Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer • 2021 • 3 episodes • 3h:32m
Explore this four-part series, which examines the science and medical innovations that conquered some of the world's deadliest diseases and doubled life expectancies for many across the globe. Set in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, this series explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics — including smallpox, cholera, the Spanish flu and others — and reveals how scientists, doctors, self-experimenters and activists launched a public health revolution, saving millions of lives.
Learn about the surprisingly recent invention of medicine that combats illness directly, such as antibiotics. From the accidental discovery of penicillin to today's hunt for antivirals, this history underpins work to find COVID-19 treatments.
Track the importance of data mapping and analysis in the quest to improve public health. The painstaking work of past data detectives made us aware of epidemic "curves" as well as the extent of health inequalities among different U.S. communities.
Understand the importance of persuading the public to protect themselves during health crises. History shows that handwashing, social distancing and grassroots campaigning all play important roles in helping to shift behavior and save lives.