Taiwan’s early and aggressive intervention against COVID-19 stands as one of only a few effective responses so far. Dave Trouba, an expert on hygiene and sanitation who currently resides in Taiwan, joins the podcast to explain the key factors that have kept the coronavirus largely at bay there. He also shares insights from his many years working within the UN system and on the ground in developing countries on the serious challenges the pandemic will present to vulnerable populations.
Tracking the data on deaths caused by COVID-19 is a primary and powerful tool for projecting the path of the pandemic. On this episode, data analyst Jonas Sundqvist provides insights from his efforts to collect data and model the spread of the coronavirus, creating a series of curves that project the trajectory of the outbreak in different countries and indicate the effectiveness of differing national approaches to combat COVID-19.
Red flag, Black swan: Epidemiological insights from Dr. Björn Olsen on COVID-19 and Sweden’s strategy
Where on the curve is Sweden, and are current efforts sufficient to contain the coronavirus? One of Sweden’s leading epidemiological experts, Dr. Björn Olsen, professor of infectious medicine at Uppsala University, provides insights into the knowns and unknowns of COVID-19, critiques the Swedish strategy so far, and explains how Sweden can take back control over the outbreak (Note on names of Swedish government authorities mentioned: “Folkhälsomyndigheten” = Public Health Agency of Sweden; “Socialstyrelsen” = National Board of Health and Welfare; “MSB” = Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency.)
This episode features an interview with Prof. Paul ‘t Hart, a top European crisis management expert who discusses how national political cultures have shaped the coronavirus response, and how it is incumbent upon political decision makers to weigh sometimes conflicting advice from experts when making difficult value judgements during a major crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak.
Eric and Marc introduce the podcast, and Fredrik Bynander, director of the Center for Societal Security at the Swedish Defence University, analyzes Sweden's response to the coronavirus crisis so far, and reflects on some of the longer term geopolitical dimensions that need to be considered in parallel with the short term actions taken during the acute phase of the crisis.