What You Need To Know To Not Get Infected | Dr. Nicholas Christakis | CORONAVIRUS | Rubin Report

– It’s an epidemic
that’s coming to us. It’s this wave, a pulse
of of the virus as it’s spreading from
person to person and growing exponentially. And the reason that this
is very important is that, let’s say for the
sake of argument 100,000 Americans are going
to die of this condition in the next year. It makes all the
difference in the world, whether those hundred
thousand die over the course of the next year, or whether all 100,000
die in the next month. If they die in the next month, they’re gonna overwhelm
our healthcare system. And many more Americans will
die, that would have died if we allowed our
healthcare system and our supply chain to work. (upbeat music) – Joining me today is a
sociologist and physician known for his research
on social networks and the socio-economic,
bio-social and evolutionary determinants of behavior,
health and longevity. Nick Christakis, welcome
back to The Rubin Report. – Thank you for having me, Dave. – I’m glad to have you back, wish we could be
doing this live. But obviously, we’re
practicing a little social distancing right now. With everything
going on with corona, I’ve been trying to find a wide
array of people to talk to. You put out, what I
thought was a really fantastic Twitter thread. I rarely send people to Twitter, but you put out a
great Twitter thread that covered this through
all of the disciplines that I just read
there in your bio, which are quite extensive. So let’s just start
one at a time, the two things that
people have heard the most about at the moment,
social distancing, and flattening the curve. Can you just explain both and why they’re
important right now? – Yeah, so the virus takes
advantage of the fact that we are social animals. That we assemble in groups,
that we have friends, that we touch each other
and hug each other. And it uses those connections that we assemble ourselves
into these networks. It uses those
connections as a highway to travel through our species. And so the challenge
for us right now is how to interrupt
that highway, how to break the paths
that the virus uses to travel from person to
person, to person to person. The reason that’s important
is that this flattening the curve idea, so we’re gonna
engage in social distancing, we’re gonna stop
interacting with each other, we’re gonna keep physically
apart from each other. That’s the most important thing. In fact, I’ve been advocating
for a shift in terminology, to physical distancing
from social distancing. In other words, we can
still interact socially, but from a distance, like
you and I are doing now. And so we want
physical distancing. It’s irony we wanna like, bond together, at the same
time as we are sort of separating from each
other in terms physically. Anyway, the reason
we’re engaging in that physical distancing is to cut
the path through the network. And the reason we’re doing
that, is to flatten the curve. What does that mean? Well, it’s an epidemic
that’s coming to us, it’s this wave, a pulse of
the virus as it’s spreading from person to person and
growing exponentially. And the reason that this
is very important is that, let’s say, for the
sake of argument, 100,000 Americans are going
to die of this condition in the next year, it makes all
the difference in the world, whether those 100,000 die over
the course of the next year, or whether all 100,000
die in the next month. If they die in the next month, they’re gonna overwhelm
our healthcare system, and many more Americans will
die than would have died if we allowed our
healthcare system and our supply chain to work. So we wanna flatten the curve. We have got this peak
of a curve, the epidemic is coming at us and it’s gonna hit lots of
people at the same time. We wanna stop it from doing
that, and flatten the curve and push it out into the future. And when we do that, we
achieve a number of objectives. First of all, at
any given point, fewer people are sick
so our healthcare system can take care of them. Many more might live
as a result of that. Second, we push some of the
cases out into the future, so that maybe some of the
people that gets sick eventually will get sick at a time when
we’ve invented a vaccine, or we know better how
to treat the people. So we also gain that benefit
by flattening the curve. And as I said, not only do
we decompress our healthcare system, not only do we push
people into the future, when we might be better
able to care for them, but we reduce mortality as well. So maybe instead of 100,000
dying, maybe 90,000 die if we push it forward. So that’s why we’re
social distancing and that’s what flattening
the curve means. – So I guess the obvious
follow up then is, do we have any evidence that
the things that we are doing at the moment or being
told to do is working? Is the curve being flattened? – We cannot know yet because, we have not had adequate
testing in this country. We don’t have
adequate surveillance, like they did in
China and Korea. And so we really can’t be sure. We know this type of behavior, this social distancing behavior, the banning of public
gatherings, the
closure of schools, the reduction in group
size, the self-isolation, we know that that works
from other epidemics, but we cannot yet know
how much it’s working in the United States right now because we don’t have
the kind of surveillance we need to see it. – So I think when people
hear about social distancing, and as you called it
physical distancing, I think people are
confused or worried. What about the people
that are actually in the house with them
family, kids, parents, whatever it is, that
