08:10 Anushri Anandaraja: health workers’ champion in NYC

New York City remains at the epicentre of the US experience of the novel coronavirus.

Although thankfully hospitalisations, new cases and deaths now seem to be on a downward path, its health system and the people staffing it remain under huge strain.

Born and raised in Taranaki, Anushri (Anu) Anandaraja is the Director of the Office of Wellbeing and Resilience at Icahn School of Medicine in Manhattan.

The medical school’s part of the vast Mount Sinai hospital network that employs more than 7,000 doctors and 40,000 total staff across its eight hospitals, making it New York City’s second biggest employer.

She also campaigns for better PPE and support for the city’s overstretched medical personnel.

Workplace stress over workloads and potential exposure to the disease has been thrown into sharp relief this week, after the apparent suicide of one of the city’s leading ER doctors.


08:30 Adam Rutherford: How To Argue With A Racist

Broadcaster, science writer and 'recovering geneticist' Adam Rutherford has also just recovered from something else: Covid-19.

We'll speak to him about the experience and about his new book How To Argue With A Racist.

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Photo: Supplied


09:05 Rory Truell: social work through the pandemic

As Secretary-General of The International Federation of Social Workers, New Zealander Rory Truell leads an organisation responsible for representing and supporting five million professional social workers in 141 countries worldwide.

Beyond the medical and scientific challenges posed by Covid-19, and with levels of domestic violence spiking under lockdowns, social workers are also saving lives.

He discusses how social workers are having to adapt to working in the pandemic, and how things might change for the profession in the future as a result of what’s happening now.


09:25 Chris Smith: Covid symptoms, immunity and the latest treatments

Dr Chris Smith returns to answer more questions about the emerging science around the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A consultant clinical virologist at Cambridge University, and one of BBC Radio 5 Live's Naked Scientists, he's working at a lab in England that's testing for the virus and has become something of a regular on the show of late.

This week, what is our growing understanding about Covid-19 telling us about the range of symptoms people present with?

We also discuss what the latest research is saying about the efficacy of potential treatments, including the anti-viral Remdesivir and the anti-malarial drug, hydroxychloroquine.

And several listeners have emailed asking about our impending Southern Hemisphere flu season, and whether it's still a good idea to get a flu shot [spoiler alert: yes it is].

Medical staff shows on February 26, 2020 at the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute in Marseille, a packet of Plaqueril, tablets containing hydroxychloroquine, drug that has shown signs of effectiveness against coronavirus.

Photo: AFP


10:05 Deborah Feldman: inspiring Unorthodox

The German-American writer Deborah Feldman’s 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots tells the story of her escape from an ultra-religious Hasidic community in Brooklyn, New York.

It's the inspiration for Unorthodox, a new drama series that’s become one of its Netflix's most popular shows so far this year.

Author Deborah Feldman

Author Deborah Feldman Photo: Alexa Vachon


11:05 Climate scientist Andrea Dutton  

Climate scientist Professor Andrea Dutton has already been tipped by Rolling Stone as being a name to watch in her chosen field.

She forged her reputation at The University of Florida, in a state with a ringside seat to future sea level rise.

Now a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she’s over in New Zealand on a Fulbright and is marooned here for the foreseeable future (until July at least when she may or may not be able to fly home).

We'll talk about the pandemic and how she thinks it will affect the big issues of sea level rise and climate change she's involved with.

So is this whole experience going to give fresh impetus to scientific research and activism? Will it change our behaviour and the way we work, travel and consume? Or will it all be back to business as usual as soon as lockdowns are lifted?

Moorhouse Avenue, Christchurch on the morning of 26 March, on the first day of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Photo: RNZ / Nate McKinnon


11:45 Graham Swift: Booker prize winner's latest novel

After Last Orders and Waterland, the Booker prize winning novelist Graham Swift is back with a new eleventh novel.

We talk to him about Here We Are, a tangled love triangle set in post war Brighton.

Here We Are cover image

Here We Are cover image Photo: Supplied


Books discussed

How to Argue with a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality
By Adam Rutherford
ISBN-13     9781474611244
Orion Publishing

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots
By Deborah Feldman
ISBN-13     9781982148201
Simon and Schuster

Music played in this show

Song: Here Comes The Sun
Artist: The Beatles
Played at 8:30

Song: Zombie
Artist: Fela Kuti
Played at 9:25

Song: I Want You To Love Me
Artist:Fiona Apple
Played at 10:55

Song: Move Along
Artist: LOU'ANA (aka Louana Whitney Pereira)
Played at 11:40