April 13, 2020

#90: What It’s Like to be a COVID-19 Lab Rat

#90: What It’s Like to be a COVID-19 Lab Rat
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In Episode 90, Quinn & Brian discuss: What it’s like to be a COVID-19 Lab Rat.

Our guest is: Allie Broas, an almost-MBA and one of Quinn’s many, many cousins.

We weren’t exactly planning to do more of these episodes right now — most of the people who are trying to change the world are quite busy at the moment — but then we had this unique opportunity to talk to someone who is not just a COVID-19 survivor but also, now, a COVID-19 test subject! So, we had to take it and learn more about how she contracted the virus, what her experience was like, and how she’s able to help doctors and scientists research it now.

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Important, Not Important is produced byCrate Media


Quinn: Welcome to Important, Not Important. My name is Quinn Emmett.

Brian: And my name is Brian Colbert Kennedy.

Quinn: This is the podcast where we try to bend the mother fucking arc of history towards a more livable planet for you, for me and everyone else, Brian.

Brian: Everyone else. And so we're going to dive into a specific question that's affecting everyone on the planet right now.

Quinn: That's right. And that could be one of a million things, but there's one specifically that's bringing us all together. Again, what we tackle are things, if it can kill us, Brian, or if it can make the future a hell of a cooler for everyone, we're in.

Brian: Yeah. Yeah. I mean our guests are scientists and doctors and engineers, politicians and astronauts. We had a reverend once.

Quinn: Yep.

Brian: And we work together toward action steps that our listeners can take with their voice, their vote, and their dollar.

Quinn: True. This is your friendly reminder that you can send questions, thoughts, and feedback to us on Twitter at importantnotimp, or you can email us at funtalk@important We would ask you kindly not to send things in the mail right now because I've run out of wipes. You can also joins of-

Brian: Ah.

Quinn: I know. You can also join tens of thousands of other smart folks and subscribe to our free weekly newsletter at

Brian: This week's episode.

Quinn: Yep, get into it.

Brian: Was a little unexpected. We're on a hiatus.

Quinn: Yep.

Brian: But we-

Quinn: Delightful.

Brian: -got this opportunity and this chance and we had to take it. So we are talking to somebody with firsthand detail on what it's like to not only be a COVID survivor but also more specifically, what it's like to be a testing lab rat. Who are we talking to?

Quinn: We are talking to Allie Broas. Doctor? Nope, not a doctor.

Brian: No.

Quinn: What do you get from a business school degree? Almost MBA.

Brian: Yeah, almost MBA.

Quinn: Allie Broas. Yep. Who is awesome, and she is funny, and she is recovered. She is smart as hell. And she is my cousin. Delightful.

Brian: Quinn's cousin.

Quinn: Yep. Yep. And that doesn't narrow it down. Got a lot of them.

Brian: Too many.

Quinn: But she is among the best. Not too many, not enough.

Brian: Oh, not enough. Sorry.

Quinn: Yep. She is among the best of them, and we're lucky to have her on. And yeah, this is a really interesting one.

Brian: Yes.

Quinn: Her circumstances, how she got it, her testing, lack of, eventually how she dealt with it. And then most importantly now, for the wider world, how she is involved in fighting back against this fucking thing.

Brian: So timely, so relevant.

Quinn: In ways that those of us that have not had it cannot actually participate. So please enjoy this conversation with Allie Broas. Just a quick reminder, Brian wouldn't let me write this in the intro, so I almost forgot to do it. The ways you can fight back are we have a bunch of very efficient, very impactful, very reputable, only the most reputable places, you can fight back at Wonderful organizations helping medical workers with food, with accommodations, helping patients, helping teachers, helping those so many people who are out of work, who need food and even just straight up cash. Again, that's Please enjoy our conversation with the one and only Allie Broas.

Brian: Allie Broas.

Quinn: Our guest today is Allie Broas, and together we're going to find out what it's like to be a COVID lab rat. Allie, welcome.

Allie Broas: Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

Quinn: We should put together a compilation of people saying that, and just feeling like they want to put a nail into their forehead while they say it.

Brian: Yeah. Yeah. It's so early. We'll see if you're excited to be here.

Quinn: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Brian: We are very excited to have you though Allie, so thank you and let's just get started by just tell everybody who you are and what you do.

Allie Broas: Sure. So I am currently a graduate student in North Carolina. I am from DC originally, and my family is all pretty much still there. Lived in Denver for a while before coming back to get my MBA in North Carolina, and will be moving out to Seattle hopefully this summer, if all goes as planned.

Brian: Well.

Allie Broas: But obviously a lot of uncertainty.

Quinn: Sure.

Allie Broas: Both there and here and pretty much everywhere so, who knows. I could be kind of a nomad for a while.

Quinn: Yeah, I feel like that's the way for everybody.

Allie Broas: Right.

Quinn: If I don't, we haven't recorded our intro yet, so it's kind of like time travel. So if I forget to say it in the intro, which is entirely possible, full disclaimer, Allie is my cousin.

Brian: Yes.

Quinn: The greatest. And usually when we say who you are and what you do, someone's like, "I do this, and I work on this specific thing that's pertinent to our question today." Besides, I would love to have conversations with Allie about anything, but a few days ago you'd sent me a text saying, "Hey, my friend, something, something, watched your wife's show. Great. That's super fun." And I said, "How are you, where in the world are you?" And you said "I'm as good as I can be. Actually gained some local notoriety as one of the first Durham cases of coronavirus, which is as close to fame as I imagine I'll ever get." And I was like, "Holy shit."

Brian: Yeah.

Quinn: Let's do this thing. So that is the context for today, which is kind of fucking crazy.

Brian: Pretty wild.

Quinn: Now, I mean we'll get the details on like when you got it and all that stuff, but now when it's trending towards like everybody's going to get it, it must have seemed kind of crazy. All right, Brian. Brian, give her the end of the intro here and we'll, we'll keep moving.

Brian: That sounds so great. Allie and everyone listening, our goal here is to provide a little context for what we're talking about today, our topic of the day and then we'll get into some action oriented questions that get to the heart of why we should all care about it, and care about you, Allie, and what we can all do to help support. Does that sound good?

Allie Broas: Perfect.

Quinn: Rock and roll. Allie, this is just endlessly delightful for me right now.

Brian: He loves it.

Quinn: We like to start with one important question to set the tone of the thing. Allie, instead of saying, tell us your life story of which I'm fairly sure I'm in just a bunch of pictures of, we'd like to ask Allie, why are you vital to the survival of the species?

Allie Broas: For any reason?

Quinn: I encourage you to be honest and to be bold. You are here for, I mean quite literally a very specific reason today, but I'm curious. Hit me.

Allie Broas: Okay. I actually think about this quite often. What my purpose in life generally is, but especially what my purpose in my friends and family members lives is, and I think that karaoke could become a lost art if I weren't here to continuously force people to go to karaoke bars, especially not like the little room, like Japanese style karaoke. I like the gross side bars, karaoke being on stage, forcing people who squirm into someone with so much confidence, and I love watching that transformation, and I feel like I have changed a lot of lives because of it and will continue to.

Quinn: That's amazing. Do you feel like you are, do you feel sometimes like you struggle because the line between friend and life coach is becoming more and more blurred every day or?

