147 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

    • Daily News
    • 4.8 • 111 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.

    Here's who you think should get a vaccine first

    Here's who you think should get a vaccine first

    When it finally comes time to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, the reality is that some people will have to go first.

    And then difficult decisions have to be made. Do you pick the most vulnerable or do you pick the people most likely to spread it?

    In the results of a survey out today, Australians have indicated that they'd pick healthcare workers and carers to be first, and lawyers and farmers to have to wait a bit longer.

    So who would you pick?

    On today's show:

    * Who would you pick to be vaccinated first?

    * Is Sweden the success story it's cracked up to be?

    * Does Sweden have herd immunity yet? Is it close?

    * Are the UK's new restrictions likely to work?

    * Is Melbourne much further along that the averages would suggest?

    • 10 min
    All of a sudden, things are looking much more positive

    All of a sudden, things are looking much more positive

    What a difference a little bit of time can make.

    A month ago today, it was bleak. Melbourne was already several weeks into stage 4 lockdowns and posted more than 200 new cases of coronavirus.

    But now it's looking much better. In Melbourne yesterday, the vast majority of cases were connected to aged care outbreaks with only four under investigation.

    And states and territories are slowly reopening their borders, allowing us to travel far more freely once again.

    So if internal borders are coming down, what can we hopefully look forward to next?

    On today's show:

    * With all the second waves cropping up globally are we getting more information on how people who had COVID-19 in the first wave are immune to infection the next time around?

    * I have had a cough, sore throat, fatigue and breathlessness. I had the COVID-19 test which was negative. What's going on?

    And Tegan talks about concerns that COVID-19 could lead to a pandemic of Parkinson's disease in the years ahead.

    • 11 min
    Why the wait for a vaccine might be longer than you think

    Why the wait for a vaccine might be longer than you think

    There are several potential vaccines for coronavirus currently in phase 3 trials, but large scale safety and efficacy testing is far from the only hurdles the vaccines face.

    The first round of vaccines could have complicated transportation and temperature requirements, and may have limited effectiveness and side effects.

    So are the first available vaccines for COVID-19 the ones we'll have to just deal with forever? Or could the second round of vaccines be even better?

    On today's show:

    * Why would a second round COVID vaccine be more effective than a first round COVID vaccine?

    * Why could it be another year before we all get vaccinated?

    * I live in Melbourne and I am swimming each day in the bay. Does swimming in the sea help kill coronavirus?

    * What is your take on electric hand-dryers in toilets? Should they be turned off for good?

    * My baby turned one in lockdown in Melbourne. Most of her babyhood has passed in lockdown. What could be the developmental consequences of this for her?

    * Why does Norman say "COVID" differently than everyone else? Surely it's not accent related since it's a new word?

    • 9 min
    Even mild coronavirus cases can have this long term symptom

    Even mild coronavirus cases can have this long term symptom

    Every day we learn more about coronavirus, but it may take months or even years for us to fully understand the long term effects of surviving COVID-19.

    A new study out of Ireland suggests that more than half of people who contract the disease will suffer persistent fatigue – even if they experienced a mild case of coronavirus.

    So is this a unique hallmark of COVID-19? Or is it just something most people can expect after any viral infection?

    Also on the show:

    * Now the numbers in NSW are now looking better, how much longer will Norman wait before going back to the gym?

    * When do you think Victorians could safely walk outside without a mask?

    * My wife and I are 65, what is the case fatality rate for people in our age bracket?

    And Norman and Tegan discuss the funding by the Commonwealth Government's Medical Research Future Fund of two potential new coronavirus vaccines.

    • 9 min
    The Melbourne mop-up. What needs to happen next?

    The Melbourne mop-up. What needs to happen next?

    While the number of new coronavirus cases in Melbourne continues to fall, for many it's not falling fast enough.

    The average number of daily cases is edging down day by day, but there's a long way to go until it meets the hurdle to take the big step out of lockdown.

    So why are cases falling so slowly and what needs to happen next to get cases down?



    On today's show:

    * As numbers drop why don't we see a faster fall in the tail?

    * How long can a person be asymptomatic? Does it just disappear? Can they become asymptomatic again?

    * My husband and I are chronic asthmatics and take a preventer. Would good asthma management assist us if we caught COVID-19?

    * Would there have been less antibiotic use this year and how beneficial might that be?



    And it's Quick Fire Friday:

    * What episode number are we up to?

    * Is Norman's towel ready and waiting?

    * Is there more chance of catching coronavirus from getting on a plane or sitting inside for a meeting/lecture? Or are they the same?

    * Do you have any thoughts as to what the minimum age for vaccination might be?

    * What's the risk of spread of coronavirus on children's play equipment?

    • 9 min
    The ambitious mass testing plan that might be as good as a vaccine

    The ambitious mass testing plan that might be as good as a vaccine

    The longer this pandemic drags on, the more likely it is that people will get fed up with taking themselves off for a coronavirus test every time they get sick.

    It might sound counterintuitive, but the solution might be to test everyone more.

    Regular, targeted but rapid testing of people, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, could allow us all to return to a somewhat normal life.

    On today's Coronacast, Tegan Taylor and Dr Norman Swan discuss the possibilities and challenges of a mass testing scheme.

    Also today:

    * Will kids fail to build up a strong immune system since they've avoided so many colds and flus this year?

    * What are some of the longer term effects of coronavirus on the body?

    • 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
111 Ratings

111 Ratings

Margrit McIntosh ,

Coronacast is the best

Coronacast is the best source of solid scientific data about the virus in a crisp daily 10min slice. I rely on it to keep me focused on the reality and to counteract doom scrolling . Thank you so much!

Riga1011 ,

My Weekday Go-To

Each morning Coronacast is my first port of call. As a Stage 4 locked-in Melbournian I find that Tegan and Norman address the latest issues many of us are concerned about in a clear and engaging way.

It is refreshing to hear an unbiased presentation which mixes facts with a dash of humour. Thanks you two.

The_Lady_Autumn ,

Good information, good vibe

I am not based in Australia nor am I Australian but this podcast is so good and helpful that I’m a regular listener anyway. The hosts have a friendly, collaborative dynamic and their backgrounds in journalism make them good communicators of complex information. Dr. Swan does an impressive job of staying up to date on the latest science around the virus and is also honest about what he doesn’t know. It’s a good mix of science content and local perspectives on pandemic handling and I really appreciate the humanity and approachability of this pod.

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