Covid, Pandemics and The New Normal:

The Future of Coronavirus Mutations, Monkeypox and Polio

Jeffrey Shaman

BS UPenn, MA/PhD Columbia 
Director of the Climate and Health Program
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

In conversation with:

Michael Caruso

CC ‘83, former Editor in Chief, Smithsonian

Health officials are calling the current summer spike of the highly contagious new BA.4 and BA.5 variants the worst versions of the virus we’ve seen so far. Reported cases in the U.S. are now topping 100,000 a week and the real number is undoubtedly much higher. If you haven’t caught one of them yet, experts say you could any day now.

And while death rates are low so far, new evidence shows that even mild symptoms can develop into long Covid, which can cause major health problems for the rest of your life.

But experts say the next waves of COVID could be much worse. New combinations of mutations are multiplying at an alarming rate. The next one, BA2.75, nicknamed “Centaurus,” is rapidly spreading in India and has already been detected in the U.S. and 10 other countries.

As if all that isn’t concerning enough, there are now outbreaks of Monkeypox in Washington DC and meningococcal in Florida, and the first U.S. case of polio in a decade in New York.

What is going on and what will our world look like in the fall and winter–and in the coming years?

In this crucial conversation with world-renowned epidemiologist Prof. Jeffrey Shaman, Michael Caruso will explore where we are in the war against dangerous human viruses and what the immediate and long-term future holds.

Time will be allocated for Q&A.

Cosponsored by:
  • Penn Club of DC
  • MIT Club of Washington DC

Jeffrey Shaman is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Director of the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He studies the survival, transmission and ecology of infectious agents, including the effects of meteorological and hydrological conditions on these processes. Work-to-date has primarily focused on mosquito-borne and respiratory pathogens. He uses mathematical and statistical models to describe, understand, and forecast the transmission dynamics of these disease systems, and to investigate the broader effects of climate and weather on human health.


Michael Caruso serves as the editorial director of The Hill's Changing America. Previously, he was the fourth editor-in-chief of the Smithsonian magazine, a position he held from 2011 to 2019. Prior to that, he was a Deputy Editor at The Wall Street Journal.

August 10, 2022 at 6:30pm - 8pm


Washington, DC
United States

Miyako Yerick


Will you come?