Allie Broas: Totally. Well, and I think that this hasn't helped, getting coronavirus so early, because now I've sent a lot of similar text messages to my friends, to my good friends, about having it and now because I'm on the early end of getting it, I'm routinely on calls coaching my friends through like the list of symptoms, how to handle it, even though I have no medical expertise whatsoever.

Brian: Sure. None, none. Right?

Allie Broas: I think them becoming, like karaoke, I felt pretty confident in coaching people through the experience.

Brian: Sure.

Allie Broas: But now I'm just kind of blindly leading everyone through their own coronavirus experience. And so I think that's like way more concerning for the world.

Brian: Sure.

Allie Broas: But, I don't know, if this MBA thing doesn't work out, I think I'd be a great life coach.

Quinn: Well, I mean, look, karaoke has always felt like one way to really just put yourself out there, to feel naked, to do the, what is the Ted talk thing where you put your hands on your hips, and stand like Wonder Woman? I mean like you got to just, you got to make yourself seen, and make yourself heard. And I feel like that's the way to go. Is there a specific song or genre that you either-

Brian: Yeah, of course, the go to karaoke song. We have to know it.

Quinn: Sure. But also like not just for you, but for your clients, sorry, your friends. Is there a direction that you push them? Like a standard one, a sort of beginners one, or do you more dial into what they need?

Allie Broas: Yeah, I mean I think that for my friends, easy ones are like songs that we all grew up with. So like Say My Name, the singing isn't that hard, you know all the words, it's a crowd pleaser, like I try to ease people in with stuff like that. I've obviously been doing this for a while and am much more well versed, and so I feel like I take a more risk seeking approach when picking my songs. So I will do like, It's All Coming Back to Me Now and I obviously can't sing like Celine Dion and it's also seven minutes.

Brian: Jesus.

Allie Broas: So it's a miserable experience for everyone in the bar except for me, but I think I like usually judge how comfortable someone is, I pick the song in accordance with their readiness, their singing abilities, I actually think now that I'm talking through this, I just said I think I should get paid for all of the good work I do for karaoke bars around the country.

Quinn: I feel like now more than ever you're needed.

Brian: This is wonderful.

Allie Broas: I agree. I agree.

Brian: I have to really quickly, I have a friend here in Los Angeles who has started a karaoke bus, I think it's called the Gold Karaoke Bus. She bought a bus and remodeled it and painted it gold in it, and you do all the karaoke in the bus as you drive around town. It's amazingly fun.

Allie Broas: Oh my gosh.

Brian: Yeah. If you're ever in LA, we'll hook it up.

Allie Broas: Yeah. That's a dream come true.

Brian: Too fun.

Allie Broas: I love buses and I love karaoke.

Brian: Yeah, buses are the best. Yeah, it's right up your alley. Ah, your name's Allie. That's crazy.

Allie Broas: Perfect.

Quinn: Wow. Brian, you're just killing it today. Allie, thank you for being so honest about what you're bringing to the people.

Allie Broas: No problem.

Quinn: That's really important.

Brian: Yes.

Quinn: All right, so we're going to keep that in mind as we progress here. So just some quick context for today's conversation. Again talking about how and where Allie got what you got and what you went through and where she is on the other side and why it's unique to be where she is. In all seriousness, we don't need to go into all the details on COVID here, folks. We're not going to do that. There's 10000 other podcasts are doing that every day. This is not about new numbers. If you're looking for new info, or an explainer, I would direct you to Helen Barnswell at Stat News and or Ed Young at The Atlantic, and specifically look at the people they follow on Twitter for example. Just listen to those. So we're all out here. It is, what the hell is today? April 9th.

Brian: April 9th.

Quinn: We're all refreshing Twitter and our other reputable news sources and others that aren't, hoping of news on things like antibody tests, and further how effective they are, which at this date is totally questionable. And treatments, and where they might come from. Again, we're just scrambling for whatever we can and the President is just making things up. And then of course, the golden goose, a vaccine, and when that might be, despite the fact that we've never made a vaccine for coronavirus, much less in a year or 18 months. So we're all cheering for scientists the world over who are working over time on all these things while all we can do is stay home. But it's important to know that, once you get past now the machine learning we have working on our side, and all these people working together, that eventually candidates for these things require tests on live cells. And then maybe if it graduates a little further on animals, and then if we're getting crazy on humans.

Quinn: There's talk of things called challenge tests, all these things. And in most of the cases the tests are on humans who've had the virus, and recovered or in extreme cases, like a challenge case for a vaccine that would be on people who've never had it before, right? Or because of like what we're seeing in New York and other places, we'll test some of these treatments, potential treatments, on those folks who are most sick and at that point really willing to try anything. And we do that a lot also with a certain cancer things and stuff like that.

Quinn: But that's kind of what I want to get into now is everyone's just looking and hoping that they open up the New York Times app or your Apple news app, and it says vaccine found. Like how the fuck do we get there and what's that like from the inside? So luckily we've got our own survivor, and test subject, and karaoke professional right here. So Allie, little backstory,, if you could. If you could give us just a sort of a brief description on how COVID went for you, because everybody knows the stats, 80% of cases are mild, it's like 17% go critical, and a larger percentage than we've thought is either asymptomatic or incredibly mild, doesn't really affect kids that much, in a very small percentage, it does. You are young, you are healthy, you are in obviously an incredible place to get it, if you're going to get it, you got it early. Where do you think you got it? Was any contact tracing done? How long before you showed symptoms, yada. How bad was it? Give us the spiel.

Allie Broas: Yeah. So first of all, I can so relate to the first thing I do every morning when I wake up is check the New York Times in hopes that I will read that headline, and that is such a real feeling. And then end up reading for like 45 minutes and just get more and more depressed. But, so I went to, back in the end of February actually, I ended up getting the flu, despite having the flu shot. And I had a trip planned with a group of friends to Israel for very early March, and I got cleared to travel. Well, when I went to the to get tested for the flu, obviously we knew about coronavirus, but I had asked if I should get tested and and again this was end of February, they said, "If you haven't been to China, we're not going to test you." In the past month.

Allie Broas: And so then when I got clearance to travel, I asked my doctor, and my parents obviously, what they think I should do. And there weren't any travel advisories at the time. To be honest they were way more concerned with me having recovered enough from the flu, and that being the barrier to travel, rather than any concern about coronavirus.

Quinn: What was the date about then?

Allie Broas: My trip ended up being, like the second or 3rd of March is when I flew.

Quinn: Okay.

Allie Broas: And there were no travel advisories. I wasn't questioned at the airport. Very few people were flying with masks, and I was flying directly from DC into Tel Aviv. I mean, it's just crazy thinking that that was like a month ago.

Brian: Yeah.

Allie Broas: It was so different. So anyways, I got to Tel Aviv, and Israel was kind of starting to crack down a little bit, especially on flights from Italy and China and Japan, and then Purim, which is a big costume festival was supposed to happen we were there in Tel Aviv, and that was strapped down. But that was the one thing we really saw in terms of an impact from coronavirus when we got there. And so I was there for about 10 days, and towards the end of the trip, again, we have no idea how we were exposed. But someone who I was traveling with started not feeling well. And the timing of it is just so crazy because it's flu season, there are allergies, people have colds. When we got there, everyone around us was coughing, people were coughing on airplanes, and some people were freaking out about it, but it's still wasn't concerning.

