Club EvMed: The COVID-19 Pandemic and Human Nature: An Interdisciplinary Conversation - Shared screen with speaker view
Charles Nunn
Here is the link to the paper: https://www.pnas.org/content/117/45/27767
Joseph Graves Jr
So while the paper makes so interesting points worthy of investigation, I was mortified by the complete absence of any discussion of structural racism and how COVID would exacerbate the already existing health disparities. That this is a legitimate topic for evolutionary medicine is well established. I was also quite disturbed by the absence of any persons on the author line who were not persons of European descent.
Joseph Graves Jr
What about all the people who had no choice about losing their jobs??
Joseph Graves Jr
Universal affordable child care should be a priori and would help them differentially.
Kayla Kauffman
Along the lines of Joe's questions, I was wondering if the authors could reflect on the paper and insights they would update if published today
Richard Katz
Rindepest to measles and canine distemper--we have been adopting companion animals like its going outa style--can this pose an additional route of transmission particularly given coronaviorus transmission
Allan Kugel
Along the lines of Joe's comments, I've heard that the worse group outcomes have been for "poor people in rich countries".
Nikki Bennett
Can you comment on your thoughts as it relates to ontological effects that be experienced from maternal stress, acute stress for children, etc that you may think will be worth monitoring as it relates to trade-offs between energy going to growth/repair, acute stress response, immune response (especially for those who get sick during critical development windows). Or do you think it will be too difficult to control for confounding factors to make these types of associations?
Charles Nunn
Here is the Bernard Crespi paper that Molly mentioned: https://academic.oup.com/emph/article/2020/1/314/5923290?searchresult=1
Ed LeGrand
Rabies is likely the most extreme example of viral manipulation of behavior.
Joe Alcock
Good point Ed
Terence Taylor
Looking back over the history of pandemics the valid issues raised and analyzed in the paper seems to be fundamentally different to the impact on human behavior to that exhibited in the earlier such events when infectious was the predominant cause of mortality. A great of punk; c reaction to countermeasures that disrupt ‘normal” social life. Fear of the virus itself seems to play a lesser tole. Comments?
Joe Alcock
Those are interesting points Terence
Jay Labov
No question, just some additional information for participants: Following on the discussion about gender differences and COVID, an interesting article appeared in The Scientist in March, 2021 that focuses on differences between men and women in their responses to COVID as well gender differences in the incidence of autoimmune issues (https://www.the-scientist.com/features/sex-differences-in-immune-responses-to-viral-infection-68466), There's a lot in this article, but bottom line of the article is the following quote contained therein "The picture that’s emerging is one of a suite of biological mechanisms that provide females with stronger immune responses to viruses at the cost of a higher risk of autoimmune conditions, often later in life." Again, a topic ripe for evolutionary medicine given the proposed tradeoffs.
Joe Alcock
Thanks for that, Jay
Anishka Bandara
Are there any notable instances or examples of viruses affecting the link between gut microbiota and neurodevelopment in other animal species?
Bohdan Oryshkevich MD MPH
Can I ask a question about testing and medical schools?
Paulo Nadanovsky
Risk of dying of covid-19 is twice in men compared to women; is all (or most) of this increase in risk mediated by risky behaviour?
Max Beilby
Evolutionary biologist Carl Bergstrom posted a thread on Twitter critiquing your PNAS paper (on the 23rd November 2020). Have each of you responded to Carl’s criticisms, and if so, how did you reply?
David Filice
Should health experts be doing a better job communicating the importance of understanding the pandemic from an eco-evolutionary perspective to the public? If so, what major perspectives should be brought into the public narrative?
Ronald Willis
Vaccine uptake pace is declining quite rapidly in the US. What insights from evolution are there on the causes and solutions to such “hesitancy” or is it more to do with access?
Mandy Azar
I also think another more supple element we have to be mindful of is this newer social vehicle that is the internet and its power to spread facts and falsehoods faster than ever and how that will effect behavior and spread of the disease, for example, vaccine hesitancy, unproven or proven treatments and mass gatherings. All would have an impact on how the virus is transmitted.
