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COVID-19 update: A conversation with Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz

Health and Benefits
COVID 19 Coronavirus

October 14, 2021

We share a monthly update from Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz on the current state of COVID-19 in the U.S.


In this series we ask Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz questions about the current state of COVID-19 in the U.S. and what employers can do to address the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace.

October 2021

  • Where do we stand in the pandemic right now? (0:24)
  • How would you advise people to interpret data we're seeing on hot spots and increases in COVID-19 cases in states with high vaccination rates? (2:03)
  • Can you talk about the business risks associated with unvaccinated employees? (4:25)
  • Can you share an update on vaccine mandates? (6:13)
  • Can you tell us about the new oral medication that can be used to treat COVID-19? (8:57)
  • Final thoughts and closing quote: Ed Yong, We're already barreling toward the next pandemic, Atlantic Magazine (14:44)
    • “When a doctor saves a patient, that person is grateful. When an epidemiologist prevents someone from catching a virus, that person never knows.”

September 2021

  • What's the current state of COVID-19 in the U.S.? (0:18)
  • What do you think employers should do to prepare for the new federal mandate? (2:10)
  • Can you share your thoughts on the research findings from the randomized, controlled trial of mask use in Bangladesh? (4:44)
  • Can you provide an update on infection rates among school-aged children? (6:55)
  • What are your thoughts on vaccine booster shots? (8:59)
  • How will we know when the pandemic is over? (10:20)
  • Closing quote: Robert Wachter, Chair, UCSF Department of Medicine, A Big Delta Unknown, New York Times (11:49)
    • "Risk is low enough to live life, high enough to be careful."

August 2021

  • Where do we stand now? An update on the current situation in the U.S. (0:50)
  • Are you worried about kids going back to school? (2:50)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced guidance around a third booster shot. What are the implications, especially for employers? (5:37)
  • What are your thoughts about premium surcharges for people who are unvaccinated? (7:45)
  • Are vaccine mandates a good idea? (10:26)
  • What are your thoughts on the Lambda variant? (12:51)
  • Closing quote: Mark Levine, The Case for Masking Up Again Indoors in New York City, The New Yorker, July 24, 2021 (15:00)
    • “People watch disaster movies about global pandemics, where at the end they discover the vaccine, and everyone hugs, and the credit rolls, but the real world is messier. Viruses evolve. People are complicated. And, unfortunately, public health is a collective struggle. And the continual evolution of the virus, and the challenge in bringing everyone in our society along, means this isn’t over yet.”

Population Health Leader, Health and Benefits, North America

Jeff is a practicing physician and has led Willis Towers Watson’s clinical response to COVID-19. He has served in leadership roles in provider organizations and a health plan, and is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Chan School of Public Health.

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