Full episode - May 23, 2020
The race to find a dependable vaccine for Covid-19 is on. More than 100 laboratories worldwide are competing to try to get there first, and that makes it more likely that a way to halt the pandemic will be found sooner. But with so many competing interests, it's far from clear that all of the world's citizens will have equitable access to a vaccine, once it is in production. Also, immigrant ‘digital first responders’ provide vital services, informing people about coronavirus and helping local communities, but now they're in a financial crisis; the coronavirus pandemic is also disrupting remittances, and as a result immigrants' families are losing their safety net; many Filipino Americans are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, so a new initiative is bringing free meals to hospitals heavily staffed by Filipinos; and the surprising cultural contributions of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Image: A scientist examines Covid-19 infected cells at a laboratory in St Petersburg, Russia (Credit: Anton Vaganov/Reuters)
Full episode - May 16, 2020
We all have similar questions about the coronavirus pandemic. When will it end? How do we recover? Is it safe to visit friends and extended family? Most of us look to medical experts and our elected officials for guidance. Historically, as a superpower, the US has taken a lead in times of global crisis. Former NATO ambassador Nicholas Burns says this is not currently the case. Female leaders are being praised for the way they are leading their nations in these uncertain times, so does gender affect governing style? Jon Huntsman, a former US ambassador to China says that during this pandemic the ‘stakes are high’ for the US-China relationship. Russia expert Fiona Hill explains how President Vladimir Putin has become a ‘wild card’ in Russia's political system. And cybersecurity chiefs, from Facebook and Twitter, explain what they are doing to combat false information in the age of the coronavirus. Photo: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing about coronavirus testing in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Full episode - May 09, 2020
Adam Carter was awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to teach English to teenagers in Beijing. When the coronavirus outbreak hit, his school there was shut down. Carter is still teaching his students remotely, but he also came up with an idea for a side project: trying to broker deals of Chinese-made personal protective equipment - things like masks and gloves - to American hospitals in need. It's been far more complicated than he imagined. A group of Harvard university graduate students have also created a new PPE supply chain from China to Boston, while other students are on the front lines of debunking Covid-19 misinformation; international students continue to face uncertainty over what the coming school year will look like; while yet another student, her friends and her family, find a unique way to celebrate her graduation; and professional athletes find creative ways to train from while staying at home. Photo: From left, statues of Lucy Stone and Abigail Adams are heeding the advice of the CDC by wearing face masks on Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images)
Full episode - May 02, 2020
Government officials and health experts are starting to imagine what life will look like when we venture out again. Former US Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem says that we may emerge into an altered world of nose swabs at airports, face shields for fans at sporting events, airline flights specifically for low or high-risk passengers, and temperature screenings at restaurants. Also, New York City shop-workers continue going to work risking infection, as they lack proper protective gear; world-renowned chef Massimo Bottura goes virtual during lockdown, broadcasting live cooking classes from his kitchen; a Mexican-American teen worries about prom and graduation; and many gamers are using Animal Crossing, a simulation video game, to live out experiences and routines disrupted by the pandemic. Image: A United States Postal Service worker delivers mail in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. New York City remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States (Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Full episode - April 25, 2020
Strict physical distancing measures in response to the novel coronavirus have disrupted economies and lives in massive ways. But as shutdown measures stretch from weeks into months, many communities across the globe are now wrestling with when and how to relax those policies. Experts around the world warn that there’s no simple transition for countries looking to ease restrictions, and reopen their economies. Also, an epidemiologist shares his thoughts on President Trump’s phased plan to reopen America’s economy; there’s a massive effort underway to help Indian nationals who are stranded in the US due to the pandemic; top cybersecurity officials are issuing warnings about Covid-19 related scams and phishing attacks; cybersecurity volunteers are stepping in to fight back; and Singapore has been seen as a model for the way it has confronted the coronavirus outbreak, but now the number of Covid-19 infections has increased again. Image: A health personnel is seen giving the coronavirus test to a person at the Salus Gracia Geriatric in Barcelona, Spain. (Credit: Miquel Benitez/Getty Images)
Full episode - April 18, 2020