Allie Broas: And so when a friend of mine started not feeling well, we didn't really think anything of it. But what felt like, I think that that was on the 10th maybe of March, and within 24 hours, Israel went from canceling huge events to really, really cracking down. And when my friend developed a fever, they actually took him to the hospital to get tested for coronavirus. And they were taking everyone by ambulance with a fever, if they reported the fever to the hospital. And so we still have no idea how or when we were exposed, but he, along with a few more of my friends, 24 hours later got the test results that they had coronavirus, and were actually going to be saying in Israel to be quarantined there.

Allie Broas: And the rest of us, obviously the Ministry of Health was contacted at this point, and as long as the rest of us didn't have fevers, since our flights were either that night or the next day, they sent us to the airport essentially. And so it was crazy because the US still wasn't, again, this was like the 11th, 12th of March. Things weren't really crazy in the US yet, and I had friends who were traveling all around the world, I had a lot of friends in South America, friends in France, and in Spain, who weren't worried. And I think we just kind of were thrown into this and all were panicking and reacting in different ways and some people started developing symptoms during travel. I didn't have any symptoms when I was at the airport, but still got to the airport, and was in a mask and gloves and convinced myself, even though I have like so many student loans, that upgrading to business class was for the safety of those around me.

Brian: Jesus.

Allie Broas: And so I did that. You're welcome. I was sitting alone on the plane, and I flew back into DC and I live in Durham now, and that was the destination for most of us. We were planning to go back and quarantine in our apartments, still not thinking that the rest of us had it, that it was just kind of the group that was diagnosed in Tel Aviv.

Allie Broas: And I think that speaks to just how much uncertainty and conflicting information there was about this. I mean at the time the only symptoms that they were really testing for, it was a fever and a cough. You had to have both of those in order to get a test, and confirmation of exposure. So even if you had those symptoms, but you hadn't been exposed to someone who was positive, it was really difficult to get tested. So I was flying into DC, and I was texting my parents the whole time, and they both are in DC and wanted me to come and quarantine with them. My mom specifically was just begging me to, and had gotten clearance from a bunch of people that if I didn't have symptoms, I probably didn't have it, and I was safe to go there, and I just was like an anxious mess the entire flight, because I was just like, I would be totally alone in Durham, in my apartment.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:22:04]

Allie Broas: I would be totally alone in Durham, in my apartment, but would I prefer that to potentially infecting my parents and my younger sister? And so I got off the plane and I just knew I didn't want to risk it. So I got my car and my dad had my apartment keys, so I first went to his apartment and I rolled down my window slightly, had a mask on, and literally had him throw the keys in, and just started sobbing, and then drove to my mom's house. And she had a few things of mine. She put them out on the porch, went back inside, and then I went and grabbed it, again, with my mask on and just drove away and parked, and just started crying.

Allie Broas: I think that's when it really hit me that this was going to change things for a while. I mean, not being able to hug my parents knowing that I might be infected. And there might be complications with what happens to me and I'd be alone in an apartment in North Carolina, and that my parents would get sick. And by then we knew that people my parents' age were getting sicker, and were having more severe symptoms, and were dying, and that drive was really dark. And so I drove down to Durham, and walked into my apartment, and then didn't leave for two weeks.

Brian: Wow.

Allie Broas: Yeah. I really didn't think I had it. At that point, I didn't have any symptoms and they wouldn't test me, even though I had been hanging out with ... I was surrounded by a bunch of people who a had confirmed test. When I got back down to Durham, I guess I first drove to get tested and they still just weren't testing unless you presented a very specific set of symptoms, which obviously evolved and changed pretty quickly.

Brian: That hasn't gotten much better, that testing, to be clear.

Allie Broas: Yes. Right.

Brian: California is so far behind on that stuff and again, it's almost an entire month later. It's crazy. And now, of course, they're turning people away and saying they won't test them because they'll say things like, "It's clear you have it. We don't need to test you. Go home."

Allie Broas: Totally. Right.

Brian: Which is wild in itself, because again, we just need to paint the picture. So again, you don't need to go into ... First of all, thank you for that long explanation. It's really helpful and I think helps personalize this for a lot of folks. We all wander around, if we do leave our house, to go to the grocery store or pharmacy or whatever. Or if we have to go [inaudible 00:24:52] going like, "I hope I don't get it." But it's another thing going, "I really hope I'm not giving this to people."

Brian: Especially now, we're so aware that so many people stay asymptomatic, which is how this thing is being spread so quickly and so widely. Or it can be like 12 days before you actually show symptoms. So what we've discovered so far, and again, we're not big on new numbers, we're big on percentages and defining how this thing works, as opposed to where it's gone and what it's doing. But we know now that, again, it can be like 12 days and that you are infectious, you're about half as infectious pre-symptoms or asymptomatic. But you are infectious, which is still spreading it. And then once you do show symptoms, it seems like the first week of symptoms is when you're most infectious. So it's understandable. You can do damage out there, especially when you're driving around going like, "I was just traveling with multiple people who are confirmed to have this. Why wouldn't someone lock me down? I shouldn't be out here doing this." It's crazy.

Allie Broas: Totally.

Brian: So I guess, how was the thing? How did it go for you?

Allie Broas: So I think three or four days into my quarantine, that's when I started developing symptoms. And my first one was a sore throat. And again, I would call the local public health department multiple times a day and I'd be like, "Now this is my symptom. Can I get tested? Now this is my symptom." And so at first it was a sore throat, and then that went away and I developed a cough. But it was a super infrequent cough. I never developed a fever, thankfully, because a lot of people who I traveled with and who I've talked to who've had it, the fevers are high and they last a really long time, like much longer than fevers normally do. And it's totally brutal. I think my worst symptom, after my cough started, I just developed the worst headaches and body aches that I've ever felt in my life.

Brian: Oh wow.

Allie Broas: Yeah. It felt like my head was about to explode. It didn't feel like a migraine. It just felt totally different. And it's really scary too, I think, with everything else that I've ever gotten sick from, there's so much research and data on what these symptoms mean and what's happening to your body. And for all we knew, I mean for all I knew, of course I'm such a panic Googler, I was just convinced that something was happening inside my brain or inside my head that was causing me symptoms. And so those were really bad for me. And then I lost my sense of taste and smell. And something funny about that is the majority of my friends I was traveling with also lost their tastes and smell, and at the time they weren't reporting that as a symptom. And so a bunch of my friends from college are nurses and I told them that was a symptom of mine, and they were like, "I was the first one at my hospital to know that that was a symptom of coronavirus, because I had had that." And so all of those together lasted for about a week, I think, or eight days.

Brian: From that first sore throat to the sensory loss, about eight days?

Allie Broas: Oh yeah. The sore throat was a day long, and then the cough, headaches, sensory loss, those were about eight days. But I just had this conversation with someone the other day, I think worse than all of those was the total and complete isolation. And it's not even just being in my apartment, but it was being in my apartment alone and not being able to go outside. It felt super claustrophobic. And I think you're experiencing these symptoms, there's so much anxiety reading the news, and there's so much uncertainty. And then I think that you just kind of spiral, because you're waiting for your symptoms to get more serious. And there were a couple people I traveled with who developed pneumonia and ended up going to the hospital, and you just are sitting there every day waiting for the shortness of breath.

Allie Broas: And then anxiety, a huge symptom. I've never had physical symptoms of anxiety before. And I developed them during this and they are a furnace of breath, and chest tightness, and all of those things, which are also symptoms of coronavirus becoming more serious. And so there are all of these elements of this that I just think made a lot of those days pretty terrifying. But thankfully, once my symptoms started to improve, they stopped pretty quickly and got the clearance after about, I think, 16 days took my first walk outside, which was lovely. And I think I cried afterwards, I was so happy to be on the other side of it.

