Call it a booster shot of good public health information: For the third time since the pandemic began two years ago, Dr. Patrick Remington answers any and all questions from Milfred and Hands about the novel coronavirus and where its heading.
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Remington is a UW-Madison expert on the spread of disease who worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and who teaches the public health experts of the future.
Remington says science has learned a lot about COVID-19, including its latest and fast-spreading variant called omicron. The virus isn't going away. But it could head in a variety of different directions, depending on what we humans do.
"Maybe the new normal is going to be 500 people die a year" in Wisconsin from COVID-19, Remington says. "We cannot accept 5,000."
Remington gives advice for going to the Badgers game, for seeing Grandpa and Grandma and living your life while being a responsible citizen who cares about others to limit exposure.
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Omicron will likely be worse here than it was in South Africa, the doctor says, because it's hitting Wisconsin in winter, when most people are indoors, and because our population is older. Milfred asks about natural immunity and whether anyone will dodge the virus. He also wants the definitive pronunciation of "omicron," which the doctor provides.
Hands pitches his theory that bars are where the virus mostly spreads. Our political podcasters also win an endorsement from the doctor for a State Street promenade in Downtown Madison, given that al fresco dining slows the spread of disease.
“Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands” features Scott Milfred, the newspaper’s editorial page editor, and Phil Hands, the State Journal's political cartoonist. They offer their perspectives from the sensible center of Wisconsin politics. They also serve on the State Journal editorial board.
Find and follow “Center Stage, with Milfred and Hands” on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app. You also can listen to past episodes of "Center Stage" and see the podcast's webpage by clicking here.