Daylight Shavings Time with Dr. Adeel Rishi | Crooked Media
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March 15, 2022
America Dissected
Daylight Shavings Time with Dr. Adeel Rishi

In This Episode

Spring forward has taken all the spring out of my step. It’s even worse from my four year old who’s super confused about why she has to wake up an hour earlier every day. But beyond the annoyance and the lack of sleep, what are the long term health consequences of Daylight Savings Time? We speak with Dr. Adeel Rishi, lead author of a position paper from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on Daylight Savings Time.

 

 

Transcript

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Congressional Democrats pass a $1.5 trillion spending bill, but drop President Biden’s COVID agenda in the process. Bending to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and betraying his medical training, Florida’s Surgeon General recommends against childhood vaccines. And it’s officially been two years since the first lockdowns began in March of 2020. This is America Dissected. I’m your host, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed. I know you’re listening to this sometime after Tuesday, but I’m taping this on Sunday. I record the pod every Sunday night, giving our editor time to clean it up, make me coherent, and ship it off to all your eardrums in working order. My goodness, this is the worst Sunday. Today is our annual collective hangover, known as daylight savings. As I record this, it’s 9:48, but my body feels like it’s 8:48. I’d usually be winding down, getting ready to go to bed in about an hour, but I know that my head’s going to hit that pillow and I’m just going to keep thinking about why I’m not sleeping. And tomorrow, don’t even get me started on tomorrow. I’ve got to be up early in the morning and it’s going to feel like the middle of the night. And I’m not even the person in the house who’s the most sensitive to daylight savings. That’s my daughter, Emidi. Tomorrow, we’re going to have to wake her up for school around 7:15, but that’s going to be like 6:15 to her, and it’s going to feel like agony for all of us. We sort of think about toddlers as being somewhere in the middle between being babies and being children, but they’re less at some middle point and more some parts both—a chimera between infant and child. And if you’ve ever had to live with a toddler, you know that there are two things that drive them crazy: hunger and exhaustion. A tired toddler is a lot harder to deal with than a hungry toddler. After all, you can fix a hungry toddler, just give them a snack. But it’s not easy to make a tired screaming toddler happy, because the other thing I’ve come to appreciate about a toddler is that their response to being tired is paradoxical. Instead of falling asleep like you or I might, they get hyper and agitated. It’s rough. And you know what? We’re about to have to deal with that for the entire next week until our kids adjust to this. In fact, here’s Emidi to tell you what she thinks about Daylight Savings Time herself. Emidi:

 

Emidi: [unclear] light take gavings.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I hate light take gavings too. You mean daylight savings?

 

Emidi: Yeah. Daylight savings.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I don’t like daylight savings, either.

 

Emidi: We need to sleep more.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I agree.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed narrating: So no philosophical takes are profound thoughts today. Daylight Savings Time just sucks. And guess what? I’m not the only one who thinks so. The inspo behind this episode comes from one of our producers, Tara Terpstra, who is far and away the most organized, unflappable person I know, but literally say the words “daylight savings” and you’ll see the Ms. Hyde of Tara Terpstra. But it turns out that there are a lot more reasons to worry about Daylight Savings Time than the lost sleep, or the fact that your toddler turns into a sleep-deprived mess. In fact, when the idea for the episode came up, I remembered reading an interesting position paper from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine about the long-term harms of daylight savings. It turns out that it’s a lot more than just lost sleep. I reached out to the lead author for that position paper, Dr. Adeel Rishi, to share more about it. My conversation with him after this break.

 

