The Abstract

Life lessons from untold Covid-19 stories

In this episode, we discuss “vet detectives” and NASA recruiting participants for isolation studies.

Originally Published: 

As the number of Covid-19 cases grows, so too does a crucial need to understand the disease.

With public health officials scrambling to stay ahead of its mutations and patterns of spread, researchers are doing everything possible to learn from the virus and stop the next Covid-19 from making the leap from animals to humans.

From the “vet detectives” scouring the globe to prevent the next Covid-19 to the scientists at NASA trying to better understand the psychological effects of the pandemic, some of the most important information gleaned comes from the narratives playing out just below the radar.

Tackling the physical, mental, and physiological effects one challenge at a time, rarely have scientists around the world been so united and laser-focused on one single problem. In the end, it will be science that gets us through the Covid-19 pandemic — teaching us valuable lessons along the way.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss “vet detectives” chasing after the world’s next Covid-19 and NASA recruiting participants for isolation studies.

Our first story is about the scientists and health workers who predict, prevent, and contain the world’s staggering number of zoonotic diseases — like the next Covid-19. Hoping to create a pandemic-free future, these veterinary epidemiologists roam animal habitats, markets, forests, and farms, learning how to prevent human disease from wild or domesticated animals.

Our second story is about NASA’s spaceflight simulation study that aims to get a better understanding of the psychological and physiological effects of isolation and confinement on humans. Inviting a small group of people to live together in seclusion for eight months in Russia, NASA says studies like these will teach us to combat the toll of isolation and ways to mitigate its psychological effects.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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