108 episodes

James Hamblin is a doctor. Katherine Wells is not. But she has a lot of questions. Listen in as Jim and Katherine keep in touch with other journalists, experts, and friends about the latest science and health news⁠—and, more important, what to do with it.Email us with questions, stories, or feedback at socialdistance@theatlantic.com.

Social Distanc‪e‬ The Atlantic

    • Health & Fitness

James Hamblin is a doctor. Katherine Wells is not. But she has a lot of questions. Listen in as Jim and Katherine keep in touch with other journalists, experts, and friends about the latest science and health news⁠—and, more important, what to do with it.Email us with questions, stories, or feedback at socialdistance@theatlantic.com.

    Is One Vaccine ‘Better’ Than Another?

    Is One Vaccine ‘Better’ Than Another?

    With three vaccines now approved and news that the U.S. will have enough shots for every adult by the end of May, it feels like the country is turning a corner. But, even after getting vaccinated, Americans still have to mask and distance. Why is that? Can you still spread it? And with lots of efficacy numbers out there, is one vaccine ‘better’ than another?
    James Hamblin and Maeve Higgins ask virologist Angela Rasmussen.
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    • 40 min
    Infections, Vaccinations, and Other Questions

    Infections, Vaccinations, and Other Questions

    Listeners with mild COVID-19 cases call with their questions. Jim explains why he thinks the summer could be wonderful. And Maeve shares nun news from Ireland.
    Support this show and all of The Atlantic’s journalism by becoming a subscriber at theatlantic.com/supportus.
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    • 33 min
    ‘A Disaster for Feminism’

    ‘A Disaster for Feminism’

    Nearly a year ago, The Atlantic staff writer Helen Lewis predicted the pandemic would be “a disaster for feminism” and far too many of her predictions have proven true. With women leaving the workforce at unprecedented rates, why has the pandemic’s burden fallen so much harder on them? And what can we, as a society, do about it?
    Also: Jim and Maeve answer listener questions about the virus (and discuss chickens).
    Please fill out our listener survey! theatlantic.com/socialdistancesurvey
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    • 39 min
    A Forever Pandemic

    A Forever Pandemic

    Vaccines are a public good. And if we don’t make a lot more of them, COVID-19 may never really go away. 

    Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiology professor at Yale’s School of Public Health who joined the show in May to talk about his career as an AIDS activist, explains to Jim and Maeve how our moral failure to help vaccinate the rest of the world may come back to haunt us — and what big steps we’d need to take to prevent that.

    Please fill out our listener survey at theatlantic.com/socialdistancesurvey. It helps us understand who we’re making this show for and how we can keep improving it. (And it helps us to make new shows that suit what you like!)
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    • 39 min
    Can You Get Reinfected?

    Can You Get Reinfected?

    The Brazil variant raises a scary question — and reminds us that herd immunity needs to cross borders.

    Also: Katherine shares the first episode of The Experiment, a new show from The Atlantic and WNYC Studios. 

    Subscribe to The Experiment here:
    Apple Podcasts / Google Podcasts / Spotify / Stitcher / Pocket Casts
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    • 48 min
    Have We Turned the Corner?

    Have We Turned the Corner?

    People are getting vaccinated, but it’s not happening quickly enough. Case counts are dropping fast, but a near-record number of people are still sick. Do we have reason for optimism? Or could optimism still get us in trouble?

    Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, staff writers and co-founders of the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, join Jim and Maeve this week.

    Where is Katherine? She’s still working on The Experiment, which launches next week! Hosted by WNYC’s Julia Longoria, the new podcast will examine the myths and ideas at the heart of the American experiment and the way powerful forces of history collide with our everyday lives. The trailer’s beautiful. Check it out here. And the first episode drops February 4th.
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    • 37 min

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