[ad break]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: OK. Ready to get going?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: I guess so, yeah.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: All right, perfect. Can introduce yourself for the tape?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: So my name is Dr. Muhammad Adeel Rishi. I’m an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and I’m the advisor of the Public Safety Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: We really appreciate you joining us, because today we’re talking about something that, that sort of comes, it sneaks up on you and and then all of a sudden you realize that you are exceptionally tired for a week or two weeks.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: And that is, of course, daylight savings. Can you can you walk us through what is Daylight Savings Time? Where did it come from?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Sure. So I think most of us have a vague idea of what it is, which is, you know, twice a year we flick, flip back and forth between, you know, between daylight saving time and standard time. So what most people don’t know is that it’s actually written in law, in federal law here in the United States. So, according to federal law, on the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November at 2:00 a.m., you have to move forward in the spring, in March, and then move backwards in the following November. Why we do it is is a very interesting question. So here are all sort of stories, but, you know, if you look at, you know, the history of daylight savings, I think it really started, what we consider the morning daylight savings time from a guy called George Hudson. He’s a New Zealander, he a entomologist. He collected insects. He was also a postal worker. And this is late 1800s. And he realized that once he got off his job, he wanted to collect insects, there wasn’t a lot of sunlight afterwards, and so he came up with this idea that if you move your clock forward by a couple of hours, he’ll have a couple of extra hours in the evening to collect insects. So he presented his paper to the Wellington Scientific Society in the late 1890s. I think it really caught on during the First World War, when Germany decided that this could be an energy saving measure. And you know, we know that enemy’s turn to be mirror images of each other. So British and then the US followed suit. So America had its first tango with daylight saving time in 1918. It’s interesting—so, you know, it wasn’t very popular, but you know, when the war ended, Congress actually passed legislation to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, but President Wilson liked his long afternoons with sunlight because he liked to play golf, so he vetoed it. In fact, he vetoed it twice. The third time Congress overruled by two thirds majority, and we ended up having daylight saving time removed from the country up—until The Second World War, where it was again re-adopted. What we do right now is written into legislation through the Universal Time Act of 1966. When it was written, it was supposed to be having daylight saving time for six months and then six months of standard time. But you know what Congress has done since 1966 is prolong the duration that we spend on Daylight Savings Time. And so first we went to seven month and the last iteration of what we have right now happened in 2005, when we go into eight months. Right now, we do Daylight Savings Time in this country for eight months and then standard time for four months.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So basically, the daylight savings regime that we are under right now started out as a, just a question of how to get more leisure time that then turned into an energy saving approach during both world wars. And then we’re sort of in this space now where it just kind of become habit. Now you authored a position paper on behalf of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, arguing that we should abolish it. Can you explain why we should abolish it, and then some of the health challenges that that it poses in our society?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah, so, you know, it might have made sense to do the switching, you know, in the early 20th century, but you know, we’re in a different time now. And in fact, when Congress looked into the energy saving effects of Daylight Savings Time, the congressional report actually did not find any significant energy savings. So that happened after the 1973 OPEC crisis, where the country decided to go to permanent daylight savings time—for about nine months, I think we were on permanent daylight savings time. And so then after that, Congress authorized a report and then the final report came out, I think, in ’76 and, you know, they didn’t find any significant energy savings. So I think that narrative is not, has not been found to be true. Now what can be the harmful effects? I think, I look at it in context of, you know, two different things. One is the switch, so moving forward in the spring and flipping back during the fall. And the other is the duration of time that we are on Daylight Savings Time. So I kind of try to look at it in two different scenarios or perspectives. And so for the switch there’s actually ample evidence, and actually there’s not not a lot of arguing, that it is harmful. So what are the potential harms of switching? And so the switches have been associated with increased risk of heart attacks. Directly, you know, at least six papers that I’m aware of, and [unclear] and colleagues published a paper reviewing all of those in 2018 demonstrating that, you know, there’s an increased risk of heart attacks when, especially the spring switch happens.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Wow. So it’s, you’re talking about in the week to two weeks after the switch, there’s just an increased incidence of heart attacks.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Right. And then there’s this increased risk of, you know, an abnormal rhythm of the heart called atrial fibrillation, which has been associated with stroke. And, you know, no surprise that there is increased risk of stroke. And so a recent paper from Mayo Clinic from Dr. Morganthaler’s group demonstrated increased risk of medical errors.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: That’s just because you have an overworked, under-slept staff that’s even more under slept on Daylights Saving time?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Exactly. Right. We all know why that happens, because we all are tired after the switch.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I tell you when I was in med school, I had to do a 24-hour shift on Daylight Savings Time. And so ended up being a 25-shift, and that one extra hour will kill you after 24.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah, yeah. Exactly right. Exactly right. You know, and so not only that in the medical field, but there is an increased incidence of motor vehicle crashes. There are actually several studies looking at that, and all of them have demonstrated the same thing, especially after that spring switch, there is an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes. There is a risk of other types of accidents at workplaces. There are more disturbances that happen at both the spring switch and the falls switch, as well as other things as well. And so, so there’s plenty of evidence now that the switch is bad. But what about the duration of time that we stay on Daylight Savings Time? And so Till Rosenberg has done some work on this. And, you know, he has demonstrated that the duration of time that we are on Daylight Savings Time is associated with this phenomenon, what we like to call social jetlag. So what is social jetlag? So I think before I explain social jetlag, I think I have to probably tell you about the three different clocks that are out there, right? So one is the clock that’s on the wall. That’s what I like to call the social clock— that’s what society wants us to follow, right? So, and that’s what we change when we go to Daylight Savings Time. So that’s what we move one hour forward and then we bring it back one hour backward, you know, in spring and fall, respectively. And then there is a sun clock, which is the time the sun comes up, when it’s kind of in the middle of the sky so it’s midday, and then when it sets, right? That’s a clock that we have no control over and it’s always been like that. And in fact, almost all organisms, living organisms, that have been studied have been found to be connected to that clock, that solar clock. And how are organisms connected to that sun clock or solar clock? We are connected to that clock by our internal clock, which is the circadian clock. And that’s how different systems in the body regulate themselves. For example, when we feel sleepy and then we are more awake or vigilant, when different hormones are secreted in the body at higher rates and at lower rates, when the heart rate goes up, when the blood sugars are higher—so a lot of these systems are controlled by our internal clock, which is called the circadian clock.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: And just to jump in here, I think, you know, just for listeners, you know, we sort of take it for granted that we sleep during nighttime and that we wake during daytime. But we don’t appreciate often that there is a really tightly calibrated hormonal set of rhythms that secrete to mediate our wakefulness, when we feel more tired. Anybody who’s ever taken melatonin, for example, after a long flight, what you’re trying to do is basically reset that that hormonal time so that your body mediates, everything from its wakefulness and when you feel tired, but everything also from when you expect to eat to, you know, when you need to go to the bathroom to when you need to be most alert and awake to, you know, to do the things that you do during the day. And so, you know, just that that is the context that the Doctor Rishi is explaining here. And a lot of that gets mediated naturally by when you see the sun, and when you start to mess with that, you can see that there can be some problems.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Exactly. So there’s a lot of research which demonstrates that our internal clock cannot be synchronized to the social clock, by the clock on the wall. And the best example is that in people who are totally blind, so they have the social clock, so they have the social cues when it’s appropriate to get up and when it’s appropriate to fall asleep, but they don’t have the solar clock because they can’t appreciate light. And they don’t have this disorder called the Non-24, and no matter how hard they try, they can’t sync to the social norms, and so their circadian biology goes haywire. They can’t appreciate the difference between when they need to be awake and when they need to be asleep, so they develop this disorder called Non-24. And so if we can’t sync our internal clocks to the social clock, you know, then what happens is when you move social clock forward, you develop this asynchrony between your internal clock and the social clock. And this asynchrony is what we call social jetlag. And the social jetlag has been associated with weight gain, with this fancy doctor term, you know, “metabolic syndrome” which is again, weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It’s also been associated with potentially increased risk of heart attacks. And so there’s a classic paper published in New England Journal of Medicine about 14 years ago by Jamsky and colleagues, and they demonstrated that there was an increased risk of heart attacks, you know, during the spring switch, but that has been demonstrated several times now afterwards, after that original paper came out. Why that paper is interesting is because when the fall happens, Jamsky demonstrated that there was a decreased risk of heart attack for several days after we went back to standard time. So some people have interpreted that as saying that potentially the risk of heart attacks is elevated throughout the time that we are on daylight savings. And if that’s true, that’s obviously very worrisome and we obviously keep on prolonging that as I said earlier, prolonging the duration that we are on Daylight Savings Time. And so that’s —

