Hong Kong's Surge And The Pitfalls Of 'Zero COVID' | Crooked Media
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March 16, 2022
What A Day
Hong Kong's Surge And The Pitfalls Of 'Zero COVID'

In This Episode

  • A missile strike on apartment buildings in the Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv on Tuesday killed at least four people and resulted in fires for hours after. The attack prompted a frantic rescue effort, and Kyiv’s mayor announced a 35-hour curfew in the city.
  • Hong Kong is experiencing its worst COVID outbreak since the start of the pandemic. Unlike the U.S., the province is still grappling with the highly transmissible Omicron variant, with scenes reminiscent of much earlier days in the pandemic. Shibani Mahtani, the Southeast Asia and Hong Kong bureau chief for The Washington Post, joins us to discuss what things look like on the ground.
  • And in headlines: Authorities in Washington D.C. arrested a suspect in the shootings of at least five unhoused people in D.C. and New York City, an Indian court upheld a ban on wearing hijabs at schools and colleges, and Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a second COVID booster shot for people 65 and older.


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Gideon Resnick: It is Wednesday, March 16th. I’m Gideon Resnick.


Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi, and this is What A Day, wishing a speedy recovery to Doug Emhoff, the first Second Gentleman to test positive for COVID-19.


Gideon Resnick: Yes, he is also the first Second Gentleman overall, so he’s breaking boundaries with basically everything he does.


Priyanka Aribindi: Future Second Gentleman everywhere are depending on him to both recover from COVID and to be a good Second Gentleman I guess.


Gideon Resnick: On today’s show, an on-the-ground view from Hong Kong as it deals with its worst COVID outbreak since the start of the pandemic. Plus, Pfizer asked the FDA to greenlight another booster shot for older Americans.


Priyanka Aribindi: But first, the latest on the ground in Ukraine as we go to record this at 9:30 Eastern on Tuesday night. The devastation continues across Ukraine as Russia’s invasion persists. A missile strike on apartment buildings in the country’s capital of Kiev on Tuesday killed at least four people and resulted in fires for hours afterwards. The attack prompted a frantic rescue effort, and Kiev’s mayor Vitali Klitschko, also announced a 35-hour curfew in the city that started at 8 p.m. local time on Tuesday. This curfew means that people will not be allowed to leave their homes unless they’re trying to reach shelter. After it went into effect, CNN reported that its team in Kiev suburbs could hear explosions and air raid sirens throughout the night. Meanwhile, in the southern port city of Mariupol, the Russian Army has taken nearly 400 people hostage within the city’s largest hospital. Reminder, Mariupol has remained cut off from food, water, heat, and supplies for over two weeks, and the death count there has surged. The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross has called it a quote, “life and death nightmare.”


Gideon Resnick: Yeah, it is horrendous, and a lot of the images and videos that we’ve been seeing out of Mariupol in particular have come from regular people with cell phones. But there are, of course, a lot of journalists in Ukraine, and unfortunately some of them have been caught in the crossfire. What do we know about that?


Priyanka Aribindi: Yes, at least three journalists have been killed while reporting on this war. A Fox News veteran cameraman, Pierre Zakrzewki was killed on Monday outside of Kiev when a vehicle that he was traveling in came under fire. He was with a Ukrainian journalist on his team, Oleksandra Kuvshynova, who also died in the attack, and Benjamin Hall, a Fox correspondent who was injured and is currently hospitalized in Ukraine. Over the weekend, another American journalist and filmmaker Brant Renaud was killed while on assignment for TIME Studios from a suburb of Kiev. Speaking of journalists, we’d be remiss not to mention the Russian journalist who interrupted a Russian state TV broadcast on Monday, holding up a sign saying “Stop the war” and “They’re lying to you here.” Her name is Marina Ovsyannikova, and immediately after she appeared on air, lawyers were unable to locate her for several hours while she was detained. She is ok and has been released. She said that she was questioned for 14 hours without any access to legal help and was fined 30,000 rubles, which is the equivalent of $280. It’s still uncertain whether she will face separate charges under Russia’s new criminal law that bans quote, “fake news” which is punishable with up to 15 years in prison for spreading false information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Also, false information to them is pretty much that they are invading Ukraine so, yah, it’s a wild situation over there.


