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Podcast Pulse: A Playlist for the Pandemic

From informative news shows to escapist comedies, these coronavirus podcasts can get you the news you need and cure your cabin fever.

Before the stay-at-home orders even began, I started listening to coronavirus podcasts. That feels like a strange thing to say, but I wanted to have a daily drip of information. As the pandemic continued and most people started quarantining, more podcasts started to appear. And since podcast mics are now sold-out on Amazon, they’re probably going to continue appearing for a long time.

From informative news shows to escapist comedies, these are the podcasts that are getting me through the pandemic. I think they’ll help you too.

News

The following podcasts are daily news shows about new coronavirus information from respected news sources.

Coronavirus Daily

Coronavirus Daily is NPR’s new podcast reporting on coronavirus, hosted by Kelly McEvers of the NPR show, Embedded. Coronavirus Daily posts updates every weekday, and they’re usually about ten minutes long.

Coronavirus – Fact vs. Fiction

Coronavirus – Fact vs. Fiction is a podcast by CNN, hosted by their chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This show also updates every weekday. I particularly like their focus on busting myths and rumors surrounding coronavirus.

Coronavirus Global Update

Coronavirus Global Update is a podcast by BBC World Service, which reports on coronavirus from affected areas around the world. Unlike the previous two podcasts, Coronavirus Global Update has a far more, well, global perspective. Episodes are usually around five minutes long, and they update almost every single day.

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Information

These podcasts explore different aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of them have been posting for years, and have recently pivoted toward covering coronavirus-related stories.

All Told

All Told is a human-interest podcast by The Washington Post. Starting in April, it began reporting first-hand stories of Americans whose lives are affected by the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve recently interviewed a physician assistant, a minister for the homeless and even a blues musician. Listening to this podcast makes me feel close to other people who are living through these extraordinary times.

Sawbones

Sawbones is a podcast by Justin McElroy and Dr. Sydnee McElroy about medical history, mistakes and malpractice. Since March, almost all of their episodes have been about coronavirus, epidemiology, historical outbreaks and snake-oil “cures.” It’s incredibly helpful and interesting to see the current pandemic in a historical context. The best part of these episodes is easily Dr. Syndee McElroy’s barely-disguised rage.

This Podcast Will Kill You

This Podcast Will Kill You is a show about infectious diseases, hosted by ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke. They first started talking about coronavirus in February, and since then they’ve published 10 more episodes on the subject. They’re exploring every facet of the pandemic, from basic virology to its effect on mental health.

Radiolab

Radiolab is one of the most popular and enduring podcasts out there. They’ve gone from working on their ongoing series, The Other Latif, to reporting on the coronavirus pandemic from their homes. Since late March, they’ve been reporting on the history of handwashing, why people should stay 6 feet apart, dating during the quarantine and more.

Cabin Fever Cures

The following podcasts are here to help get you through quarantine. They’re a welcome reprieve between all the other information you have to absorb throughout the day, and they’ll truly remind you that we’re all in this together.

Staying In with Emily and Kumail

Married couple Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani are staying in – like a lot of us are. Their podcast is all about getting through life “in the weirds,” their term for the current situation. As they get through the weirds together, they field advice from some of their celebrity friends. Tan France talks about quarantine fashion, Ike Barinholtz vents about homeschooling, David Chang gives some tips on cooking at home and more. All proceeds from Staying In go to charities who are helping to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus.

Oh, Hello: The P’dcast

Oh, Hello begins with an announcement by Gil Faizon (Nick Kroll) and George St. Geegland (John Mulaney), stating that due to the state of the world, they need to release their abandoned podcast project as a public service. The podcast doesn’t have anything to do with coronavirus, but as “The Bad Boys of Broadcast,” they feel the need to entertain even in quarantine. Their podcast (which they call “Di Town”) attempts to investigate the death of Princess Diana. They don’t have a personal connection to the case, or know anyone who does, but they are adamant that this is what they have to do. Oh, Hello is a brilliant parody of true crime podcasts, with a blessing by Serial’s Sarah Koenig herself. If anything can distract you from cabin fever, it’s Oh, Hello.

Looking for more podcasts to alleviate your cabin fever? Check out our list of the best film podcasts, the best limited series podcasts and the best history podcasts

Comments
  • Jennifer B.

    I didn’t realize that This Podcast Will Kill You has released additional corona virus episodes. Thanks! I’ll have to give them a listen.

    • Maggie M.

      Hi Jen! Yes it is more focused on the psychological affects of the pandemic. Worth a listen! Thanks for reading! -MM

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