Your Podsite trial is ending soon. Put the final touches on it with our tips on how to make a great podcast website.

Claim your custom domain name todayClaim your domain

COVID-19 exposes democracy’s tensions

43 minutes

As we’ve seen over the past weeks and months, democracies and authoritarian countries respond to pandemics very differently. There are balances to be struck — liberty and community, human rights and disease mitigation — that every country’s government and culture handle a little differently. We dive into that this week with our first ever all-remote episode as we adjust to the new normal of life during COVID-19.

Our guest is Nita Bharti, assistant professor of biology at Penn State and faculty member in the university’s Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. Nita’s research focuses on the interactions between social and biological processes as underlying determinants of human health — making her the perfect person for us to talk to about the response to COVID-19.

There are no silver bullets when it comes to outbreak mitigation, but there are lessons we can take from other outbreaks about how information affects behavior and how the government can help or hinder that process. As Nita says, we’re likely only beginning to see what the new normal looks like in the U.S.

Additional Information

Nita’s article on COVID-19 in The Conversation 

The Bharti Lab of Human Infectious Diseases

The Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State is taking questions about the Coronavirus pandemic at Each week, experts will answer your most commonly asked questions, anonymously. They will attempt to provide the most current accurate information, informed by scientific evidence. Episode Credits

This episode was recorded on Thursday, March 19, 2020. It was engineered by Jenna Spinelle and edited by WPSU’s Jen Bortz, and reviewed by Emily Reddy.

More episodes from Democracy Works

How you can listen to this podcast

You can listen to episodes right here on the website, or if you prefer, in a podcast app. Listening in an app makes it easier to keep track of what you’ve already heard, listen without using your data plan and many other conveniences.

Recommended apps
Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom