WVU brings new podcast about COVID-19 to local listeners

MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV)-- Staff from the WVU Health Sciences department came together to create a podcast series about COVID-19.

David Ryan, the social media and internet strategist for WVU Health Sciences, works to create a new podcast episode. (Courtesy: David Ryan).

It’s a series that aims to examine the virus, share information, answer questions and learn how the university and community have responded.

“If they can learn something directly from our expertise that we have at the university, then we’re also fulfilling a land grant mission to give that knowledge back to the state,” said the social media and internet strategist, David Ryan.

New episodes will be released on a weekly basis. So far the team of four, which include Ryan, Stacey Elza, Wendy Holdren and Sean Hines, have already put out their first episode.

It features Dr. Lisa Costello, from WVU, who explains the virus and basic information.

“We’re trying to reach out to as many people that have an interest in learning about this virus and learning about how we’re recovering, learning what they can do to stay safe, but also learning things from our experts that can be practical,” Ryan said.

As they prepare each episode, they keep that goal in mind. To be there to provide facts and share local information with those who are interested.

“Our next episode features an expert in RNA viruses, which is what coronavirus is,” Ryan said. “He talks about how they evolve, how they shift, how they learn to live with us so that they don’t die off, so it’s exciting, the fact that we’re learning more deeply about it,” he said.

“I’ve been watching every press briefing, reading every news article, watching every cable news outlet and I just felt like there wasn’t just a clear cut discussion about it (COVID-19),” Ryan said.

On top of informing, the podcast will aim to share good news related to the virus.

“They are fashion design majors who are making masks for the hospital and our engineers are making mask extenders,” Ryan said. “That can kind of gets lost in the clutter of all the real important stuff like, how many people are sick and how many people are dying, but there’s also this great news that’s coming out,” he said.

Which is what Ryan and his team are hoping to shine a light on through their podcast.

“People are stepping up and we’re adapting as a university, from teaching students to serve the state, to serving the people that will help us stay alive and stay healthy,” Ryan said. “I think our podcast will be able to show that.”

For those interested in listening to the WVU and the Coronavirus podcast, it is available on Apple Music or Spotify.