Brian: Crazy.

Quinn: Wow.

Brian: So you just rode it out in your apartment?

Allie Broas: Yeah. I know. I mean, again, what is confusing and still to this day, obviously, there are conflicting criteria about when you're okay to leave. Some of it is 72 hours after you have stopped showing symptoms. But obviously a lot of people are asymptomatic, so that was confusing for several people. And then one of the main criteria is that you've tested negative twice within 24 hours, but obviously with the test shortage, that's impossible to do. And so we were all as a group kind of agreed to stay as long as possible until we had met every criteria besides the testing one. So at least 14 days since we first entered quarantine, at least seven days since our symptoms started, at least 72 hours after they'd ended. Whichever one of those three was longest is what we all did. And of course we didn't really reenter the world. I think that for most of us, breaking quarantine just meant being able to go outside for a little bit of time each day.

Brian: Wow.

Quinn: Wow.

Brian: How were you treating yourself?

Allie Broas: Yeah.

Quinn: Is Carrie okay at home?

Allie Broas: Well, yeah. Duh.

Quinn: Sorry, obviously.

Allie Broas: No, that certainly got me through. So again, gosh, it's just so crazy. Right when I got back, when my headaches developed, are when we started getting the emails and news alerts about ibuprofen being super dangerous, that like a lot of people who developed critical symptoms had been taking ibuprofen to treat them. And so that started coming out and I opened my medicine cabinet and that's all I had. I had no Tylenol. And I was just like, "Okay." So my mom is an angel and sent me care packages throughout the two weeks of different things I could take for decongestion, and dealing with my cough, and dealing with my headaches, which helped. But again, I have to wonder ... I think that every symptom was exacerbated by the fact that all I was doing was reading the news.

Allie Broas: So I think I wasn't doing a ton to medically alleviate any of the symptoms. I also kind of get nervous, especially with this. I was like, I don't want to medicate in case I miss the turning point, the inflection point of when these become more serious. If I'm medicating through that and there's something that I missed that would be serious without medication, I want to feel that so I know that it's time to go to the hospital.

Quinn: Sure.

Brian: Wild. All right, so then you start feeling better, and recovering, and you're chugging along, and thankful to be, I guess, those more mild cases. When were you first informed by a doctor or a scientist or just realized that you could contribute to the new trials and tests in a wider way?

Allie Broas: Yeah. So I think, not that there are favorite things I have about getting coronavirus with a big group of people, but I've been really just moved by how we all went through this, everyone had different experiences. I think collectively we all were terrified and anxious. Some people had much more severe physical symptoms, but each one of us has really been mobilized to try to take advantage of the fact that we're in the research triangle in North Carolina, and what can we do to help advance the study of this virus. And so because we were some of the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Durham, people in the group started getting reached out to by ... like Duke University has a group that's helping work on developing a vaccine and doing research for the vaccine. They're also doing a lot of research on when and how you develop antibodies and what does immunity look like for this virus.

Allie Broas: And then you have companies like Lab Corp who are trying to develop more rapid at home testing capabilities, and push that out as quickly as possible. And so I have a lot of classmates and friends who are working for a lot of these companies, or who have contacts at these companies, or are in the healthcare world in some way, and just blasted all of us with emails asking if we wanted to participate. And overwhelmingly, everyone said yes. So the one bright light of those two weeks is that I had people coming in and out of my apartment taking my blood, doing ... I don't know if you guys have gotten the flu test before, but for coronavirus it's pretty similar. They insert a really long swab all the way back through your nose. And so was getting those-

Quinn: Sounds nice.

Allie Broas: Yes, it was super pleasant. But I became quite used to it and I don't-

Allie Broas: Oh, go ahead.

Brian: No, I was just going to say, I have seen the picture and I've had that flu thing. It's unreal. First of all, you discover some anatomy things about yourself and I guess just the body, because you're like, I guess I always knew those things were connected and there was a way to get back there. But Holy shit, I didn't realize a, it was possible, b, I've never had it done, and c, how far back it goes. Someone had been passing around an image online from a nurse who was just like, "Fine, you won't listen to facts. Look at this diagram of what we have to do to get the test." And it was like, oh my God, if anything's going to convince people to not go outside, it's that shit.

Allie Broas: Yes. Totally. Well, I remember thinking when I got it done ... So I actually got it done in a drive through once I had developed a cough, and so many people who I was traveling with had come back positive, I finally was able to get a test done through a drive through clinic. And they did it to me with my window rolled a little bit down. And I remember having these flashbacks to sixth grade history class when we learned that Egyptians used to, with corpses, they used to stick something up, like a hook up your nose, and latch it onto your brain and pull your brain out through your nose. I don't know that's right.

Brian: Oh my.

Quinn: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember learning that.

Allie Broas: Okay, yeah. So that's what I was like, I guess this makes sense if my memory of sixth grade history is accurate, that this is like that they can touch my brain with this incredibly long cotton swab. So that's what I thought about. I was like, "Do as the Egyptians do and test me for coronavirus."

Allie Broas: But anyway, they would come in and do those tests pretty routinely throughout the two weeks. Come in and take my blood. This one company that was developing the at-home testing kits would send me the kits and I would do them myself and send them back to them, so they could test to see, knowing that I was positive, test to see if they were accurate and how they could improve them.

Allie Broas: And so in the face of all of this uncertainty, and obviously a lot of us were, were really scared, and have been largely physically alone throughout all of this. It was great to be in a community that was so ready and anxious, also, to help out with whatever they could. And that's been a silver lining, if there is one, in all of this.

Brian: For sure.

Quinn: Yeah, it's incredible.

Brian: You're obviously lucky in so many ways. You're a healthy, like you said, young-ish, white lady who doesn't live in a place with terrible pollution, who we now know is totally exacerbates the problems. You got it, your head was going to explode, but again, you didn't get that iconic shortness of breath that we now know leads to so many worse things. And you were at fucking Duke. There's worse places, but like you said, there is a silver lining there.

Brian: So the most near-term, I guess, achievement, first goal that folks seem, both the public, and it's amazing how everyone turns into a quasi scientist very quickly. Which is fine for learning, as long as you're not spreading this information, of course.

Allie Broas: Right.

Quinn: Right.

Brian: But both regular folks, and survivors, and also scientists are focusing on is these blood plasma transfusions from survivals. And again, April 9th, there've been some small experimental trials in New York and China on some very high risk folks that it's kind of like, if they'll agree to it, why not? We don't have any other way to help these folks and they actually seem to be working. The problem is it might not be very scalable, because as far as I've understood, it's basically one to one. Unless we find a way to get a much larger percentage of survivors to donate. But on the other hand, because this thing is so contagious, we can assume that many more will get it. And then in turn, if we can find a way to systematize this, can hopefully protect others in a pretty specific way. There's already estimated to be baseline globally, I think, the official estimates is something like, as of today, 350,000 survivors.

Brian: So the real number, again, once you consider the asymptomatic folks or the folks who just thought they had a bad cough or whatever, it's probably multiples of that, four or five, six, seven times. Have you had any interaction with that specific type of testing, or trials, or insight to what's going on with that stuff?