Gideon Resnick: Yeah. And so as this conflict continues to take lives, what is the rest of the world doing in response?


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. The prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic all made a risky trip to Kiev on Tuesday. They went to meet with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and their prime minister, as well as to show the European Union’s unequivocal support for Ukraine. Obviously a very intense place to be right now. There is artillery bombardment and attacks going on from all over. And it’s unclear if Russia guaranteed their safety while they traveled through the country. But Zelensky said that it was a strong sign of support from these allies. President Biden himself is going to Belgium next week for a NATO summit about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the trip is also meant to quote, “reaffirm our ironclad commitment to our NATO allies”—though whether or not that trip will include a meeting with Zelensky appears to still be up in the air. But with regards to this war, the US Senate has found something that they unanimously agree on. Yesterday, they approved a bill condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin and his forces for quote, “committing flagrant acts of aggression and other atrocities rising to the level of crimes against humanity and war crimes.” Killing civilians and journalists constitute war crimes under international law and this bill pushes the International Criminal Court to authorize investigations into these alleged crimes. Obviously, a lot going on here, but that is the latest we have for you on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Gideon Resnick: Yeah, and unfortunately, moving to another international crisis that is ongoing: Hong Kong is experiencing its worst COVID outbreak since the start of the pandemic. Unlike in much of the U.S., the province is still grappling with the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, with a lot of scenes that are fairly reminiscent of much earlier days in the pandemic. So since January, Hong Kong has reported more than 600,000 COVID cases and over 3,000 deaths. There are estimates that as much as a quarter or more of the population has been infected in this outbreak, and according to analysis from the Financial Times, Hong Kong is setting global records for daily deaths due in large part to the fact that only about 35% of the 80 and older population has received two vaccine doses—just a crazy statistic.


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, wow.


Gideon Resnick: Mortuaries are so overwhelmed that they’ve resorted to storing dead bodies alongside people who are being treated for the virus in hospitals in some cases. And there are reports of deceased, elderly Hong Kong residents being cremated without ceremonies in preparation for more to come. So a very grim, grim scene unfolding.


Priyanka Aribindi: Very, just horrifying. How has the government been reacting to this crisis?


Gideon Resnick: They’ve really struggled thus far. Hong Kong, like Mainland China, has taken this zero tolerance approach to COVID using mass testing and tracing and isolation and these strict quarantines and a lot more actually to try and keep the virus out to really get to zero cases. But this Omicron-driven surge, combined with that lower number of older citizens vaccinated, has led to the catastrophic consequences that we’re talking about of just maintaining this approach. Additionally, earlier this week, Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said that the government in fact lacked the resources that China has to test every resident in pursuit of this policy. Vulnerable populations are being hit the hardest as poorer citizens have in some cases had to decide between giving COVID to their families or quite literally, sleeping outdoors.


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, wow. And these extensive lockdowns in some cities in China, like Shenzhen, home to over 17 million people, are exacerbating supply chain disruptions that have already been resulting from the pandemic. We’re talking about a slowdown in the production of goods like cars, smartphones, and other technology items. You were able to talk to a reporter in Hong Kong about all of this. Tell us more about what you learned.


Gideon Resnick: Yeah. So to learn more about what everything looks like on the ground, I spoke to Shibani Mahtani. She is the Southeast Asia and Hong Kong bureau chief for The Washington Post, and has watched this crisis unfold in real time. I started by asking her just how things got so bad.


Shibani Mahtani: We were all sort of bracing for it when we heard that the first case with the Omicron variant was discovered here in Hong Kong on New Year’s Eve of last year. All of a sudden, everything that had kept COVID at bay here in Hong Kong like social distancing measures, for example, closing the borders and basically really limiting mobility and movement in the city—all of that fell apart quite quickly because the more transmissible variant was basically no match with Hong Kong’s old policies. On top of that, you have a population here, especially an elderly population, very vulnerable to these new variants of COVID, who were barely vaccinated. When these first Omicron cases were reported here in Hong Kong, less than a fifth of people above 80 were vaccinated, so it was really a ticking time bomb. That’s why I think you see not only cases exploding, right, but fatalities. And Hong Kong really has never experienced anything like that.


