A Sobering Reality in India (with Vidya Krishnan)
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Dr. Bob talks with journalist Vidya Krishnan about India’s devastating COVID surge. As India’s health system collapses, Vidya says this global health crisis has been exacerbated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and, as she calls it, the “moral malnutrition of the rich.” Plus, the lessons she wants the US to take from this unfolding tragedy.
Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In the Bubble’s Twitter account @inthebubblepod.
Vidya Krishnan is on Twitter @VidyaKrishnan.
Keep up with Andy in D.C. on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt.
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Check out these resources from today’s episode:
- Check out Vidya’s article for Caravan Magazine that she mentions in today’s episode: https://caravanmagazine.in/health/india-covid-19-taskforce-did-not-meet-february-march-despite-surge-say-members
- Read Arundhati Roy’s piece on India’s COVID catastrophe in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/apr/28/crime-against-humanity-arundhati-roy-india-covid-catastrophe
- Here is Vidya’s article for The Atlantic, “India Is What Happens When Rich People Do Nothing:” https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2021/04/india-covid19-moral-failure/618702/
- Here’s the John Barry opinion piece that Bob mentions in today’s episode: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/opinion/coronavirus-shutdown.html
- Learn what you can do to help the situation in India: https://www.nytimes.com/article/india-covid-how-to-help.html
- Keep track of India’s COVID cases: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/asia/india-coronavirus-cases.html
- Learn more about Dr. Bob Wachter and the UCSF Department of Medicine here: https://medicine.ucsf.edu/
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Vidya Krishnan & Dr. Bob Wachter
Vidya Krishnan 00:00
I’ve lost friends this week. I have my colleagues who are in the ICU this week. And every day, I wake up terrified, looking at my phone for a new tally of people who are dead or dying or showing symptoms. And the only carnage, the only lesson from this carnage like what’s happening in India. From what I speak to scientists, even universal masking and universal vaccination is not going to stop the carnage that’s already underway. The only lesson in this is we cannot allow for this to be repeated in other developing nations. In other Black and Brown nations, vaccines need to be sent urgently and we need to pressure United States government in particular to not enforce patterns on COVID technologies. Otherwise, what’s happening in India will follow in every country.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Welcome to IN THE BUBBLE. I’m Dr. Bob Wachter. That was Indian science journalist Vidya Krishnan talking about the unspeakable horrors in India, a country of 1.3 billion people. We’ve all been seeing the images on the news and in some ways we’re used to these kinds of horrors after seeing China than Italy then New York, Los Angeles, and more. But I have to say there’s something particularly gut wrenching about seeing hundreds of people dying because they can’t breathe from lack of oxygen. That’s we haven’t really seen that before. And then the funeral pyres in rural communities in India and in very urban settings in the major cities of India, this extraordinarily public display of so many tragedies, the deaths of so many people.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Well, we’re privileged today to speak to Vidya Krishnan who is a writer and journalist, currently a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. She’s at least supposed to be heading back to India soon, although, as you’ll hear, it’s not clear when she’ll be able to do that. She has covered Health and Science for nearly 20 years, including, as the health editor for The Hindu which is a major Indian newspaper, the author John Barry, the author of The Great Influenza, who he had on the show last month, wrote an editorial in the New York Times last summer, and I was particularly struck by the first line.
Dr. Bob Wachter 02:33
He was really not talking about India, he was talking about the United States at the time, John wrote, “when you mix science and politics, you get politics.” Well, I was particularly struck, as you listen, I think you will be, too, by Vidya’s description of the role of the Modi administration in the current crisis, not simply what I had understood, which is that they open things up too quickly and too unsafely to large and potentially super spreader events a couple of months ago. But I really came to understand that there is a much deeper and systemic set of problems in India in terms of the government, and at least according to her set of abuses that have created the preconditions for the tragedies that we’re witnessing today.
Dr. Bob Wachter
It’s tough stuff but it’s important that we understand that ultimately the fate of the Indian people depends on the response to the rest of the world, including here in the US. And as we’re all increasingly coming to appreciate, despite the generally optimistic picture in the United States today, the raging pandemic elsewhere, most specifically in India, but we’re starting to see it in other places, is a threat not only to millions of lives there but in the end to all of us. So it’s important that we understand and take a deep dive into what’s going on in India and why, so with that, let us bring on Vidya Krishnan.
