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 askciddpsu@psu.edu. 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

Suspect citizens in a democracy [revisited]

Frank Baumgartner

This week marks the beginning of our summer break here on Democracy Works. We are going to be rebroadcasting a few episodes from our back catalog — with a twist.

In fall 2018, we did two …

The second annual Democracy Works listener mailbag

Michael, Jenna, and Chris in the studio in summer 2019.Michael, Jenna, and Chris in the studio in summer 2019.

Before we take a short summer break, Michael and Chris answer your questions about democracy in our current moment. Thank you to …

How to end democracy’s doom loop

As we bring this season of Democracy Works to a close, we’re going to end in a place similar to where we began — discussing the role of political …

The clumsy journey to antiracism

This week, we are bringing you another interview that we hope will give some context to the discussions about racism and inequality that are happening in the U.S. right now.

We’re  joined …

Civil rights, civil unrest

As protests continue throughout the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death, we’ve been thinking a lot about comparisons to the Civil Rights era and whether the models for demonstrations …

Aaron Maybin on doing the hard work of democracy [rebroadcast]

We are working on an episode about the social and democratic context for the protests taking place around the U.S. after George Floyd’s death; we’ll have it for you on Monday. In the …

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
0:00
Start listening to Citizenship, patriotism, and democracy in the classroom
0:00