Brigitte writes:

Hello from the Laurentides, 1+ hour north of Montreal, where fall and most leaves have already fallen; with nights hovering around 0-1-2 Celsius and days creeping just a little below 10! 

I am a pretty much newbie to your podcast- I learned about it this summer thanks to one of my favorite authors i.e. Malcolm Gladwell (he talks about it in one of his podcasts).

Little did I know that I would get so seriously addicted to your talks.  I want to thank you so so much for getting science back into my life!  

I am not certain if one of you speaks French, but I forwarded you a note (below) I just sent to the Montreal Newspaper La Presse as I read an article in it this week stating that a local survey showed 84% of the population have confidence in Science and Scientists.  Obviously you will find this is great news!  

This is why I suggested they should have an article in their newspaper about TWiV; to inform people about what you do in your podcasts.  Then thinking further I also suggested that they might want to include a weekly summary of what your latest podcast talks about as a teaser i.e. who were your guests; what papers you reviewed etc.

I was wondering if this is being done in newspapers anywhere else? It may be another way to reach more “regular” people, increase their understanding and knowledge of what scientists do… anyway it is just a suggestion!

Lovin your passion; keep being yourselves…. vous êtes magnifiques; je vous adore!



Begin forwarded message:

From: Brigitte Boulais 

Date: October 5, 2020 at 10:13:57 AM EDT

To: “” <>

Subject: La population a confiance dans les sciences- Écouter des scientifiques à chaque semaine discuter des avancements-études cliniques etc re COVID-19

Vous devriez jeter un coup d’oeil à un podcast de sciences que vous trouverez sur “Microbe TV“ qui s’intitule  “This Week in Virology”.  C’est un podcast qui existe depuis plus de 10 ans; un concept développé et animé par le Vincent Racaniello (a Higgins Professor in the Departement of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons;  il est de plus co-auteur d’un textbook sur la Virologie, Principle of Virology).  Je vous conseille de débuter l’écoute avec le TWiV #641 avec Dr.Anthony Fauci comme invité.  J’ai aussi adoré le TWiV #666…

Depuis que j’écoute ce podcast je suis toujours en avance sur les nouvelles que je lis dans La Presse!  Je vous suggère de parler de ce podcast à vos lecteurs, pour ma part il a changé ma vie puisqu’être informé aide vraiment à gérer le stress de notre situation actuelle et de bien comprendre le pourquoi des mesures sanitaires.

Je me disais que si vous vouliez vous pourriez peut-être effectuer un synopsis des discussions de TWiV à chaque semaine et y ajouter le lien du podcast dans la Presse?  Si vous avez besoin de bras pour cela laissez le moi savoir !!  

Merci de continuer de nous tenir informés!

Brigitte Boulais

B.Sc. Microbiologie Université de Montréal

Google translate:

You should take a look at a science podcast that you can find on “Microbe TV” called “This Week in Virology”. This is a podcast that has been around for over 10 years; a concept developed and moderated by Vincent Racaniello (a Higgins Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons; he is also co-author of a textbook on Virology, Principles of Virology). I advise you to start listening with TWiV # 641 with Dr. Anthony Fauci as a guest. I also loved the TWiV # 666 …

Since listening to this podcast I am always ahead of the news I read in La Presse! I suggest you tell your readers about this podcast, for me it has changed my life as being informed really helps to deal with the stress of our current situation and to fully understand the rationale behind sanitary measures.

I was thinking if you wanted maybe you could do a synopsis of the TWiV discussions every week and add the podcast link in the Press? If you need any help for this let me know !!

Thank you for continuing to keep us informed!

Jessa writes:

Hi Vincent!

I listened all the way to the end of episode 669. *raspberry blow*

I’m a COVID ICU nurse in San Antonio, TX. Am I your lone Texas fan? Lol I have been listening to your podcast (all the way to the end) for the past few weeks. Thank you and all of the other scientists and doctors on the show for your up to date information. It helps me in my daily care of these patients. Have a great day!


Jessa, CCRN

Joyce writes:

Dear TWiV-ers,

This is a note to first let you know that:

1) I’m from Texas (hi, Rich!), and
2) Yes, I listen to your podcast all the way to the end.

That’s because I don’t want to miss a thing, Dr. Racaniello!

My chemical engineer husband, teenage daughter, and I (trained as “just” an ecologist) have all had your show in our podcast players since we discovered it this spring. We’re so grateful for your friendly voices. It’s like journal club, but better! You say the show is edutainment, but for my family it’s more like edu-comfort. You remind us that there are a lot of good people out there doing good work, and we can support them in their efforts. All is not lost, after all. (At least, not yet!)

