One-Hit Wonder Weekend

This weekend, it’s the One-Hit Wonder Weekend on WTTS. We’ll feature bands and artists who never really had another taste of fame and fortune beyond that ONE memorable song.  WTTS salutes their 15 minutes of fame, their moment of glory, with the One-Hit Wonder Weekend. Listen online at wttsfm.com, on the WTTS mobile app, via your smart speaker and at 92.3 fm. We get underway this Saturday at 6am!

Coronavirus Update – CDC: 5 Things You Should Know About COVID-19

The most recent updates from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other sources.

1. While COVID-19 has been compared to the flu, there are differences

From a media briefing on March 3, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined important differences between the two viruses. “First, COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza, from the data we have so far,” he says. “With influenza, people who are infected but not yet sick are major drivers of transmission, which does not appear to be the case for COVID-19.”  

The second major difference is that COVID-19 causes more severe disease than seasonal influenza, he says. “While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity. That means more people are susceptible to infection, and some will suffer severe disease.”  

Third, we have vaccines and therapeutics for seasonal flu, but at the moment there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for COVID-19, he says. “And fourth, we don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu – it’s just not possible. But it is possible for COVID-19.”

While China is reporting a decrease in new cases, possibly as a result of containment measures, the potential public health threat from the new coronavirus is very high, both globally and in the U.S., according to the CDC. The number of people infected in the U.S. has been increasing. Connecticut has monitored at least 200 people for the virus, and officials note that they have no way to track people who are under voluntary self-quarantine. A growing number are under quarantine in New York City. 

Meanwhile, doctors in the U.S. are keeping a close eye on the new virus. “With the new virus in a culture dish, they are looking at the biology and working to make drugs to treat it,” says Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist Joseph Vinetz, MD. There is also a great deal of effort underway to assess drugs in development (and some medications currently available) to determine if they are beneficial for treating patients infected with COVID-19, adds Dr. Martinello.

2. The disease is thought to be most contagious when people are most symptomatic

While there has been sustained person-to-person spread in China, according to the CDC, the exact mechanism for transmission is still unclear. “There is still much to learn about how this pathogen is transmitted between individuals,” Dr. Martinello says. “Data is needed not only to better understand when those who become ill shed the virus, but also which body fluids contain the virus and how those may contaminate surfaces and even the air surrounding them.”

The disease is believed to be most contagious when people are the most symptomatic, and there may be some spread before people with the virus exhibit symptoms, although this is thought to be minimal. Symptoms can appear anywhere between 2 to 14 days after exposure. 

Doctors say the most important route of transmission is likely close contact (six feet or less) with sick patients who spread respiratory droplets when they cough or sneeze. The risk of spread from asymptomatic people, and from touching surfaces and objects contaminated with virus is much lower than droplets spread from sick patients.

Older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be at highest risk for the virus, but people at any age have also been infected.

3. If you feel ill, here’s what you can do

The severity of COVID-19 infection ranges from mild to severe, but the majority of cases in China have not required hospitalization. Common symptoms have included: 

  • Fever (of >100.4 F)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat in some people
  • Difficulty breathing that can be severe enough to cause people to seek hospital care

Officials are urging patients to stay home and contact a health care provider (or hospital emergency room) for guidance if they experience fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and if they have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient and/or traveled from a hard-hit area within 14 days of the onset of illness.

4. There are things you can do to protect yourself

As with a cold, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus—and a flu vaccine won’t protect people from developing it. While researchers are working on a vaccine for the new virus, it could take as long as 12 to 18 months to develop one, according to Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.  

To protect yourself from the new coronavirus, Dr. Vinetz says, “The best thing you can do at this point is take care of yourself the way you would to prevent yourself from getting the flu. You know you can get the flu when people sneeze and cough on you, or when you touch a doorknob. Washing hands—especially after eating, going to the bathroom, and touching your face—and avoiding other people who have flu-like symptoms are the best strategies at this point.”

