What a few weeks we have all experienced, as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many of our usual patterns around the world. We strive to produce relevant and timely interviews, but many of our recent episodes now are particularly evocative given the state of the world. We’ve talked about the importance of social interaction, for example, with Jeffery Hall of the University of Kansas. We talked with Jillian Richardson about remedies for loneliness, some (but crucially not all) of which are now complicated to implement. A few years ago, we even talked with Florence Williams about her book, The Nature Fix. Any of those episodes are worth a second listen on your next walk outside.
We also often talk about public health on our show, and we are seeing firsthand the importance of public health intervention as we attempt to mitigate the very worst possible effects of the pandemic, in part through behavior change. Will our short-term efforts provide lasting changes in behavior? We’ve explored that notion before, on episodes like our exploration of sustainable public health interventions and our discussion of habits. We also have an even greater awareness now of the physical world around us, a world that provides many unseen benefits everyday like water and helpful microscopic creatures, a physical world that innovative projects are starting to measure through social collaboration.
We deeply respect the world of public health officials working to keep us all safe. In light of recent guidance here in our home state of North Carolina, we are pausing production of new episodes in April and May and will resume new production when doing so aligns well with official guidance. We want to keep our guests and WNCU staff safe. We still have a lot to share every week on WNCU, though, and we want to continue our conversations with you, perhaps now more than ever. Fortunately, we have a robust back catalog we think you’ll enjoy exploring, as we just celebrated the fifth anniversary of our weekly show in January.
We are still thinking about everyday life and what we can learn about it everyday. In fact, many of us have an incredible opportunity to consider aspects of our existence that we likely have taken for granted. With that in mind, we want to turn next to our social lives during the pandemic as a way of considering our humanity. If you pause for a moment, many of our logistical complications reveal important aspects of our social lives, whether it be the challenges of balancing home life and work obligations, disparities between people based on income and social connections, the hidden dynamics of our supply chains, or even the optimal ways to keep students engaged with technology. We’ll be gathering ideas for new episodes that explore these themes. If you have an idea, please send it to us via the Contact form.
Stay safe, be kind, and stay curious.