Allie Broas: Yeah. I haven't begun anything, but we've had people reach out to us and I've also signed up for any and everything to donate my plasma or be a part of any type of study. And I think a lot of my classmates have, as well. I think something that's great to hear every single time I'm either reached out to and then respond, or reach out to someone about being involved in something, is that they always respond and say that they're trying to respond to everyone, they've gotten a lot of interest and will get back to me when they can. And on the one hand, I have nothing to do. And so I'm very anxious to help out and I want to help out sooner rather than later. But I also have been really encouraged that they have gotten such an overwhelming response of people who want to contribute and want to participate.

Brian: Yeah. That's going to be key, right?

Allie Broas: Yeah.

Brian: We're not going to get 100%, but it's people looking around going ... It's the old Mr. Rogers thing, look for the helpers. If you've had this, just reach out. Again, we've encouraged all of our listeners and stuff. I've gotten so many emails from folks. We put this in one thing and I've gotten so many emails from folks who've not had it that want to volunteer to test a vaccine, which is wild and is such like a baller thing to stand up to do. But if you've already had it, and you're doing okay, and you're not still on a ventilator, or if you're able in some way, again, because we don't think so far that you're going to get it again. That's the thing with these antibody tests for example, right?

Allie Broas: Right.

Brian: As far as we can tell, the UK ordered millions of them and said Amazon can deliver them before they realized they were 60% effective, which is not helpful. And also we just don't know. You can't rule these things out before we actually know the second level answer, which is: Yes, you've had it, which theoretically means you can go back out into the workforce or go volunteer at a hospital or whatever. We actually still don't know how immune you are and how long that immunity lasts. And so if you just roll out these tests, even if it was 100% effective, which it's not, that say 100% effective, you had it, you can go back out. We have no idea if you can get sick again, and if not, how long that'll last. It could literally be months or a year or a lifetime. And it could be anywhere in that range. We don't know yet. And that's just time and testing. So it's almost like, as much as people are dying to have this antibody test, we can-

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:44:04]

Quinn: So it's almost like as much as people are dying to have this antibody test, so we can reopen the economy. It's like it could do way more harm than good to have it out there. But these blood transfusions that again, we've done in past things and are fairly proven, they do seem to be working, even though it's not super scalable yet, just because we haven't, like everything else, built a system for it. If we can get people to, like you said, that seemed to have been at least in your community, to stand up and say, yeah, I'll do whatever, then that can make a huge difference. If there's 350,000 plus official survivors out there, so let's just call it a million, if even 50% of those people can contribute, that's just a massive change. That's not going to take down, those transfusions again, are going to be prioritized towards the sickest, who need it.

Quinn: So, if you've got a mild cough and a headache at home, you're not going to get one, but the number of people, especially again, we've 77 million boomers in this country and a huge percentage of those, I'm not sure the official member, a huge percentage have either and/or a preexisting respiratory or cardiovascular thing of some way and is just asking for it essentially. Those are the people that would be first in line for this thing and that's what helps bring this mortality rate way down. So, that would be massive if we can really get that stuff out there. But again, we've just got, oh man, we've got so far to go.

Allie Broas: I know, I know. I think most days, I am so disheartened about everything, but I think watching, just realizing how I find myself looking out now for headlines about progress that we've been making with any study, whether it's about immunity or about developing a vaccine. The progress is just unprecedented and remarkable, and to think about how many brilliant people in the world right now are working on this, I think brings me a little bit of comfort, especially when I feel the headlines just keep getting worse and worse, and the numbers obviously keep getting higher. I'm confident that the news will come soon.

Allie Broas: I share in your worry and concern though, that I think that people are so desperate for a return to normalcy, that I worry that if things or restrictions are lifted a little bit or we paint too much of an optimistic picture, that people are just going to jump right back into their regular routines too quickly, and knowing now how every single person I was traveling with got this, no one was, it is so, so, so contagious and I really do worry that we will get so excited about any potential return to our normal routine that we could make this much worse. So, that's obviously a major concern, too.

Quinn: Yeah, and it's like the first disclaimer and we talked so much about climate change and Brandon and I have made this our jobs for the past few years, so it's always fun to be the downer in basically any conversation, when people are like, sunny day, I'm like, oh, here come the fires. But it's really fun. It's great. My wife loves it. But with this thing, when especially out here, or what New York did at the beginning, it's like however and just stayed out and hung out and went to bars and so everyone's like, we're flattening the curve so everything's going to open back up.

Quinn: And I'm like, no, no, no, no, no. The finding the curve is great. Yes. Check. We've done that. However, it is the only thing we have to do. And it hasn't stopped. What has happened is we've given it nowhere to go. That was the goal, but if you go back out, nothing has changed, and now it has places to go again because we still have no, no one has any built-in immunity to this and it'll just start raging again. You have to stay in until we get into a much higher percentage of either people don't have it or people do have it, and we can do it in fits and starts or whatever it might be, but things aren't changing for well and it's hard to be that bummer, and hard to tell people that this is your new reality. Just because it's working doesn't mean we just flip the switch and turn it back on no matter what that dipshit tells everybody, which is so dangerous.

Allie Broas: Uh-huh (affirmative). I know. I think that so much of the anxiety is around the uncertainty, especially in regards to a timeline, and people just want to plan things and have something to look forward to, and I think even if that timeline is 12 months from now or 18 months from now or whatever, it may be, I think that that brings a lot of comfort because I have friends obviously who have weddings and other major life events in the next five to six months, and I think just every day knowing that the outcome could be entirely different depending on what happens in the next 12 hours, the next two months is anxiety inducing for sure. I'm hopeful, but I think I'm also more realistic now.

Quinn: Yeah, well that's the goal.

Brian: Time. Time will tell.

Quinn: We need to stay hopeful, but we really need to stay realistic.

Brian: Allie, we always want to bring everything we talk about back to justice, and there's so many people of color suffering worse than others because of decades of air pollution and a lack of healthcare or just the inability to take time off from work. A lot of us can, like myself, stay home and Netflix or adopt rescue puppies and stuff, but a lot of us can't, and do you feel like what you went through and all the testing that you're undergoing and everything can benefit those folks?

Allie Broas: I think truthfully, in the first 10 days of this was very self-absorbed thinking about my own situation and the loss of my graduation and last term of school, and I was concerned about my family of course, but was really inside my own bubble in terms of how I was thinking about this. And then I think in that second week, once I stepped out of it and my symptoms were alleviated, I spent my career working with nonprofit organizations in Denver, most of whom work in healthcare. And that my most recent position before school was with Casa, which is a national organization, and they train advocates to advocate in court for children who've been abused and neglected and are currently in the foster system.

Allie Broas: And I just, stepping out of that bubble, I saw a picture of people in Nevada who had been evacuated from a homeless shelter who were sleeping. They put them in a parking lot and parking spaces six feet away from each other on that. And that picture just, I snapped out of it and not only realized how lucky I was to be able to get out on a flight out of a country and to get back here, that I wasn't trapped anywhere, that I had even the option to go home, I didn't take it, that I had an apartment and I obviously am on student loans right now, but I am not worried about rent payments and have parents that can help me and I'm not locked or trapped right now in a home situation that is violent or dangerous.