Dr. Bob Wachter 04:07
Okay, well, why don’t we go ahead and get started? Why don’t you just start by painting us a picture of what’s happening in India right now.
What is happening is there is a health crisis, which is a global health crisis. But there is a political crisis, which is fueling the health crisis. So what is happening now is we are seeing images and reports of patients dying for not because of Coronavirus, but because of shortage of medical supplies like oxygen concentrators and beds and all sorts of things which despite having a year to prepare, Modi administration did not use that time. And while the collapse of the health system is what makes most of the visuals, there is a complete collapse of the governance system not just the health ministry, but also the entire administration, because the national capital has never seen death rates like this, there are mounting bodies, the bodies are rotting while waiting for the fires to be late, there is not enough wood for the fires, there is not enough shroud for the dead bodies.
And that’s just the health aspect of it, but it spilled over to the streets, where, yesterday I was talking to someone in South Delhi, my friend lives there and they said that there was a fight over mineral water. So everything is when the government goes missing. Not just medical supplies are missing, but just everything is missing. There is no guidance, there is no leadership. And the people of India are paying the price for it. Because as you know, Indian […] lives in all parts of the world. So there is a lot of goodwill pouring in.
But from what I understand, the Modi administration has refused aid from UN. And all the aid that is flowing in from the world is just sitting at Delhi airport, while people are suffocating and dying in Delhi’s hospitals. So I’m not sure how to make sense of what is happening. It’s a period of just very great instability in India since India’s independence 75 years ago. And it has come with a pandemic, which is completely out of control. And because of decisions taken in India, the global pandemic has been affected because you don’t control anything unless you control it in India.
Dr. Bob Wachter 06:41
Sure, sure. The signs of political instability, were they there and the rest of the world just wasn’t noticing prior to the pandemic, or has this really brought out things that were you know, things were going okay. until a couple of months ago.
Things have not been going okay in India for a very long time. My assessment is that the entire world was so fixated on the Trump administration, that they were looking at the world’s oldest democracy, whereas the world’s largest democracy got captured entirely. And we’ve had the last five years of Modi administration which has wreaked havoc just relentless pain that has been caused to the Indian citizenry. It came as demonetization where overnight, our currency was withdrawn. After demonetization in 2016, there have been pogroms against Muslim minorities in India, that has been rampant gang rape of little girls, many of Modi’s people in Modi’s party have been accused of rape and there has been complete impunity and police brutality. Then came the lockdown last year.
Vidya Krishnan 08:00
When India had very few cases, the government again at four hours’ notice at eight in the night, announced a lockdown leaving so many migrant workers or not knowing where they’re going to get bread and milk and eggs the next morning, when the Modi government called for a really harsh lockdown, India had the harshest lockdown, which was worse than Wuhan at a time when we did not have lots of cases. And by opting for that lockdown against advice of his own scientific task force, the Modi administration added humanitarian crisis to a medical emergency. And since then, the abrogated Kashmir, the conflict and Kashmir has been snowballing. What is happening now is a cumulative effect of all of that, on top of the unscientific thinking that throughout the Indian government has been peddling magical cures and remedies like yoga and cow urine, […[ and homeopathy.
And there has been no, again, I must point out that India is not one of those countries which does not have doctors or does not have manufacturing capacities. We have the best doctors in the world. It’s just we have a government, which has entirely metastasized and every arm of the government has an unscientific politician or bureaucrat, who’s acting against public interest. And what we see now is the full effect of every one of those decisions. It’s like a good comparison would be to imagine what the US would do if every department in that country had some version of a Donald Trump running it. That’s what we are dealing with.
Dr. Bob Wachter
So I guess I’m a little surprised that the initial response was a stringent lockdown, I guess I would have seen a government that’s not paying attention to the science and not taking it as seriously as they should have. Not doing the lockdown part of it. It sounds like the lockdown was quite stringent and then the opening up was very abrupt and very open. So how did that play out? I wouldn’t have guessed that that would have been what they did early.
Vidya Krishnan 10:25
So none of this the lockdown last year was not done in consultation with the Prime Minister’s scientific task force. Throughout history, we’ve had political leaders who’ve used plagues to consolidate power what we see happening now is exactly the same thing. So when the lockdown was announced and enforced, you can’t even say it announced. The primary ambition of it was not to contain the chain of transmission, it was at that point to topple a state government in a central Indian state called Madhya Pradesh. The government then invoke the colonial era law called the Epidemics Act and gave itself extraordinary powers, which then tied the hands of state governments in which Modi’s parties was not in power. So they could not buy supplies that they needed or shore up their health facilities.