Gideon Resnick: Yeah. And the point of the elder population and the vaccination levels, is they’re kind of a singular reason as to why that specifically happened.


Shibani Mahtani: It’s probably a lot of factors, but I would say maybe one of them was that Hong Kong was so much a victim of its own success. You know, Hong Kong, like Mainland China, follows this Zero COVID policy, right, where the aim is of full elimination of COVID, as opposed to mitigating the impact of the disease by moving towards, you know, vaccination or whatever else, right? With Zero COVID, I think a lot of people just believed, Well, there’s no COVID, why do I need to get vaccinated? For so long, COVID was never really something that that we feared. And I think that was a big part of it. Another one was that there seemed to be a lot of disinformation and misinformation that the elderly population was especially susceptible to. Early on in the pandemic, there were doctors who were advising the vaccines would have adverse reaction, especially the new mRNA ones that were relatively untested. And so, you know, people were cautioning the elderly population specifically against taking these. There was a lot of fear as well because early on in the pandemic, the government and the media really reported every single adverse reaction to vaccinations, so people were like, Oh, if I got vaccinated, I would get a heart attack or I like, I will die because of the vaccine. And then, you know, there was nothing really done to incentivize it, right? Like I am from Singapore, and there were a lot of parallels between Singapore and Hong Kong for a long time—both were holding on to sort of Zero COVID, both had protect closed borders, both have very similar population sizes and density. But in Singapore, they really, really targeted the whole population with vaccinations and started making life very, very difficult for people who were unvaccinated. So, for example, if you were not vaccinated, you can’t go to a grocery store, you can’t go to a shopping mall, you can’t go to, you know, your favorite restaurant. Over here in Hong Kong, whether or not you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated, you have the same sort of day-to-day life. You get isolated the same, you get treated the same if you have COVID, and you get treated the same if you don’t have COVID, so you never really saw any tangible benefit very from getting the vaccine. And the consequences have been dire.


Gideon Resnick: And why does a discrepancy like that exists in terms of the lack of incentives in Hong Kong? Why, I guess, has that urgency kind of not existed?


Shibani Mahtani: I think at the heart of this whole mess that Hong Kong finds itself in is really, really a political question. Hong Kong, obviously in recent years, has been sort of crushed by China. Its civil society opposition has basically disappeared since the protests in 2019. This has happened at a time where there’s basically no opposition. There’s been no check and balance on the government. There’s been no system of accountability that’s holding Hong Kong’s government to account. So the pandemic in Hong Kong very much overlapped perfectly with their efforts to rein in and control the city. So between implementing this very draconian policy from the mainland of, you know, closing down newspapers and crushing civil society, and at the same time, not not really knowing the kind of latitude they had over their own pandemic policy, too, because, you know, the government here really is very beholden to China. For the past two years, basically, the border between Mainland China and Hong Kong has been closed, and the focus has really been on reopening that border and to reopen that border, Hong Kong has to comply with and follow this Zero COVID policy, right, and that Zero COVID policy in the mainland is so, so focused on mitigation that I think it never really prioritized vaccinations in a big way. And I think Hong Kong has followed that to a T, really.


Gideon Resnick: Your reporting and others have really sort of painted a pretty horrific picture of what is actually happening on the ground. Can you talk a little bit about what you have been seeing in recent days and weeks?


Shibani Mahtani: Our lives here are probably very, very much like what life in America was two years ago, except we are now sitting here watching the rest of the world open, which makes it very, very hard to swallow, right? We’re back to a situation where we’re cooking all our meals every day, you know, then we go to the grocery store and there are nothing on the shelves, like everything is wiped. There was one day that was particularly bad that literally went to the grocery store and there was no eggs, no milk, no bread, no fresh vegetables, really nothing. Gyms are closed, bars are closed, restaurants closed at 6 for dine in. We have limits of two people gatherings outside so we can’t really even meet a group of friends and go on a hike because you might end up getting fined. There are police all over. It’s really sort of the most restrictive we’ve ever seen. It’s really driving a lot of people to really reconsider whether they can want to be here long term.


Gideon Resnick: So can you talk a little bit about what actually happens in Hong Kong if you do test positive?


