tv Author Discussion on the Impact of COVID-19 CSPAN May 15, 2021 9:00am-10:01am EDT
watch booktv this weekend on c-span2. >> all right. welcome, everybody, to covid 19, how it has changed us which i can't see you but i see that we have several guests here and i appreciate your coming. i think you will enjoy this conversation with very smart and interesting men. i will let them tell about themselves but i will briefly introduce both of them.
let's start with the author of apollo's arrow, the enduring impact of coronavirus on the way we live, his name is doctor nicholas christakis. he is an m.d. phd, mph, sterling professor of social and natural science at yale university. we are also joined by the author of the plague cycle, the unending war between humanity and infectious disease. charles kenny is a senior fellow at the center for global development and before that was a senior economist at the world bank where he traveled from baghdad to kabul to brasília to beijing. he has written two previous books about global progress and he will tell us more about the work that he does, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having us.
>> let's start with nicholas christakis. tell us about your self, what you do, why you do it in your book. >> i wasn't expecting to do the autobiography part. i will briefly mention ima physician. i was a hospital doctor taking care of people who were dying, i saw patients in her 15 years ago when being clinically active. i do a research laboratory at yale and we study social networks, human social interaction, the evolutionary origin of these interactions was wide we have friends at all? kind of unusual. other animals don't form long-term nonreproductive unions with other members of their species but we do. it is unusual practice of forming social networks, living socially in the way we do places us at risk for epidemics because if we live have
isolated individuals we wouldn't be subject to contagious disease. one of the arguments i would like to make, we come together to live with each other to reap certain advantages from an evolutionary point of view, the fact that we are cultural animals but to rebuild advantages we expose ourselves to certain risks. one of arguments i make is in a very real way the spread of germs is the price we pay for the spread of ideas. and to share knowledge with you, and the way evolution has shaped our social networks, the capacity for social learning is counterbalanced with the epidemic spread of pathogens. that is a quick feel, and to
tell a little bit about why i wrote it, and one overarching idea that intersects with charles's perspective on the topic, the spread of emotion and money, the spread of idea and germs and behaviors and so on, and working with chinese collaborators to use phone data, describing social interactions to study the impact upon social interaction of certain developments, and earthquake if there is a massive earthquake how does that reshape social interactions and when the pandemic struck we began to think about how we use data to understand the spread of the epidemic so we had data on 11 million people transiting through wuhan in january of 2020, we could use the data to
build a model to accurately describe the early days of the pandemic as people spread through china and around the world how did the epidemic spread. as a result, in january paying careful attention to the pandemic and because we had these traces to look at people moving because of their cell phones in china i was able to see as of january 20 fifth all emotion in china ceased. this got my attention because on that date the chinese saw in the virus a threat of sufficient magnitude to they saw fit to basically detonate a social nuclear weapon to stop it. that is how bad they are, to put 1 billion people in lockdown on january 20 fifth. this really got my attention and a lot of epidemiology
colleagues of mine, everyone is worried about this pandemic. our leaders, our politicians were not saying anything to this effect. in february italy collapsed, people were lackadaisical, in march i thought my fellow citizens don't have a sense what is about to hit them, what can i do to help. but also position, what i was experiencing a great sweep of history, that is what the book attempts to do. something very unusual happens to us in our species, a new pathogen introduced into our midst and it will sick of it among us forever, this pathogen is having what is known in evolutionary biology as an ecological release, like an invasive species like a rat we
release on an island overruns the place. our bodies are that i want to the virus which is the rat and it will spread and spread among us indefinitely. one thing i tried to highlight in the book is the way we've come to live seems so alien and unnatural to so many people, so strange it is crucial to understand plagues are not new to our species. they are just new to us. we think this is crazy how we have come to live but if you look at written accounts or our archaeological evidence of dead bodies for thousands of years it is very clear this type of threat has been long-standing and our response to the threat, then i will shut up, our stereotypic, all the things we
see, the grief making power of plagues, the fact that plagues take our lives, our livelihoods, way of life, it is a time of loss, people i said, there's a blame that we seek to blame others, the jews's fault with hiv, homosexuals or asians or drug users, always seeking to blame someone else when it is just a pathogen that is killing us mortals. in the plague of athens, or the bubonic plague in the 1340s, all the nurses were dying, this is typical. the fear we see, rumors and superstition and mendacity, typical of plagues. if you think a plague is one of the force one of the apocalypse which it is, behind the virus
spreading our lives, think of mendacity as the horsemen's squier. through social networks the germs are spreading and through the social networks misinformation, truth is spreading, it is these dueling contagions spreading on social contagions. they are competing to see who will win in a sense. mentioning the bad things plagues due to as they elicit from humans wonderful properties of cooperation and teaching, we are banding together to confront this collective threat. we are working to implement social distancing, working to invent and distribute vaccines. these are wonderful qualities our species has that are seen
as counter forces to the worst qualities i mentioned a moment ago, i was taken by a famous passage from the plague, this is set in the 1940s, based on the bubonic plague in the prior century. the protagonist of the plague, resolved to compile this chronicle, some memorial of the justice outreach might endure and state quite simply what we learn in the time of pestilence, to despise. that is how i feel about life in general, in times of plague. >> that has been my experience.