might have to go out and then come back
into the house? – Yeah, that’s a risk that we
run and that the Chinese ran, when they locked down
930 million people
in their countries since January the 25th. So typically, what
you do is you try to compress all
of your shopping, in fact Americans should begin
to be doing that right now. Instead of going out three
times a week to buy stuff go out once a week,
compress everything, minimize the amount of
time you’re out and about. When the person does go
out, they should ideally try to wash their
hands frequently, not press elevator buttons. The Chinese have all these
ingenious things where, when you go into an elevator, there’s like a little pin
cushion of toothpicks, and you take a toothpick,
you press your button, and then you discard
the toothpick. So that you’re not
touching buttons because the virus can spread
on smooth surfaces, that’s called fomites. So, a person leaving the
household should do that. If someone in the
household does get sick and they are tested positive,
you can, in principle, isolate that person
for two weeks from other members
of the household, or in the worst case scenario, they infect the other
people in the household, but nevertheless, it’s then
constrained to one household. Keep in mind that,
most people infected by this pathogen do fine. The great majority of
people will have no symptoms or will have minor symptoms. Some people however, maybe
25% over will get sick, and of those, maybe
a fifth of those so total of 5% maybe
of the people infected, will get seriously ill. And then of course, on
average, we don’t know exactly how many of the people
who are infected will die. And the reason, again
we don’t know is we don’t have good testing. So we don’t know what
the denominator is, we don’t know of 10,000
people who are infected, we know that because
they were tested, let’s say, what happens to them? And how many of them get sick? And how many of
them need ICU care? And how many of them die? We don’t know that
denominator accurately. But our best estimate is
that, of those infected somewhere between half a percent and one and a half
percent will die. And that’s a large number,
but it’s very graded by age. So if you’re younger than 25,
your risk of death is very small, maybe 0.2% that’s a
big risk for young person, but nevertheless,
it’s a small risk. And then middle-aged
people around 50 or 60, it’s about 1%, and then
above 80, it’s about 20%. So it’s a very steep
curve with age. – Do you have a
recommendation then if you’re in the
household right now, and you’re any of these
ages, let’s say you’re 25, you’re 50, and you’re 80,
let’s just go with those ages. And you’re not feeling great, should you be then trying
to go to the hospital or I guess maybe if you’re
80 you are, or just stay home and deal with it
the best you can. – Yeah, in general, one
of the things we all need to be very good about
doing right now is, giving our healthcare
workers a break. So you should not be
going to the hospital with a sniffles right now. There are a few things
that Americans should do, you should get a flu shot. One of the reasons you
should get a flu shot is not because the
flu shot prevents you from getting
coronavirus, it does not. But if you get a flu shot, it lowers your risk of
actually getting the flu and therefore, you won’t go
to the hospital with the flu. And now is not a
good time for you, to be burdening our healthcare
system for your own sake, or for the sake of the system. Furthermore, going
to the hospital if you’re not actually sick,
or if you’re just mildly sick, there are a lot of actually
seriously sick people there, you might get the
germ from them. In a hospital waiting room
is not a time to be right now unless you actually need it. So generally speaking, the
symptoms of coronavirus are variable, you should
have a fever above 101.5, it’s in about 85% of people, not everyone but most
people have a fever. A dry cough would be a symptom and then there’s a
shortness of breath. Certainly, if you have
shortness of breath and a fever, absolutely, you should
go to the hospital. And then there’s a whole
host of other symptoms at lower percentages. So if you’re a
25-year-old person and
you have a runny nose, and low great temperature
and some muscle aches, it’s probably not coronavirus, stay home until you get sicker. That would be a
reasonable choice. If you’re an older person, then you should have
a lower threshold. And ideally, if you
went, we would test you, but we can’t, we don’t
have enough testing yet. We’re hopefully the country
will get better at that in the coming months. – Yeah, all right, I wanna
keep going through this Twitter thread ’cause
you hit it just sort of at every possible level. So you talked about
reasons to close schools, even if kids there aren’t sick. – Yeah, I mean, school closures, there’s a lot of
debate about this. There are two kinds
of school closures, and most of the country’s
shutting the schools anyway now. So this point is, is behind us. I was sending out this
information like three or four weeks ago, but school
closures are two kinds. There’s reactive school closure, when there’s a case in the
school, and you close the school and that’s pretty
uncontroversial. I mean, most parents, teachers,
public health experts, there’s an outbreak of
epidemic in the school. Let’s close the school. And it’s been shown
that if you do that, if you close the
schools in an area, you lower the cumulative
prevalence of the condition by about 25% and postpone the
epidemic by a week or two, which is good. So, reactive school closures
helpful but, it’s not as good as we can do that even better, is something called