Shibani Mahtani: Now, obviously, only people who are very, very sick are going to the hospital. But I think people fear that that’s not something that’s going to happen long term, right? So Hong Kong, at the end of last month announced that they would be implementing this mass testing scheme, where literally every single person in Hong Kong would have to get tested by, you know, government-authorized health professionals, meaning that COVID result would be shared with the government, right? And they haven’t done that yet, nor have they released a sort of plan for this mass testing. But people were so worried that, you know, if they tested positive, they would be carted off to isolation. They would be, you know, brought to one of these new shipping containers that are being built by Chinese construction companies to isolate. The worry’s not the virus, it’s not the disease, especially not if you are boosted—the worry is not being able to be in your home.


Gideon Resnick: You said that they’re building shipping containers to help people?


Shibani Mahtani: Yeah. So there have been in recent weeks a surge of activity for mainland construction companies that are building isolation facilities to hold more and more COVID patients because the hospitals are full and the one or two isolation facilities they had were also full. And they’ve built these so quickly, they really are just fashioned out of shipping containers. People were looking at those photos with these like squat toilets and terrible looking thin mattresses and just seeing them and being like, Well, I don’t want to do this.


Gideon Resnick: There was also some reporting about how this has been sort of disproportionately impacting vulnerable populations. The Times or it may have been The Post was talking about residents sort of deciding if they wanted to even sleep outside as an option in order to not infect other family members. Can you talk a little bit about how, if at all, there is this disproportionate impact on vulnerable people?


Shibani Mahtani: Yeah. Totally. So yeah, that that was our story, and we interviewed a construction worker who lived in a subdivided flat. So if you just imagine like a regular sized apartment for a family divided into maybe four, those are the conditions that some of the most vulnerable low-income families in Hong Kong live in. And so he had elderly, you know, family members, toddlers who hadn’t been vaccinated, and tested positive for COVID and chose to isolate basically at the stairwell leading up to the roof of his building when it was quite, quite cold here in Hong Kong. And as with COVID everywhere, right, it’s really just, you know, brought into pretty sharp focus the huge socio-economic disparities here that haven’t been addressed, right? I mean, isolation means a very different thing if you have a large, comfortable house versus if you don’t, and if you live basically, you know, with like 20 other family members, which some people in Hong Kong literally do. I think that’s been a major sort of failing of this policy, right, in a place that’s so dense. A lot of experts in emerging diseases and stuff have just been asking, like, why hasn’t the focus been on vaccinations and just making sure that a population that’s so dense, a lot of whom live in public housing estates with elderly aging population where care homes are already crowded—like why was this not prioritized much earlier when we literally had zero community cases, right, which would have been obviously the ideal time to, you know, really push the vaccination policy.


Gideon Resnick: To be clear, there’s not difficulty in vaccine access, right? It’s just there isn’t a sort of concerted effort to make it available for whom it might be a little bit difficult to maybe go and get it.


Shibani Mahtani: Yeah, no, access has never been an issue. I mean, the vaccines were introduced here from April of 2020, and both Pfizer and Sinovac were available and approved here in Hong Kong. Personally, obviously, it was very, very easy for me to to get vaccinated, but I think the disinformation hurdle has been such a big one, I mean, as it is everywhere else, but this one tragically has really affected the elderly population, right, and that’s why it’s so tragic to see that unfold now.


Gideon Resnick: And I want to sort of close by asking what you anticipate happens next. Is this the peak of where things are going to go in Hong Kong or is there still sort of another level? And would that impact any sort of responses?


Shibani Mahtani: I think there really is no exit plan from the pandemic here in Hong Kong. It really does feel like we’re living day-by-day. It’s hard to say how things are going to develop, except more tragically, right? I mean, I think that there’s also another big unanswered question that even if more and more people were vaccinated—and the government isn’t exactly releasing a lot of data that would make it clear how and why people are dying and then sort of what vaccination status they had, which vaccine they took, crucially—if for political reasons, they can’t really share that data on Sinovac more widely, then you saw of a population that is making decisions on their public health, you know, with imperfect information, right? And I think for as long as politics and public health are so, so tied closely together here—I mean, they are everywhere but so closely tied together here in Hong Kong in a way that Hong Kong’s government can’t even really control because they are beholden to Beijing, it’s very hard to see how this policy will shift, move, or evolve in a meaningful way.