the vaccine was injected, that was in vietnam, the technology that underlies it was developed by the turkish migrant whose parents were living in germany, the company that produces it was run by a greek immigrant to the united states, hungary and immigrant to the united states develop the underlying technology for the mrna vaccines and it is what nicholas was talking about. it is true, globally connected world means more pathogens and they spread faster. at the same time our best defense against that is the fact we live in a globally connected world. people coming together is how we are going to do this, not any attempt to move backwards through vaccine nationalism. that won't work in the modern world.
to some extent that was why i started writing the book and i should say unlike nicholas i'm impressed how fast he wrote. took me closer to 5 years to do research for this book. i started from way behind, i'm not a medical doctor. there was a lot more i had to learn and the reason was i was writing these books on global progress, the most obvious and incontrovertible back-to-back how the world got better over the last few decades, look at what has happened to child mortality. if you go back to the 1960s the average parent worldwide would expect one of their children to die before the age of 5. now worldwide, that is a comparatively rare experience because child mortality rates are much less than they were a
few decades ago, much less intense than they were a century ago. looking at the underlying reasons why, discovered fantastic tomes like mcneil's plagues, strongly recommend them to people. >> i planned to bring that book up during my questions because i read it in college. >> you still -- nicholas can give an informed answer but on most of the medical aspects, certainly on much of the broader history so there have been a lot of new research not just on the medical aspects. and economy standard historian and not a medical doctor.
a lot more on terms of how societies work and economic responses since then. i wanted to get that across, the impacts on women's equality. forget the huge impact on quality, gay and lesbian rights, violence, we underestimate how much is changed because infection has receded so much. all of that before covid, i deserve credit for being one among another. who thought there was going to be at some point another global pandemic in a way that was fairly obvious because we had a
lot of close calls. the things that's mentor fighting in the last year was how much i underestimated the impact of this pandemic, quoting economists and others who made estimates how much the global pandemic on the story of the flu or how much economic damage it would do and the numbers were 3 trillion. we have blown through that multiple times, and there was a widespread sense that this could happen. i underestimated how bad it would be an part of the reason we underestimated how bad it would be as we overestimated how will we would do in response. we've done fantastically on a rolling out a vaccine program within a year of the emergence of covid-19 beating the previous record and it is
wonderful. but we did terribly on all of the things before that, controlling the outbreak, putting in place texting and tracing, if you keep it under control, taiwan, south korea, new zealand, china, largely did terribly in that and mask mandates and social distancing. underestimating how bad this is, we overestimated how much we should have learned in previous pandemics, the impact of masking and social distancing for 100 years, a lot
of discussion in 1918, there was the hope we learned our lesson and perhaps not in that is somewhat of a worry going forward. are we going to forget the lessons this pandemic? i hope not. the book came from and where it is. >> these are things that everybody should read. so it is all in the same language in history and it will help us make better decisions going forward. let's talk about these specific books. apollo's arrow. tell us where the title comes from? >> it is from the iliad, of course. one of the things i did to say, plagues are not new to our species, just us. you can see that, they are in the bible, in the elliott,
