Social Distance

Podcast Logo

A podcast about living through a pandemic.

Subscribe On:

  • Episode 20

    Should I Wear A Mask?

    Dr. James Hamblin answers basic questions about the coronavirus (and how to avoid it).

  • Episode 18

    Jared Kushner and the Website That Never Was

    On March 13, President Trump announced that Google was building a coronavirus website. Staff Writer Robinson Meyer investigated what happened to that website — and what it tells us about the government's response overall.

  • Episode 17

    How Coronavirus Is Scrambling Our Politics

    Staff writer McKay Coppins explains why some people seem not to believe the science, and how simple advice like avoiding handshakes plays into old ideological divides. Plus, he tells us about his cans.

  • Episode 15

    Will $2 Trillion Be Enough?

    Staff writer Adam Harris joins to talk about the bill passed by Congress today and why, despite its unprecedented amount, it’s probably just the start of the economic plan to fight the pandemic. 

  • Episode 14

    How This Could End

    Staff writer Ed Yong describes three possibilities of how this will play out — and reminds us not to panic. Recorded 11am, March 26, 2020.

  • Episode 13

    What Happens Next?

    The pandemic has put the whole world on different timelines. Contributing writer Rachel Donadio is based in France, which is slightly ahead of the U.S. She talks about how different countries are approaching the crisis.

  • Episode 12

    Can I Have a Drink?

    People are losing their jobs and hope. But opening businesses back up would endanger lives. Jim and Katherine call her brother, a bartender sheltering in place, for some perspective. And staff writer Derek Thompson joins to discuss what needs to happen in Washington to make sure people stay afloat. Recorded 3pm, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

    Sam's recipe for a mocktail Paloma: mix 3 parts grapefruit juice, 1 part lime juice, and 1 part simple syrup. Top with Topo Chico and add salt to taste.

  • Episode 11

    Should I Be Getting Deliveries?

    James Hamblin answers listeners' questions about deliveries, testing, haircuts, and how long this will last.

  • Episode 10

    Why Everyone Is Watching "Contagion"

    Finding ways to relax is as vital now as ever. Culture writers Sophie Gilbert and David Sims join to advise on some purposeful ways to escape in place. Recorded 12pm, Saturday, March 21, 2020.

  • Episode 9

    On the Front Lines at a New York Hospital

    The mask shortages in New York are worse than we imagined. Jim and Katherine talk to a doctor who describes the dire scene inside a major hospital. Recorded 1pm ET, March 21, 2020.

    If you want to help hospitals with supply shortages, a spreadsheet with more information is available here: https://bit.ly/3dn2eVa

  • Episode 8

    Why Can't I Get Tested?

    Jim and Katherine talk with Alexis Madrigal about coronavirus testing and why the U.S. is so far behind much of the rest of the world. Recorded 2pm, March 20, 2020.

  • Episode 7

    When It's Illegal to Leave Home

    Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg and Staff Writer Anne Applebaum join to discuss updates from Europe and new restrictions on travel and movement.

  • Episode 6

    A Slight Temporary Relief

    Lori Gottlieb of “Dear Therapist” talks us through how to stay sane. She gives tips on managing anxiety and talking to family members about the crisis. Recorded 2pm ET, March 18, 2020.

  • Episode 5

    This is as Real as It Gets

    Dr. Stephen Thomas, Chief of the Infectious Disease Division at SUNY Upstate Medical University, just got his first COVID-19 cases. He discusses how hospitals should prepare for the coming surge of patients. And he shares a Mark Twain quote he's had on his mind: “courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” Recorded 3pm, March 17, 2020.

  • Episode 4

    The Time for Cash

    Annie Lowrey, a staff writer covering the economy, explains what needs to happen right away to keep people safe and secure. She’s in San Francisco about to “shelter in place.” Recorded 4pm, March 16, 2020.

  • Episode 3

    Not a Two-Week Problem

    James and Katherine take a walk to the grocery store and discuss what the next week --and year -- may look like in the U.S. Plus, how long does the virus last on surfaces? Recorded 2pm, March 15, 2020.

  • Episode 2

    Call Someone

    Dr. James Hamblin catches Katherine up on the latest developments, lays out the difficult decisions ahead, and reminds her to keep things in perspective. Plus, a few disinfecting tips. Recorded 11am, March 14, 2020.

  • Episode 1

    Catching Up

    Dr. James Hamblin helps a colleague make the essential pandemic-era shopping list. Recorded at 11:45am, Friday, March 13, 2020.