Yesterday, we left Ann Arbor. First, we bade goodbye to Bubs and Harry. Then we met Jane for breakfast at Mark’s Midtown Coney Island, near I-94. Across the parking lot was a liquor store that I took to calling Superior Liquor I-V, as if it sold intravenous booze. Jane offered to drive Dave to the airport, more goodbyes and then we were three. I did most of the driving, as is my wont. Anne spelled me and Dan supplied the audio, first some music, but soon he switched to podcasts.
This Podcast Will Kill You was featured most in rotation. Two women, both named Erin host this show. Each episode features one disease that could kill you. We listened to the ones on diphtheria and HIV/AIDS, some of the old, some of the new in epidemiology. The host bring a lightness to an otherwise dark subject, but there is a certain morbid curiosity that drives you to listen.
Diphtheria has been around forever, has an effective vaccine and even if contracted can be treated. Untreated, it has a 50% mortality rate and primarily affects children. This topic opened the door to what I suspect is one of their favorite crusades, vaccination. The latest diphtheria contraction rates do appear to be on the rise.
The HIV/AIDS episode offered even more opportunity for them to vent their political beliefs. I’ve lived through this modern epidemic, but still learned a lot from listening. Most of this show was centered upon the earlier stages of the epidemic. Both shows were educational and helped to pass both the time and miles, as we bounced along, past stubbled Midwest corn fields.