proactive school closure. When you close the schools, even before there’s a
case in the schools. For instance, you living
in a mid-size town, there’s a case in the
community, it’s something called the community-acquired case. So it’s not like someone
from Italy or China flew to your town,
landed, had symptoms and you diagnose them. That would be an imported
case, maybe you could isolate that person and self
quarantine the people who they connected with. No, we’re talking about
a situation in which someone in the
community is diagnosed, and we have no idea
where they got it. They’re like a canary
in the coal mine, and if that’s happening, you
can be quite confident that within a week or two,
it’s gonna be in school. So why not close the school
now, reduce the force of the epidemic by
decreasing social mixing. And ironically, even though
the kids aren’t affected by this condition, they still
can transmit the pathogen even though they
themselves sick. And furthermore, one of the
ways that school closure works is precisely because, it compels
the parents to stay home. So it reduces the parents
interacting with each other. That’s how it works in part. – Yeah, it sounds like
we’ve basically done this pretty well, maybe a little
later than you wanted to but it sounds like now
we’re there, right? – Definitely, later
than we wanted to. And for schools
that are still open, what I would strongly recommend, and my wife and I had an article
in The Atlantic about this a few days ago, is if you
insist on staying open, and I don’t think that’s
the best course of action, at least, you can implement
a whole host of other harm mitigation strategies. For example, give
parents the choice, if they wanna keep their kids
home, they should stay home. I wanna mention this
because it’s also relevant to employers and workers. Allowing any worker who can
work at home, to work at home it’s not just good
for that worker from like their
selfish point of view. It helps everybody, because
you reduce the number of people at the office. So only the people
that have to be there, should be there,
same with schools. If some parents
wanna keep the school should let them keep
their kids home, you can broaden drop
off and pick up hours. So not everyone is arriving
between eight and 8:15 to drop off their kids,
bumping against each other, as they come through the door, parents interacting
you let’s say, you give a 45 minute drop off. It needs a bit more manpower
on the part of the school, but you reduce the social
density at pickup and drop off. Cancel staff meetings,
provide cafeteria seating, broaden the lunch hour, and have the kids sit
every other chair. These are things that schools
can do if they insist on staying open maybe in
our Southern States, for instance, where maybe the
virus hasn’t hit so much yet, but that nevertheless
are helpful. – So you sort of hit
this one already. But do you wanna add
anything generally on how the flu spreads within
social networks? – Well, first of all,
we call this the flu and there’s a broad category
of respiratory diseases, influenza the flu is a
particular kind of virus. This is a corona virus,
which is a little different, but I call it the flu
too maybe, I’m lazy. But this is a kind of
flu, the corona virus, there are other corona virus,
like the common cold is caused by about 200 different viruses. About five of them are corona
viruses, just like COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, which
is affecting us now. And we’ve gotten used to it,
just to just to cut ahead to the chase. The ultimate outcome of
this situation is that a new virus has been
introduced into our species, it’s gonna become
what’s called endemic. Just gonna be there all the
time, like the common cold, like the flu, we hope it’ll
reduce in its severity, we hope we humans
will eventually slowly become immune to it and we
will get sort of hard immunity. So some people will continue
to get this forever now, but hopefully at less intensity, and not all at once, so
that our healthcare system can care for them. Anyway, so the corona virus,
and the flu, and influenza and other pathogens, rhinovirus
that causes the common cold. These cause
respiratory disorders, and the corona virus
is one of them. I actually forgot your
question, I’m sorry. – The question was how it
spreads within social networks, which you’ve sort of been
hitting throughout this? – Yeah, so it spreads
exactly across social ties. And in the Twitter thread
you’re alluding to, I have an animation that
shows if you map a network, you can see it like, light up. And one of the things that’s
been so difficult for people to understand, and it’s
a little bit related to this network idea. Is that epidemics start
slowly, for the longest time, it seems like
nothing is happening. But it’s in the nature
of exponential growth, that nothing is happening,
nothing is happening, nothing is happening and
then all of a sudden, a lot happens. And this has been why
it’s been so difficult for many Americans
to appreciate. They look around and they’re
like, nothing’s happening. But if we monitor the
situation, we see the case are doubling, the virus
is on the loose. We go from 10, a week later
to 20, a week later to 40. And we think they’re
just 40 cases in the United States, who cares? Then it’s 80, then it’s 160
cases, but then before you know we have 10,000, 20,000,
40,000, 100,000, 200,000, and it’s just on the loose. And that’s why everyone
is so alarmed right now, all the public
health professionals. – So that’s actually
the perfect segue to what your next tweet in
the thread was which is, how these epidemics
come in waves. And then interestingly, how this is actually
