Episode 64: Straight Talk Chris Dall: [00:00:00] Support for this podcast comes from Give Directly, a non-profit that lets you send money directly to people living in extreme poverty. Due to the pandemic, global poverty rates are rising for the first time in two decades. In response, Give Directly has delivered contentless cash payments to over a half million people in seven countries in Africa. These countries are currently facing their highest covid infection rates yet, and only 1.5 percent of Africa has been fully vaccinated. Giving cash lets individuals invest in what they need the most right now. Visit givedirectly.org/covid and your first gift will be matched up to $200. Hello and welcome to the Osterholm Update covid-19, a podcast on the covid-19 pandemic with Dr. Michael Osterholm. Dr. Osterholm is an internationally recognized medical detective and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, or CIDRAP, at the University of Minnesota. In this podcast, Dr. Osterholm will draw on more than 45 years of experience investigating infectious disease outbreaks to provide straight talk on the covid-19 pandemic. I'm Chris Dall, reporter for CIDRAP news, and I'm your host for these conversations. Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the Osterholm Update podcast. If August 2021 is starting to feel a lot like August 2020 to you, you're not alone. Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, the United States is again seeing an alarming summer surge of covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths fueled by the now dominant, highly contagious Delta variant. And with schools starting in some parts of the country and children under 12 not yet eligible for the vaccine, the nation is once again faced with questions about how to keep children safe. It's a confusing and frustrating time, especially because it seemed like the worst was behind us just a few weeks ago. And while the vaccines will hopefully prevent this latest surge from getting much worse, we know that you, our listeners, have a lot of questions about what exactly is going on right now, where we're going, how effective the vaccines are, and what we can all do to protect ourselves and those around us. We have many of those same questions. So for this August 12th episode of the Osterholm update, Dr. Osterholm will give you an update on the international and national situation. Then he's going to address some of the major questions that our listeners have been asking. But first, before we get started, we'll begin with Dr. Osterholm's opening comments and dedication. Michael Osterholm: [00:02:33] Thank you, Chris, and welcome, everyone to another edition of the weekly podcast update, I have to start out by saying I can't wait until we can stop these, that they won't happen weekly or maybe ever again. But I think it's fair to say that we all realize we're a long ways off from that. Welcome to anyone who is new to the podcast, and we appreciate your participation. Hopefully, we're going to be able to answer some questions for you. If not, at least you provide various explanations for what we think is going on in this somewhat confusing world right now. For those who have been the regular members of the podcast, welcome back and thank you so much for your many, many emails and text messages, even letters and cards. I can't tell you how much we appreciate them, each and every one are read, shared with the staff. We try to get back to as many of you as we possibly can, but you clearly help shape these podcast in the ways that you're able to give us your sense of the questions that are on your mind, what's going on in the community. And so we're listening. And I just hope that we're able to to meet up with what you need. I also start out today reminding all of us that this is a very, very tough time. It is confusing. We'll talk more about that in a moment. When we look at where I think the American psyche is, if not the entire world psyche with regard to this pandemic. But I just want to repeat something I said last week. If you're confused, if you're concerned in a way that you haven't been before, if you're feeling let down, if you're feeling somewhat frightened, please know that you're not alone, that this clearly is something that we're all feeling and that I in particular and I'll talk more about that this week as it relates to my own family. The other thing I just want to re-emphasize, as I do so often, is just please, we have to re

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