Again, it’s a very good comparison to see. I don’t know if you remember last year when the states in the US are competing each with each other for PPE kits and manufacturer. So that’s what was happening from the word goal. And if 2021 was about disrupting parliament, pushing through laws that were done without any consultation with India’s parliamentary process, the Citizenship Act was amended, the Constitution was amended from the very get go. This government has not people keep asking be where a policy went wrong. This is the policy, the policy was to use the powers that come with a pandemic, to consolidate power. And if 2020 was about that, 2021 things have gotten out of hand. There were three elections and that election was the priority. I reported for Caravan magazine, that through our January, February and March. The scientific task force hardly met.
Vidya Krishnan 12:29
And two weeks ago, the national scientific task force told the Indian Prime Minister to enforce a lockdown. They did not do it because there was an election in another state called West Bengal, which the government which Modi administration has done lost. But the point is, their concern has never been public health. And also it’s not been India’s role in the global public health because we are the vaccine manufacturing nation. And these political decisions have now resulted in a situation where a serum institute which supplies to WHO doesn’t have vaccines, and the decisions taken by the unscientific decisions taken by Modi administration now have a domino effect on some 100 countries which India exports vaccines to.
Dr. Bob Wachter
That part, the vaccine part is very confusing as much of this so here is the world’s leading manufacturer of vaccines, not having nowhere near enough vaccine for its own people having only fully vaccinated 2% of the population. So, how did that happen? It seems logical that India would have been at the forefront of vaccinating its own people was that the Modi administration’s feeling that the pandemics risk was passed, and we didn’t have to worry about vaccination or that the vaccines were going to be sent elsewhere and for whatever motive that was?
I feel like this is a question for the administration. I can make an educated informed opinion of what the bit that I know. What I do know is that the pandemic response did not forecast demand, because the government was constantly engaging in this triumphalist rhetoric that we are in the end game and we’ve defeated Coronavirus. And the second but it’s separate but cannot be seen in isolation with our current predicament is that Narendra Modi genuinely viewed himself as someone who could win international admiration by shipping vaccines to countries that could help him gloss over the human rights violations that this administration has been in trouble when the Citizenship Act was amended. Modi the government got international flack for it. The press freedom index has been reporting how difficult it is to report on this Modi government.
Vidya Krishnan 14:54
He has not done a single press conference in seven years. He’s the first Indian Prime Minister to never have taken a press conference. So all of these things he, I am told believed he could […] by giving away vaccines, India gave away 66 million doses of vaccines without thinking how much the country will need, not just that how much the country needs, but you cannot end pandemics as infectious disease pandemics, if you don’t end them in India. That is the first rule of global health. If you have to contain an infectious disease, it has to start from the hottest of hot spots which India is now. And not only does India not have vaccines, we have this bizarre situation which even if I wrote up people would not believe it as fiction. We have a vaccine baron who’s escaped as a fugitive on the last flight to London because he’s getting threats. We don’t have vaccines, and WHO also doesn’t have vaccines at this point.
Dr. Bob Wachter 16:08
So let me see if I can put this together, your feeling is that the early lockdown was less about public health and more about consolidating power led to a situation in which the level of virus in India, in fact, was relatively low, led to some level of complacency. And the government saw the vaccine production, there is an opportunity for vaccine diplomacy to send vaccine elsewhere to burnish the image of the government and also, at the same time came to believe that there was really no important threat of COVID in India, in part because they because the lockdown had been successful in decreasing the case rate. And so once they came out and said, it’s okay to begin going into these big events and going out and letting everyone, letting down their guard, you had a combination of very rapid spread of virus. And now ironically, no vaccine in the country despite the fact that country was the major manufacturer. Is that a fair summary of what’s happened over the past year?
Yeah, barring one error. You said that the last lockdown was successful, it was not. This government has not shared data, it did not count how many people died in the last lockdown. It did not count how many migrant workers just collapsed from the extortion of walking from urban cities like Delhi and Mumbai to like 1000s of kilometers far away to their villages, then comes the question of complacency. The misfortune of India is that India has been a developing country and has a very long and proud history of zero vaccine hesitancy. When you say complacency I see in foreign press there is this reporting of how impossible it is to contain epidemics in India. That is not true. India with less money has contained HIV, has contained leprosy and we have polio and we have a population just because they’re poor, they actually understand even more that vaccines are more important to save their children’s lives.