shakespeare, it is crazy we have to face of plague but our ancestors were facing them for thousands of years, this refers to the opening lines of the iliad which is a magnificent book i reread every few years. as an aside when you are young person, you think the book is about achilles and the greeks but the only hero is hector and it is extraordinary actually. the book opened as follows. the greeks were laying siege, apollo is the god of many things, the god of healing and the god of plagues. this is typical of many ancient religions where the same god was the bringer of disease and wellness. the greeks and circling foyer, laid siege to troy and periodically on these raids they would sack, they had
sacked a city not far from troy, killed all the men, taken all the booty and brought the women back to the camp basically as slaves including the daughter, crazies survived this, don't know how exactly. he goes to the tent of agamemnon, the leader of all the greeks and falls to his knees, and a great ransom and asked to ransom his daughter and not only agamemnon was assigned this young woman as part of his treasure refused but he abuses this man, the priest and he says to him, smacks him and says not only will i not surrender your daughter but she will grow old in my house, in my bed, and
abusive to the priests, and the priest goes to the shore, if you ever appreciated my offerings over the years, hear me now, punish the greeks. hee hee this prayer and is enraged, the greeks had the sense that apollo would fling these unseen arrows, and the unseen germs, apollo flies from mount olympus and lands among the boats and crouches among the boats and the poem goes first he killed the running dogs, then the horses, then the men, 9 days through the army go the arrows of the gods until on the tenth day hera, queen of the gods, took pity on the greeks. she saw them perishing because
great numbers of greeks are dying in funeral buyers. that is the beginning of one of the canonical works of the western hannon and it starts with a plague and that is why the book is called apollo's arrow. >> thank you. we know the plague cycle in the conversation but i was struck by your cover art. tell us about that and where it came from. charles kenny. >> it is a picture of a beautiful drawing, it draws from the cover of a french newspaper from 1911, in manchuria, was suffering under a pneumonic plague like the bubonic plague only spread through the air as well and had
nothing to do with the cover-up, it was a very appropriate for this year because the response to the manchurian plague, put in place by chinese doctors involved social distancing, mask wearing and restrictions on travel. there are arguments how much they would do without intervention but they were interventions, and it rapidly went away and here we are 109 years later mucking up what they managed to do in one of the poorest parts of the world 109 years previously, tells you something a bit depressing about our covid response.
>> these primitive threats call for primitive measures, it is miraculously we live in a time, the first generation of humans alive who have been able in real time to manufacture a specific countermeasure to the form of the vaccine. our ancestors thought they could do things, one of the prescriptions take a snake and him and the snake up and rub it on your body and this award of the plague, they father had specific things to do but they didn't and the walls at their disposal were all the same tools we have which is to socially distance, to wear masks, does not go back hundreds of years but certainly 100 years ago in 1918, debates
about mask wearing, same politicization, border closures were considered for thousands of years and so on. the primitive threat and primitive measures, we are lucky we have more advanced measures in the form of these vaccines. >> when it comes to plagues and people, marco polo traveled to china, that the banquet with the chinese emperor and all the waiters are wearing masks, silken masks, elegant ones to stop their affluence affecting the cause of the flu. hard to claim that was a strict public health measure, that has
been around for, one thing that was changed since o'neill's book was the idea there was a serious outbreak of black death in china. there is a fair amount of evidence, there wasn't much impact on the black death inside as much as there was in europe and sanitary measures are reason why, they are much more dispersed than european cities at the time. as nicholas said, we had a lot of these basic approaches for so long and still need them because we have a vaccine so far, still needs to test it and make sure it is safe and that gap won't go away immediately. next time we need to do so much better.
