Tuesday Oct 06, 2020

Episode 49: Sport and COVID-19 Special with Gavin Yamey and Zachary Binney

In this special episode of the show, all three hosts sit down with two public health experts to investigate the very premise of the podcast itself: how a global pandemic is impacting the world of sport. Gavin Yamey is Associate Director for Policy at the Duke Global Health Institute, Professor of the Practice of Global Health and Public Policy, and Director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health. His public health interventions appear in venues such as Time and the British Medical Journal, among countless others. Zachary Binney is an epidemiologist of sport and Assistant Professor of Quantitative Research and Methods at Oxford College of Emory University. He is a staff writer at Football Outsiders and perhaps the most relied-upon quote from journalists during the pandemic looking for an epidemiological take on sport.

The episode begins with a discussion of the basics of understanding the pandemic. What exactly is Covid-19 and how does it affect the human body? From there we move through an examination of fatality rates, complications, 'herd immunity,' and transmission as we attempt to sift through myth and fact about the virus and implications for how we might move forward.

With a capacious understanding of the virus in mind, we then turn to sport and the varying ways sport organizations in the college and professional realms, particularly in North America, have attempted to navigate the virus. We get into the question of protocols and the best and worst of pandemic sport policy. We also take a close look at university campuses and the way that the pandemic has been handled, both from an athletic perspective and otherwise.

This is a comprehensive discussion of the pandemic, sport, and US universities. If you have an interest in any of these things, we think you will really enjoy it.

You can find Gavin Yamey on reopening universities in the British Medical Journal here. Gavin Yamey writes about how we can reopen universities more safely next semester in Time here. Gavin Yamey writes about caring for long-haul Covid patients here. You can find Zach Binney's interview with Fangraphs on MLB and Covid here. Zach Binney writes in Neurology with friend of the show Kathleen Bachynski on CTE prevalence in football here. Zeynep Tufecki's brilliant recent Atlantic story on Covid transmission is here.

For a transcription of this episode, please click here. (Credit @punkademic)

After listening to the episode, check out our most recent pieces:

“Red-Scare Rhetoric Isn’t Gone From Histories of American Sport” in Jacobin Magazine

"Canceling the College-Football Season Isn't Enough" published in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“'We are being gaslit': College football and Covid-19 are imperiling athletes” in The Guardian

“Canceling the college football season is about union busting, not health” also in The Guardian


As always, please like, share, and rate us on your favorite podcast app, and give follow us on Twitter or Instagram.






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