Gideon Resnick: Well, thank you so much again, Shibani. I really appreciate all of your generous time.


Shibani Mahtani: Sure.


Gideon Resnick: That was Shibani Mahtani of The Washington Post. We’re going to include some links to her work and where you can follow her in the show notes. Some more on all of that soon, but that is the latest for now. Let’s get to some headlines.


[sung] Headlines.


Priyanka Aribindi: Authorities in Washington, D.C., arrested a suspect yesterday in the shootings of at least five unhoused people in D.C. and New York City. Over the past two weeks, a gunman had been approaching unhoused men while they were asleep on the streets and then shot them. Two of the known victims died, while three others were wounded. The man who was arrested has a history of mental illness and assault charges, and his father described the tragedies as a reflection of how the judicial system quote, “has failed regarding the treatment of so many, including my son.” Meanwhile, police in Yonkers, New York, arrested a man after he assaulted an elderly Asian woman and punched her 125 times. Last Friday, the man followed the 67-year old woman as she entered her apartment building and called her an anti-Asian misogynistic slur. The victim was hospitalized and is in stable condition while the attacker is being held without bail. He’s charged with attempted murder as a hate crime and second degree assault. This disturbing attack is just the latest in a rising wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. Such incidents spiked 339% in 2021 compared to the year before, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.


Gideon Resnick: Yeah, awful. Yesterday, an Indian court upheld a ban on wearing hijabs at schools and colleges in the southern state of Karnataka. The court said that the Muslim headscarf is not a quote, “essential religious practice of Islamic faith.” This all began back in September, when a government-run school in Karnataka barred students who were wearing hijabs from entering classrooms, and then other schools in the state followed with similar rules. This triggered protests by Muslims who argued their rights to education and religion were being deprived. This ruling may further intensify anti-Muslim sentiment in India, where violence and hate speech against Muslims have increased under Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is already polarized along religious lines, and Modi’s party has enacted several Hindu-first policies.


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, that’s not great. Start learning how to do realistic old age makeup now, because Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a second COVID booster shot for people 65 and older as a protection against the Omicron variant. Evidence suggests that the protection from three shots fades over time, which is why Pfizer is pushing for a fourth. They cited data collected from Israel, where a second booster for this age group was already authorized. Meanwhile, our national post-pandemic era may be arriving sooner than any of us expected, as White House officials said yesterday that they will be scaling back on COVID response efforts because—get this—there is no new coronavirus funding in sight.


Gideon Resnick: No.


Priyanka Aribindi: That’s just not the reason, I think, I was holding out for it, but sure. For example, that means that uninsured Americans will no longer be able to get reimbursed by the government for buying tests or COVID treatments, among other things, starting next week. This comes after Congress failed to pass funding for more relief earlier this month.


Gideon Resnick: Somebody a lot smarter than me tweeted earlier, like, You can’t say the government doesn’t have money for stuff. Like that’s a construct that we just go along with. Like, that’s not a real, actual thing. They could do it if they wanted to.


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, clearly just not a priority of theirs, which is a bit concerning I will say.


Gideon Resnick: Ay yi yi. Continuing with our esteemed government, a rare defeat in the Senate yesterday for the powerful lobbying bloc known as “big clocks that are an hour off”, the chamber passed by the process of unanimous consent, a bill called the Sunshine Protection Act, which aims to make Daylight Savings Time permanent, thereby making it darker in the morning and lighter at night starting in 2023. The legislation was brought forward by Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who has pushed for this change every year since 2018. He may have changed everything about himself to be born again in Trump’s image, but he has stayed consistent on his profound fear of the moon.


Priyanka Aribindi: Good for him.


Gideon Resnick: If you watched the movie “Moonfall” that’s why you’d be afraid. The bill was backed by an eclectic, bipartisan mix of lawmakers, including Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who broke down the rationale for the bill this way:


[clip of Sen. Ed Markey] It’s because we know that Daylight Savings Time helps to turn the corners of people’s mouths upwards into a smile. It’s sunshine and smiles.