related to weather. – Yes, so one of the things to understand about this is that probably judging from
previous pandemics, maybe 40% of Americans
will be infected with this, maybe less, maybe 10 or
20%, maybe up to 60%. With the 1957 pandemic,
ultimately about
40% of Americans were infected, but
it comes in waves. So you were hit by
the first pulse of it, typically in the summer, for
a combination of reasons, including that human
beings go outside, we’re not as densely packed,
maybe the ventilation outside reduces the transmission
of the pathogen, maybe the heat or the
humidity play a role in reducing the transmissibility
of the pathogen. So our behavior changes,
the biology of the pathogen is such, that the temperature
and humidity affected, transmission tends to decline. But then, the virus has gone
to the Southern Hemisphere, where it’s winter there,
during our summer. And then, when we returned to
work in school in September, it comes back, this is
a very typical scenario. So unfortunately, it’s
likely not certain and I need to again emphasize
that, everything I’m telling you today, is based on the
best available knowledge to the best of my knowledge. It’s possible that
a year from now, people will watch this video
and think I was right about this and wrong about that,
and that’s just the knowledge we have now. This pathogens only been
with us for three months. It started, we think in
mid-December in Wuhan, and it started spreading around
the world in mid-January. It was already in
Seattle by mid-January, we know from genetic analysis, and then we’re
sort of spreading. And now here we are in
March 18, two months after mid-January, that’s a not a
lot of time for scientists to figure out what’s going on. So anyway, so we think it’ll
spend the summer mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, although, we’ll have some
cases and then it’ll come back in the fall. And in the 1918 pandemic,
the second wave was deadlier than the first wave. So, in 1957 that wasn’t
as much the case. So we don’t know exactly
what’s gonna happen, but then they’ll probably be
a second, maybe a third wave, and eventually, basically,
we’ll get used to it. And it’ll just sort of
be there all the time. – So since you
mentioned Seattle, and we’re talking about weather. So Seattle, it sounds like
they’ve got a strange situation or a more severe situation
going on there perhaps. It also rains a lot
there, I’m here in SoCal, where it’s sunny
and 70 every day, although, it has been
raining last week. I mean, could that alone, just the weather patterns
like that affect any of this? – Well, the Chinese
scientists have done some research on this. We don’t know, is the
answer to that question. People hope, they’re hints
in multiple directions. I do not think we’re gonna
have a complete weather cure, that is to say, I don’t think
the disease is simply gonna disappear, because
of the weather. The evidence is conflicting. If I had to guess I would say that probably we’ll
get some reduction in cases from the
warmth and the humidity. But it’s hard to know what. The Chinese did some analysis because their
country is so large, where they looked
at transmission all
throughout China, and in some parts of China it
was hot, in some parts cold, in some parts humid,
in some parts not. And they kinda looked and saw, where was transmission
the worst. And it seems like, optimal
transmission is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit on
average daily temperature so cold, but so when you get
much colder, much hotter, that seems to be better, less
transmission but not zero. And then they
looked at humidity, and it looks like very
dry weather is bad. So if humidity is less than 5%, that’s not particularly good. But if you look at
weather patterns for where the virus has struck, so
far, it seems that countries closer to the equator
seem to be doing better. So it’s a mixed picture. I don’t know the answer,
but if I had to guess, I think the weather will
make some difference, but I don’t think it’ll
be definitive difference. – So I think I’m actually
gonna skip the next one in the thread because
you were talking about vulnerable groups. But since you’re
talking about… ‘Cause I think we’ve
sort of hit that already unless there’s anything
else you wanna add about older people or sick people. – Yeah, I think we
have to be mindful. People on dialysis, people
with chronic illnesses, institutionalized people, the
elderly, homeless populations. And one of the things
that’s really important to understand about
it pandemic is that, it’s the great equalizer,
we’re all in this together. Actually, the reason
you should care about, let’s say the homeless, or
people who are chronically ill is not just because
you should be kind, and compassionate
and altruistic. It’s actually your own
selfish interest too, because we do not want
populations that are reservoirs of this pathogen. We wanna take care of everybody,
so we all can be safer. This is why social distancing. When you practice
social distancing, you’re actually showing
kindness to others. One of the ironies
is that people think, “Oh, I’m gonna be brave and
show kindness by shaking “people’s hands and
being out and about.” Ironically, that’s not
the kind thing to do. The kind thing to do
is to remove yourself
from circulation, so that you’re not
circulating the pathogen. That’s the best thing
you can do for your group or your society. – I actually didn’t mean to
diminish any of those groups, but because you were
hitting on the China part, which was the next tweet,
I was gonna jump over that. So you actually, in the thread you called it
– I wasn’t suggesting you were.
