A Virus Podcast Goes Viral

By Thalia Gigerenzer

May 14, 2020

In the early days of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a relatively obscure virology podcast called “This Week in Virology” suddenly gained thousands of new listeners. Listeners from all walks of life — from mailmen to English teachers — were writing in with all sorts of questions, some of them scientific, some of them highly personal. For many listeners, the effect of the show was therapeutic: they reported that the show’s reasoned tone (and frequent outbursts of laughter) had a calming effect on them. Here’s the story of how a quirky virus podcast went viral during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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