Understand the unfolding coronavirus pandemic with these Vox podcast episodes

The coronavirus outbreak that causes the Covid-19 illness continues to spread as a health threat across the globe. As new coronavirus cases are discovered, questions keep popping up about how to prepare for an outbreak, how to travel, and the difference between quarantine, isolation, and social distancing — to name a few.

That’s where Vox podcasts come in. From what it’s like to be quarantined with coronavirus to how prepared the US is set up to respond to this outbreak to how AI warned about coronavirus before the CDC, the following Today, Explained, The Weeds, Worldy, Reset, Recode Decode, and Recode Media episodes will help you understand the situation as it unfolds.


Is Amazon primed for coronavirus?

March 24, 2020 | How the tech giant is responding to the pandemic, and what it says about Amazon as a company.

Fighting coronavirus with corporate conscription

March 24, 2020 | Jane, Dara, and Matt on the Defense Production Act, wartime mobilization, and pandemic-induced autarky.

Giving birth in a pandemic

March 23, 2020 | Vox’s Julia Belluz went from covering the global coronavirus pandemic to giving birth in the middle of it. (Transcript here.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

An economic crisis like we’ve never seen

March 23, 2020 | “What is happening,” writes Annie Lowrey, “is a shock to the American economy more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced.”

It’s also different from what anyone alive has ever experienced. For many of us, the Great Recession is the closest analogue — but it’s not analogous at all. There, the economy’s potential was unchanged, but financial markets were in crisis. Here, we are purposefully freezing economic activity in order to slow a public health crisis. Early data suggests the economic crisis is going to far exceed any single week or quarter of the financial crisis. Multiple economists have told Ezra Klein that the nearest analogy to what we’re going through is the economy during World War II.

“I have a secret advantage when trying to understand moments of economic upheaval. I’m married to Annie Lowrey,” writes Ezra Klein. “I can give you the bio — staff writer at the Atlantic, author of Give People Money (which is proving particularly prophetic and influential right now) — but suffice to say she’s one of the clearest and most brilliant economic thinkers I know. Her viral piece on the affordability crisis is crucial for understanding what the economy really looked like before Covid-19, and she’s been doing some of the best work on the way Covid-19 will worsen the economic problems we had and create a slew of new ones. But this isn’t just a conversation about crisis. It’s also a conversation about how to respond. I wouldn’t call it hopeful — we’re not there yet. But constructive.”

The biggest experiment in online learning, ever

March 22, 2020 | COVID-19 has shut schools all over the country, and millions of American students are now learning at home, online. Are online tools enough to make up for lost classroom time?

Your coronavirus questions, answered

March 20, 2020 | On today’s show, we answer listener’s questions: Why is there no TP? Will we run out of food? Can I get the virus from sex? Should I finally write my will? How can I help?

How quickly can we treat covid-19?

March 19, 2020 | The scientific community is moving at unprecedented speed to develop a way to treat COVID-19. But how soon can a treatment or a vaccine be available to the public?

Six feet away

March 19, 2020 | Vox’s Brian Resnick (safely) meets Sean in a Washington, D.C. park to deliver the Five Commandments of social distancing.

“The virus is more patient than people are”

March 19, 2020 | Ron Klain served as the chief of staff to vice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden. In 2014, President Barack Obama tapped him to lead the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. He successfully oversaw a hellishly complex effort preparing domestically for an outbreak and surging health resources onto another continent to contain the disease.

But Klain is quick to say that the coronavirus is a harder challenge even than Ebola. The economy is in free fall. Entire cities have been told to shelter in place. And there’s no telling how long any of this will last. In this conversation, Klain answers Ezra Klein’s questions about the disease and how to respond to it, as well as questions many of you submitted.

TFW your dad gives you Covid-19

March 18, 2020 | Sean speaks to a Brooklyn family that has Covid-19, and Vox’s Dylan Scott explains how the United States is still trying to get its act together on testing.

Rescuing the economy from coronavirus

March 17, 2020 | Jane, Dara, and Matt discuss President Trump’s new more serious tone and competing economic stimulus proposals.

Can President Trump fix this?

March 17, 2020 | After dismissing coronavirus concerns for months, President Donald is pivoting to serious action to slow the crisis in the United States.

School’s out for Covid

March 16, 2020 | The country’s largest school district told a million kids to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s creating chaos for teachers, students, and parents.

Maggie Haberman: How coronavirus changes everything for President Trump

March 16, 2020 | Maggie Haberman, the White House correspondent for the New York Times, talks with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how the rest of the country has bypassed Trump’s failure to lead on the coronavirus outbreak; his exposure to COVID-19 at Mar-a-Lago and refusal to self-quarantine; and the toxic cocktail of practices in his administration: Infighting, tiptoeing, and sucking up.