>> i should mention the pathogens, sars covid 2 kills between one, and one.6% of the people it infects and that gets sick from it. that is quite serious, 10 times deadlier than the flu but nowhere near as deadly as bubonic plague or smallpox or call are, the holy trinity of diseases, but no god-given reason this pathogen isn't worse. think about that this particular virus that is afflicting us could have the same properties, the same intrinsic properties, and like in the movie contagion, just imagine what our world would be like, charles was thinking about that from this perspective.
they consider this to be a national security threat. so ashamed of our response. furthermore, unlike bacteria, bacterial epidemics like bubonic plague or call are for which we have many effective antibiotics because we can treat bacteria with antibiotics viruses have few if any treatments with a virus that kills large numbers of people that could emerge on its own accord at any time and wipe us out we have nothing to do to stop it except these ancient techniques of physical distancing which we need to do better at, or the ability to develop vaccines which nevertheless take time which again mean we have to do these basic things while we develop the vaccine. suffering as much as we have nevertheless it could have been so much worse and this is why
so many people are so worried about this because it could happen again. there is no reason -- it will happen again, just a question of when. we could have another global pandemic nodding 50 years but in 20 years or at any time. and we should do better the next time i hope. >> what you said, the pandemic has been so deadly and it is so survivable, people don't take it seriously but it's genius, if viruses were sentient, it would be genius that it is not so deadly that people really just stay home in terror. >> let me just interject from an epidemiological point and i will shut up.
you are right to highlight the intermediate lethality of this, it is sufficiently deadly that it harms us a lot but not so deadly that people take it seriously. the further wrinkle is subtle, the manifestation of this virus, the protein manifestation of this virus. let me give an example, one population of 1000 people, 10 are infected with a virus get seriously ill, that is a 10% fatality rate in that population. in another population, 1000 people, and a mild course of illness. one out of 100 people died, one% fatality rate. a 10% fatality rate ostensibly or one% fatality rate, most people say i would rather be in a world of one% fatality but that is wrong.
that is worse world because in addition you have 90 mile illnesses in that world. the ability of the virus to not only cause serious illness but mild illness has muddied the waters so people don't take it seriously. my friend had the fluid was asymptomatic, it is not the absolutely felony but the variety of disease the pathogen causes. if it made fewer people sick but more uniformly killed them we would be taking this virus more seriously. >> like sars one, 10%, everybody took that seriously. what do you have to add. >> many countries did best against covid, they had the same experience the test and trace regimes to keep locked down so i hope we all learn the
lessons this time. compared to the plague killing a third of the european population, if you look at the economic impact of covid 19, maybe not up there with the plague but definitely massive and partially just because we live in a much more connected world, most people were living in small businesses, there was so little contact with the outside world and to need to go anywhere, working on futile farms. today that doesn't work. in some sense luckily the disease came along when more
people could work virtually that many people need to do their work in places with other people and they face the choice of do i go to work and risk my life or do i not go to work and not have any money. the economic effect of this pandemic have been some of the worst and it is a listen for next time. beyond the medical response, make sure it is affordable for people to stay home. we need safety nets in place so that people don't have to face this choice between risking death and risking starvation if you will. i exaggerate in terms of the impact, and masking has to be global, people stay home and healthy needs to be global.
>> that is a big ask. do you have ideas about how to do that. >> look at the united states response, involves checks to everybody, pakistan hasn't managed to do it for everybody but it is 80% of the population, they are different in the philippines. it is possible to do that part. where does the money come from? poor countries that do this? i look international institutions, if we learned about eradicating smallpox, a massive benefit globally to eradicating disease everywhere, we won't manage that, we can certainly control it to such, but only if we do it globally, it is everybody's economic
interests, and they pony up in this of interest make sure the global response. >> you could make the argument on moral grounds that it is the right thing to do to vaccinate the world. the rich countries, i include china or japan or the eu, to do these things, not only because it is a moral being, economically in our interests, but epidemiological he in our interest because we don't want countries around the world with on vaccinated populations which service petri dishes for the emergence of new worrisome strains of the virus. it is in our interest to vaccinate the world, and to set up a global surveillance system not just to detect these viruses and other pathogen such as other classes of microbes that cause illness. not just for the benefit of those situations, and an early
warning system, new worrisome strains of this virus are emerging in south america. it will inevitably come to our shores. and it was 6 months warning we could develop booster shots. a huge stake in all of this in global cooperation to confront endemic disease like climate change or nuclear war, these require global response for better or worse. >> covid 19 is not a man-made disease, and man-made infection, and the un body, has 5 people, for biological weapons convention, the capacity to monitor the threat
of intentional pandemics in the future. not this time but may only be a matter of time. >> i remind everybody you can ask the office questions, just type them in the chat box, i will share them so you can learn what you want to learn since i'm opening up for questions, i want to ask you, nicholas christakis, about a part of your book that was fascinating to me, deep down fascinating which is the russian fluid it's possible relationship to oc 43. >> a worldwide pandemic in 1895 to because to buy influenza but there was suggestive evidence
that was a prior coronavirus, not influenza. there is genetic evidence of this and clinical evidence and epidemiological evidence but i review in the book, the idea was is a great culling of cattle back then and there is concern the virus which also spread to us to humans and spread worldwide. it took 70 days to get from moscow to new york on trains, spread by trains through europe and boats across the atlantic and arrived in new york city 70 days later targeting many of the same economic collapses in 1890 and jokes about how you didn't need to wear masks, this was just a racket, the bandanna sellers were trying to sell their bandannas.