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Just to summarize that, we have this situation where the changing of the time abruptly is itself, especially in the spring when you lose that hour, that that is itself dangerous. And then it may be that the time that we spend on Daylight Savings Time introduces the social jetlag, which itself may cause this, this chronic effect that we don’t particularly appreciate over the eight months that we’re in daylight savings. And then once we switch back where we’re on, we’ll just say a more natural timeline vis-a-vis the sun, which gets us back to where we were. I did want to ask just on that point, you know, it seems as though if you live in communities that are, we’ll just say, more extreme away from the equator, that you’re going to end up having a lot more of that social jetlag that you talked about. Is there a scenario where you know, Daylight Savings is less severe for those folks who suffer the social jetlag simply just because of where they stand, where they live on Earth?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah, exactly. Exactly right. So if you look, you know, if you look at populations or anything that affects populations, you’re always going to end up with a bell-shaped curve. So the majority of the population is in the middle of that bell, but there are people who are on either side of the extremes. So obviously, people, if you are closer to the Equator, there is less difference in the photo period or the duration that that part of the Earth is exposed to sunlight between winter and in summer. And so you are going to be probably less affected by change, a change in where your clock is on the wall, right? Because the duration of time that you’re exposed to sunlight is not going to change that much throughout the year. Certainly, the farther up you are, the more affect there is going to be. The other thing to consider which a lot of people don’t consider is that more westward you are in a time zone, you know, the more likely you are going to be affected by this. And so the sun is, you know, at the center of the sky or it’s midday from a solar clock perspective and our clock on the wall says that it’s 12 o’clock in the afternoon at noontime, in the middle of the time zone, so, and when we are on Standard Time. So the more westward you are, the more out of sync you are, you know, from, and then—you know, for example, I live in Indiana, and so Indiana is the westward most state in the Eastern Time Zone, and so, you know, for us, you know, in the in the middle of the winter, the sun doesn’t come up till after eight o’clock in the morning. Whereas New York whose on the same time zone, the sun comes up close to early, like early 7 o’clock, 7:05, in the middle of the winter. And so when you go to Daylight Saving Time here, the sun won’t come up till 9 o’clock, whereas for example, at New York, it would be at 8 o’clock. Certainly, you know, people in Indiana will be more affected by the change than people in New York. So there’s certainly, yeah, I think your geographical location does affect. And you know, there’s actually been studies showing demonstrating that the more westward you are in the, the time zone, the more likely you are to have cardiovascular disease, more likely that you will be making less money, more likely that kids will be performing more poorly in schools, there’s increased risk of cancer,  more westward you are. And there is increased risk of motor vehicle crashes more westward in a time zone. So, and that’s irrespective of the Daylight Savings Time. And Daylight Savings Time would obviously exacerbate those problems.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, narrating: We’ll be back with more with Dr. Adeel Rishi, after this break.