Would anyone care to comment from the evolutionary perspective on the policy of mass vaccination during a pandemic (I.e., selection pressure, mutation, etc)? Thanks!
Bohdan Oryshkevich MD MPH
I would like to ask a question about testing!
Mark Nichter
Could the panel comment on the collateral -ecological effect of hyper hygiene-sanitation associated with Covid-19 mitigation on the human microbiome —behavior that needs to be considered from both a harm reduction and symbolic lenses
Summer Mengelkoch
As viral richness increases in our world, how can we apply these insights to prepare for the future threat of viral threats? Both from a public health standpoint and a psychological point of view. What should we be doing as scientists? As humans?
Joseph Graves Jr
Yet this paper didn’t talk about structural racism/inequality and its impact on the COVID pandemic?
Courtney Lartigue
Marie Yeh
Duke significantly contributed to controlling down the cases because students affect their family members!
Marie Yeh
It is all about trade-offs….
Meredith Spence Beaulieu, PhD (she/her/hers)
Here is the microbiome paper Barb was referring to earlier: https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.4030
Molly Fox
I think I’m missing the relevance of race and ethnic disparities in COVID risk to *evolutionary theory*. Could someone please fill in the gaps? Of course I appreciate the importance for public health and social justice.
Paula Ivey Heny
1. Communicate basic biology: zoonotics is one, but fundamentally, people do not understand that infectious viruses thrive on pools of people not practicing or unable to practice preventive measures.
Well if those from marginalized communities are more affected by COVID shouldnt that be taken into account
Allan Kugel
Universities are an ideal place for the virus to spread -- people from all over meet people from all over, and often go back to their home communities all over. Treating the cross-tramsmission points is a good thing. (Remote attendence at colleges and universities reduced transmission for everybody)
Bohdan Oryshkevich MD MPH
Marie Yeh
Are there certain comorbidities that are actually protective of serious illnesses such as covid-19 virus related severe forms of illnesses?
Marc Iravani
The reduction of close physical contact due to the pandemic has changed the selective pressure on the transmission of other transmittable pathogens i.e. influenza virus, drastically reduced. Can the panel comment on the potential implications of this change and possible contribution to the evolution of more transmittable variant of these other pathogens?
Paula Ivey Heny
2. The greatest pools of vulnerability are clear - they are the highlighted by every health disparity - health justice requires taking on racism and poverty and disinformation directly. This has not ever been a priority of medicine or science.
Joseph Graves Jr
My reference to “just-so” was not so much directed to the microbial evolution aspect, but rather the human behavior resulting from supposed adaptation. Tests of adaptation can be proposed, but must are rigorous.
Joe Alcock
Absolutely. I agree 100% Joe
Bohdan Oryshkevich MD MPH
The MIT Broad Institute is running at well under 0.5% for its served colleges!
Max Beilby
A small but growing group of scientists are questioning whether SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonotic virus that evolved naturally... What are your thoughts on the ‘lab leak hypothesis’?
Meredith Spence Beaulieu, PhD (she/her/hers)
For those not looking at the paper currently, Insight 3 is “Activating disgust can help combat disease spread” and Insight 6 is “An increase in empathy and compassion is not guaranteed.”
Joseph Graves Jr
My perspective is that SARS-COV-2 is probably a natural event, but certainly the possibility of a lab escape from groups doing “gain of function” experiments is possible. Now and going forward…
Nic Thompson González
All interesting.
Nic Thompson González
Thank you!
Bohdan Oryshkevich MD MPH
The evolution demonstrates it has a wild source!
Mandy Azar
Thank you so much!!
Nikki Bennett
Thank you to the panelist! This was a great talk and I learned a lot from this discussion.
Paulo Nadanovsky
Thank you!
Anishka Bandara
Thank you!
Jean Raffanel
Thank you
Ashwin Prabhughate
It was truly informative. Thank you everyone! Take care
Eric Shattuck
Thanks everyone!
Lindsay Sonnenkalb
Thank you!