FAQs on the Epidemiology of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with Epidemiologist Dr. Giovanni Filardo (Coronavirus COVID19 series)

“Without data, all you have are opinions” – Dr. Giovanni Filardo, MPH, PhD 

What do statistical models really tell us about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID19)?  

In this episode, on April 9, 2020, I interviewed Dr. Filardo who went over our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the epidemiology of coronavirus (COVID19). He will share with us his latest statistical model and his recommendations on using data and evidence, and not your gut feeling, to make informed decisions. Dr. Giovanni Filardo is a public health expert and epidemiologist who has created statistical models to understand the spread of coronavirus (COVID19). He has over 15 years of work experience in epidemiology, health services research, and comparative effectiveness.  He has received over $35 million from different funding agencies including the NIH and he published over 160 manuscripts and presented at more than 30 conferences. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Health Services Research at Baylor University Waco and Research Associate Professor of Statistics II at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Dr. Giovanni Filardo earned his Master of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University and his PhD in Epidemiology with a concentration in cardiovascular disease from Yale University.   


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

1. Based on the President Trump most recent briefing, the model showed that even with mitigation, we could expect between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. What factors are taken into account for that model? 

2. Did we overestimated the number of deaths?

3. What is happening with the COVID19 in term of testing or the lack of testing?

4. Why was there a delay at the start? Why didn’t the CDC use the test from WHO? Why did CDC want to make their own three tests which turned out only two of three were working?

5. What are countries have done to contain and/or mitigate covid-19?

6. What are the differences in characteristics of covid-19 positives among countries?

7. What is the difference in mortality rates among countries?

8. What are the risk factors associated with mortality?

9.  Are all countries testing for COVID-19 using WHO guidelines?

10. Are all countries assessing mortalities for COVID-19 using WHO guidelines?

11. How many ventilators do we ‘actually” need to care for COVID-19 patients?

12. What will happen after we reach the ‘peak’?

13. How can we use surveillance using serological testing to assess how many people has been infected?

14. What are possible treatment available given the high number of ongoing studies?

15. What is the likelihood that we can develop a vaccine for those people who were not infected? How soon?

16.  Would it be better that we all ‘get infected’ in low doses to develop immunity and thus, herd immunity?

17.  How long do you think we would need to ’stay-at-home”?

If you have public health topics or questions, please connect with me at keechanphd@gmail.com or submit your question on the ‘Contact Us’ page.  Or leave a voice message on the https://anchor.fm/whatispublichealth

Watch the Washington Post Questions/Answers (Q/A) with Dr. Giovanni Filardo on Youtube at https://youtu.be/SzoBV6kVWkA

Follow Dr. Giovanni Filardo on Twitter @GioFila 

Higher Ed Leadership on Coping with the Coronavirus with College President Michael Torrence (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Can Colleges Survive after the Coronavirus Pandemic? 

Providing education is a critical arm in the public health system so society can move forward in the discovery, the development and the application of knowledge for the greater goods. If you are currently listening to the episode, it is late March 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life as a global society. Restaurants, libraries, many businesses, many public gathering, and almost all schools in affected cities have closed nationwide and globally. The closure of schools has tremendous impact on our students, families, and communities. We are still trying to understand the unintended consequences of the current school closure policy on the future of our global societies.

In this episode, Dr. Michael Torrence, the current President of Motlow State Community College in Tennessee,  will share his insights on how Higher Education institutional leaders have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. At his college, using online educational technology is a form of innovative teaching and learning. Here, Dr. Torrence will provide advice for other educational leader  to quickly adapt to the innovative disruption in traditional on-site educational platform and how he supported his faculty, staff and students through this time of uncertainty.

We will cover the following topics:
1. How the role of the College President of the Motlow State Community College in Tennessee has shifted since the coronavirus pandemic?

2. How the administrative staff support students and faculty through this historic moment?

3. Tips for ‘brick-and-mortar’ colleges for teaching an online curriculum. 

4. Challenges, good news and unexpected positive along the way.  

5. What leadership advice can you share with other administrators in education to appease the fears among the staff, faculty and student body Although most higher education institutions provide some type of online education because most college students have laptops and access to internet, but how the coronavirus pandemic will impact K-12 education. 

6. How will the coronavirus pandemic impact college admission for Fall 2020 Leadership advice for leaders leading their organizations through this “new reality”?

7. Words of encouragement to students everywhere


Connect with Dr. Michael Torrence on Linkedin.  

Learn more about Dr. Torrence on his College Website: https://www.mscc.edu/administration.aspx

Learn to more about Motlow State Community College, visit https://www.mscc.edu


If you are interested in public health and would like to be guest on the podcast, connect with Dr. Kee Chan at keechanphd@gmail.com or visit her website at www.keechanphd.com

Should I Stay or Go Now Without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Would we send our troops into war without guns, shields and protective gears? No. Then, why is it “okay” to send our healthcare workers into the battlefield against the coronavirus without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves? 

This episode is a honest conversation with a health worker who is very concerned for her safety and her family.  Many healthcare workers are thinking about quitting their jobs because they signed up to ‘care for patients’, not at the expense of their own lives.  Should they sacrifice their  own life for another? 

We will cover the following questions with our healthcare worker: How has healthcare work changed since the coronavirus pandemic? What do we know now about the virus?  How concerned should we be about running out of mask, gloves, and other hospital equipments? What is the current testing situation? If someone is feeling that they have “some” symptoms and are concerned, but there’s not enough tests, what can they do then?  How would you rate the US public health emergency response preparedness to the coronavirus pandemic?  What tips can we do to work through the “new normal” ?

Learn more about public health, visit Dr. Kee Chan at www.keechanphd.com

What We Can Learn from Italy on Coronavirus with Dr. Sara Principi (Coronavirus COVID19 Series)

Do you have family and friends aboard who are facing uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic? 

Sara Principi, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher who will share how her family and friends are coping with the situation in Italy and we can learn from them. Sara is from Italy and graduated in Biomedical Engineering in 2011 and then moved to Spain for her PhD in Medical Technologies. She is currently at a postdoctoral researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she does computational modeling of CT scan clinical scenarios. Sara will share her story of her family’s situation in Italy and what we can learn from their situation since the whole world is watching Italy as preview of what may happen in the US, if we do not flatten curve with strict public health measure.  Learning from each other will help us face our concerns collectively, and thus, embrace living and thriving through this ‘new normal’ together.

Connect with Sara Principi, PhD on Linkedin.  

To learn more about public health, connect with me at www.keechanphd.com

Learn to Read Statistics Without Math with Dr. Hersch Knapp

Statistics is the universal language. 

If you have a fear of math and stats, but you know it is important for your work and you need to know for your job promotion, then listen on to learn five statistic commonly used in public health and healthcare. At the end of this episode, you have a better of the why statisitc is important and you’ll be able to read statistics with confidence.

Dr. Hersch Knapp, a researcher who has created and oversees the Nurse Research Fellowship and Mentorship Programs, guiding nurses in deriving and implementing applied health science research, computing statistical results, and publishing and presenting their findings.  His clinical specialty is emergency and trauma psychology in medical / surgical, ICU, CCU, Oncology, ER, and code blue team.  He’s participated in a variety of research domains including improving HIV diagnostic testing, telehealth, remote learning, and general health care.  He regularly teaches research methodology and statistics courses at universities including UCLA, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State San Bernardino, and USC.  He’s published multiple scientific papers as well as textbooks on effective clinical communication and statistics.

Connect with Dr. Hersch Knapp at Linkedin. 

To learn more about public health, connect with Dr. Kee Chan at www.keechanphd.com