Which states are going back to in-person schooling, and which are staying virtual? What’s happening with Covid testing and shortages? How has the pandemic affected the housing market? Which states are reopening slowly but surely, and which have had to pull back to lockdown status? What’s going on with vaccine developments? With things changing minute-by-minute, it can be hard to keep up with what’s current about the pandemic. Fortunately, Reopening America is here to help. Hosted by The Daily Dive’s Oscar Ramirez, these daily seven-minute podcasts are a great way to get the soundbites you need in the bite size you can take. Here are four sharply focused episodes to get you started.
Ted Mann, reporter for the Wall Street Journal, joins the podcast to fill us in on the various efforts states are undergoing to reopen their economies safely. Without any national guidelines or mandates to follow, state governments are essentially making it up as they go along. Some states, like Mississippi and California, are approaching things on a county-by-county basis, with counties that haven’t been hit hard allowed to continue reopening, while hotspots must pull back. Ted reminds us that politicians are under “tremendous pressure….to restore some normalcy,” but as cases continue to surge nationwide, it’s not clear how they’ll be able to manage. Oscar gets the full scoop in this episode.
We’ve been moving “at warp speed” to develop and approve a coronavirus vaccine, which is great news, but not much has been done to plan for the hard part: Distributing doses to millions of people. Washington Post reporter Lena Sun says any vaccine requires careful storage and shipping, not to mention administering; for example, some of the vaccines require two separate doses, taken two weeks apart. It’s an enormous amount of coordination and planning to get done in a relatively short period of time. Will states need to plan to be a part of the distribution process, making them responsible for leasing warehouses or freezers to store doses? Will the CDC handle it with its existing network? Or will the federal government come up with a new system? Get all the facts on this episode.
Health and medicine reporter with the Washington Post, Lenny Bernstein, comes on this episode to talk about young people unknowingly infecting their parents or grandparents with the coronavirus. 20% of Americans live in multi-generational homes, which can include three or four generations of family members all living in the same house. Younger people are more likely to be asymptomatic, which means they feel more comfortable going out to work or socialize – but it also means they can bring the virus home with them to their more vulnerable family members. One 20-year-old infected his entire family, and his father was on a ventilator for weeks. Lenny gets into all the details on this episode.
ProPublica healthcare reporter Marshall Allen tells us about one Texas woman who got a $179 Covid-19 test for her son at an out-of-network clinic, only to be surprised to learn that her insurance had been charged $2,479. He goes over the intricacies of that story for us, breaking down what to look for in your bill that probably shouldn’t be there, because hospitals and medical clinics often overcharge for things so they can haggle with insurance companies. This episode is super important, because as Marshall tells us, average Americans pay for inflated medical costs, not insurance companies or the government. “It always comes back to the patient in the form of higher premiums and higher costs in the long haul,” he says, so we need to all be on the lookout for this.
If you want to be sure you're listening to the podcasts everyone else is checking out, iHeartRadio has you covered. Every Monday, iHeartRadio releases a chart showing the most popular podcasts of the week. Stay up to date on what's trending by checking out the chart here. There's even a chart just for radio podcasts here, featuring all your favorite iHeartRadio personalities like Bobby Bones, Elvis Duran, Steve Harvey and dozens of others.
Photo: Getty Images