The coronavirus has fundamentally changed how we live our lives, but perhaps most heartbreakingly, how we deal with death. Around the world, centuries-old burial rituals have been abandoned. Even something as simple as a hug for a grieving friend is now essentially out of bounds. We look at how communities and individuals are adapting. Also, writer and lawyer Wajahat Ali talks about faith in times of turmoil; many religious leaders are turning to video conferencing as an alternative to in-person services, but for orthodox Jews, that is problematic; we hear a Buddhist perspective on isolation and enlightenment in the time of Covid-19; and religious leaders tackle the big question: why. Image: Pallbearers bring the coffin of a deceased person to be stored into the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, near Bergamo, Lombardy. (Credit: Piero Cruciatti/Getty Images)
Full episode - April 11, 2020
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, medical equipment is in short supply, and health workers in countries around the globe have had to ration care. Now, doctors and nurses in New York are treating patients in overcapacity intensive care units with dwindling supplies of equipment. The issue of how to ration scarce medical resources is forcing healthcare workers to make impossible decisions. But is there a best way to make those decisions? This is the subject of a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine; one of its authors, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, has some thoughts. Also, we visit a primate research centre in Louisiana where scientists are working on a potential Covid-19 vaccine; we ask how temperature and humidity affects the spread of the coronavirus; we find out how people around the world are stocking up their pantries; and we check out the dating scene to find out how it’s surviving in this global pandemic. Photo: Mirian Fuentes (L), a medical assistant, and nurse Laurie Kuypers check paperwork during a COVID-19 screening at an appointment-only drive-up clinic set up by the University of Washington Medical Center Northwest Outpatient Medical Center. Credit: Karen Ducey/Getty Images.
Full episode - April 04, 2020
The US military is increasingly assisting the US government's domestic response to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, the military is setting up field hospitals in Seattle, New York, and Boston and has put additional units on prepare-to-deploy orders. US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper, has issued a stop-movement order to the US military, halting travel and movement abroad in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Former Secretary of Defence and CIA Director Leon Panetta tells Boston Calling that balancing the challenge of limiting the movement of US troops while also maintaining global security will be difficult. Also, the history of the World Health Organization and how it’s coordinating global efforts to combat Covid-19; the US and Mexico have shutdown all non-essential travel across the border, local businesses are feeling the hit; how a hospital in California's rural heartland is producing informational videos to reach immigrant farmworkers in the area; and families around the world struggle to find ways to explain coronavirus to their children. Photo: Members of the Ohio National Guard help pack food and supplies at the Mid Ohio Foodbank in Columbus, Ohio. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and rising unemployment, the demand placed on food banks has grown rapidly. (Credit: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)
Full episode - March 28, 2020
The US has been planning for catastrophe on a national scale since the beginning of the Cold War and the advent of the nuclear age. Now, with the new coronavirus, the US and the world face a very different challenge, but the approach is similar. Author Garrett Graff examined this intersection between national security and national emergency in his book Raven Rock, named after one of the major bunkers used by the US government in times of emergency. Also, more than 300 million students in China are stuck at home and getting their schooling through online classes - how are they coping? As more people across the globe work from home, the team-messaging application Slack is having a big moment. International students in the US, displaced by COVID-19, face new challenges with online classes. In the US, farmworkers are considered essential so they still go out and work, but there are increasing concerns about their safety on the job. And Mr. Motivator wants you to have fun while exercising under quarantine. Photo: An American flag is seen at sunrise at the Pentagon. Credit: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Full episode - March 21, 2020
Nine years have passed since Syrians took to the streets to demand the ouster of the government of Bashar al-Assad. During those nine years, thousands of lives have been lost, many have been displaced and much of the country is in ruins. For many Syrians, displacement has led them to look for a new life in Europe, which has meant spending time on the Greek island of Lesbos. Tens of thousands of Syrians and migrants from other countries have passed through Lesbos. We’ll hear from Syrians reflecting on the crisis in Syria and from migrants who are now seeking asylum, while waiting in limbo in makeshift camps on Lesbos. Photo: A drone image shows a displaced camp in the town of Kafr Uruq southwest of the town of Sarmada in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Credit: Omar Haj Kadour/Getty Images

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