In This Episode
- The Omicron variant has absolutely exploded in the US in the last few weeks. On Monday alone, the U.S. reported an astonishing record 1.08 million cases, and the CDC estimates that Omicron is responsible for about 95 percent of known infections through January 1st. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed of “America Dissected” joins us again to discuss everything from testing to schools to the CDC’s quarantine recommendations.
- And in headlines: Harrowing winter storms made life a nightmare for many travelers on the East Coast, a record number of 4.5 million U.S. workers left their jobs last November, and Canada pledged $31.5 billion towards reforming its First Nations child welfare system.
- CDC: Quarantine and Isolation – https://bit.ly/3t2IvUS
Follow us on Instagram —https://www.instagram.com/whataday/
Gideon Resnick: It’s Wednesday, January 5th. I’m Gideon Resnick.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi:, and this is What A Day, where we are celebrating Elizabeth Holmes for stepping aside to make room for new entrepreneurs who do blood scams.
Gideon Resnick: That’s right. By getting convicted of fraud, she is making way for the next generation of dangerous fraud.
Priyanka Aribindi: If you are a girl boss with some bad ideas, hit us up. We will invest.
Gideon Resnick: Yes. On today’s show, a record number of U.S. workers left their jobs last November. Plus the death of the classic BlackBerry.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, we are back to talking about COVID because the Omicron variant has absolutely exploded in the U.S. over the past couple of weeks. It’s led to thousands of canceled flights since Christmas, a return to remote schooling for some kids, maxed out testing capacity in certain communities, renewed concerns over already strained hospital systems, and much, much more.
Gideon Resnick: Yeah. And on Monday alone, the U.S. reported an astonishing record 1.08 million cases.
Priyanka Aribindi: Wow.
Gideon Resnick: Now that did include a backlog from the holiday weekend, but the CDC currently estimates that Omicron is responsible for something like 95% of known infections through January 1st. To give a sense of how quickly we reached that number, at the beginning of December, that was about 1% or less.
Priyanka Aribindi: Geez.
Gideon Resnick: Yeah, it’s insane. That’s due to Omicron’s increased transmissibility and the ability to evade the initial line of defense that vaccines offer, even as they continue to protect against severe outcomes.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, and one place that Omicron really seemed to take off like wildfire before everywhere else was right here in New York City, where you and I are currently recording this show. Gideon, you were among the skyrocketing numbers of positive cases during our break.
Gideon Resnick: That’s right.
Priyanka Aribindi: Thankfully, you’re alive and well, as far as we all know. But um, what was that like? Tell us more about that experience.
Gideon Resnick: Alive? Definitely true. Well? Have we been well enough for quite some time? No, in all seriousness, I was incredibly lucky in this situation. I am vaccinated and boosted. It was mild for a few days. It was actually during our last week of recording that I had like a couple of days where I was like, I’m a little bit more tired, kind of a dull headache. The kind of stuff that we’ve been convincing ourselves was COVID during isolated weeks over the past couple of years did in fact turn out to be COVID. So I was really lucky to not have anything worse and to be in a position where I was able to keep myself away from others. And so here I am.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I’m sorry that that happened over the holidays though.
Gideon Resnick: It is A-OK. I’m truly, truly glad that it was not worse. Priyanka, you did not get sick, thankfully. That is very, very good. But you have also been seeing everything else in the world in the last couple of weeks. So what has it been like these past two weeks as you were traveling about?
Priyanka Aribindi: Probably like people listening to this show right now, I was in a situation where I had an exposure to someone who later tested positive for COVID. So I spent a lot of break kind of being like, Do I have it? Am I about to give it to my whole family? Like, kind of freaking out. Thankfully, you know, I didn’t, and everyone was OK. But I was definitely on edge, as you know, I’m sure many others were as well.
Gideon Resnick: Certainly.