 

[ad break]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, narrating:  And we’re back with more of my conversation with Dr. Adeel Rishi.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So it’s fascinating that in some respects, the issue is actually one of trying to standardize our biological clock to a social clock, and Daylight Savings Time tweaks that just enough to really exacerbate that inability to standardize. That’s really quite fascinating. For most people, the experience of Daylight Savings Time is just one of sleep. It’s either your sleep or your kid’s sleep, which is probably even worse. And every time you have to spring forward, the kids lose an hour of sleep, they go haywire for two weeks. What does does daylight savings time just mean for our sleep, you know, for those of us who aren’t, you know, potentially being affected by the cardiovascular outcomes, at least not acutely—what does it do to our sleep and what are the long term implications of having to switch forward, switch back every year?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah, so, you know, so there is evidence that we lose an hour of sleep when we go to Daylight Saving Time in the springs switch, and the and this is in a population which is already sleep deprived. So we know that the population here in America, we get less sleep than what we should be getting. We know that sleep problems have exacerbated during the pandemic. And so when all of a sudden on top of it, you, you know, put Daylight Saving Time and take one hour extra off sleep away from people, they’re more likely to get into accidents. I think, that’s the biggest thing I worry about in the first week or 10 days after that switch, is that an acutely sleep-deprived person, you know, gets on the road in the morning when it’s dark, and then God-forbid, gets into an accident. And so, so I think the biggest risk, I think, in the early part of that change is that, you know, you can get into accident both on the road as well as at your work, depending on the type of work you do, right? So not everybody is sitting behind a desk in the morning. I mean, the people who are outdoors doing things that are potentially dangerous, if you’re not vigilant, for example, like crane workers, for example, or ambulance drivers, or pilots, you know? And medical workers, right, they need to be on the top of their game in terms of vigilance or, you know, little mistakes can harm their patients. And so that that switch can exacerbate all of those things. Certainly if you’re at risk, you know, you’d be at a higher risk of having heart attacks and all of those other bad things in the immediate switch time.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So is there, I mean, we talked about all of the overwhelming evidence around the negative consequences of Daylight Saving Times. Is there anything positive about Daylight Savings Time?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: I would say, you know, a couple of things that are probably worth mentioning in that basket, right, in that bucket we probably need to put. One is that, you know, it has been demonstrated that in the afternoons after you go to daylight savings, in the afternoons, there’s is decreased risk of accidents. And that makes sense because your photo period is longer in the afternoon. Your total photo period stays the same. So, you know, I hear a lot of people tell me that when you get to Daylight Saving Time, you have more sunlight, and that’s not true. That’s just a false statement. You don’t have more sunlight. You just shifted sunlight to the afternoon or the evening. But in the afternoon, there’s more sunlight and so there is evidence that there is a decreased risk of accidents in the afternoon. And then the other thing that’s probably worth mentioning is that during the time that you’re on Daylight Saving Time, there’s decreased criminal activity. And whether that is because you are in the summer and there’s decreased criminal activity during the summer anyways because there’s more sunlight, the total photo the period gets longer, and you know, or whether it’s because of the Daylight Savings Time, because more criminal activity happens in the afternoon than in the evenings and if you have less time and it’s dark, you know, you’d have a little less. So those two things are, you know, are then demonstrably correct, but, you know, I think overall, if you look at the overall public safety situation, I think, you know, definitely Standard Time is better than Daylight Savings Time.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So you presented overwhelming evidence now that we probably should do away with Daylight Savings Time, and yet it is written into federal law. Why do you think it persists and what do you think it’ll take for us to to change it?

