Breathing: it’s something that most of us don’t even think about, until we have trouble doing it. We inhale and exhale roughly 15 times per minutes bringing in oxygen to our lungs and expelling carbon dioxide. The COVID-19 pandemic has put more focus on our breath since the virus often attacks the lungs and can lead to shortness of breath and respiratory distress. MICHAEL STEPHEN had first hand experience with this. He’s a pulmonologist at Thomas Jefferson University, has treated COVID patients in the ICU, and was himself hospitalized with the virus. He’s also written a book on the lungs called Breath Taking: The Power, Fragility, and Future of Our Extraordinary Lungs. This hour, we’ll talk to Stephen about our lungs, his experience with COVID as a doctor and patient, and how poverty, pollution and climate change are making breathing harder. But first, we start this hour with Superintendent WILLIAM HITE about the ongoing negotiations with the teacher union over building safety, how the reopening plan is being received by parents and students, and how preparations for the return to school for 9000 prek-2 graders on Monday.
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