Omicron Is (Still) Confusing. Two Experts Help Untangle the Covid Chaos.

Produced by ‘Sway’

With canceled plans, restaurants shuttering and talk of school shutdowns, the experience of the Covid pandemic can sometimes feel like two steps forward, one step back. And it’s not helped by changing (and sometimes confusing) guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the lack of key resources like at-home rapid tests, and the misinformation that abounds from Dr. Google.

So in this conversation, Kara Swisher turns to two experts to answer our burning questions about the latest wave: Dr. Ashish Jha is a physician and the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, and Emily Oster is an economist at Brown who has been collecting data on how schools respond to the pandemic.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Jha and Oster answer Kara’s questions on everything from medical misinformation and the Biden administration’s pandemic responses to the costs of rapid testing. They speak in detail about schools and the effects the pandemic has had on the mental health of parents and children. And they discuss what’s needed for the country to prepare for the next variant, whenever it arrives.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…Rachel Hulin

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected].

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe, Wyatt Orme and Kristin Lin and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Andrea López Cruzado; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski.

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