– No, I know. – I wasn’t suggesting… I was just saying I was taking advantage of
the opening to point out to people in case
it wasn’t obvious why it’s not just a
question of compassion, it’s actually in
our self-interest, to take care of
these populations. – So you talked a
little bit about China. We live in this time
where it’s like, half the people are saying,
“China unleashed this “on the world,” half
the people are saying, “China has done nothing wrong.” You called in your
Twitter thread, you called China’s
response astonishing. Can you explain that? – Well, first of all, we would
know from genetic analysis if this was an
engineered weapon, and that’s a conspiracy
theory, there’s absolutely no evidence that any
such thing happened. And so, they certainly didn’t
release it deliberately because they’re killing
their own people and because of the study,
so that’s ridiculous. No, what I was describing
is China because of its totalitarian or authoritarian,
rather, government and its collectivist culture was able to put 930 million
people under a kind of home-based quarantine
beginning January the 25th for like eight weeks. It never in the history
of public health, has so many people been under such restriction for so
long to my knowledge. It’s unbelievable what
they were able to do because of their culture
and their government. And I call this a social
nuclear weapon because, it gives you a sense of
what they were fighting, the power of this pathogen
that they were confronting that they resorted to this. China did not decide
to do this for fun. And when I was trying to
communicate with that thread, that was now weeks ago, was to try to get attention
in the United States, like, look what’s
happening in China. This is not gonna
just stay there, this is not like
a Chinese problem. They’ve decided to put a billion
people under home arrest, for two months for fun. We need to prepare, we
need to think about this because, the virus is
gonna reach our shores. In fact, already when
I was writing that, it had reached our shores. This is what happens
in pandemics. No matter where
the disease starts, it spreads around the globe, and by the time
you’re aware of it, even if you’re aware of it,
30 days after inception, it’s too late given
movements of people. Even frankly, a
hundred years ago, given movements of
people on steamboats, and on trains and big compact
cities, the virus spreads. So, anyway, I was trying to
describe what the Chinese had done and it is
astonishing what they did. And they have brought down
their cases in a country of 1.4 billion people to under… Now, it’s like, I
don’t even know, it’s like 10 cases
a day or something in the whole nation. So this is, unfortunately what
we are facing in our country. And we have different strengths
and different weaknesses compared to China. One of their weaknesses,
we have a commitment to free and open
expression in our society. And in China, unfortunately,
the doctor who first tried to sound the alarm,
Dr. Wenliang Li, he was brought in on
charges of rumor mongering. He was basically using the
Facebook equivalent in China, and messaging his
friends and saying, “Oh my God, I’m seeing all
these patients in the hospital “with this particular
kind of pneumonia, “I’m worried we have
a new pathogen.” And the local
authorities called him in and accused him of
rumor mongering, which is not a crime
in our society. – Not yet.
– No So, I mean our strengths in
our society include our wealth, our openness, our
tremendous scientists. But we haven’t been
playing to those strengths, we’ve not been listening
to our scientists, we’ve not been
deploying our wealth, we haven’t been acting the
way we should be acting, and taking our strengths
to cope with this. And the Chinese use
different strengths and they frankly, coped very
effectively with this. I should say, just to be clear, what the Chinese
accomplished was they stopped the spread of the pathogen,
but they did not eradicate it. So the pathogen is still there,
and it will come back even to China, as it will
come back to us. But they have bought themselves
a huge amount of time to organize their response now, so they don’t lose
countless lives. – Okay, so actually, I think
most of the other things in the thread you’ve already hit, so I’ll only ask you one more
and then I just wanna do two or three audience
questions real quick. You mentioned the 1957
flu pandemic before. Can you talk about some of the
similarities and differences to what we’re dealing with now? – Yeah, well 1918, of
course, was the big one. That was the so called Spanish
Flu, which swept the world, killed many millions of
people, including our country. It was a different time. Of course, people were starving because of the war, there
was a lot of disruption because of the war. And it was a different pathogen, and there was no modern
medicine, no antibiotics, even against bacteria, and
we think many of those people died, not just because
of the viral infection, but then their lungs got
so called super infected with bacterial pneumonia,
which killed them, many people. So a lot was different then,
and we earlier we talked about how they came in three
waves and it was awful. And there was a great
depression of course, afterwards as well. So, I don’t think,
around the same time. Anyway, I don’t think that
this pandemic is thankfully gonna be that bad. But the nearest
analog I can see, even though it was a
different pathogen, and in some ways had