Priyanka Aribindi: There is clearly a lot of ground to cover here again, from testing to schools to the CDC’s recommendation. So once more we have with us one of our favorite guests here on this show, a recurring regular Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. He’s an epidemiologist and the host of Crooked’s America Dissected. Welcome back.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Always honored to be here. It’s terrible that I always have to come in the context of some surging COVID-19. But like I said, I still hope and dream for the world where y’all just have me for my shining, sparkling personality.
Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, you’re here like every other week, so clearly we do like you.
Gideon Resnick: We did talk to you just a couple of weeks ago, and at the time, you know, we were likely to find out a lot more about Omicron as 2021 drew to a close. It is now 2022. People in many of our lives who are vaxxed and boosted, myself included, have gotten COVID in the past couple of weeks. So what have we found out?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Well, I feel like COVID is making a play for COVID-22. We found out a lot about Omicron. You all remember when you first had me on to talk about this variant, the three questions that we posed were: is it more transmissible, is it more vaccine evasive, and is it more severe? And I’ve come back in the interim and given you some answers to those, but we have some pretty definitive answers now. It is decidedly more transmissible. It’s also relatively vaccine evasive. Data from the UK has shown us that people who have been vaccinated with a third booster dose within two to four weeks are about 75% protected from Omicron, although that leaves 25% of a exploding number of exposures, which is a very, very large number of people, which is why it feels like all of our boosted and vaxxed friends like Gideon Resnick are falling like flies. But getting back up quite quickly! Which gets to the third question, which is is it less severe? What we’ve seen from again, this blockbuster study from the UK, an analysis of about a million people, the risk of hospitalization from Omicron was about 30% as high as from Delta. So substantially less severe. And there’s also—although this data isn’t there—it’s plausible that there’s also not just a drop off from infection to hospitalization, but there’s also probably a drop off between hospitalization to death. And so when you think about the fact that what Omicron is competing with is Delta, it sort of makes sense. There is one important caveat to that which, you know, as a father of a four-year old worries me every day, which is that hospitalizations among children is as high as they’ve ever been. And that may be because of the way that Omicron actually works in the body. Most COVID has gone to the lungs where it’s caused a very severe viral pneumonia, whereas Omicron seems to be replicating mostly in the throat. But if you think about a child, their necks are really small, and so an infection in the throat can lead to what’s kind of like a croup-like illness, which can really be an acute illness that requires hospitalizations, which may explain why the hospitalizations are so much higher among children than they have been in the past.
Priyanka Aribindi: Wow.
Gideon Resnick: That’s really interesting and scary.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: You know, it’s a worry every day. And I can’t even begin to describe the kind of fear that that strikes in me. But here we are.
Priyanka Aribindi: So what can the science tell us about the immediate dangers that Omicron still presents and you know, some of the long-term ones for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people? Obviously, when you hear mild, you might think, Oh, great, we aren’t going to have these lasting effects. But I don’t know if that is necessarily the case.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: For vaccinated boosted people, the risk for hospitalization is substantially lower, as it is for unvaccinated people relative to unvaccinated people who might be infected with Delta. But even though the risk of hospitalization overall is about 30% as high, if you have more than three times as many infections, that’s still more hospitalizations.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So though the risk of hospitalization to you and I may be lower, the risk to US is still really high. And that’s an important point to just keep in the back of your mind is that the mass effect, given the transmissibility, will yield more hospitalizations. It already is yielding more hospitalizations. And the impact of that for us as a society cannot be undersold. You think about, you know, filled up hospitals aren’t just bad for people with COVID, they’re bad for people generally, right?
Priyanka Aribindi: Everyone, yeah.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Because it’s not like all the other pathophysiology stops. It’s not like your heart attacks just sort of say, You know what, we’re going to let COVID pass here and we’ll pick it up from there.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Gideon Resnick: And I want to move to kind of a practical thing that people have been dealing with, and that is testing. People are getting reacquainted with this concept. But can you remind folks on a very basic level what a rapid test is actually telling you versus what a PCR test is telling you, and how, if at all that changes with Omicron?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: PCR is just substantially more sensitive than the antigen test is, although it takes substantially longer. When you do a PCR test, what you’re literally doing is testing for any of the virus’s RNA and then manufacturing it at scale to see how much you can create, which tells you whether or not you have virus. Rapid tests are intended to be used quickly and to be used more often, whereas PCR tests are really the confirmatory test. The challenge, though, is that we don’t really have enough of either!