The CDC also recommends the following preventive actions:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Avoid touching nose, eyes, and mouth. Use a tissue to cover a couch or sneeze, then dispose of it in the trash
  • Use a household wipe or spray to disinfect doorknobs, light switches, desks, keyboards, sinks, and other objects and surfaces that are frequently touched

As for masks, there is little evidence supporting their widespread use for people who are not sick. “We generally do not recommend the use of masks for the general public,” says Dr. Martinello. “Masks may provide a modest degree of protection against fluids, including spray from a cough or sneeze, and they provide some filtration of the air. But, since the masks do not provide a tight seal around the wearer’s nose and mouth, much of the air inhaled and exhaled remains unfiltered.”

However, the CDC does recommend face masks for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, as well as for health care workers and others who may be caring for them.

5. Precautions remain extremely important

The CDC is now working on multiple fronts to operationalize its pandemic preparedness and response plans, which include specific measures to prepare communities to respond to any local transmission of the new virus. In addition to large numbers of people needing medical care, widespread transmission could mean that people will need to stay away from schools, workplaces, and other places where people gather. Some schools, businesses, churches, and other organizations—especially in parts in the U.S. that are experiencing local transmission of the virus—are taking precautions that have included canceling events and other activities, restricting travel, and encouraging employees to work remotely.

Second, extreme caution is warranted because so much remains unknown about this new virus. New diseases aren’t discovered often and some (such as Ebola) are deadly. For now, spreading awareness and keeping people updated as scientists learn more, screening people who might be at risk, and separating those who are infected from healthy people—a basic public health intervention—are the best tools available. So, if you visit a health care provider or facility, it may be helpful to know that the COVID-19 signs you see and questions you may be asked about your recent travels and exposures are important.

Since threats like COVID-19 can lead to the circulation of misinformation, it’s important to trust information only from reputable health organizations and government sources such as the CDC.

Guidelines will evolve as doctors learn more

Here’s the latest information everyone should have to minimize the risk of exposure to the new virus. “Whether it is the flu, which we see every winter, or an outbreak of an emerging infectious disease, the public health infrastructure in the U.S. is a critical resource for leading the federal, state, and local response,” Dr. Martinello says. Because knowledge about the new virus is evolving rapidly, you can expect recommendations to change, even frequently.

If you are planning to travel, you will want to check the CDC’s travel advisories concerning several countries that have had confirmed cases of COVID-19. The CDC’s latest recommendations include avoiding nonessential travel to China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Travelers to Japan should practice enhanced precautions, which means older adults and people with chronic medical conditions should think about postponing travel to the country. Those going to Hong Kong should take the usual recommended precautions, including practicing proper hand washing and avoiding contact with sick people.

If you have traveled to an affected country in the past 14 days or have been exposed to another person with COVID-19, health officials will give you instructions on limiting your activities and movement for up to 14 days in order to help keep the virus from spreading. You should call a health care professional who will work with the CDC or state public health department to determine whether to test for the virus. 

Healthcare providers who may be in the position of caring for a patient with the virus should follow infection control protocols. In early March, federal health officials announced new criteria that allows doctors to test any patient for COVID-19 if they are experiencing a cough, fever, or shortness of breath. (It’s unclear whether there will be enough tests for everyone that wants one, however, as the nation’s testing capacity is limited at this point.) The CDC is also encouraging doctors who want to test to first rule out other respiratory illnesses, including the flu, and to continue to consider the patient’s travel history and possible exposure to other people who may have had the disease.

Infection prevention specialists at Yale New Haven Health (YNHH) have provided guidance for the screening of patients with acute respiratory infections to determine whether they have been to China or other hard-hit locations across the globe in the few weeks before they got sick, or if they’ve been exposed to anyone who may have been ill with COVID-19. YNHH is taking a cautionary approach by putting masks on patients who may be at risk and placing them in a private room to ensure the safety or all patients and staff.

Meanwhile, public health authorities strongly advise everyone to get their annual flu shot if they have not done so already. In addition to preventing or mitigating the severity of flu, the vaccine will simplify the evaluation of patients with flu-like symptoms if potential cases of COVID-19 surface in the community.   

