The story so far... World Vs Virus looks back over the months when COVID spread around the globe

Hearts painted by a team of artists from Upfest are seen in the grass at Queen Square, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Bristol, Britain July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC21PH9XFK8Q
Have we got used to social distancing?
Image: REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
  • World Vs Virus launched this past March after COVID-19 had spread across continents.
  • To understand how the pandemic was reshaping the globe, economists, human rights experts, and epidemiologists shared their thoughts on our weekly discussions.
  • Subscribe to the World Vs Virus on Apple, Soundcloud or Spotify get it every week.

Back in March, when World Vs Virus was launched, did we understand the enormity of the pandemic? One way to find out is to listen back to some of the interviews we did then.

For a sneak peek into this week's episode, here are some of the voices we've heard from over the course of the pandemic so far.

Gita Gopinath - Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund

"We call this the Great Lockdown, because, if you look around the world, the containment measures that have been put in place ... are generating the scale of contraction and activity that are just historical numbers."

Gita Gopinath, Chief Economist, International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaking in the Press Conference: IMF World Economic Outlook Update session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 22 January. Congress Centre - Press Conference Room. Copyright by World Economic Forum/ Greg Beadle
Image: World Economic Forum/ Greg Beadl

Despite the punishing workload and the risks of being a health professional during COVID, McCarthy said that pride in his work and admiration for his colleagues kept him going helping patients as New York became the epicentre for the virus. As he said then: "I don't wake up every day feeling frustrated or feeling angry. I'm just fully engaged and focused and really just proud to be part of this community."

David Miliband - head of the International Rescue Committee

David Miliband, former British foreign secretary and current head of the International Rescue Committee, told World Versus Virus podcast about his fears for the world’s most vulnerable as the virus outbreak headed their way. “If you think it is really terrifying to face the prospect of COVID in an advanced industrialized country … just imagine what it's like to face the prospect of a virus where there isn't running water, where there isn't a proper health system, where densities of population [are like] Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, where there are a million.”

Molly Burke - YouTuber

If your sense of touch is one your most important ways of dealing with the world, how to you cope with the threat of Coronavirus? YouTuber Molly Burke gave us her insights on the outbreak and urged us all not to forget people living with disabilities as we all work to protect our health.

In her book, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, Spinney argued that the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 did as much to transform the world as either of the world wars, with a huge impact on public health provision, family structures, colonialism, to name just a few. Spinney told us how the pandemic gave rise socialized health systems, but also alternative medicines such as homeopathy, and how it made smoking 'cool'. She also explained how we nearly forgot the pandemic altogether.

Markus Buehler - McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT

What does coronavirus sound like? Engineering professor Buehler from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a better idea than most. By assigning musical notes to each part of the virus' structure, he has created a whole musical representation that he said was more accurate than classical static diagrams that fail to show the virus' constant vibrations. Understanding the vibrations, said Buehler, could help in combating the virus.

Find all previous episodes of World Vs Virus here.

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