586 episodes

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

Coronacast ABC Podcasts

    • News
    • 4.7 • 153 Ratings

Coronacast is a podcast that answers your questions about coronavirus. We break down the latest news and research to help you understand how the world is living through a pandemic.

    Do we really know yet if Omicron is "milder"?

    Do we really know yet if Omicron is "milder"?

    Nearly two years into the global coronavirus pandemic, it's probably safe to say that we're all pretty much ready for it to be done.

    So no wonder we're hoping that very early reports from South Africa are possibly, just maybe, indicating that the Omicron variant is "milder" than variants before.

    But how much evidence is there for that yet? Is it true, or just wishful thinking?

    Also on today's show:

    * Is it possible that the emergence of this variant is actually an encouraging development for the COVID pandemic?

    * No big changes yet for Australia's international borders

    * The Omicron variant mutation that might end up helping us (a bit)

    * In previous episodes you have mentioned that variants can "out compete" other variants. What exactly does this mean and what is the mechanism behind it?

    * An update to the Dr Norman Swan Omicronometer of Panic

    • 10 min
    The three theories of Omicron's origin

    The three theories of Omicron's origin

    As the world desperately awaits news from scientists on anything Omicron, some experts have started thinking about where the variant might have come from.

    One theory is that it's from someone severely immunocompromised, where the virus has had millions of opportunities to evolve against a poor immune response.

    But it's far from the only theory.

    So on today's Coronacast, a few other possibilities of where - and when - Omicron might have popped into existence.

    Also on today's show:

    * The evolutionary lineage of Omicron

    * How should Australia be preparing?

    * The Dr Norman Swan Omicronometer of Panic is born

    • 11 min
    Hello Omicron. Goodbye Delta?

    Hello Omicron. Goodbye Delta?

    It's the news we didn't want: There's a new variant of concern in town and it's got all sorts of mutations just where you don't want them.

    It's also got a new fancy name: Omicron, and it's reportedly outpacing Delta in countries in southern Africa.

    But is it really? Is it more infectious? Is it more virulent? Is it vaccine resistant, and if so by how much? How much do we really know at the moment? Should I panic?

    Also on today's show:

    * What if the Omicron variant is the sort epidemiologists expected to see earlier in the pandemic: highly transmissible and less virulent?

    • 13 min
    How does COVID rank against other pandemics?

    How does COVID rank against other pandemics?

    As pandemics go, the coronavirus one is pretty big. It rapidly spread around the world, and is still causing problems.

    But how does it compare to past pandemics? Are we actually living in a fortunate time in human history?

    If we could magically replace COVID with a bug from the past, would it be a good or bad idea? Would you prefer the plague? Syphilis? Perhaps a flu pandemic might tickle your fancy.

    Well to help you decide, on today's Coronacast, we go through the pandemics in history.

    Also on today's show:

    * Rapid antigen tests work well against Delta

    * Quick Fire Friday!

    • 11 min
    At 90%, what's the point of mandating vaccination?

    At 90%, what's the point of mandating vaccination?

    All around the country at the moment are family discussions and debates about what to do about that one relative or friend who still doesn't want to get vaccinated.

    The numbers of double vaccinated people continue to rise as people realise it's in their benefit to get the jab.

    But there will always be holdouts, no matter what policies are put in place.

    So how much does it matter if someone at the Christmas party is unvaccinated when nearly 90 percent of us 12 or older are double dosed?

    Also on today's show:

    * How careful should my vaccinated pregnant daughter be about where she goes and who she sees?

    * What's the latest science on viral loads?

    • 9 min
    Will vaccination cause new variants?

    Will vaccination cause new variants?

    When the slew of variants popped into existence last year, scientists began worrying what it could mean for vaccine resistant variants down the line.

    So far, the Delta variant has remained top dog. While it is much more infectious than the original coronavirus, thankfully it doesn't evade our vaccines by much.

    But what about down the line? As more and more of the world is vaccinated, will the virus find a way to evolve to get around vaccines?

    That’s on today’s Coronacast.

    Also on today’s show:

    * Lockdowns return to Europe

    * How is Japan doing such a good job?

    * What side effects can I expect from my Pfizer booster shot if I had AstraZeneca for my first and second shot?

    • 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
153 Ratings

153 Ratings

Garnet6106 ,

Keep it up!

Please continue the show for the foreseeable future! It was been such a help throughout the pandemic.

Aussie News Seeker ,

Well done Coronacast

We’re an expat Australian family who has tuned to Coronacast since it’s inception. Little did I realise that I’d still be tuning in daily in August 2021. This concise daily update is a great way of staying connected with what’s happening in Australia. I’m extremely fortunate to live in a covid free country (all be it a small one) and I wish this state for Australia soon. I dream of the day we can be reunited with our family back home. In the meantime, thank you Coronacast keep up the great work.

Richmondruss ,

First thing every morning

I live in New Hampshire (USA)
The farthest major cities in the world from my house are 17,000 miles away in Australia.
I have been following Covid news for past 18 months. Many podcasts here in the states have stopped. It is as if everyone in the US thinks Covid is gone. We know it isn’t. What happens in other parts of the world is very important. After all Covid is a pandemic not a localized epidemic.
Coronacast provides valuable information on what is happening every day on the other side of the world.

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