What Next

Does 1918 Even Apply Here?

There’s a pattern to most historic pandemics. Coronavirus might be different.

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About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.

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Episode Notes

There’s plenty to be learned from past pandemics. They tend to follow a dramatic arc: denial, blame, and mass mobilization. So far, the coronavirus tracks with some contagions of the past—but can history tell anything about where we’re headed?

Guest: David S. Jones, professor of the culture of medicine at Harvard University.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.