Joe Rogan is keeping the podcasts going right now, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that fact. The comedian and renowned podcast host The Joe Rogan Experience has been keeping us entertained and keeping our minds f Coronavirus (more or less) thanks to sit-down conversations with his pool BFFs– that is to say, fellow comedians like Tom Segura, Bert Kreisher, Bryan Callen and Joey Diaz. However today he’s bringing us a Coronavirus-focused episode, with guest Dr. Peter Hotez. Dr. Hotez is the Dean the National School Tropical Medicine and Pressor Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College Medicine.
The episode is recorded Skype, with Dr. Hotez sharing current facts on COVID-19 and trying to clear the air when it comes to Coronavirus misconceptions and misleading information out there. He also reinforces some the facts we probably all know by now, including the fact that this virus and disease is “highly transmissible.”
The one thing Dr. Hotez wanted to ensure everyone is aware , which has been debunked more and more each day, is the fact that young adults are susceptible, even though children are not as much. “There’s a rough correlation with age, so younger people seem to do better, and kids seem to do really well.” He continued, “A third the very sick people in the hospital are under the age 44, between 20 and 44, are getting very sick.”
As far as any information surrounding Ibupren being good or bad for COVID-19, Dr. Hotez debunks that: “There’s been a lot buzz on the internet about Ibupren, and the World Health Organization came out with a statement that those are rumors.”
Dr. Hotez also explained how come smoking makes you worse-f for this particular virus, while the effects vaping are unknown but speculated. “Smoking actually up-regulates the receptor in the lungs that the virus binds to,” Dr. Hotez explained, “So it seems to make more copies the receptor for the virus to bind to, so that may worse the disease, so I think you’re right, I think smoking is a factor. The one question we don’t know is what does vaping do? Is vaping also doing that? Could that be linked someone to all the young adults that we’re seeing in the United States who are getting hospitalized. They actually don’t have higher mortality, but they’re getting very sick, and their lives are getting saved because they’re getting put on the vent.” The fact is, though, that there are not enough ventilators for everyone who is suffering, and if that is the only way these young people are able to survive– well, that is a disturbing reality to think about.
“Without a vaccine, or other technologies, we have to go back to the 14th century– that’s when quarantine was invented. It was when ships would come into the harbour on Croatia, coming from Asia Minor, and they were fearful they were bringing the plague and they kept the ships for 40 days– that’s where the word quarantine came from. And that’s all we’ve got right now,” Dr. Hotez continued. “We know social distancing is our only hope– real, serious social distancing, not going to restaurants and things.” He goes on to explain how the longer you allow the virus to circulate without intervention, the worse things get. He also stated that we will see the case numbers continue to increase in places like Los Angeles and Texas– they won’t hit their peak in cases until May– with numbers only going down around June. Yeesh.
Even so, there is a lot uncertainty surrounding the situation since we don’t actually know where the virus is headed and we’ve never dealt with it before– “hopefully by the summer, this is not going to be a huge problem,” Dr. Hotez told Rogan, “But even if it goes down in the summer, will it come back in the fall?” He goes on to explain why this might be.
“84,000 Americans will die in that peak season going from April, May June,” Dr. Peter Hotez told Rogan, sharing numbers estimated by the Institute for Health, as opposed to the White House numbers, which had been estimated around 100,000-200,000 people dying from COVID-19.
Catch the hour-long episode in full below.