Mara Aspinall on COVID

Winter is here.  In America, we're just back from the Thanksgiving holiday when many of us travel and get together.  And so far there is no great COVID surge this year. 

Or is there?

Today's guest says there likely is, and we don't know it because of the most significant shift in our pandemic response: at-home testing.  

We're pleased to welcome Mara Aspinall to the program today to update us on the state of COVID.  It's been over a year since we covered the topic, and we're curious about what's going on out there and overall what has been the impact of the pandemic on the diagnostics and genomics fields.  Mara is the co-author of Sensitive and Specific, The Testing Newsletter.   She co-founded the Biomedical Diagnostics program at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions and has been CEO of some major diagnostics companies in our space, including Genzyme and Ventana.  She currently advises the Rockefeller Foundation on COVID.

It's coming up on three years since the first Wuhan variant came to our shores in early 2020, and with that hindsight we can now make some interesting observations.  For example, how does it compare to the flu overall?  Mara says early comparisons were way off the mark, but today, the death rate is similar.  Why has the Omicron variant stuck around so long?  And how are we set for the next pandemic?  It's all in here as we catch up on the "state of COVID."