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s hard to change federal law, right? That’s probably the most obvious reason. It requires a lot of people to agree on something. And you know, that’s very difficult. It’s ingrained, going back and forth is ingrained in the psyche of the society because been going on for such a long time and change is difficult. Even if it’s a change for the better, it’s difficult. And so, and then there are there are folks who like it to have their longer afternoon just because for leisurely activities. But they—

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: To find bugs.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: You know, and then there are, some people who think that their economic benefits, at least for their industry, for example, who lobby for the Daylight Savings Time and even want to make it, even want to make it permanent. So I’ll give you an example, so the last time we went to Daylight Savings Time, 2005, one of the reasons to do that was that people wanted Halloween to fall in Daylight Savings Time, and you’d think why that would be the case. Well, people thought that if kids had one extra hour of trick or treating, that would mean more sales for candy industry.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Wow.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: And you know, we don’t think about these things, you know, as health care professionals, but that extra hour of Trick or Treating may mean millions of dollars to one industry and so that’s why that switch happened.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: So maybe from a public health perspective, it’d be it’d be better to undo it both, both because of the, all the reasons that you shared and also maybe less candy consumption around Halloween.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Yeah. But you know, so they’re more reasons than just, you know what the physicians or the medical professionals think are important. And what would it take? So I think there are about 20 states which have passed legislation attempting to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, but you know, for those legislations to actually go into effect, so they’ve been passed but for those decisions to go into effect, the way the federal law has been written, the federal law has to change for these state level laws to go into effect. And so unfortunately, most states which have passed legislation to get rid of the switches but go to permanent Daylight Savings Time, which, you know, as a medical community, we don’t think is the right —but there have been efforts ongoing, at least in the last several years where people have been trying to get rid of the Daylight Savings Time. And obviously, you know, at the Senate level at least, I think Senators Rubio and Scott from Florida have again introduced legislation, but again, unfortunately, wanting to get rid of the switches in favor of permanent Daylight Savings Time.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Well, there’s a lot, a lot that you’ve given us to to think about here as we adjust to the, to the unfortunate, to the unfortunate reality of, of having lost an hour and our children adjust, but we really appreciate you joining us and sharing some of the evidence behind the impact of Daylight Savings Time. That was Dr. Adeel Rishi. He’s the author of a position paper on behalf of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine against Daylight Savings Time. Really appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective, Dr. Rishi.