it was out to get you. what happens, what can happen, the interaction between a pathogen and a host is a kind of symbiotic relationship, that's not the right word. the pathogen in the host reach equilibrium over time because the pathogen doesn't want to kill us from a darwinian point of view. a pathogen that kills you stops its ability to keep spreading the pathogen really wants to make you mildly ill fill at all and keep moving around and spread the infection to other people and this is why generally, though not always, more benign versions of half visions come to predominate over time compared to deadlier versions. one of the series what may have
happened in 1890 is over the last century this coronavirus was one of the four coronavirus is the cause of the common cold known as oc 43. when 30% of common cold are caused by coronavirus is, there are four species of coronavirus would do this one of those species some people think, one of those species may be a distant echo of a serious global pandemic from 100 years ago and i think there's a good chance that is true and the likely ultimate fate of the current coronavirus. it will become endemic, you'll be exposed to it when you are a child, you will have as we all know a mild and not deadly illness as a child, you will develop some immunity to it and you will periodically. expose into adulthood and get mild courses of illness because you had prior exposure that was not deadly just like common cold and other diseases like chickenpox for example.
anyway i think that could be the case. >> that is in your book. we are currently talking about your book. so thank you for that. loretta asked a question. loretta asked nicholas christakis, as we move forward after vaccines and more of our lives are spent in isolation through more online work and lingering fears related to covid should we take strong steps to regain the collective benefits of our social nature, what interventions would be needed? >> life will return to normal and that is the common theme of charles and i emphasize in, plagues of been with us for thousands of years and return to normal. you could be cynical about
this. a joke that surgeons say which is all bleeding stops eventually. >> year. >> all plagues end eventually. they do end. this one will end and life will return to normal. i think it will take a number of years for a variety of reasons we can discuss for life to return to normal and i do not think special procedures will be required to encourage us to regain a more social face-to-face nature. some changes are here to stay like working from home i think, and using this type of technology to communicate and so on. i think some of those changes will be permanent or qualified permanent but primarily i think we will return to normal life eventually. >> jane asks if one of you has a guess when we will get back to some semblance of normal
life. >> depends how you define normal but a number of years. through the end of 2021 in the beginning of 2022 despite our a lot of the vaccine it will take time to vaccinate enough before have enough people be naturally exposed before we reach the impression -- important threshold known as herd immunity. when we reach that threshold the epidemic force of the virus will be behind us. it will still be present, it won't be eradicated. it will still kill us. the capacity of ours will be behind us. like a tsunami that washes ashore and devastates the landscape, the waters reseed but there's a lot of debris and we have to clean up the debris. between half 1 million and million americans will have died, 5 times as many will be disabled.