Allie Broas: And I think that that picture helped me realize, and I just feel like every day you're hearing more about how terrible this virus is going to be for communities that are underserved, have a lack of access to adequate healthcare and even information, the lack of access to information is huge and about how cases of domestic violence are on the rise. I think it's so important to hear about other people getting over this and what you can do to contribute medically and to advancing the research of the Coronavirus, but I really do hope that a conversation that happens alongside of what can we do if we face a pandemic again, is these massive structural issues in our country and in our world that will result right now in these communities being totally decimated by this virus. I think that I'm very lucky across the board in terms of my experience with Coronavirus, and I don't think a lot of people will be.

Allie Broas: I just think I always worry that after events like this, even though it is crippling and paralyzing our world for such a long time, that people talk a lot about what they will do to change and address these major underlying issues afterwards, but then quickly forget. Once your life returns to normal, then you become much more self-concerned and self-absorbed again, and I hope that as we watch this just tear apart developing countries and rural communities within our own country that we keep that in mind moving forward.

Quinn: Absolutely, and the point about the rural communities I think is so timely because we always knew there's this huge issue in the cities, which is condensing people is one of the best things we can do for the environment and has also just been the trend in the past 15 years, because it cuts down on transportation needs and all this stuff, but it's also what exacerbates something like this. All of a sudden you're like, oh, well that melting pot is a nightmare for this. It's quite like a nuke hitting the bottom, hitting Central Park and just spreading outwards. You have so many people in close contact, which is why China had such an insane time with it, but at the same time you see these rural communities who are otherwise probably thought, understandably, we're quite separated from this, people are so far apart. But then you read, oh well, but the only hospital in this county closed five years ago. You got to drive 40 minutes to go to a hospital.

Quinn: While New York is understandably and everywhere else, I mean Chicago, you read about Cook County Jail, this stuff is a nightmare, and their beds are always 85% full. And as it is, these places don't have hospitals, which is is incredible, and that's because of our system and how they don't make money off of them and all this. But it just goes like, oh, those are just going to disappear. It's crazy and it does mean that we have to rebuild the entire thing because this kind of thing is going to happen again. It's just crazy.

Allie Broas: Yeah. I was reading about the states that still haven't implemented stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders and if no one in your town or county or city has been diagnosed with Coronavirus, you can compare it to how the United States felt when China and Japan and Italy were experiencing this. We were ignoring it because there were no reported cases in the United States and we just felt really invincible against this. I think, at so many different points throughout this, we have seen that arrogance just totally squashed by this virus that you really cannot contain.

Allie Broas: So it's surprising to me in some ways to see states still believe and say publicly that they don't believe that the virus will reach them and will affect them. And then that same news article I was reading that the majority of these communities have to buy carrier, ship in, if someone has it, it takes days to get the test to them because it's being shipped in from wherever and then they can't even process the Coronavirus test there. It has to go hundreds of miles away in order to be tested, and to think of with Duke University right here for me, how difficult it was for me to get a test. They processed it right there and it still took six days to get my results. Thinking about the barriers they face to proper testing, it's extraordinary and it is really terrifying to think about just the havoc that it'll wreak on these communities.

Quinn: It's going to be a hell of a month.

Brian: A hell of a month.

Quinn: Brian, pivot us towards some action. This is exactly where we try to move from, well, that would otherwise be a sad note to end on.

Brian: Now what?

Quinn: Yeah, now what? Fuck it. I'm going to go, just let go of my steering wheel, close my eyes and see what happens.

Brian: No. Yes, perfect. Yeah, Allie, like I said at the beginning of all of this, our goal is to really get some action steps that our listeners can take to support what you've learned so far about all of this and what we can do to help everybody else figure this shit out. The most important one I think is, how we can all help with our voice. Like you said before about sometimes just information not being available, as a people, what should we be asking? What questions, specific actionable, big questions should we be of our representatives in regards to this?

Allie Broas: The first thing I think I would ask them and everyone is, how much more devastating does this disease have to become for you to realize that this isn't an opportunity to advance really stupid non-consequential political stuff that you want to do? I think that first and foremost, I would ask politicians everywhere to stop trying to advance your own platform or the platform of the people who are funding you and funding your campaign and take a broader look at how the politics that you have put forth have resulted in this pandemic becoming so out of control as it has.

Allie Broas: I think in North Carolina specifically you've seen the research triangle. I love North Carolina. It's incredible. Being close to Duke and UNC, I feel so lucky, but as you said, there are so many underserved and not served at all communities in North Carolina, and I think a first question beyond pausing these fruitless political actions that they've been taking, reading about all of the stuff nationally with abortion access has been really upsetting. I just feel so misguided and misfocused and obviously is a huge waste of money. But then I think the really important question is to evaluate healthcare access around the state of North Carolina, and of course around the country, but I think that without something like this, it's not a question, really since Obamacare that we have had to ask and answer, what does health care access look like for underserved communities and how do we get healthcare access to those people?

Allie Broas: Healthcare access is not just a doctor who can provide you a checkup, but in the case of this where these advanced testing procedures have to reach people who are really underserved, and if they got it would be in need of things like ventilators, what is our healthcare access look and how do we improve access for those communities? I think there just needs to be a larger lifeline that runs throughout these cities and states where access to information is as available as access to healthcare. I guess that's less of a question, more of me preaching to them, but they should listen to me because I'm a genius.

Quinn: Yeah, they need that, too.

Brian: Well, there's that for sure. No, no, I think that's applicable. Look, even when we talk about climate or clean energy or a number of things, like you said, it's easy default, we need universal healthcare. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. Sure. But the reason I wanted to specifically put it to you, which is in Duke, which is surrounded by all this rural area in a place where for the past 10 years, politics have been a fucking nightmare and they've done nothing to help people. That's where you can really have the most specific impact. So if you do live in North Carolina or you live in one of these states where there's such a disparity between the cities or the research triangles and the rest of the state, you look at New York State and everyone's focused on New York City, but the first real outbreak was actually north of New York City because it was the people who traveled up there and the complications of that and then it spreads, and the rest of that state is very rural, and has some serious issues with healthcare capacity.

Brian: One of my best friends on the planet works at a research hospital in Roanoke, Virginia and it's really great, and they didn't really see this coming because again, leading signals from the federal infrastructure in America didn't lend them to appreciate that and now they're looking at this going, okay, well our hospital specifically treats overweight, Southwestern Virginians who smoke a lot and have heart problems. What does that mean in this? It means you're fucked. So, that's where you go to local action and go, oh my God, what are we going to do here? What can you do? Yes, of course we need all this federal stuff, but what can you do right now? Because this is our unique issue that we are going to deal with starting tomorrow morning, and that's where we have to hold those people to the fire.

Allie Broas: Yeah. I think that wherever you live, obviously I live somewhere with pretty direct access to several major institutions, both being universities and hospitals, and I think they're doing everything that they can right now, but it's all reactive and I think that it's really up to us, again, going back to what we were talking about earlier, we have to be proactive moving forward. We've seen what a reactive response to this looks like and it's a nightmare, and I think not only being proactive in terms of having these conversations individually as people and as individual institutions, but I think that what we've realized is how important open lines of communications are between universities, hospitals, governments, local healthcare providers within a state, within a region, but also all over the world. If we had a coordinated response everywhere to something like this happening, how different this all would've looked.

Allie Broas: I think making sure that these conversations, regardless I'm going to work for, hopefully, I think I'll still have a job. I'm going to work for a huge company next year and that could have a huge hand in a coordinated response to something like this happening and about facilitating those conversations around the world. I'm hoping that everyone feels that once things become normal again, whenever that is, and I think we will, this is, I think, so profound and is going to continue to affect everyone, that I think that we will make sure that these conversations remain at the forefront of our minds and our attention.