She also discusses CDC director Anthony Fauci’s “unimpeachable” credibility vs. President Trump’s trust problem, how Vice President Pence is doing at the helm of the coronavirus task force, and how this period could have a bigger impact on Trump’s re-election chances than previous crises. Plus: Who is actually running things at the White House right now, and can Trump operate his campaign without mass rallies?

Weeds 2020: The coronavirus election

March 14, 2020 | Ezra and Matt on dueling pandemic response plans from Sanders and Biden, and Trump’s disastrous speech.

Living in lockdown

March 14, 2020 | Italy has quarantined the whole country in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus. Vox’s Julia Belluz explains why the US might look like Italy soon.

Ron Klain: The coronavirus outbreak is just getting started in the US

March 13, 2020 | Epidemic co-host Ron Klain, who led the White House’s ebola response under President Obama, talks to Recode’s Kara Swisher about how the COVID-19 outbreak will strain America’s healthcare system; how President Trump downplayed the crisis, rattling public confidence and delaying the country’s response; and the way people who work in the gig economy — including Uber drivers and food delivery workers — will be especially hurt by the situation. He also discusses the logic behind travel bans and limits of their efficacy, why it’s impossible for the US to completely cut itself off from China, and what Trump didn’t say in his Oval Office address, but should have. Klain, an adviser and former chief of staff to Joe Biden, also talks about the ex-vice president’s surprisingly successful presidential campaign and how it’s reckoning with Biden’s history of verbal flubs.

How to slow down coronavirus

March 12, 2020 | President Trump has banned most Europeans from traveling to the US. Vox’s Jen Kirby explains why that won’t stop the novel coronavirus from spreading, and Eliza Barclay tells us what we can do to slow the spread.

Every country for itself

March 12, 2020 | Zack, Jenn, and Alex record an episode on coronavirus from their respective homes, under self-isolation. They talk about the politics of Trump’s ban on European travel to the US and explore why the European Union seems to be neglecting to help Italy in its time of need. They also explain how the virus has led to a massive drop in oil prices — and why, at this particular time, this could seriously destabilize political systems around the world.

Why the coronavirus shut down the NBA, with ESPN’s Brian Windhurst

March 11, 2020 | In a conversation taped hours before the NBA suspended its season, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Recode’s Peter Kafka discuss how the Coronavirus could affect the NBA, and why the league could cancel games — including its playoffs this spring – entirely. Windhorst also discusses the NBA’s TV problems, its dust-up with China last fall, and how LeBron James kickstarted his career.

Coronavirus hits the markets

March 10, 2020 | The stock market’s going haywire. Major companies are telling their employees to stay home. Austin has canceled SXSW. Vox’s Matthew Yglesias says governments across the world have to act fast to save the global economy.

Does stopping coronavirus require more surveillance?

March 10, 2020 | The cost of China’s high-tech response to contain the coronavirus.

So you think you have Covid-19

March 6, 2020 | Thus far, the United States hasn’t been doing the best job of testing for the novel coronavirus. ProPublica’s Caroline Chen explains why.

Behind the Covid-19 cure

March 6, 2020 | The Kaiser Foundation’s Josh Michaud explains what the US is — and should be — doing to fight coronavirus.

The coronavirus rumor mill

March 5, 2020 | Can we stop the spread of coronavirus misinformation on social media?

Covid-19, explained by Carl (who has it)

March 3, 2020 | Carl Goldman was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and now he has Covid-19. He speaks to Sean Rameswaram from a CDC quarantine in Omaha, Nebraska.

Coronavirus 101

March 3, 2020 | Jane Coaston, Dara Lind, and Brian Resnick talk about Covid-19 — how it started, its potential impact, and where we go from here.

The floating petri dish

February 18, 2020 | One coronavirus. Two cruise ships. Lots of mistakes. The Japanese case shows us that quarantining people on a cruise ship to stop the spread of Covid-19 can backfire, while the Cambodia case suggests that letting people disembark and disperse around the world can create a public health nightmare. Find out what these cruise ship emergencies reveal about the largest outbreak.

Could coronavirus collapse Chinese communism?

February 13, 2020 | Zack Beauchamp and Alex Ward talk about the politics of the coronavirus outbreak in China: Why the Chinese government botched the initial response, why Chinese citizens are so angry about it, and the reasons why the problems with this response are inherent to the current Chinese governance model. They then debate the claim from many analysts that this is the most serious crisis for China’s regime since the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising — and the (low) probability that this could trigger another revolution-minded uprising.

How will the coronavirus outbreak end?

February 6, 2020 | In 2015, Dr. Vineet Menachery said a SARS-like virus could spread to humans more easily than previously believed. Now he explains what we can do to stop it.

An AI warned about coronavirus before the CDC

February 4, 2020 | How AI could predict the next big outbreak.


You can check out our guide to news of the coronavirus outbreak here.