Vidya Krishnan 18:13
People did not get complacent. People were not told by the government that there is a threat. Indian citizens have always respected information that comes from the health ministry, they have believed the information. In the past, the health ministry has not stigmatized and been amoral, like our HIV program was very progressive. Their confidentiality was maintained. But we now have a government which is entirely unscientific. They do not understand the principles of public health where you have to trust the community. There is no trust this government has with this community; they have not spoken to the community they have not addressed the press. And now the entire government is missing in action.
Dr. Bob Wachter
You’re here in the United States now on a fellowship that you have lots of friends and lots of fellow journalists in India, tell us a little about what you’re hearing from them.
This has been a very difficult story to continue reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists put out data that every day 3 journalists are dying. I have a tab open on my computer right now with a list of 135 journalists who died last month. And I don’t have the heart to look through that list because I don’t have the heart to know how many of my friends are on that list. And every day, people are dying. There is a demand that journalists should be called essential health workers and be given vaccinations quickly, but there are no vaccines. And not only are there no vaccines, the government is refusing aid, there is aid coming in. So I kind of feel like India is caught in a suicidal wish and no one can save India from herself.
Dr. Bob Wachter 20:01
What do you think’s going on globally? It sounds like the story in India, to some extent mirrors the United States story in 2020, to some extent mirrors what’s happening in Brazil. What are the mega trends that are at play here?
So the story in India actually is a perfect mirror for what was happening in the US last year. US was one of those fortunate countries which had an election midway through the pandemic, and it went the right way, thankfully, and they are now beginning to climb out of the ditch that they got themselves into. Indian Government is in a ditch and digging deeper. Meanwhile, the global trend, I’ve been speaking to epidemiologist at Harvard Med where I am. And the Indian variant, which came from UK has spread to 20 countries, the UK variant has spread to some 20 countries, the Latin American P1 variant has spread to 20 plus countries, South African variant has spread all over African nations.
At this point, the mutant versions are spreading like wildfire and the global pandemic will not be addressed. Actually, again, I keep saying there’s a question. The question I have is what did EU, US and UK think will happen if they hoarded the vaccines, jumped the queue, and then refused to share the technology with countries that could manufacture their own vaccines. So this is what’s happening in India and Latin America right now is a conversation that cannot be had without the Global Health Order of what our lives that matter and should be saved first. And I will add that unless the patterns on COVID technologies are broken, the Pfizer vaccine, the mRNA vaccine was developed with help from German taxpayers.
Vidya Krishnan 22:07
The Oxford University vaccine is under a monopoly with Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Indian taxpayers funded and developed Indian vaccines these are all taxpayer funded vaccines. If we keep the most urgent thing, the only lesson I feel to learn from India’s carnage is to get vaccines to other developing countries and not let India repeat what would the story of India cannot be allowed to repeat another nation. But I am speaking to epidemiologists and the entire South Asian region Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, they are all showing exactly the same exponential curve. And I kind of feel like things are going to get worse before they get better.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Is India back into a version of lockdown now?
So certain states are, the state governments which have a leadership that believes in science have implemented some version of lockdowns, people are so scarred by the word lockdown, we are now using the word stay at home. And this is not like lockdown last year when we did not have vaccines. Every death that now happens is because of politics. Vaccines are available, Chhattisgarh, which is a central Indian state. Two weeks ago, it imposed a lockdown and their cases are plateauing. Tamil Nadu is a South southern state, which is doing slightly better. But without the only way to stop the chain of transmission is to vaccinate more people than those who get infected every day. But at this point, we don’t have vaccines. And we don’t have a government that is interested in saving lives.
And I’m not sure if you followed this news about Bolsonaro government being tried for crimes against humanity, because the pandemic response in that government will not remain limited to the geographical borders of that government. That’s the same case with India, with the added burden of destroying the global vaccine supply or disrupting if not destroying entirely. Arundhati Roy who’s a novelist and she wrote that we are witnessing a crime against humanity. I will go a step further and say that at this point, the government needs to be tried for crime against humanity. And at this point, more people are dying because of Modi government’s policies and not because of Coronavirus.
Dr. Bob Wachter 24:59
You wrote in The Atlantic that this is quote what happens when rich people do nothing and then you also call this a result of moral malnutrition. What did you mean by that?