different epidemiology. For example, in 1957,
the pathogen also
killed young people, whereas this one does not. I think ’57 might be a good
model for what we’re facing. So every 10 years or
so, at risk viably, but at an unpredictable time,
the world has a pandemic. Most of your listeners will
remember SARS, or H1N1, or MERS and those have petered out, so people they don’t
take them seriously and they peter out for
a variety of reasons. Ironically, one of
the reasons is that, sometimes they’re too deadly. For instance, SARS was
about 10 times as deadly, as the COVID that
we’re facing now. And when a disease
is too deadly, it kills its victim too fast,
so the person can’t spread it. So this particular
pathogen we’re facing, has sort of middling
level lethality, it’s neither too
benign, nor too deadly, it’s not as deadly
as the 1918 virus, and it has middling
level transmissibility. It’s not very
difficult to transmit, and it’s not too
hard to transmit. And it’s sort of in the
middle there and in my view, it seems to be behaving
similar to the ’57 pandemic, which should be clear. Some of your listeners
older ones may remember it, but many people won’t. And part of the reason
people don’t remember this, we didn’t have the same
media environment then and of course, people
were dealing with polio and other deadly diseases. But that pandemic swept
over the United States and killed we think about a
hundred and 10,000 people, which back then, was half as
deadly as all of the cancer in the United States. So today, if we
have a ’57 pandemic, we’re talking hundreds of
thousands of Americans dying from COVID, if the disease
is half as deadly as cancer, as a group. So it’s serious, it
could be quite serious. I also wanna just take an
opportunity again to say, we don’t know exactly
what’s gonna happen and what’s very important
for your listeners is to understand that despite
political polarization, and despite our desire
to simplify our choices, should we have rice krispies,
or should we have cornflakes? There are shades of gray and
there’s nuance when it comes to serious policy dilemmas, and serious
scientific questions. So there’s a range of
outcomes we could observe in the United States from this. We don’t know exactly
what’s going to happen, but at best, 35,000
Americans are going to die, in my view, at best. And it’s quite possible
that 20% of Americans will get infected. That’s 60 million
Americans in the next year. And our best estimate
is that half a percent of those people might die. That’s 300,000 Americans dying in the next year
of this condition. And that’s possible. We’re not sure
it’s gonna happen. It might not happen. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s possible and that
is a very, very heavy burden. That’s 1957 pandemic. That’s half as deadly as
cancer, approximately. So that’s why everyone
is taken seriously. – So I got a ton of questions
specifically for you because I posted in the
Rubin Report community, I posted that we’re
having you on, I had everyone
look at the thread. So what I thought I’d do is I’ll just ask you
two or three now, and then I’m just
gonna email you one email with all
these questions, and maybe as you have a
little time here and there, you can throw some
things on Twitter that are maybe a
little more specific. Obviously, that’s
totally up to you. But I’ll just ask
you two or three now. I thought this was
really interesting, and I got a lot of
this type of question. What is the acceptable level
of risk in terms of disease and death that we’re
willing to accept in order to have a normally
functioning society and healthy economy? – Well, I would ask you
to think about what we do when it comes to mining safety, or other dangerous occupations like whether we equip our police with bulletproof
vests, for example. We spend money in a preventive
way to prevent deaths and hazardous
occupations all the time. Now, we don’t spend limitlessly, we don’t equip each
police officer, we expect people to
take some risk of death. We don’t spend limitlessly
even to secure our highways. Not every highway is
a divided highway, which we know is safer,
because it would cost too much. So there’s some
calculation we make about how much money
we’re willing to spend in order to save lives. And what you have to understand in this case is that we’re
dealing with a threat. And instantly death
is expensive too, like all these people dying and consuming
healthcare is expensive. So, preventing those death
saves us money as well. I acknowledge as
most experts do, that taking our economy
is a devastating thing. But I would suggest that if
people started dying like flies, if 300,000 Americans
started dying, our economy would
have tanked anyway. So the problem again,
is not that 300,000 extra Americans are gonna
die, although that’s not good. It’s that they’re gonna
die very compressed. We’re not just
spreading them out. And so that’s a devastating
blow to our society no matter what. So I guess, I would say that in answer to your question that
we always are willing to pay some economic costs
to save lives, and I acknowledge that going
into a major depression, or a major recession,
and possibly a depression is a huge cost for our society. But I would suggest to you that we would likely
have faced that anyway, if we had done nothing, but then we also would have
had all of these deaths, so I think it’s necessary. – Yeah, all right. So we’re just gonna do two more. I know you’ve got a
