Town Square

More Than 40 Million COVID Cases Globally: Lessons Learned? How To Prepare For Winter Months Ahead?

Experts discuss the local, national and global situation of the pandemic, and a Houstonian shares the tragic story of his family’s battle with COVID.


In this Aug. 19, 2020, file photo, a healthcare worker sits at the entrance to a free COVID-19 testing site at Minute Maid Park in Houston. U.S. health officials have sparked a wave of confusion after posting guidelines that coronavirus testing is not necessary for people who have been in close contact with infected people. The CDC has since reversed that stance; new guidance says that people without symptoms who have been in close contact with an infected person "need a test."


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM or listen online. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

Dr. Umair Shah, Executive Director of Harris County Public Health, and Dr. Gregory Poland, Director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, answer listener questions and discuss community and medical response to COVID, including:

  • Health risks caused by the misinformation and politicization of the virus
  • Science behind masking
  • Possibility that the US may have Emergency Authorization Use of a vaccine by the end of the year with licensed vaccines by first quarter 2021
  • In lieu of a vaccine, protect yourself with the "3 W's": Wear your mask, Watch your distance and Wash your hands.

Then, Houston writer, educator and activist Lupe Mendez talks about his family's battle with COVID. Both of his elderly parents, who lived in Galveston and followed safety precautions, contracted the virus in August. Sadly, his mother, Eusebia Mendez, passed away from COVID on October 1 at age 86. He shares their personal story of illness and loss, and his concern for vulnerable communities.

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie to talk about a new Houston Police Department initiative to battle violent crime increase, along with crisis intervention teams to help with mental health calls.

*This episode aired live on Monday, Oct. 19.

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day's most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today’s show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.


This article is part of the podcast Town Square with Ernie Manouse

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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