In the Bubble: From the Frontlines

In the Bubble: From the Frontlines

Healthcare expert Andy Slavitt became America’s COVID dad by shepherding us through the pandemic. Now on short-term assignment in D.C. to fight the pandemic, he’s enlisted his respected friend Bob Wachter, M.D., Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, to fill in for him. Dr. Bob will make house calls twice a week, bringing you his frontline view of the crisis, astute analysis, and reassuring bedside manner to answer your questions. Of course, the best scientists, policy leaders, and cultural icons will join Dr. Bob in the bubble, as will Lana Slavitt to help us keep tabs on Andy until he returns in June.

Episodes

May 12, 2021 37 min
Dr. Bob calls up San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer to talk about what it’s taken to get people back in the stadium for the first time since 2019. They discuss what fans have to do to see a game, how the organization decided on those criteria, and what the reaction has been so far. Plus, what the Giants are doing to encourage people to get vaccinated.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In th...
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The good news: things are starting to open back up. The bad news: it’s going to feel weird. Dr. Bob is joined by Lucy McBride and Craig Spencer for this toolkit all about how to navigate the "new normal." From taking off your mask in public to dealing with anxiety to navigating post-vaccine life with unvaccinated kids... this toolkit’s got something for everyone.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out ...
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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...
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May 3, 2021 50 min
Dr. Bob has two conversations about the work being done to get vaccines to Latino and Black communities. First, Jon Jacobo and Diane Havlir talk about the Latino Task Force, which is testing and vaccinating people in San Francisco’s Mission District. Then, Rhea Boyd breaks down the things that are preventing a lot of Black people from getting vaccinated. Spoiler alert: It’s not about attitudes. It’s about access.    This episode ...
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Dr. Bob talks with John Halamka, President of Mayo Clinic Platform, about how COVID has forced medicine to embrace technology at a blistering pace. They discuss what changed, what will stick around post-COVID, and why a computer will never be able to fully replace your doctor. But, are we close to having Alexa diagnose your illnesses?   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In the Bubble’s Twitter account @...
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Dr. Bob calls up Nicole Lurie from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to talk about the state of COVID-19 vaccinations around the globe. They cover COVAX, vaccine nationalism, how vaccine hesitancy is playing out in different countries, and the biggest barriers to vaccinating the world. Plus, the lessons she’s taking away from COVID for the next global health crisis.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter a...
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Dr. Bob calls up Weill Cornell immunologist John Moore to figure out what you need to know about the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They discuss why this extremely rare side effect is showing up in J&J and AstraZeneca but not Moderna or Pfizer, how people who have received the J&J vaccine should be thinking about it, and how they think this will get resolved. Plus, John’s thoughts on how the vaccines will hold ...
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Is it safe to go on vacation this summer? Can I send my kids to camp? Should I invite unvaccinated family members to my summer wedding? Drs. Caitlin Rivers and Farzad Mostashari join Dr. Bob to answer all this and more on this special, summer edition of Safe or Not Safe.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In the Bubble’s new Twitter account @inthebubblepod.   Follow Caitlin Rivers @cmyeaton and F...
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Dr. Bob calls up author John Barry and TIME Magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger to talk about what the 1918 flu pandemic and the American polio epidemic can illuminate about COVID-19. In addition to the historical similarities and differences, they discuss what “the end” looked like and what, if anything, that means for us today. Plus, find out which of the three men was a Polio Pioneer! And get Dr. Bob’s take on the joint CDC and FDA decisi...
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Dr. Bob calls up University of Florida biostatistician Natalie Dean to ask whether or not we've hit the fourth wave. They discuss where cases are surging, why it's regional as opposed to national, and what role the vaccines will play in keeping this wave smaller than the previous three. Plus, how she's using Legos to help the masses better understand vaccine efficacy.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and c...
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Dr. Bob is joined by Paul Offit, pediatrician and Director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to answer your questions about kids and the vaccines. This Toolkit is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about vaccinating kids against COVID-19: what ages will be eligible, when it'll happen, how to know it’s safe, and much more.   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and ch...
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Dr. Bob calls up Monica Gandhi, infectious diseases and HIV doctor at UCSF, to talk about why she’s feeling optimistic at this moment in the pandemic. They discuss why her optimism hasn’t waned despite the fourth wave, the variants, and the CDC Director’s feeling of “impending doom.” Plus, why it’s so hard for places like the CDC to balance optimism and caution in how they advise the public.    Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_...
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For In the Bubble's one-year anniversary episode, Dr. Bob catches up with the person who came up with the idea for the show: Zach Slavitt. Then, it’s a conversation about how COVID-19 disrupted the education of doctors and medical students. Bob is joined by three people in different stages of their medical careers at UCSF: medical student (and Bob's daughter) Zoë Lyon, resident Jack Penner, and Vice Dean for Education Cathe...
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Dr. Bob teams up with NYU medical ethicist Arthur Caplan to tackle your questions about what exactly vaccine passports are, when they might be a reality in the US, how to make sure they’re handled equitably, where you’d need to show them, and much more. Dr. Bob says vaccine passports will dominate conversations this summer, so get ahead of the curve and dive into the topic right now with this Toolkit!   Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter ...
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Dr. Bob calls up AIDS researcher Carlos del Rio and longtime AIDS activist Gregg Gonsalves to explore what the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the ‘80s and ‘90s can teach us about COVID-19 today. They discuss the politicization of both viruses, how the role of activism compares, and how the 30-plus-year quest for an HIV vaccine helped advance the COVID-19 vaccines. Plus, what HIV/AIDS can show us about what it means to return to “normal.”   ...
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March 22, 2021 50 min
Dr. Bob teams up with vaccine researcher Kathleen Neuzil and epidemiologist Abdul El-Sayed to answer your most pressing questions about the vaccines. How do the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines compare? What should you make of the efficacy data? How do they hold up against the variants? And most importantly, which one should you get if you have the choice? Answers to those questions and many more on this Monday T...
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Apoorva Mandavilli, science and global health reporter for The New York Times, joins Dr. Bob to close out our three-part series marking one year of the pandemic. They discuss how journalism had to adapt to cover COVID-19, what she’s hearing from experts about a possible fourth wave, and what lessons she’s taking with her for the next pandemic. Plus, an Andy update from Lana! Be sure to check out the other two episodes in this serie...
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Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School Public Health, joins Dr. Bob in the second of our three-part series marking one year of the pandemic. They discuss why Ashish initially thought the US would fare well, what he makes of the variants circulating today, and where he thinks we'll be with COVID-19 a year from now. Be sure to check out the first episode in this series with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and keep an eye...
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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy joins Dr. Bob in the first of our three-part series marking one year of the pandemic. They remember where we were a year ago, assess where we are now, and look ahead to where we'll be a year from now. Be sure to check out the next two episodes in this series with Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, and Apoorva Mandavilli, science and global health reporter for The Ne...
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Dr. Bob calls up Hebrew University epidemiologist Ronit Calderon-Margalit to learn more about Israel’s best-in-the-world COVID-19 vaccine rollout. They cover how Israel did it, what the process of getting back to “normal” looks like now, and what lessons we can learn from their success. Plus, how the vaccines have held up against the so-called UK variant.    Follow Dr. Bob on Twitter @Bob_Wachter and check out In the Bubble’s...
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