'Corona Crisis: Once Upon a Pandemic' is a podcast that explores the watershed event in world history from an array of perspectives. Together with expert guests that are engaged with managing and making sense of the global COVID-19 outbreak, podcast hosts Eric Paglia and Marc van den Bossche discuss different aspects of the pandemic, with a focus on crisis management at the national and international levels, and the long term societal and geopolitical implications of this extraordinary event.
India under assault: Analyzing the apocalyptic second wave outbreak with Prof. Ashok Swain
Well over a year into the pandemic, the second-wave Covid outbreak currently devastating India has become perhaps the most tragic, almost apocalyptic, chapter of the coronavirus crisis so far. India expert Prof. Ashok Swain, head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, joins the podcast to explain how the second wave came to overwhelm India, including urban middle-class areas that were not as affected by the initial outbreak.
Theories of the pandemic: Six styles of Covid conspiracies
It would be an understatement to say that the coronavirus crisis is fertile ground for the cultivation of conspiracy theories. For an increasing number of people around the world, the pandemic is the mother of all conspiracies, with the various theories of the conspiracy coming in literally all shapes and sizes. Prof. Andreas Önnerfors, an expert on conspiracy theories at Uppsala University, joins the podcast to explain the six types of theories that have taken root over the course of the pandemic, and how these are fueling social unrest and creating unlikely constellations of activists taking to the streets together. Plus, podcast co-host Marc shares the experience of his current Covid infection.
Year of Crisis: Assessing the management of a protracted pandemic with Prof. Paul ‘t Hart
Prof. Paul ‘t Hart of Utrecht University joins the podcast to assess the governance so far of the most complex and enduring crisis in generations, and survey the long shadow the pandemic will inevitably cast years into the future.
Adaptation during crisis: Learning how to manage the coronavirus pandemic
As the pandemic’s second wave washes over much of the world, it is worth considering if and how authorities, organizations and personnel engaged with combating the coronavirus manage to learn over the course of such crises, and adapt their operations accordingly. Prof. Daniel Nohrstedt of Uppsala University joins the podcast to explain the concept of adaptation as it relates to crisis management, particularly in the context of COVID-19 and Sweden, and how a major crisis like the 2020 pandemic can provide a window of opportunity for far-reaching transformation.
Panoptic perspective on the pandemic at a local level: Tracking the coronavirus in municipal wastewater systems
Touted as a tool to forewarn policymakers of outbreaks at the local level, tracking COVID-19 through wastewater can complement traditional testing and provide unique and potentially actionable insights into the spread of the virus across the entire population of a given area. This episode of the podcast features an interview with Dr. David Nilsson, director of the Water Center at KTH Royal Institute of Technology which has been leading a project on tracing the coronavirus in the municipal wastewater system of Stockholm. Dr. Nilsson also reflects on the relationship between science and decision-making during times of crisis, when results of scientific studies are not yet fully certain but the need to take action is great.
Nudging a nation through a pandemic: Assessing Sweden’s divergent coronavirus strategy
Sweden’s highly decentralized system of government, efficient under normal circumstances, is an important factor that influenced the idiosyncratic Swedish strategy for managing the coronavirus crisis. Given the relatively constrained central political authority, with expert agencies and local administrations wielding a great deal of power in the Swedish system, could Sweden have possibly managed the crisis any differently, perhaps more effectively, or was the liberal approach the only option? Diverging from the strict coercive measures of most other European countries, Sweden’s far less stringent response amounted to a series of “nudges” to encourage Swedes to take the necessary precautions to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Prof. Jon Pierre of Gothenburg University who joins the podcast to share the results of his analysis of Sweden’s strategy in comparison with other countries.