 

Dr. Adeel Rishi: Thanks a lot. Thank you for having me.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, narrating: As usual, here’s what I’m watching right now: as Democrats in Congress rush to pass an omnibus spending package, they bent to pressure from the GOP to cut out COVID spending. That includes nearly $16 billion for all the important things that President Biden talked about in his state of the Union: stockpiling tests and masks, building a test-to-treat pipeline so that people who test positive for COVID get anti-COVID medications right away, and, of course, more vaccines. How many times do we need to do this, people!? How many times do we need to declare COVID over, only to realize that the virus has different plans and then be caught flat-footed without the supplies we need to weather it? By the way, cases are going up in countries in Europe. Didn’t we just get out of Omicron, when nobody had the tests we needed? Didn’t we all watch last year’s Hot Vaxx Summer get canceled because of Delta? Look, I really, really want this to be over to, but I really, really don’t want to get caught up again in another surge without the things we need to protect ourselves. And excising the money we need to be ready for the next surge should it come, is yet again, failing to learn the lesson COVID has already taught us! Look, I hope I’m wrong about this. I hope this really is the end, but we simply can’t know that right now. And pretending like we can, it’s the height of folly, because when Democrats made the decision to cut the COVID funding, they were giving in to con artists like this guy:

 

[slip of Joseph Ladapo] The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the COVID-19 vaccines for healthy children.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: That’s the voice of Joseph Ladapo. He technically went to med school, but I’m not giving him his honorific because you know what? That guy is the Florida Surgeon General and Ron DeSantis’s minion who sold out his medical degree for a little bit of notoriety. He announced that Florida is now recommending against vaccinating healthy children 5 to 11 for COVID-19, despite the fact that we know that the vaccines are safe and effective in this age range and beyond. The move is completely contrary to any reading of the available evidence and could lead to completely unnecessary illness and death among kids. But that’s not even the only thing Florida’s GOP is actively doing to hurt kids this week.

 

[news clip] Florida’s controversial legislation passing, now sent to the governor there tonight. It’s called the Parental Rights and Education Bill. Critics call it the Don’t Say Gay Bill.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that would make it illegal to talk about LGBT, well, anything, in schools. The purpose of this bill is to legally sanction, in fact legally create stigma, against LGBT people. What makes this so disgusting is that it actively targets kids. LGBT youth are four times as likely to have been bullied and threatened at school and four times as likely to attempt suicide. That is BECAUSE of LGBT stigma, and this will only make it worse. And this week marks two years since the first lockdown for COVID-19 began in the United States. I’m never going to forget that time. The 2020 primaries were winding down. I’d been traveling all over the country, both campaigning and commentating on them for CNN. My first book, Healing Politics, was just about to come out, and we were in the finishing touches of planning a book tour. And then, like everyone else, it all came crashing down. We rushed to kick off Season 2 of this podcast to keep you all informed about what was happening, and I recorded from my in-laws basement, where we spent the first three months of the pandemic. For many of us, the pandemic has been one of the most harrowing experiences of our lives. No matter who you were, you experienced some kind of loss. Some of us lost parents or grandparents, spouses or children, siblings or best friends. Some got violently, almost deathly ill. Others lost jobs and livelihoods, that’s if we didn’t lose our lives. But everyone lost something. Everyone. This is the definition of a complex trauma. As we round the bend and, inshallah, things get back to some semblance of normal, it’s worth reflecting on this. It’s worth grieving all that’s been lost. I know that for many of us, we think about everyone else who’s lost so much more, and that’s an important beautiful thing. You should always do that. But you can both grieve what you’ve lost and appreciate how much you didn’t at the same time. You can reach out to help those who’ve lost more, even as you experience your own sadness at what you lost. I also just want to say thank you to all of you who’ve turned to all of us here at America Dissected for insights and perspectives on the pandemic. We’ve strived to offer honest, unvarnished but hopeful and context-driven analysis about what’s happening. We didn’t always get it perfectly right, but we always tried. Thank you for trusting us. That’s it for today. On your way out, can you do me a favor? Rate review the show, get it to other people. I’d really appreciate that. Also, if you love the show and want to rep us, I hope you’ll drop by the Crooked store for some American Dissected drip. We got our logo mugs and t-shirts, our Science Always Wins t-shirts, sweatshirts, and dad caps, and our Safe and Effective tees, which are on sale for $10 off while supplies last.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: America Dissected as a product of Crooked Media. Our producer is Austin Fisher. Our associate producer is Olivia Martinez. Veronica Simonetti mixes and masters the show, and production support is from Tara Terpstra, Lyra Smith, and Ari Schwartz. Our theme song is by Taka Yasuzawa and Alex Sugiura. Our executive producers are Sarah Geismer, Sandy Girard, Michael Martinez and me, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, your host. Thanks for listening.