Tag Archives: Covid-19

A Deadly Virus & A Disturbing Truth

                           

New York Times-bestselling author Robin Cook wrote Pandemic, his medical-thriller more than two years before Covid-19. The pulse-pounding story begins when an unidentified, healthy, well-dressed woman is struck down by a sudden respiratory illness on the subway as opportunist thieves snatch her phone and backpack. By the time she’s rushed to hospital, she’s dead. Ending up on forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton’s autopsy table as the potential victim of a contagion, reveals surprising findings. Fearing what could be the first in a severe outbreak of a deadly virus similar to the 1918 influenza pandemic, Jack works in overdrive for a diagnosis and to identify the woman. A task made more urgent when two other victims succumb to a similar rapid death. But nothing makes sense until his investigation leads him into the fascinating realm of CRISPR/CAS9, gene-editing biotechnology that’s captured the imagination of the medical community. . . and the attention of its most unethical members. Cook’s critical opinion of the greed dominating the business of the medical professions and the sad politics of health care in the United States makes this so pertinent now, as we live through a real pandemic.

For too long the Religious Right has masqueraded as a social movement preoccupied with a number of cultural issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In her deeply reported investigation, Katherine Stewart reveals a disturbing truth: this is a political movement that seeks to gain power and to impose its vision on all of society. America’s religious nationalists aren’t just fighting a culture war, they are waging a political war on the norms and institutions of American democracy. Stewart pulls back the curtain on the inner workings and leading personalities of a movement that has turned religion into a tool for domination. She exposes a dense network of think tanks, advocacy groups, and pastoral organizations embedded in a rapidly expanding community of international alliances and united not by any central command but by a shared, anti-democratic vision and a common will to power. She follows the money that fuels this movement, tracing much of it to a cadre of super-wealthy, ultraconservative donors and family foundations. She shows that today’s Christian nationalism is the fruit of a longstanding anti-democratic, reactionary strain of American thought that draws on some of the most troubling episodes in America’s past. It forms common cause with a globe-spanning movement that seeks to destroy liberal democracy and replace it with nationalist, theocratic and autocratic forms of government around the world. Religious nationalism is far more organized and better funded than most people realize. It seeks to control all aspects of government and society. Its successes have been stunning, and its influence now extends to every aspect of American life, from the White House to state capitols, from our schools to our hospitals. The Power Worshippers is a brilliantly reported book of warning and a wake-up call. Stewart’s probing examination demands that Christian nationalism be taken seriously as a significant threat to the American republic and our democratic freedoms.

Show #378

Challenging Covid With Music!

Barzin, the talented singer-songwriter, poet, all-round good guy, and friend of Life Elsewhere alerted us to a new compilation he had contributed a previously unreleased cut to. If Barzin was involved it had to be seriously worth checking out. We did. And, it is. “Love In The Time Of Covid” curated by Andrea Vascellari, is an exceptional collection of music. Based in North-East Italy where the virus has wreaked devastating havoc, Andrea took it upon himself to reach out to acts from the most relevant in slowcore, dreampop, and drone-rock scenes. He requested tracks that had not been released before. And, he explained, “All proceeds will go to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organization’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus, to ensure patients get the care they need and the frontline workers get essential supplies and information, and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them”. The seventeen tracks Andrea selected for “Love In The Time Of Covid” perfectly evoke this peculiar and unfathomable of times we are all enduring. Andrea Vascellari is a fan, he is a musician, he is passionate about bringing together this remarkable compilation to challenge Covid. 

Please make sure you do not miss our exclusive conversation with Andrea Vascellari. And, support this cause.

“Love In The Time Of Covid”

Dean Wareham – Holding Pattern (Live At WXPN)

Idaho – Be My Friend

Pall Jenkins – On The Rise

Mark Rolfe – Every Setting Sun Part 1

Lycia – The Bee Eater

Matt Christensen – In Boxes

Jessica Bailiff – With You (Friendship Version 2020)

Barzin – There Will Be Time For

Jon DeRosa – High And Lonely (David Sisko Remix) 

Chris Brokaw – Lady Old Song

Remora – Never Make It Home Again

Yellow6 – Hallo

Shores – Litany (Demo)

Lullabier – Raindrops

Thorn1 – A Bus 

If Thousands – They Are Not What They Claim To Be

Coastal – CovidLOVE 

Show #370

Jailhouse Psychiatry During Covid-19. The Story of Coffeeland

Cuyahoga County Jail

As the concerned amongst us continue to practice self-isolation there are those who deliberately thumb their nose at directives to go about our lives safely – then, there are those who have no choice – they are incarcerated. Worse still, many suffer from mental illness. Dr. Joseph Baskin, staff psychiatrist with MetroHealth in Cleveland and an assistant professor with Case Western Reserve University works as psychiatrist at the Cuyahoga County Jail. His work under relatively normal times means doing his best to advocate both for the individual and society at large; not interfering with justice, but providing insight and support when possible. Dr. Baskin explains treating mental illness is the last safety net. Many of his patients don’t have insight, they don’t think they are mentally ill and a judge is a final authority they will understand. He compassionately treats antisocial personality, high rates of trauma and ADHD. In his work, he tasked with managing behavior. With Covid-19 in full effect, the doctor’s work is made all the more stressful and, he has to continually be aware of and monitor his own well-being. Dr. Baskin shares his thoughts and gives critical insights to his work with people who are unable to willingly self-isolate.

What do you know about coffee? A wonderful new book will change how you look at – or taste coffee again. Augustine Sedgewick takes us on an extraordinary adventure of discovery, revealing details and history, even the most ardent coffee lover will be surprised by. In Coffeeland – One Man’s Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug the learned Augustine Sedgewick has brilliantly chronicled the most consequential revolution by telling the global history of one family. His book is both innovative and factual as he effortlessly untangles the routes that carried coffee from the slopes of El Salvador to the shelves of US supermarkets. Augustine exposes a realm of ruthless entrepreneurs, hardworking laborers, laboratory chemists, and guerrilla fighters. Plus, he is a wonderful and enthusiastic guest. 

Show #369