article Spring 2021

This Podcast Will Kill You: A Review

Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann-Updyke

With the recent global events, there has never been a better time to educate yourself on disease science. This subject can be overwhelming for people without any background knowledge. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an introduction to the scientific process; showcasing how much information there is to know and how much there still is to learn when it comes to epidemics and pandemics. Epidemics refer to the rapid spread of a disease to a large number of people in a specific population within a short period of time whereas pandemics affect populations on a much larger scale. So, if you’re someone who is wanting to grow in your understanding of the science behind epidemics, look no further than the podcast called, This Podcast Will Kill You.

The podcast features two graduate students, Erin Welsh, PhD and Erin Allmann-Updyke, PhD, who are studying disease ecology or epidemiology. Their education partnered with their passion for studying epidemics makes the podcast a perfect starting place to learn about medical history and its impact on society over the years. They intertwine laughter, science, and society into entertaining and informative episodes. In their 67th show all about HPV (Human Papillomavirus), they make light of it by saying “My wart be with you? Excellent. Mm-hmm. and also, with you.” Their style of laid-back humor is perfect for anyone who loves science as much as they do, with each episode full of creative science puns, waiting to be made into hilarious memes.

Throughout the series, they talk about different epidemics in history as well as other medical mysteries. In order to make this podcast accessible to any audience, they take the time to thoroughly explain relevant terms and historical context. In addition to various epidemics in history, the duo also delves into virology, vaccinations, antibiotic resistance, long term effects of infectious diseases, and so much more. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hosts of the podcast have been explaining the “anatomy of the pandemic ‘’ in a multi episode series. They have thoroughly investigated the various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as mental health, vaccination, updates, and other progressions.

Placeborita Recipe: The Cookie Doughn’t, 2 oz Root Beer, Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream, Dash of Almond Extract, Squirt of Chocolate Syrup. Blend with ice and rim glass with chocolate syrup and cookies.

If you are still on the fence about whether this podcast needs to be added to your repertoire of listening pleasures, maybe their extensive list of placeboritas will persuade you. These placeboritas are fun and creative ways to spice up your listening experience. In each episode they release a new drink recipe that you can make and enjoy while expanding your knowledge of disease ecology and the evolving world of biology. In their episode about the Ebola virus, their featured drink was coined The Spillover. The Erins quote, “We are drinking The Spillover, but the most important part of The Spillover is just make sure you fill it all the way to the brim of the glass so that it’s about to spillover.” This witty science humor is found throughout their whole podcast and each week they get increasingly creative in designing quarantinis to make the episode fun. This podcast offers all this from the comfort of your own home, while learning relevant science right from the professionals.

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