I spoke about India as a case in point and I it keeps coming back, I keep getting asked why I said that about India. I did not say that only about India that is true for global health. I’ve been covering global health for 20 years. And this what is happening in India cannot be answered, without answering the question of why did three countries in the world get to monopolize vaccine hoarded not transfer technology, it would not cost anyone any money to transfer technology to make vaccine manufacturing countries so that they can shore up supplies. It’s just such myopic thinking to place patents before patients at this point.
Vidya Krishnan 26:00
And the system of patenting information that can save lives comes from a very technical IP way of thinking about global health. And, again, the person who cannot be removed from this conversation is Mr. Bill Gates. He brought in this technocratic sensibility to global public health. And so we now have a situation where the iPhone and the COVID vaccine is governed by the same set of laws. And for me, personally, it is impossible to look beyond who are the ones who dies in a complete global health parlance, which removes the human stories from public health. And in a medical jargon, this is known as Control Over Care Paradigm.
The entire structure of WHO, which the Gates Foundation is the biggest funder of, stands to control the diseases in Black and Brown nations, it does not stand to care for those people in those nations. We saw this with Ebola where the threat was that the case should not come into the US. I was in Seattle when the Ebola outbreak was spreading similarly. And we only have vaccines when lives in the developed world are threatened. Tuberculosis is a great example of this. HIV is a great example of this, we got HIV Antiretrovirals because American lives are threatened. And this is a story that’s repeated with every pandemic in global health.
But it’s also true in the US, you see the disproportionate mortality rates in African American communities. In the US it’s race, but in India, it’s Caste. So the most people who die in India are lower Caste people who we can call it different names. But all of this is on the rich people, their complete lack of I don’t know what else to call it, but moral malnutrition, because the bottom line from where I stand, this is calculated injustice, and over and over again, the people who get in affected the most are Black and Brown patients. And this pandemic will not end unless it ends everywhere.
Dr. Bob Wachter 28:29
What should the Gates Foundation be doing?
Helping at this point, lift a patent, I saw an interview where I’m told Mr. Gates is mulling things over and on 30th April, there was the global, World Trade Organization met to discuss the IP waiver. The two things that need to happen almost just today immediately if you want to save lives is that the global IP waiver that India and South Africa moved should go through, technology should be transferred to all developing countries. So they can start manufacturing vaccine for a wave that is coming. The second is there is a duopoly in India, the Indian vaccine is under a duopoly that needs to be broken as well. And all of this again goes back to a rich, powerful, invariably men.
Dr. Bob Wachter
One of the most interesting thing, sad things is, you know the images from India of all of the people that are dying for lack of oxygen, which hadn’t really seen in China or Italy or in the United States or in other countries. When you see that? What does that mean to you? What’s the systemic challenge and flaw in the system that allows people to die without oxygen?
The challenge is simply that these are not people who are acting in public health interest, these are people who are trying to profit from a pandemic. India is not a country which has dearth of doctors or hospitals or resources or manufacturing capacities. All that can be done if we had the political will, what do the images of people suffocating and dying because of oxygen mean to me, it breaks my heart, it breaks my heart that I have to, people are being choked to death, hospital by hospital and there is aid sitting at Delhi airport and the government is not letting it go to states that are in opposition. So, they are making states compete.
Vidya Krishnan 30:46
And I was speaking to a reporter in India who told me that the fires have been burning for so long that the ash from the fires is now landing on people’s terraces, people are breathing their own dead. India, this is the national capital and you’re seeing images from the National Capital, but the horror stories are from rural India, where there is no there is not even this much there is not even a journalist to go and click a photo and document this tragedy. And this is the toughest story ever reported, I find myself overwhelmed and incapable of reporting the story, it breaks my heart.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Yeah. It does leave one speechless, it’s hard to figure out what to say. Maybe my last question is you find yourself in the United States now on this fellowship, I imagine that must be a mixture of feelings to be out of India now. And in some way spared of the risk. Because the US is doing relatively well. On the other hand, being away from family and friends must be difficult. How are you feeling about being in the US right now?
Vidya Krishnan 32:03
I have complicated feelings about it. I’m glad to be here. It’s wrong to think I know from my years spent reading about public health that I am relatively safe is a temporary situation. What spread from Wuhan has spread around the world. I personally know people who got the vaccine in the US went back to India and got infected with mutant strains. So we are again looking, I was speaking to an epidemiologist in the US who said we are now stuck in a forever pandemic. Now what that does for me, in my head, I am in India.
