In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dr. Jen Ashton brings a wealth of experience to the podcast as a physician, a medical correspondent for international news media, and an award-winning journalist.
As the ABC News’ Chief Health and Medical Correspondent for nearly a decade, she reports on major health and wellness issues across all ABC News platforms. She also reports the latest breaking medical news for “GMA3: What You Need to Know.” She’s been on the front lines of Covid reporting on the science, the health toll and the development of Covid vaccines since the earliest days of the pandemic,.
And while that certainly keeps her busy, she wrote her sixth book during the world’s crazy pandemic year: “The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the Pandemic Era.” (Some would call that feat crazy in itself!)
“I found that in covering this pandemic, it really was more about communication, or as much about communication, and how to explain medical and scientific concepts to the world and to the country so that people can really use that information,” Dr. Ashton says.
She’s one of the few physicians with media platforms who still sees patients and has an active medical practice.
“I think that there were a lot of really smart doctors and public health officials who I think missed the mark on communicating a lot of the information in the pandemic because they don’t take care of real patients anymore,” Dr Ashton explains. “I think that when someone does interact with a real person, it changes their approach as communicators of medical information, because it becomes very real.”
One of the things that showed up in both her reporting on Covid and seeing her patients was the rise in health anxiety. This iis an obsessive and irrational worry about having a serious medical condition.
In her book, Dr. Ashton says, “It’s important to know that this kind of health anxiety can happen to anyone at any time, even months or years after a traumatic event like a pandemic is over.”
We talk about resilience in this episode and Dr. Ashton gives practical tips on how to navigate what’s happening in the world right now and how to move forward.
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: “The New Normal: A Roadmap to Resilience in the Pandemic Era”
- What has changed from when your book first hit the market and now? Because things are moving so rapidly. Is there anything that you’re saying, “I wish I would’ve said that”? – 1:29
- As I like to say, I’m not “just a doctor on TV”. I take care of real patients, everything from anxiety, depression, skin problems, weight problems, hormonal problems. – 5:52
- How do you bring people out of the fear mindset? – 7:59
- The other way of saying that is this is not a dictatorship. This isn’t the dark ages where some doctor comes in and issues a mandate. – 10:25
- Pfizer, Moderna, or the Johnson & Johnson. I’m wondering which of them gives me the least risk of Bill Gates controlling me with 5G and magnetizing my brain. – 13:40
- That is really where we go for our sources on ABC News, as the largest news network in the country. Personally, I go directly to the individual doctors that are making these statements or writing these papers. – 20:43
- Even though it looks like we’re out there alone, we’re not. We have teams of producers and we have a whole legal department at every network. – 25:33
- The seventh chapter of The New Normal, your book. It’s about anxiety. And so, people have anxiety about do I have to disclose my vaccine status? – 28:54
- One of the most important things in the book, in the sense of those kind of chapters that I take people through as to how to pandemic-proof themselves and their circles, does have to do with diet and nutrition. – 31:09
- I think if we look at that like we should always be in training to go to battle, we would be more resilient. We would be in a better place. That doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, but it does mean that we’re always prepared. – 34:23
- Why do you think the message did not get out that people should take charge of their metabolic health? – 35:51
- Anyone who takes care of real patients knows that the second you blame or accuse or berate, that’s it. You have lost the battle. – 37:54
- Recently they changed the COVID death to death with COVID and death by COVID. Why did it take so long to make this change? – 39:42
- That whole section in your book on silver linings was awesome. I teach people to focus on gratitude, even if things are a total disaster. – 43:32
- In terms of weighing my risk of an anaphylactic reaction, again, it goes back to those four questions: risk of getting the vaccine, risk of not getting the vaccine, benefit of getting it, benefit of not getting it. – 46:48
- I love it that your allergist mentioned the Claritin and Zyrtec, H1 and H2 histamine blockers. It seems like if everyone had those when they were getting the vaccine, they might not feel as crappy for as long. – 49:10
The final thing, it has nothing to do with your new book, The New Normal, and it has nothing to do with the pandemic or coronavirus. It has to do with your medical clinic. That thing that you do there where you run high-frequency electrical current over someone’s butt to make it bigger, does it work? – 50:32
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