Gideon Resnick: Yeah.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: And we’re in a situation right now where folks are struggling to test given you know how widespread exposure has been and all of the things that testing becomes a gateway to.
Gideon Resnick: Priyanka and I can both attest to how absolutely insane testing has been.
Priyanka Aribindi: There are still lines down every street I walk down in New York and they are very long for people trying to get tests.
Gideon Resnick: It was exponential from a 30-minute wait one day to three four hours in the next.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Wow.
Gideon Resnick: I think a lot of people were in this situation, but in December I had initially a negative rapid at home. Then I had actually three positive PCRs in a row over the course of six days or something. Then on the ninth or tenth day since initial symptoms, a negative rapid. So I guess how does that scientifically occur, and is that what people should be doing before they exit an isolation?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Per the new CDC protocol, there is no requirement for a negative test to come out from isolation. That being said, it’s still possible that somebody could be shedding virus after five days of isolation. And so being able to demonstrate via a negative test that they are no longer shedding virus, I think is certainly prudent. And I think we’re liable to see some change in CDC protocol relatively soon. But you know, what you’re describing is some mixture between the reduced sensitivity of rapid testing versus PCR testing and the fact that your body does clear this virus relatively quickly, particularly if you are vaccinated. Now, given that you were using different tests, it’s hard to compare across them but one of the hallmarks of Omicron is it just moves fast. It both rips through the population really quite fast and then it seems to be that our immune systems contend with it really quite fast as well, which is in part why Omicron illness is so short-lived and relatively less severe.
Gideon Resnick: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: Along the lines of the CDC guidance, new guidance, that we’ve been talking about, let’s talk about when to exit quarantine because the CDC changed its guidance in the days after Christmas. So they updated their recommendation that an isolation window for a COVID positive person can be reduced to five days if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving. A lot of that seems to have come from economic necessity, the fact that flights are being canceled, there are staffing shortages, you know, pretty much everywhere. The agency posted its rationale online yesterday. We’ll have a link to it in our show notes. But what do you make of this guidance and does it make sense, does it need to be changed? What are you thinking?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The CDC has found itself between a bit of a rock and a hard place here.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The more prudent approach would be that you would want to be able to prove that you were no longer shedding virus to be able to come out of isolation. But there is a national shortage on testing. There’s also, I think, the influence of corporations that really comes up here.
Gideon Resnick: Totally.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I have yet to see evidence that really justifies the five-day isolation period without a negative exam. And I also believe that the CDC has a responsibility to be an honest referee here. I don’t think their remit includes thinking about the business operations of large corporations. I think the remit is about disease control and prevention, which is in their name.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Whether or not it is a good thing for large corporations and whether or not there are enough tests, I would have liked to see a much more robust, evidence-driven approach from the CDC on this question. And the lack of very clear evidence that they could point to and the timing of these changes, I think leaves a lot to be desired from this organization. And you know, you add that to a growing laundry list of failures and misjudgments and communication from the CDC and it really is quite frustrating as someone who, you know, believes in public health and believes in the CDC and their importance to have seen it move like this.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, incredibly so.