i'm not talking long or short covid but people who recover from the disease but whose bodies have been harmed, 2.5 to 5 million americans. of millions of americans with disability, millions of americans who lost loved ones, millions of children who missed school, millions of americans who lost jobs, millions of businesses that close, trillions of dollars will have been borrowed and charles can comment on the long-term economic impact of this printing of money. all that will take time to respond to. until 2023 or the beginning of 2024. that we will enter the post pandemic period which i think will be a little bit of a pardon similar to the roaring 20s, we will have a roaring 20s. people will relentlessly seek out social opportunities in nightclubs, restaurants, bars, sporting events and political rallies and musical concerts, they will be liberal in spending their money. we will see the arts and entrepreneurship and so on and we will have put the plague behind us. this coming summer will be a period like that too but it is too early. the summer because of rising
vaccination and covid fatigue and summer weather people will be outside which will mitigate transmission. we have a better summer but next winter we will have another wave. not as bad as last winter. all of this and i will shut up, all of this depends on various concerns. if we have newly emergent variants that are more deadly or worst of all even aid the vaccine, then all bets are off of what i just said. >> an economist talking about the printing of money, talk about the printing of money please and print some for me. more please. >> i am with nikki that things will go back to normal. they have so often in the past. look at the worst year of the black death england and france, halfway through the hundred years war at the time, they take 6 months off fighting and go straight back at it.
the natural ability to get on with things. if you will. people talking about this being the end of cities, cities couldn't survive infections we wouldn't have them today. the vast majority of history cities were mass infectious killers, with death rates far higher than rural areas. that is no longer true. it will go back to being no longer true very soon and people want to go to bars and restaurants, where are the bars and restaurants? in that way the effect will be soon. i am somewhat worried, the human cost already has been horrible and the human cost will reverberate in a number of ways. i wasn't born in the states.
i came from the uk. my wife is american. about 20% of the us married population married someone from elsewhere. last year that pretty much stopped or new additions pretty much stopped. it is not just about that kind of human interaction but what drives innovation is people coming to gather, the academic conference, investors going around the world, that affect could go on for a decade or two. pretty much setting that down. in some ways that is the economic effect i worry about. i think the developing world hasn't borrowed enough money and i would like to see a greater response from the international monetary fund and world bank's to borrow more money but rich countries bar a lot of money, they've been with
low interest rates. it is the right thing to do and we make it around without paying too much for it. i accept that potential worry. what i'm more worried about is the thing that underpins two centuries of global progress has taken away from it for a year and that is people can exit. >> you have complicated thoughts about things like travel ban this in your book, kathleen wants to know what you think about vaccine cards, vaccination cards. i will extend that to that kind of thing. >> my complicated thought to be brief, the travel bands we introduced were too late to have much impact, the impact it mean we had to pack people into airports and have them wait in long lines to get into the
country, probably not what you want to do in the midst of a pandemic. when it comes to that i feel differently. i feel differently. i have nuanced thoughts on travel bands, new zealand, taiwan, strict quarantine in place like they do. i feel about vaccine passports the same way, not necessarily a great way to stop the spread of the disease but may have some impact on encouraging people to get vaccinated. in that way i am in favor, hardly as if they are a new thing. sitting next to my passport yellow fever card that you need in order to cross the borders, and italian cities. this is been around a long time, not necessarily a great
tool to the transfer of disease by itself but to encourage people to get vaccinated i'm all in favor. >> there's nothing new about this, journalists and ordinary travelers have known the necessity of these yellow cards that have been issued for decades. to immigrate into our country we require new immigrants to have proof of vaccination of 20 communicable diseases, every shot available if you want to immigrate permanently to our country, many employers have vaccination as a condition of employment. you can't be in the healthcare business without being fascinated for the flu. i have to prove to my employer i have a flu vaccine. it's not a choice. i don't have that choice. if you work in veterinary medicine your rabies shot goes on and on.
