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Episode 4: Lessons Learned


When the novel coronavirus made its way to the United States, it landed here, in the Pacific Northwest. Transmission is a podcast about life at the heart of an epidemic. 

Today's episode: Lessons Learned. 

We consider what the past has to teach us about our present moment, starting with a woman who has nearly a century of perspective. She also happens to be on the front lines right now. 

Then we hear what happened the last time a major pandemic shut down much of the world, including Seattle: Leonard Garfield of the Museum of History and Industry gives us a refresher on the 1918 flu outbreak. 

And finally, some lessons from recent history, via Dr. Sachita Shah. She's an emergency medicine physician at Harborview Medical Center, and has experience working in disaster zones like post-earthquake Haiti. She shares what those experiences have to say about the challenge of caring for large numbers of very sick people during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We want to hear from you. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your life? Let us know by recording yourself on a voice memo app on your phone, and emailing it to us at 

And please consider giving Transmission a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. 

Listen on AppleSpotifyGoogleStitcherand NPR One.

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Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.