Gideon Resnick: He is the Willy Wonka of the Senate. I’m just going to say it. He has that energy.


Priyanka Aribindi: Hard agree.


Gideon Resnick: Rubio did go beyond the smile-based rhetoric and pointed to hard data in support of a permanent Daylight Savings, including statistics showing that clock switching tends to lead to an increase in car and pedestrian accidents in the weeks following the changes. The Sunshine Protection Act still needs to pass in the House and get Biden’s signature to become law. For now, its prospects remain uncertain, but it’s worth noting that this change has been made before, back in 1973, when Richard Nixon signed a permanent Daylight Savings Bill to help cut back on energy costs. Now it didn’t do that, and in addition, the law was reversed less than a year later after people grew concerned that it was causing traffic accidents for students on the way to school. Senator Markey cast that troubling history aside when he recorded this video Yesterday:


[clip of Sen. Ed Markey] The Senate just passed Daylight Savings Time to make it year round. We’re walking on sunshine. [“Walking on Sunshine” plays]


Gideon Resnick: He is full of whimsy. He is brimming with whimsy.


Priyanka Aribindi: That takes away my, not my outrage, but my profound like, “what the fuck?” at this being called the Sunshine Protection Act? Excuse me? What?!


Gideon Resnick: It sounds very Roland Emmerich-y, like there’s going to be some shield that’s built around it for some reason.


Priyanka Aribindi: The Senate has banded together to protect the Sun! From what? From us, who changed the time? Like . . .


Gideon Resnick: Yeah, it’s a little bit unclear, but we’ll let Ed have fun. And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads.


[ad break]


Priyanka Aribindi: It is Wednesday WAD squad, and today we’re talking about the latest breakthrough in the global scientific effort to synthesize a new David Attenborough: former President Barack Obama was announced as the narrator of the upcoming Netflix nature documentary series “Our Great National Parks,” produced by Higher Ground, which is the company that he runs with Michelle Obama. In the five-part series documenting wildlife and ecology in national parks from California to Kenya to Indonesia and beyond, Obama will even appear on camera, and in at least one sequence, he appears to walk barefoot with wet pant cuffs and a loose button-down on the beach.


Gideon Resnick: OK.


Priyanka Aribindi: Our man is straight-up going on vacation, and his travel agent is Netflix. I love that for him. The show comes out on April 15th, but if you want a preview of Obama’s Attenborough impression, here it is”


[clip of Barack Obama] This sloth has an entire micro kingdom living in his fur. Researching him will help fight cancer, malaria, and antibiotic-resistant superbugs. This sleepy sloth might just save us all.


Gideon Resnick: Wow. I’m intrigued. I want to see the sloth.


Priyanka Aribindi: I love sloths. I love that. But we’ll talk about that in a second. In addition to this series, the Obamas produced the Oscar-winning doc “American Factory”, plus several kids’ shows and other documentaries for Netflix. So Gideon, what are you thinking about this?


Gideon Resnick: I am overwhelmed by the former president interacting with the sloth. I do want to say just a tremendous way to sort of game a system here in terms of, you know, a job that you could get. This seems pretty fun. I’m also confused that like, there is a really large variety of kind of like Rick Steves-esque travel shows that are happening right now. Like Will Smith, I think, has one as well. I’m hoping that Obama’s is a little more successful than that one, at least, appears to be. But what do you think?


Priyanka Aribindi: Sounds like he does a pretty good job. And you know what? This seems like a great gig. Better than I think any other president, dare I say, has gone on to do. This is a dream job. I would actually love to do that job. But I guess you have to be a president or I guess a knight to do that. Just like that, we have checked our temps.


Gideon Resnick: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, consider the ethics of synthesizing new David Attenboroughs, and tell your friends to listen.


Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading, and not just the instructions on how to reset alarm clocks like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.


Gideon Resnick: I’m Gideon Resnick.


[together] And resist big clocks that are an hour off!


Gideon Resnick: Yeah, and protect the Sun, because—


Priyanka Aribindi: protect the sun.


Gideon Resnick: That’s what we’re learning is most important in life, keeping it safe, before it kills us. What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein, and our executive producers are Leo Duran and me, Gideon Resnick. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.