there is nothing at all unusual about requirements for vaccination. whether we call it a vaccine passport or vaccine card is irrelevant. in terms of private businesses i think private businesses, there are exceptions for public accommodation. you can't discriminate against certain protected classes, or put up a business and say i won't serve people of a certain religion or a certain race but absent that need to allow business holders to make choices. if i am a business older and want my employees to be vaccinated partly because i don't want to be sued by other employees who say i got sick at work and you didn't enforce a prudent public health precautions or my customers, i want my customers to feel safe, businesses should be allowed to make the rules in this regard, governor desantis and other republican governors who for years after extolling private property and private enterprise and the rights of businesses now suddenly want to prohibit
businesses from promulgating these regulations. finally, the things that is distinctive about communicable diseases is my behavior impose a risk on you. if i was to act in a self-injurious way you could make an argument the state has no role preventing me from taking my own life. of course not but if my foolish behavior impose is a risk on others this is a canonical case in which state intervention is justifiable. this has been understood in american jurisprudence for 100 years, mandated vaccination 100 years ago and again and again the courts rule public health authorities may implement a variety of constraints and individual liberty in the name of the common good just like we conscript in times of war.
what could be more, the state drafts you into the army and exposes user risk of death. if we allow states to do that when we feel there is an external threat surely we can allow a state to mandate vaccination for example. >> most people can get the vaccine and should get the vaccine. in the case of the number of vaccines a small group that shouldn't because they have suppressed immune systems for some reason or another and if you choose not to get the vaccine, you increase their risks, their risk of getting the disease. you have a non-counter rubble affect. the state has it at all. >> 74 minutes left, you can get
these books by nicholas christakis and charles kenny, there is a link. listen to my podcast, petri dish, from texas public radio in pr, give that apple podcast all the places. just got a question here. i will try to get to your question. to wrap up with the second title which is covid 19, how it changed us. how do you think it changed us? we will start with charles kenny. >> it made us all more lonely. it killed a lot of people. nicholas is emphasizing not
only that it killed a lot of people but left a lot of people with permanent disability of one sort or another and not just physical but also mental. this has been an absolutely disastrous year for millions of people one way or another. losing loved ones, losing their jobs, housing and livelihoods. that is the way it is with us. but for all of us who were lucky enough not to experience that directly or in our immediate families loneliness would be the big thing it caused and i don't think we can underestimate how bad that is for social species. bad to our very core. it is really bad for the global
economy and global society which is what led to 200 years of immense economic and social progress, life expectancy going from 33 past 70 worldwide. incomes doubling and tripling in the last few decades worldwide. more people educated than ever before. lower rates -- what lies behind all of that is closer global connectedness and people coming together to create things and last year that got away from us. if you look beyond the immediate cost in terms of health, that is the biggest and most tragic thing about the last year. also it means we understand the importance of working together as a global community to
confront these threats because we understand how terrible they are. >> 3 minutes. how has it changed us? >> i don't have much to add to that. i talk about the time horizon, what is happening in the next one, two, three, four years, long-term i don't think it will change us very much at all. during times of plague people flee the cities, they will return. they always return. there is a cessation in the progress of globalization but the economic arguments are so compelling there will be some onshoreing now but that will reverse. in the short term it had all the effects charles mentioned and some others. there is a way in which plagues are social accelerators. on the relationship front, if you were about to get married in times of plague people get married.
if you are about to get divorced it increases let's get it over with kind of thing. and also accelerates technology. zoom technology before the plague is accelerating. mrna technology before the plague has been accelerated. robotic drone delivery technology before the plague has been accelerated. there are a variety of ways over the short term there were some changes in our society. in education, real estate, people work from home, reshape the real estate market in interesting ways. in terms of these other technologies that i mentioned, long-term i don't think there will be radical changes. short-term there will be a number of them in various parts of our economy and social life. >> patty and janet, we won't
have that to get to. both of these gentlemen are on twitter so you can tweet at them. you can look at their handles on my twitter page which is@-- you can share your handle or however else. if either of you have ways to get in touch. >> we have -- few google us. >> >> thank you for your time, this was an interesting conversation. no more bookshop to get copies for yourself, thank you gentlemen, let me say that i more time, apollo's arrow, the effect of the coronavirus on the way we live by nicholas christakis and the plague
cycle, the unending war between humanity and infectious disease by charles kenny. thank you both so much. >> thank you. >> to everyone, thanks for coming to the san antonio book festival. have a great afternoon. .. >> thousand community centers to create, low income families can. [inaudible]. >> along with the television company supports book tv on "c-span2", is a public service.