zarrilli argues that the pandemic is an opportunity to move in a different direction on climate by investing in clean energy and infrastructure, fixing democracy, and helping city residents live healthier lives. He also discusses how students and young people can get involved in the response to climate change.

In this episode the obituary of Henry Grimes of New York City, NY is read in remembrance of his life.

For further reading:

“On #EarthDay50, The Answer to Two Existential Crises is Staring Us in the Face”

C40 Cities

“Air pollution falls by unprecedented levels in major global cities during coronavirus lockdowns”


#40 COVIDCalls 5.8.2020 – Disinformation, Misinformation, Consipiracy, & COVID

How can public health officials use social media to communicate important messages about COVID-19 to the public amidst rampant misinformation and disinformation? What causes certain messages about risk to break through online while others get lost in the noise?

Dr. Jeanette Sutton, an associate professor in the Department of Communication and the Director of the Risk and Disaster Communication Center at the University of Kentucky, and Dr. Joan Donovan, the Research Director at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, both discuss misinformation, disinformation, and social media during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Dr. Sutton talks about her research early on in the development of social media and how risk communicators have come to use these platforms. In particular she talks about the difficulty of public health authorities and other officials to break through the algorithm to reach the public. Dr. Donovan talks about how her research studying media disinformation and bad actors intersects with Coronavirus misinformation and disinformation online. She emphasizes the need for social media companies to be proactive in curation and engage with independent researchers to identify potential manipulation. They both discuss the potential of future response and research of social media and disinformation as it relates to COVID-19 and other disasters.

In this episode the obituary of Krist Guzman of Bolingbrook, IL is read in remembrance of her life.

For further reading:

Risk Communication and Social Media” in Risk Conundrums: Solving Unsolvable Problems

“Social-Media Companies Must Flatten the Curve of Misinformation”


“Republicans Want Twitter to Ban Chinese Communist Party Accounts. That’s a Dangerous Idea.”

#43 COVIDCalls 5.13.2020 – Pandemics in History V

Welcome to the 43rd of the COVID Calls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse collection of disaster experts. These calls are held every weekday at 5pm Eastern time. My name is Scott Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel...

#48 COVIDCalls 5.20.2020 – Climate Change & COVID-19

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the 48th of the COVIDCalls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse collection of disaster experts. My name is Scott Gabriel Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel University in Philadelphia....

#53 COVIDCalls 5.27.2020 – Graduating in a Pandemic Year

I'd like to welcome everyone to the 53rd of the COVIDCalls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse collection of disaster experts. My name is Scott Gabriel Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Today we...

#58 COVIDCalls 6.3.2020 – The Pandemic & Wildfire

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the 58th of the COVIDCalls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse collection of disaster experts. My name is Scott Gabriel Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel University in Philadelphia....

#60 COVIDCalls 6.5.2020 – COVID-19 and the Tech Economy

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the 60th of the COVIDCalls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic with a diverse collection of disaster experts. My name is Scott Gabriel Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel University in Philadelphia....

#91 COVIDCalls 7.27.2020- COVID-19 and Homelessness

Good afternoon and welcome to the 91st of the COVID calls. This is a daily discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a diverse collection of disaster experts. My name is Scott Gabriel Knowles. I'm a historian of disasters at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Today I...