And again, Arundhati Roy said in her article in The Guardian that Indian citizens are locked in with the virus and the Prime Minister and I am logged out and I feel whiplashed at the normalcy here. And I also feel I will be lying if I pretended to not feel a little bit of anger towards American pharmaceutical companies hoarding patterns while people in my part of the world die. And this again comes back to the issue of calculated injustice of how the world works. I hope the fights are shocked to India, but I am trying to get back.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Even while the virus is surging there, if you could get back you would prefer to?
There is no such thing as long-distance reporting.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Yeah, no, I understand. When you see the complacency in the United States or the feeling that maybe we’re past the worst. Do you think that is, that’s mistaken that that actually, while this is raging in India, there is a risk to us in terms of the variants and what may ultimately Boomerang and come back? Do you think we’re not taking it seriously enough, because things are going relatively well here?
Vidya Krishnan 34:14
Things are not, that’s what I keep saying things are not going relatively well. The variance we just reveal our own unique kind of biases, when we call it the Indian variant or the Brazilian variant or the African variant. The variants. There are so many mutant variations right now because we did not vaccinate though. If the last year was a lot of fog, talk with global health leaders saying things like we are in this together and we will overcome the minute the vaccine scheme, the global south was abandoned. And if 2020 was about we are in this together, 2021 really reveals what we truly stand for, in the US, I wish people did not I believe this false sense of security because the vaccinations can only work so far. That is the thing with science, it doesn’t see race or geographical boundaries or class or caste.
Dr. Bob Wachter
Well, thank you for describing this to us. And it is just extraordinary. And it’s so sad. And it is a little bit of a split screen, even though you’re right, the risk is very real here. I live in San Francisco, where, you know, there are about 20 new cases a day in the city of 900,000. So it is this feeling like it’s over. We’re past it, we’ve been through the worst. And as you say, as long as it’s raging in other parts of the world, there still is risk. And it’s in our interest to do what we can to help. So thank you for explaining that to us.
Thank you for having me over.
Dr. Bob Wachter 36:05
Well, that was instructive. I have to say there’s a whole lot there that I was not fully aware of beforehand. And it’s awfully sobering. I’m not sure I’m going to get the image of people breathing in the dead with the smoke from all the funeral pyres out of my mind anytime soon. It’s it is unforgettable. And it really should be. Well, we have a number of other terrific IN THE BUBBLE episodes coming up. We’ll have an episode on getting back to quote “normal”, as I sometimes say, normal, normal-er, normal-ish. But we’re all struggling with what that means and how to do it. We’ll have two guests on this toolkit. One is Lucy McBride, a primary care doctor who’s written about what she calls FONO, fear of normal.
Dr. Bob Wachter
And the other is Craig Spencer has been a guest on the show before Craig is a New York City emergency room physician who’s written about all sorts of things is related to COVID. But recently wrote that things are about to get weird, and they are I have to say, walking down the street with Newman with my mask off, I’m looking at people funny, they’re looking at me funny. Nobody’s got a label on their forehead saying that they’re vaccinated. It’s all very strange. As we try to get back towards something resembling the lives we used to know. We’ll do a show about the restaurant industry. The restaurant industry has been battered by COVID. And of all the industries that are trying to get back to normal it’s one of the most challenging because of course, it is a place where you go indoors with people that you don’t know who may or may not be vaccinated and nobody’s figured out a way of wearing a mask while you eat.
Dr. Bob Wachter
So, it raises some of the most challenging issues in terms of what people can and can’t do. And so we’ll talk to celebrity chef and restaurateur, Justin Sutherland. Finally, we’ll do another toolkit, this one on long COVID. We haven’t talked about that for a while. It’s obviously a huge issue and a lot of people suffering from it now for many, many months. We’ve come to learn some more about it and deeper understanding of the manifestations and maybe even some of the causes. So we’ll talk about what we’ve learned in the past year. So until then, please stay safe, get vaccinated when you can and I look forward to talking to you soon.
We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kryssy Pease and Alex McOwen produced our show. Our mix is by Ivan Kuraev. Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs executive produced the show. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill and additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @InTheBubblePod. Until next time, stay safe and stay sane. Thanks so much for listening