[Originally published: January 23, 2020. Updated: March 6, 2020.] 

Laura Duncan Speaks With Ric Ocasek

In 2011 Laura spoke with Ric Ocasek of The Cars. Ric shares his thoughts on everything from hearing The Cars on the radio for the first time to the success of Heartbeat City through MTV and the loss of Benjamin Orr.

Laura Duncan Talks With Keith Richards

Keith Richards

Laura Duncan had the opportunity to speak with legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.  Listen to their conversation as they discuss The Rolling Stones recent Zip Code Tour (which featured a stop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), how Crosseyed Heart was made and why it took so long to be released and the new documentary on Netflix, Keith Richards: Under The Influence.  Laura also talks with Keith about the energy it takes to go on tour with The Rolling Stones and the joys of being a grandfather.

Toto, We’re not in Indiana anymore…

Friday, Day 2 of Bonnaroo.

When radio people emerge from their slumber, it is like a scene from a zombie movie.  One by one, they slowly come from the buses to the radio lounge area.  This is a tent with couches, music, fans and a bar where we rally in between shows. After roughly 4 hours of sleep, the day began with a quick sip of some sludge coffee that I made (couldn’t find the filters or measuring device) and a mental planning of the day’s activities. As I stretched out in a chair and contemplated my concert selections of the day, I was approached by a man associated with Michael Kiwanuka. He told me that Michael would be playing “backstage Bonnaroo” and wanted to know if I was interested in attending the session. The backstage facility is a trailer with hay bails stacked around it for sound proofing purposes (the same area where I watched The Black Keys 2 years earlier). There is a wonderful set up inside but very small, only equipped to contain 4 or 5 onlookers. Since Michael Kiwanuka is one of my favorite emerging artists, I was thrilled to receive the invite and headed over to the area for entrance. The performance was absolutely beautiful and uplifting.  What a great way to start the day.

Radiohead as seen from the soundboard

As the day continued, I had the opportunity to see Two Door Cinema Club, Trampled By Turtles, Feist, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings. My daytime attendance was cut short by the live broadcast of my afternoon show on 92-3 WTTS. After the broadcast, all thoughts turned to the headliner of the night, Radiohead. Whispers begin while trying to figure out the secret passage to the best seat in the house. I was approached by a man in charge of the media area of Bonnaroo.  He whispered that I should gather in a secret location in 15 minutes and he would usher me to the “pit” to watch Radiohead perform. I was instructed not to tell anyone and to be ready to roll quickly. Feeling at ease that I was about to enjoy a wonderful show from a coveted vantage point, I grabbed some water and readied myself for the mad dash. At that point, I was approached by a man associated with Radiohead management who slipped a special wristband in my hand and whispered the gathering location. He told me that he only had a handful of wrist bands and would usher me to the soundboard to watch Radiohead perform.  Dilemma, do I stand in the pit in the front or head to the soundboard where any great Radiohead fan would want to take in the light display and enjoy the ultimate sonic experience? I chose the latter and began the trek, with 6 others, to the soundboard.  I would guess, there were 50-60,ooo people in attendance for the show. We were ushered from stage left, past the front row of the pit and walked the platform down the middle of the crowd to the soundboard. When we arrived on the soundboard platform, it was apparent that I had made the right choice. I watched the show with about 25 people who had been selected to enjoy the concert from the special perch which included an unlimited supply of beer (when I saw that, I KNEW I made the right choice). We were ushered out of the show the same way we were ushered in which took about 5 minutes. It is an amazing experience to attend a music festival with 80,000 music fans who all appreciate every second of the diversity. It is a fantasy to attend these shows the way I just described and I don’t take one second for granted.

Well, it’s off to plan my day and try to figure out how to get the next great “seat” for Red Hot Chili Peppers tonight. I’ll take you with me wherever I go. Let’s talk at 4 this afternoon. Oh, have I told you lately how much I love my job?

Laura Duncan