Quinn: That's the hope, right? It's almost like when Trump got elected. All of these, and we've talked about before, I won't say all of them, but most of these amazing grassroots organizations-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:06:04]

Quinn: Most of these amazing grassroots organizations swing left, run for something, et cetera, et cetera. Emily's list has been around for 25 years, et cetera. But so many of these new ones that are incredibly effective and data-driven and hungry and angry just wouldn't exist. And that's not to say, good thing he got elected. Fuck that. But hopefully we respond in a similar way. It's the drive that turned over the house in 2018 et cetera, et cetera. And we're really operating with one hand tied behind our back because no one can leave their fucking house. So that makes organizing and all these things we've come to depend on in this big push for 2020 that everybody had been excited about and had made plans for and raised funds for, were planning on raising funds for. It's going to be very different.

Quinn: But hopefully, we can find a way to do that and we can match the fervor that these scientists are using. Hopefully, we can all do our part to do that. But that's why we try to focus, again our listeners, we have a ton of scientists, we have tons of legislators and congressional aides and all these people who listen to this. But most of our listeners are just regular angry people like us who are fucking pissed off. And so that's why we focus on, look, we know you're probably not a scientist or an engineer or a doctor or a politician. These are the specific things that you can do to get out there and shake shit up. Because we very clearly need to. And again, it might be coming to your hometown tomorrow. It's probably already here and you just don't know it yet and you need to say to people, what are you doing? What is your plan? So anyways, that's what we got. So thank you for your perspective on that.

Allie Broas: Oh my gosh. Thank you guys for having me.

Quinn: You're welcome. We have a last couple-

Brian: We're almost done.

Quinn: Almost done. We have a don't call it a lightning round lightning round. Final questions, Allie, if you could. And then we'll let you get out of here and back to whatever a recovered person does now that they're home hanging out at graduate school without my three kids.

Allie Broas: Drink alone.

Quinn: Yeah. I drink, but just not alone. I just drink around my children.

Allie Broas: Right.

Quinn: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Allie, when was the first time in your life when you realized you had the power of change or the power to do something meaningful?

Allie Broas: I think I was an Obama grassroots fellow with Casey, your brother, the summer after my junior year of high school. And at first I was in Northern Virginia and at first, I would go out and register my five voters for the day and then I would usually go get a manicure and then I ended up... So I wasn't taking it seriously. And I ended up having a great conversation one time with a voter I was registering who was wavering between Obama and McCain and she was listening. I was 17 years old and she was listening to me and she cared so much about what I had to say and was listening to my perspective. And I was like, oh my gosh. I have the ability as a pretty uninformed, sometimes ignorant 17 year old. If I have the ability to change someone's perspective or even get them to think about something in a different way. What else could I do if I actually cared to become way more informed and have developed more tools in my arsenal.

Allie Broas: So totally changed the rest of my summer working for them and it's just only continued and continued from there.

Brian: Your nails now are shit. But everything else is better.

Allie Broas: Yeah. I think that's the sign of someone who affects social change. Really bad, brittle nails.

Quinn: Mine are just nod off.

Brian: Ditto.

Quinn: I don't know if it's because of affecting social change or just stress and anxiety, but they don't exist anymore.

Brian: Separate issue.

Quinn: Brian, you stopped biting them on air. That's a real win for everybody.

Brian: Just ask her the next question.

Quinn: I'm sorry. Allie, who is someone in your life that's positively impacted your work in the past six months?

Allie Broas: I think that I would say my older sister Emily who you obviously know.

Quinn: We share a birthday.

Allie Broas: Yes. Who do you share with? I think you share with like Leonardo DiCaprio or something. I remember her rubbing it in my face.

Quinn: Oh yeah. Maybe Leo, but also, oh God, Ashton Kutcher's wife, which is horrible. What was her-

Brian: Mila.

Quinn: No, previous wife.

Brian: Demi Moore.

Quinn: Demi Moore. Yes, yes. Demi Moore. Ghost. Oh yeah, man. Demi Moore. I remember that one. I had a poster growing up in my room. It was like birthdays from each day and I remember Demi Moore. This was like the nineties I was like, yes.

Allie Broas: Totally. Well, I remember Emily telling me, I think it's Leo, someone she rubbed it in because mine, we had a calendar like that too and mine was Tara Reed and I remember being like, are you kidding me? Emily had this... I felt like such a loser. But anyways-

Quinn: Wait, aren't you three days before us?

Allie Broas: Yeah, I am. I'm November 8th.

Quinn: We'll adopt, we'll take it.

Allie Broas: Okay, good. So she, my sister's amazing. Quinn, you obviously know, but she went to business school a few years before I did and I think we had totally different experiences. We're doing different work before and are going into totally different work afterwards. But we had a conversation over winter break about, not her regrets about the experiences but things that you wished she had taken away from her business school experience and things she wished had done more intentionally and taken advantage of. The unique opportunities a full time graduate program presents to you and that totally changed my mindset going into my classes this past spring.

Allie Broas: The time I did have on campus, I thought I took more advantage of having really impressive faculty in such close proximity to me. Obviously, the larger Duke presence was, I felt like I took more advantage of that and I think Emily is great always and inspiring me to be much more proactive about immersing myself in my surroundings and making sure I come out of it with minimal to no regrets.

Quinn: Emily's great. Emily is, inadvertently, is the whole reason I got into trying to do social change shit. When she got diagnosed with cancer so many years ago. I was just like, I am not a scientist. I couldn't remember flashcards if my life depended on it. I barely know anatomy, but I can sweat and so I'm going to do some sort of stupid race and raise a bunch of money because we have to help people that are sick and that is what got this thing started and she's okay now and she's the best.

Allie Broas: Yeah. She's great at inspiring everyone around her and as are you of course.

Quinn: Well, easy. Easy. Okay. Okay. Brian. It was nice for a-

Brian: Oh that's so sweet. That's so nice. Thank you so much.

Quinn: All right, Brian. Bring it home. Come on. Let's get her out of here. She's got a Netflix thing to do.

Brian: First of all, I share a birthday with Matt Damon. I think that's pretty cool.

Quinn: Oh wait, that's with Jason Bourne?

Brian: Yeah. No big deal. Hey Allie, this is I think the first time we're going to ask this question since none of us can do anything outside of our homes, but maybe you could answer it normally and now that we're all locked inside, what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? This is then when Quinn comes in and says, what is your self care?

Allie Broas: So I think that a lot of your listeners might disagree with this as a normal method of self care, but I love to go out and drink with my friends.

Brian: Super into it.

Allie Broas: And in a normal circumstance, I love alcohol, pretty much all types, but I also love just being at a bar and surrounded by my friends and catching up with them and hearing about their lives. And then maybe dancing a little but not dancing like club dancing. Like I'm the only one dancing. That always brings me a lot of peace and centers me.

Allie Broas: But now obviously, things have changed and I have been doing a lot more classic meditation. I downloaded the calm app and every night I listen to Stephen Fry talk to me about lavender fields and it's really nice. Yeah, my anxiety's looked different since all of this started and I think I'm realizing that I need to build my toolbox of stuff to combat anxiety. And obviously I joined TikTok too and I'm learning TikTok dances. So that's-

Brian: I have no idea what that is or what to do.

