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How to Survive a Pandemic: Michael Greger, MD

By July 13, 2020December 10th, 2022No Comments
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Episode #532



A powerful primer on all matters pandemic pertinent, today Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM returns for his fourth appearance on the podcast to answer all your coronavirus queries and more.

A graduate of Cornell University and Tufts University School of Medicine as well as a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is the nutrition science wizard behind — the world’s most authoritative, non-profit, science-based public service destination for all things nutrition, health and disease prevention.

His massively popular books, including How Not to Die, How Not To Diet, and their cookbook analogues, all became instant New York TimesBest Sellers and crowned Dr. Greger a media darling, his excitable face popping up everywhere from The Dr. Oz Show to The Colbert Report.

Less well known is the fact that, prior to his focus on nutrition, Dr. Greger had an entire career as an internationally-recognized expert on public health. A specialist in emerging infectious diseases, he’s been sounding the pandemic alarm for over a decade.

You cannot get the virus if the virus cannot get you. And how do we get the virus? From other people, so reduce the contacts outside of your household as much as possible.

Michael GregerMD

Back then, nobody was listening. Now they are. To wit, Dr. Greger’s latest release, How To Survive A Pandemic, now available in audiobook and kindle with a paperback version hitting the shelves August 18, forms the basis of today’s conversation.

Today’s exchange is hyper focused on the public and political health disaster that is the novel coronavirus. The even more deadly impending H7N9 bird flu. And the common thread between these and other zoonotic diseases: humanity’s broken relationship with animals.

I seize the opportunity to ask Dr. Greger his expert opinion on all my (and perhaps your) lingering questions about what exactly is happening:

  • What is the difference between COVID-19 and a typical flu?
  • How exactly is it being transmitted?
  • Why do some fall gravely ill while others experience only mild symptoms?
  • What is herd immunity and what is it going to take to get there?
  • How do we make sure our immune response is intact and healthy?
  • What is the effectiveness of Vitamin D and Zinc supplementation?
  • Why are there so many tests, which one should I take and when should I consider getting tested?
  • Should I be disinfecting everything (like my groceries)?
  • How dangerous are airplanes?
  • How important is hand washing?
  • What exactly is the utility of masks and does it matter what kind of mask I wear? and
  • What are the most effective things we should focus on for prevention?

And perhaps the most fundamental question of all, how can we stop the emergence of pandemics in the first place?

If you’re ever going to start exercising, get your sleep schedule right, reduce stress or start eating healthy–now is the time to do it.


The answer begins with the dismantling of our industrialized factory farming infrastructure.

Not only are America’s factory farms vile for the animals and the workers that slaughter them, but they are essentially breeding grounds for future pandemics. This is a call for the eradication of these systems–a moral imperative if we want to preserve not only our environment but the long-term viability of our species.

This is an important, alarming, and downright terrifying moment of truth. So pay attention.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. If you’re new to the show and interested in exploring Dr. Greger’s work in nutrition, jump back to RRP #7, #199, and #522.

Final Note: If you’re enjoying my bi-weekly ‘ask me anything’ themed-episodes and have a question you’d like answered on air you can drop it on our Facebook Group page or leave us a voicemail. Our brand-spanking new ‘Roll On’ phone line is live at 424-235-4626. Hit us up!

It’s scary out there folks, but Dr. G, ever the enthusiastic optimist, remains hopeful. That gives me hope. And hopefully gives you a little. hope too.

In the meantime, be kind.

Peace + Plants,

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; and theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.