Gideon Resnick: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: And just because this came up for me over the break, I’m sure this will keep happening for others. If you have a known exposure, you don’t have symptoms or anything like that, but someone you know who you had contact with is definitely positive for COVID, should you still quarantine? Do you, what is the guidance for people who find themselves in that boat?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The recommendation for vaccinated people, and by vaccinated, I mean fully vaccinated and boosted, is that if you are exposed to COVID-19, that you can assume that there is no infection. If you do test positive and or you have symptoms, then you do isolate. But it’s still recommended, and I would recommend certainly, that you test three days out, four days out, five days out, if you have the testing to be able to do that. One mistake that people make often is that they’re exposed and then they test immediately after but that doesn’t really quite work because it takes the virus time to incubate in your body before it starts to regenerate itself. And so you’re going to miss it, obviously, because there’s just not virus there, even if there’s a small amount, you’re not going to catch it on a test.
Priyanka Aribindi: Got it.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The last thing I want folks to be thinking about right now though, is that the recommendation is to be wearing masks. Whether or not you have a mask mandate where you are, wear your mask. And the old cloth mask that’s, you know, got that cool, fun print, I might trade that up for a medical-grade mask at this point. You know, I would really invest in a good KF94, KN95, N95. I’d wear that tightly and snugly, not the ’90s hip hop corollary to mask wearing, where it’s kind of like just coming off your nostrils, like you really ought to tighten that thing up.
Priyanka Aribindi: The biggest story that I’ve seen in the last two days has actually been about the effects of last-minute school closures due to Omicron and staff shortages on students and their parents. The New York Times reported that this week, nearly half a million children have gone remote again. I’m not a parent, but I’m imagining for ones who are dealing with this, it kind of feels like a return to pandemic 1.0, like the beginning of all of this. Is there any estimate for how long a surge like the one that we’re in right now could last?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The estimates suggest that it’s not actually going to last all that long. Some estimates put it as early as the ninth, which I doubt. Most suggest that it will happen by the end of the month. The best evidence that we have to go off of is what we’re seeing in Europe and in South Africa. Now South Africa’s surge would have lasted a shorter time simply because there are fewer people who are vaccinated and so the virus can rip through the population a lot faster. Ours is likely to last a little bit longer. But the thing about Omicron is, again, it moves fast. And so though this surge is going to be profound, it’s going to infect a lot of people, the high probability is that it’s just not going to last that long.
Gideon Resnick: Lastly, you brought up the idea before that the ending of the early 20th century flu pandemic was via a more mild but much more contagious strain, and how there are maybe parallels here. Given the last couple of weeks and what we’ve been talking about, do you see that more or less now?
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Time will tell. What is likely going to happen, and this is what we’re seeing from the evidence, is that people who have been infected by Omicron are substantially less likely to get Delta but people who are infected by Delta are not that much likely to get Omicron. What that tells us is that Omicron is going to leave a, what’s called a great wall of immunity behind itself, and because it’s happening so quickly and all at once and because it is so efficient at infecting people, there’s going to be a lot of acquired immunity that’s left in the wake of the surge. Now it’s plausible that there could be another variant behind it that’s even more efficient and more transmissible although Omicron just makes that substantially less likely. So we’ll have to wait and see. But this is following a pattern that seems rather consistent with what the historical evidence from the flu pandemic over 100 years ago suggest happened there.
Gideon Resnick: Hopefully that is the case in the long term.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: But then you guys won’t have me on the show anymore.
Gideon Resnick: We promise! We promise other topics.
Priyanka Aribindi: We’ll figure them out. Promise. That is Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, epidemiologist and the host of Crooked’s America Dissected. Thank you so much for being here.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Always a privilege friends. Stay safe.
Gideon Resnick: That was Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, as you all know. And that is the latest for now.
Priyanka Aribindi: It is Wednesday, WAD squad, and today we are doing a segment called WAD Remembers, where we bid a fond farewell to something that’s not a person, but has still enriched our lives over the years and is still about to be dead. Classic BlackBerrys were put to sleep yesterday when the operating system that those phones run on was decommissioned, leaving them unable to send texts or even call 9-1-1.
Gideon Resnick: Wow.
Priyanka Aribindi: The one time gateway drug to our current pesky cell phone habits couldn’t survive the “2G/3G sunset” which is the process by which phone carriers are dismantling old networks to make ways for new ones. BlackBerry had more than 80 million active users at its peak in 2012, which is actually later than I thought it was. So good to know.