Quinn: That feels pretty important. Can you post them? Can you do a link to those? I don't know how anything works anymore.

Brian: Can you do a link?

Allie Broas: You can totally do a link. I have 19 followers, so I'm about to blow up.

Brian: Oh, hell yeah.

Quinn: About to blow up. Hey, I just want to do a quick follow up before Brian gets to his favorite question. November 8th birthdays, you have shortchanged yourself. Parker Posey. Amazing. Yeah. Parker Posey. Hold on, wait for it. Bonnie fucking Raitt.

Brian: Ooh.

Allie Broas: Wow.

Quinn: A hero. I Can't Make You Love Me, brings me to tears every time.

Brian: She's so good.

Quinn: Who knows if this is accurate, but Bram Stoker wrote a little book-

Brian: I gave you something to talk about.

Quinn: Yeah, that was Bonnie Raitt.

Brian: That's not Bram Stoker, that was Bonnie Raitt. Yeah.

Quinn: Bram Stoker was Dracula.

Brian: Yeah, no, sorry. I was one behind.

Quinn: And then hold on, Gordon Ramsay.

Allie Broas: Oh my God.

Quinn: Take it or leave it. And I've never known how to say this. SZA, S-Z-A.

Allie Broas: Yeah.

Brian: Yeah. SZA, she's wonderful.

Quinn: So that's a pretty good list.

Allie Broas: That is a great list. Granted, I'm the most famous person on that list in terms of- [crosstalk 01:16:57]

Brian: By far.

Allie Broas: But I think that I had some J14 printout magazine of celebrity birthdays, which was I think why they didn't include Bonnie Raitt on there is like a pre-teen magazine. But I'll definitely write to them and let them know that they ruined several years of my life by telling me that the most famous person I shared my birthday with was Tara Reed.

Quinn: Sure.

Brian: That is no good. I'm sure she's a sweet little angel.

Allie Broas: Oh yeah. A sweetheart.

Quinn: All right. Brian, bring it home.

Brian: First of all, I just want to say I love that one of your self care routines is to be out with friends drinking. I think that that gets overlooked sometimes and there's some negative connotation to that, but it's not. Some people feed off of being around others and having a great time and I just love it. And I agree.

Allie Broas: Thank you.

Brian: And now for our favorite question, if you could Amazon prime one book to Donald Trump, what book would it be?

Allie Broas: Wow. That is a-

Quinn: Take your time. We've gotten everything from coloring books to the constitution, usual stipulations apply, could just be pictures, someone could read it to him, et cetera, et cetera.

Allie Broas: My inclination first is to do something insulting.

Brian: Sure, understood.

Allie Broas: I don't know.

Quinn: Take your time.

Allie Broas: I will. This is-

Brian: We definitely did have some insulting ones in the past so you wouldn't be alone.

Allie Broas: I love that someone said the constitution.

Brian: Yeah. That was a good one.

Allie Broas: This is probably, and you can edit this out if it's not a good answer. You can edit... Truthfully, you don't even have to post this episode if it's not good. This is just so fun. So even if this is all made up, it was honestly the best part of my [inaudible 00:13:02] so far.

Allie Broas: I probably would send him Pride and Prejudice. Not only because it's one of my favorite books, but I feel like there are a lot of important lessons in there about female empowerment and I enjoy reading it both for fun and critically. And I think that, although I am nervous he would have some trouble getting through the book. I hope that he would emerge from it as much of a fan of Elizabeth Bennett as I am, and maybe his admiration for her would spur some positive change re women in this country.

Quinn: It's a tall ask. But I do share your enthusiasm for a wonderful book and some wonderful movie adaptations. For sure.

Allie Broas: Yeah. No, but I feel like... Man, give me a day. I could come up with such a better answer to that question, but I think the best-

Brian: That's a great answer.

Allie Broas: Okay, good. I just want to make you guys proud.

Quinn: Oh, you shouldn't live your life by that threshold, by any stretch.

Brian: I've been trying to make Quinn proud for years and I to just fail and fail and fail.

Quinn: It's going great. It's okay. I built this entire business not to defeat climate change or to fix the antibiotic issue, but just so that Brian had to hang out with me. I pay him [crosstalk 00:14:26]

Allie Broas: That is a fantastic business idea and I feel like I would do that to so many of my friends.

Quinn: Well, listen, Allie, can't thank you enough for spending the time, for jumping on this, for volunteering to get Coronavirus just to come on our podcast.

Brian: That was really nice.

Quinn: All very, very, very generous of you. Would you like to share where our listeners can follow you online? Can they follow you online? Feel free to say, fuck that.

Allie Broas: My online presence is not huge. Obviously, as I said before, I do have a TikTok account.

Brian: Almost 20 followers, if I remember correctly.

Allie Broas: Yes, almost that 20th follower could be you. So you'll have to find me on that. I do have a Twitter account, Allie B Broas is my Twitter handle.

Quinn: Did you just have to look it up?

Allie Broas: You just have to look it up. Just go find me.

Quinn: No. I'm saying did you just have to go look that up?

Allie Broas: I did.

Quinn: Yep. Okay. Just checking.

Allie Broas: I'm an avid Twitter user.

Quinn: Sure, sure.

Allie Broas: Actually, my more exciting Twitter handle is the one I use to tweet at Survivor contestants. It's Raisins Raisins is the handle, so go for that. Otherwise, just keep me in your memory. My online presence isn't significant, but I hope you take everything I said today with you and when I do blow up and become famous then you can follow me on everything.

Quinn: This was everything I'd hoped it would be. Awesome. Well Allie, thank you. Glad you're feeling better.

Allie Broas: Thank you.

Quinn: I don't know, man. Hopefully see you Thanksgiving. Who knows what's... Does it exist anymore? I don't know. We'll find out.

Allie Broas: That's a good question.

Quinn: We'll make it work. We can't keep your dad away from cheese shop, so we'll figure something out.

Allie Broas: I bet he's been down there already.

Quinn: Just throwing caution to the wind.

Allie Broas: Totally.

Quinn: They're not even open. Awesome. This has been amazing. Thank you so much. Raisins Raisins.

Brian: Raisins Raisins.

Quinn: Fantastic. Allie, have a great rest of the week.

Brian: Thank you so much for being here Allie.

Quinn: Thank you. You're the best. We love you.

Allie Broas: Thank you guys. This was so great. Stay safe and healthy everybody, but especially you two.

Quinn: We will do our damn best.

Quinn: Thanks to our incredible guest today and thanks to all of you for tuning in. We hope this episode has made your commute or awesome workout or dish washing or fucking dog walking late at night, that much more pleasant.

Quinn: As a reminder, please subscribe to our free email newsletter at It is all the news, most vital to our survival as a species.

Brian: And you can follow us all over the Internet. You can find us on Twitter at important, not imp.

Quinn: Just so weird.

Brian: Also on Facebook and Instagram at important not important. Pinterest and Tumblr, the same thing. So check us out, follow us, share us, like us, you know the deal. And please subscribe to our show wherever you listen to things like this. And if you're really fucking awesome, rate us on Apple podcast. Keep the lights on. Thanks.

Quinn: Please.

Brian: And you can find the show notes from today, right in your little podcast player and at our website,

Quinn: Thanks to the very awesome Tim Blaine for our jam and music to all of you for listening. And finally, most importantly to our moms for making us. Have a great day.

Brian: Thanks guys.