crazy day ahead of you. And then I’m just gonna
email you some of these, and maybe you can
get to some of them. But there were also
a bunch about this. Is there any
confirmation whether airborne transmission
is possible? I mean, if someone has it
and you’re at the store, and you’re avoiding
everybody the best you can and you’re wearing gloves
and the rest of it, but somebody breathes on
you or sneezes on you, or something like that. I think
there’s a little confusion as to what airborne transmission
actually mean maybe. – Yeah, so droplet transmission is when a liquid, like I
sneeze or cough or spit, and they’re droplets
that go through the air and land on you, in
your nose or your mouth and transmits it to you, and that’s why we’re
supposed to stay, four or five or six feet
away from each other because if I sneeze and
I’m six feet away from you, the droplets would
go through the air and then fall into the
ground and not reach you. Airborne is when tiny
particulates, maybe
the virus itself are floating through the
air, and can reach you. We believe that
there is both droplet and airborne transmission, and is probably fecal
transmission as well which is a little bit
concerning of this pathogen and something called
fomite transmission, which is that the pathogen
can stay on surfaces, especially smooth surfaces. So porous things like paper
money or fabrics, less so, but smooth surfaces like
elevator buttons, doorknobs, kitchen counters, can stay more. But the virus is
also very fragile. It’s encapsulated
in a lipid Kote. The viruses work by
taking over our own cells, and they grow inside ourselves, and then they explode
out of ourselves. And as they explode out, they take a little bit of
our cell membrane with them, so they’re encapsulated
in this lipid membrane, and that helps them to
be more transmissible, but it makes them very
vulnerable to soap. So cleanliness, this is
why washing your hands, and when you wash your hands, you should wash
between your fingers and the backs of your hands. Many people are saying,
“Sing the Happy Birthday song “twice while you
wash your hands.” It’s true, but that
does kill the virus. So when you go out and about, if you avoid touching your face, if you wash your hands
before you return home, that is very basic hygiene. That’s actually very helpful. And experiments have
shown this by the way, it’s not just old wives tales. Like people actually do
studies where they touch stuff, and then they wash their hands and they see if the
virus goes away. – Yeah, all right. So the last one then is I got
a couple of versions of this that we’re all
concerned about this and even the way I’m
trying to do these shows, I’m not trying to
overload people too much. And I don’t want everyone
glued to their TVs endlessly. What else do you
make of just sort of the human condition in the
midst of a pandemic like this? – Well, as you know,
because we talked about it the last time you and I
met, I just wrote this book. – Yeah, you got a
whole book about it. It’s right over there. – I know. I wrote this book called, “Blueprint: The Evolutionary
Origins of a Good Society.” And as you know,
Dave, I’m an optimist. I believe in human beings. I marvel at our
capacity for goodness. I recognize our capacity
for evil and selfishness and tribalism and violence. But I also revere and
admire our capacity for love and friendship, and
cooperation and teaching. In fact, all of these are things
that we’re using right now to confront this virus. We are banding together
and working together to fight off this invader. We are using our
capacity for teaching. The reason we know what
to do in this case, is because previous humans
who confronted this virus wrote down, “Here’s what you do “when you’re facing a pandemic.” You literally can go… There’s a book right
here, I can look over and see it’s called, “National Strategy for
Influenza Pandemics.” Like there are books that you
can open up like a cookbook and they say, “Here’s what you
do when there’s a pandemic.” It’s amazing. We can transmit this
knowledge to each other and therefore, cope
with this enemy, the virus that is attacking us. So this is why I am
hopeful and optimistic. The virus will eventually
pass, our species will survive. It is unfortunate
that many will die. We don’t know how many. The virus will become endemic. We will see the
other side of this, but we do have to work
together as a society to shore up our industries, to protect our
healthcare workers, from whom we’re gonna
ask tremendous amounts, and from whom we’re gonna
ask to take tremendous risks. When I was a doctor, I
mean, I’m a physician and I don’t see
patients anymore, but when I was patients,
especially in the 1990s, the HIV epidemic
was very prominent. And there was a lot of concern that if you took care
of patients with HIV, and a lot of those
patients were gay, or they were from Haiti,
or they were drug users, they were groups that back then
were especially stigmatized. And so there was a
lot of like, kind of, “Oh, well, we won’t take
care of those people.” And there was fear among
healthcare providers, like if you stuck them, and
you got their blood on you, you might contract
this deadly disease. But we were expected
to take personal risks. We were expected to
care for these patients. It’s a calling to be
a doctor or a nurse. It’s a moral obligation. And so we expect a huge amount
from our doctors and nurses and health care