Gideon Resnick: Yeah.
Priyanka Aribindi: But its popularity declined steadily as consumer preferences shifted away from gorgeously loud keyboards and looking like a boss, I guess, and towards multi-touch screens. BlackBerry’s role as the original life-consuming rectangle can’t be overstated, though, so we would like to say a few words. Gideon, take it away.
Gideon Resnick: Goodbye BlackBerry. You showed us all the things we could accomplish while being distracted by technology. You revolutionized being an introvert by allowing people to look like they were busy doing business deals in all social settings. And you gave a final moment of glory to the rollerball, which has now been relegated to the tips of pens and small containers of perfume. We hope you’re up there in heaven being passed around by Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix as they try to understand what you are, come up short, and get genuinely frightened. Priyanka, sadly, I actually never had a BlackBerry, but you did.
Priyanka Aribindi: Oh, I did.
Gideon Resnick: Do you have any fond memories you would like to share about that experience?
Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. So I, in the tenth grade, had a crush on a boy, you know, as one does. He had a BlackBerry.
Gideon Resnick: Mmm.
Priyanka Aribindi: And this was around the time that my family was getting new phones.
Gideon Resnick: I see.
Priyanka Aribindi: There is an iPhone. It exists. People are getting the iPhone. Like that, that’s on the table.
Gideon Resnick: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: No, I want a BlackBerry because I want to be able to BBM. So in the name of love—
Gideon Resnick: Wait. Pause. For the audience. Can you clarify BBM?
Priyanka Aribindi: BBM is BlackBerry Messenger. It’s a very exclusive messenger, like chat. It’s almost like AAM, I guess, for BlackBerry users.
Gideon Resnick: Got it. I don’t make deals, so I’m not aware.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, I looked sick as like a 10th grader with that keyboard, just scrolling around in my high school. You couldn’t actually use phones in the school so it was just outside. Like, Hey, mama, can you pick me up? Or stuff like that. I don’t know. I don’t really know what I was doing at that time. But anyways, I did it in the name of love and then as happens in high school, about three months later, I was like, Yeah, I don’t really have a crush on him anymore, but I’m stuck with this fucking BlackBerry for the next three years.
Gideon Resnick: Wow.
Priyanka Aribindi: Sometimes we do dumb things for love, but R.I.P. BlackBerry.
Gideon Resnick: That was WAD Remembers. Tell your smartphone that you love it while you still can. And we’ll be back after some ads.
Gideon Resnick: Let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Gideon Resnick: Harrowing winter storms made life a nightmare for many travelers on the East Coast recently. In Virginia, hundreds of drivers were finally freed yesterday afternoon from a road blockage along a 50-mile stretch of Interstate 95. This all began Monday morning when a truck jackknifed on the main north-south highway. This caused a chain reaction for vehicles in both directions, and all lanes were suddenly blocked. Some drivers were stuck in their cars for over 20 hours. And then, to make matters worse, on Monday, that same region had its heaviest one day snow total since 2016. Freezing cold motorists, including one Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, were forced to strategically turn their engines on and off to heat up while saving gas. On Sunday, that same storm system also paralyzed a New York-bound Amtrak train for a day and a half in Virginia. It was one of several hour-long delays along the East Coast that Amtrak reported. And winter weather triggered hundreds of flight cancelations as well.
Priyanka Aribindi: You know, I’m not actually from L.A., but I lived there long enough to be like, I can’t deal with any of this. So this is actually my nightmare. I’m horrified for these people. Canada has pledged $31.5 billion towards reforming its First Nations child welfare system that has historically discriminated against Indigenous children and families. Half of the money will be used to pay reparations to those families who were forcibly separated under the welfare system during the past century, and the other half will go towards removing the system’s bias against First Nations children over the next five years. This marks the largest settlement in Canadian history and serves as a response to several lawsuits filed by the First Nation groups against the Canadian government. This also comes after the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission deemed Canada guilty of cultural genocide in 2015 for this horrible history. At a press conference yesterday, Manitoba’s regional chief at the Assembly of First Nations, Cindy Woodhouse, said this:
[clip of Cindy Woodhouse] First Nations from across Canada have had to work very hard for this day to provide redress for monumental wrongs against First Nation children, wrongs fueled by an inherently biased system.