With fires to our west, hurricanes to our east, and great financial need all around, my family has tried to pitch in wherever possible these past few months. In early August my husband created a national, county-level web app to allow people to visualize what kind of exposure risk they might face when they move throughout the community: (The settings page includes the methodology.) Of course the app is only as good as the data feeding it, and we’re finding in Texas that, as Rich has mentioned, our county-level data can be hit or miss. Perhaps it’s more reliable where you are. In any case, as areas continue to open up we hope people understand, at least somewhat, the potential risks–even if they have not yet been personally touched by COVID-19–and continue to do all the things we know work: masks, hygiene, distance, and lots of fresh air.

Finally, to help mark this unusual year I’m hoping for some TWiV merchandise in my Christmas stocking and will be dropping the appropriate hints. May I make a comment about the t-shirts, however? Women must sometimes be a little more careful about the placement of logos and designs on shirts. The “miasma” and “politics” tees may be a little more flattering with those phrases on the back, or if on the front, with the TWiV logo very small underneath. If you’d like help making some adjustments to your graphics and layouts to allow for more flattering options, let me know and I’d be happy to assist. I’m not a graphics person but do know my way around some graphics tools as a parent volunteer, and do like to wear nice t-shirts that advertise my favorite causes!

Gratitude and love to you all,


Graciela writes:

Good morning Twiv team!

This is just a feel-good gratitude letter since I am tickled pink with some of the wittiness from your show!  I thoroughly enjoy listening and am learning so much.  I look forward to new episodes and though it is more convenient to listen, I find myself logging on from my desk-top so I can actually watch you guys with all your personalities showing through the screen!  Thank you all for the time you put into this, you are appreciated and this gal from Texas does listen to the very end! 😉

Gratefully Yours,


Wayne writes:

Bozeman is in Gallatin County…COVID is spreading rapidly in MT.

Wayne G

Wakayama JP/Bozeman MT

Here is a article that you might like

Dr. Vincent,

Here’s the latest on COVID-19 in Montana…numbers are going up and I fear it’s going to get worse this winter.

Here in Wakayama we remain at having 238 folks infected no new infections for weeks and only 4 deaths early on in this pandemic!

Masks work, personal distance works, taking this disease seriously works…rural Japanese get it young urban Japanese in cities like Tokyo and Osaka don’t and the numbers show it!

A tsunami of virus washes over the land…
Clinging to scientific truth some are saved!
Others drown holding on to rocks of ignorance.

Stay safe and best!

Wayne G

Wakayama JP

Martin writes:

Dear Vincent

Have just spotted this number plate on my TWiV walk. Maybe the owner is a fan of ASV too?

Best wishes to the team,


Paul writes:

Hi Vincent and all the wonderful guests you have on your shows.

I live in Southport, England near Royal Birkdale Golf Course and I have been following TWiV for some time.

recently I saw an episode where you discussed free healthcare in the US and other places, I have spent the last 12 months working for a US/Canada Healthcare company in a Royal Hospital in the UK so I am very aware of my colleague’s reliance on the company insurance policy in the US.

I wanted to just be a bit pedantic (I know you like that) about the wording.

In the episode in question, it was referred to as “Free Healthcare”, it is not free, wherever it is given, someone has to pay for it, it is really called “Free healthcare at the point of use”.  

In the UK we have the NHS which is a fantastic Labour Party created system, everyone who works in the UK and earns over a certain threshold pays National Insurance contributions which funds pensions and the NHS with general tax income from the government.

Sadly funding of the NHS under Conservative governments has fallen to the lowest in 50 years up until the Corona Virus pandemic.

We also have private hospitals of course and many employers offer private health insurance as a “perk” but it is usually only for outpatient treatment in quieter hospitals, often the work you have done is done by the NHS doctors/ surgeons anyway.

All in all, everyone who is a resident or citizen is covered for free at the point of use and those who can pay for a quicker treatment etc can still do so via Private Medical Routes.

If you are an overseas visitor and need hospital treatment you will have to pay later, but the costs will be considerably lower than in the US for example, there are plenty of youtube videos about this.

Anyhow, you guys really make me smile and fill my head with great info, of course as a 50-year-old keeping the new knowledge in my head is another matter.

kind regards


Richard writes:

Dear Vincent and team,

I have been listening from the start of the pandemic and have found the show incredibly informative and interesting, many thanks for your efforts. 

After discussing some of the show content with my mum we wondered if there was a possibility for people to asymptomatically carry the virus at low levels for significant period of time, and therefore cause infections like Typhoid Mary. Indeed I was also wondering where the common cold viruses go in the summer, do they just circulate at very low levels or are there people who are reservoirs for these and once their noses start running in the winter we see the typical winter resurgence?

If this is a possibility then could places like New Zealand suffer random unknown outbreaks due to carriers of this sort?

Many thanks,