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Former CDC official Stephanie Zaza on sports closures and what the future holds

Stephanie Zaza was a public health official for 25 years. She shares insights into both the power and cost of social distancing.

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General view of stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Stadio...
Sports stadiums around the world will sit empty for weeks or months due to coronavirus.
Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Stephanie Zaza knows a thing or two about virus outbreaks. For 25 years she served as a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. She’s been intimately involved in the response to previous virus outbreaks, including H1N1.

Now the president of American College for Preventive Medicine, she joins the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast to talk with me about the public response to the coronavirus, including the cancelations of sporting events. While she’s wary of trying to guess at timelines for anything, she makes it clear we’re now in this for the long haul.

She also takes great care to explain not just the societal benefits of lockdowns and social distancing, but also the personal cost. Humans are “social beings,” she says, and human interaction — on a limited scale — can help mitigate other important personal health-care concerns.

You can listen to my interview with Stephanie Zaza on the podcast player above, or you can click here for Apple podcasts.

And be sure to subscribe on Apple’s Podcast page as well as on Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker, Castbox, Player FM and wherever you find Outsports podcasts.