providers right now. We expect them to
take these risks. But it’s not the same to
expect them to take the risks with the proper equipment versus to send them
to certain death. That is to say without masks,
gloves, protective equipment. And so I’m very concerned that we’re not
taking this serious, we don’t have the
right equipment to equip our frontline medical
personnel to deal with this. And this is why I’m also
upset that we squandered the six weeks that the
Chinese bought for us by locking down their nation. We should have been planning
to equip our hospitals with this personal protective
equipment, with ventilators, with staffing, with procedures
at which we can discuss, it’s too technical and boring,
to confront this epidemic. So we’re behind
now, is the problem, and I hope very much
we can catch up. And this is again, why social
distancing is so important to slow this thing down so
we can let our supply chain, our scientists, our
politicians, frankly, catch up so that we
can cope with this. – Well, Nick, I always consider
you one of the cleanest, clearest thinkers
that we’ve got, and especially in
a time like this, so I appreciate you
taking the time. And maybe we’ll get you back on in a couple weeks as
this thing continues to (overlapping conversation)
– Yes. Thank you very much
for having, David, and thank you to your listeners. – Hey everyone, we’re obviously in some unchartered
territory with coronavirus, and our plan here is to
help you make as much sense of the situation in a
nonalarmist fashion as possible. If you’re looking for reliable
information from experts on the frontlines
of the pandemic, check out our
coronavirus playlist, which we’ll keep adding
updates to right over here. And to get notified
of all future videos be sure to subscribe.

13 thoughts on “What You Need To Know To Not Get Infected | Dr. Nicholas Christakis | CORONAVIRUS | Rubin Report

  1. The big question is what role did the UN WHO play in enabling the code of silence on how bad things were at the start in China? Based on the agenda of the UN sustainable development population control objectives it is obvious that allowing the spread would fulfil their long-term objectives. Why is no one discussing this reality? The UN is going to use this Covid19 to gain more control of Nations and Secretary General Guterres is already in play with this objective. Just listen to what is coming out of the sinister controllers. You people are far to distracted with the pandemic to notice the intentional UN objectives. You must multitask now. This guy I believe is part of the spread problem. None of this interview is reassuring.

  2. Guys, to his point at 16:00, here in South Africa, on 14 March we had 38 confirmed cases, a week later on 21 March we had 240 case, today (23 March) we have 402 confirmed cases. Exponential growth. Difficult to see unless you watch the numbers.

  3. a little too hot and a little too cold it is always 20/20 looking back as scott adams points out you always should have done the right thing sooner maybe full screening of all people coming and going at all borders for ever it is certainly doable

  4. Please have Melissa Chen on again to talk about the Chinese 'cold war' – she has as lot of fascinating things to say on that topic

  5. Hong Kong is a 13 min drive from mainland China and has 356 cases and 4 deaths. Taiwan only has 195 cases and 2 deaths. Makes no sense unless they have been taking therapeutic drugs along along to stem the tide. These are the questions I'd like asked by our media.

  6. Pushing their vaccines ! Any video I see and that’s there cure I say go take a leap off the highest building on the planet .. No one is pumping any crap in my body.. Using humans as lab rats for the rich asshat ..


  8. 31:30 For those unaware there is a video of an Asian dude in Italy asking for hugs because that somehow combats racism. Needless to say this was only just before Italy was put into lockdown as the virus spread like crazy. Hope someone can do the analysis and see if SJW's are disproportionately affected.

  9. There is something out there that can give the same Respiratory Problems and can Reach and Touch us all… Ill give you a hint (5GLTE) …not like the previous Gs. These antennas need to be many; lumped up!

  10. This was a brilliant interview – thanks Dave & Dr Nick! To the many comments about Nick’s naive-seeming optimism and his “looseness” of facts (e.g. COVID-19 starting in December), these are both facets of his personality. He is exceptionally high Ne (gathering patterns) and it’s a Masculine Ne, meaning he’s he’s really solid on the patterns and the ideas but not naturally so solid on the facts. This doesn’t make him less smart or less insightful though – if anything, it allows him to see things in an elaborately complex web that almost anyone else couldn’t see. His personality is quite similar to Jordan Peterson.. except that he is the optimistic version.

  11. The guest may be wrong about flu shots. Vaccine derived virus interference is the phenomenon that occurs in those who received an influenza vaccine. VACCINE DERIVED VIRUS INTERFERENCE
    A phenomenon when receiving influenza vaccination may increase the risk of other respiratory viruses.
    Study done on Department of Defense personnel has shown that "vaccine derived virus interference was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus.

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