Gideon Resnick: It is a good time to get into the business of making résumé templates because a record number of about four and a half million workers quit or changed jobs last November, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That is up from October, when 4.2 million workers reportedly gave their two-week notice. This trend, onset by the pandemic, shows how the ongoing labor shortage has given workers more leverage over their employers. Many workers are leaving their jobs for opportunities with better working conditions, flexible hours, and hiring bonuses. Restaurant and retail workers made up the majority of people who left their jobs in November, and job sites have reported an increased amount of searches for remote-friendly positions. Julia Pollack, an economist for the job posting site ZipRecruiter, told The Washington Post quote, “these are not quits from the labor force, but quits from lower-paying jobs to higher-paying jobs, from less prestigious jobs to better, more prestigious jobs.
Priyanka Aribindi: That’s great. And speaking of résumé templates, does anyone have one? Because I hate the way that every résumé template looks. I hate what my resume, I don’t know how you feel about your resume—I haven’t looked at in a while, but like, I really don’t like that template. Ireland’s government is doing its part to support dry January—this is about to be good. Yesterday, the country implemented a new law intended to curb binge drinking, which will impose a minimum unit price on alcoholic beverages. Stores, restaurants and bars must now sell alcoholic drinks for no less than 10 cents per gram of alcohol. For example, a bottle of wine containing seven and a half drinks must be sold for at least seven and a half euros, or a little more than $8. I have never had the problem of a bar charging me too little in my life.
Gideon Resnick: Correct.
Priyanka Aribindi: So this is very interesting to me, but OK. Public health experts and advocacy groups say that this will be an important step towards curbing alcohol abuse in Ireland. Critics of the law say it could unfairly penalize poorer people and those struggling with alcoholism. Laws like this aren’t unheard of. Scotland and Wales both introduced minimum pricing for alcohol in the last few years, putting the United Kingdom at number one on our list of best places to be into puzzles.
Gideon Resnick: Exactly. It was already pretty close. You know, Big Ben, many, many pieces, a wonderful puzzle to build, but now it’s certainly number one.
Priyanka Aribindi: Geez. We were trying to like do the math on this with the popular boxed wine variety, and it’s simply, yikes.
Gideon Resnick: It is.
Priyanka Aribindi: Hope that doesn’t happen. I mean, not that I would like to go back to drinking that, but I hope that doesn’t happen here.
Gideon Resnick: We hope for your sake that nobody has to think about box wine any time soon. And those are the headlines.
Priyanka Aribindi: Great. Great way to go out.
Gideon Resnick: If people want it, they want it. It’s fine. I won’t judge.
Priyanka Aribindi: One more thing before we go: do you have opinions about What A Day? Now is your chance to let us know. Leave us a review and tell us what you want to hear. We really appreciate the feedback and we can’t wait to read what you submit. Five stars, please. Wow, that’s—I mean, give us whatever stars you want, but I would love it if it was a five, please.
Gideon Resnick: That is all for today. Make sure you subscribe, follow us on Instagram at What A Day, and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just one last BBM before they all go up in smoke 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 send us your pitch deck for Theranos 2.0!
Priyanka Aribindi: I was thinking about this. I was like, they’re never going to do another blood test-y startup thing again. Which is kind of sad because the idea isn’t bad. Like, if they could do it, it’d be fucking great. But not again.
Gideon Resnick: I think the Fyre Fest guy will try. At some point he will try.
Priyanka Aribindi: You know what, if we get dueling documentaries about it, I’m in.
Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Yeah. 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.