#330 How This Plague Ends (and What It Tells Us About Human Nature) | Nicholas Christakis

Ten Percent Happier
March 15, 2021
#330 How This Plague Ends (and What It Tells Us About Human Nature) | Nicholas Christakis
Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

We all remember that fateful week, almost exactly a year ago, when it all seemed to sink in for so many of us-- when Tom Hanks got sick, the NBA suspended games, and the (now former) President addressed the nation in primetime. The big question now is: when and how will this plague end? 

My guest today has a clear vision for how things are likely to play out from from here. His name is Dr. Nicholas Christakis. He’s a physician, sociologist, and director of the Human Nature Lab at Yale University. He’s written a number of books, but there are two that we will discuss in this episode. His latest is called Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live. The other book we’re going to talk about is on a related subject. It’s called Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society. In it, Christakis argues that human beings are fundamentally good. In fact, as you will hear, it is our goodness that the virus exploits.

One more order of business: when COVID began affecting our lives, most of us were in immediate crisis, wondering about the answers to very basic questions: How do I get food safely? How do I care for my children and/or do my job under less-than-ideal circumstances? Will my loved ones and I be safe? In response to our changing reality, we’ve used this podcast to help you figure out how to navigate our new world.

We’ve spoken with experts about how to cope with this crisis, from dealing with anxiety and grief to parenting in a pandemic to worries about money.

As you know, the practice of meditation undergirds all of the practical takeaways you hear us discuss on this podcast–and as you may or may not know, many of our podcast guests have contributed to our companion meditation app.

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Where to find Nicholas Christakis online: 


Human Nature Lab at Yale University 

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