The Ethics of COVID Podcast


The Ethics of COVID is an interdisciplinary series of online events featuring short video talks and conversations exploring ethical dimensions of the COVID crisis. The Ethics of COVID Podcast presents the series in podcast format. To get notified when upcoming lectures are added, we recommend subscribing to the C4e Radio, on any–or all–of the following podcast platforms: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | RSS

Natasha Tusikov, Going Cashless in an Era of Digital Payments & Surveillance 


The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the shift toward a cashless society, with consumers and retailers turning to payment cards and digital payments in efforts to avoid the perceived contagion from cash. With surveillance an intrinsic feature of digital-payment systems, what are the possible repercussions of a cashless society? What lessons can we draw from payment platforms’ campaign against sex workers to address financial exclusion and discrimination in a post-pandemic society? [➡︎watch the video]

Vincent Chiao/Corey Brettschneider, Rights, Solidarity & the Power to Punish in States of Emergency


In the most urgent moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, apparently well-established discourses of individual rights collapsed immediately, with a wide array of social norms — e.g. concerning the use of public space, freedom of movement, freedom of contract and privacy — transforming almost literally overnight. What lessons should we draw about how rights discourse functions in a theory of the modern administrative state? What is the place of punishment when in the face of disagreement about which social norms should prevail? [➡︎watch the video]

Nicola Lacetera, The Ethics and Economics of Paying Plasma Donors

In this talk, Professor Lacetera reviews the ethical and economic arguments for and against compensating plasma donors. [➡︎watch the video]

Anna Su, Keeping the Faith During a Pandemic: Religion and COVID-19

In this talk, Professor Anna Su argues both religious communities and the outside world will have to adapt to our new reality as we urgently acknowledge how the current pandemic highlights the need for a life beyond bare existence. [➡︎watch the video]

Veena Dubal, Surveillance Is Not a Social Good: Technocapital, Public Health, and the Pandemic

This talk explores the nascent intersections of surveillance capitalism and public health and suggests a framework for anticipating and containing the anti-democratic and authoritarian practices that may emerge. [➡︎watch the video]

Benjamin Davis, Internationalism under Lockdown: The Vocabulary of the Present

This talk focuses on vocabularies of internationalism, solidarity, and belonging amidst the pandemic.  [➡︎watch the video]

Steps from the Frontlines: Medical Student Perspectives During COVID-19

Three medical students at the University of Toronto, Vinyas Harish, Liam McCoy, and Nishila Mehta, discuss the sentiments, pressures and dilemmas associated with being a medical trainee during a global pandemic. [➡︎watch the video]

John Ricco, Isolation, Loneliness, Solitude: The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Brought Us Too Close Together

In this talk, Professor John Ricco discusses how distance is the spacing of the ethical, isolation is the evacuation of that space, loneliness is the deprivation of the self, and solitude is what we need to reclaim as the only means by which an ethical sense of the common might take place.  [➡︎watch the video]

Policing the Pandemic: Counter Mapping the Expansion of COVID-19

This talk reflects on the major findings of the Policing the Pandemic Mapping Project so far, situating them in a broader conversation about policing, inequality, and the criminalization of communicable disease. Particular attention is paid to the dual crises currently faced by marginalized and racialized people across Canada, the crisis of COVID and the crisis of policing. [➡︎watch the video]

Rebecca Woods, No Magic Bullet: The COVID-19 Vaccine as Technological Fix


This conversation considers the hope and demand for a covid vaccine, examining the impulse to turn to a technological fix, why such an approach is almost destined to be a complicated and partial solution to the pandemic at most, and how thinking critically about the role of technology and society can help us come to grips with this aspect of the pandemic. [➡︎watch the video]


John Lorinc, The Ethics of Publishing COVID-19 Drug Research in Real Time


John Lorinc discusses his reporting about how the run on hydroxychloroquine backfired on legacy patients, exposed profound supply chain problems, and raised questions about the ethics of publishing, and then posting online, highly preliminary research results from small sample studies. [➡︎watch the video]

Matthew Smith, Reproducing Freedom


This talk explores how the pandemic helps us to see a richer conception of freedom – one that allows us both to challenge right wing resistance to lock-downs and to resist the simplistic medicalization of our politics as represented by the epidemiological models. [➡︎watch the video]

Sophia Moreau & Sabine Tsuruda, The Moral and Legal Risks of Immunity Passports


This talk discusses how immunity passports—whether for natural immunity now, or for vaccines at a later date—would unfairly burden the least privileged members of society in ways that raise major civil rights concerns. [➡︎watch the video]

Trudo Lemmens, Pandemic Clinical Triage Protocols 


For many people with disabilities, who feel already disproportionately affected by the pandemic and by measures to control it, some of these protocols add insult to injury. This talk explores why some of the Canadian documents are discriminatory and how the concerns they raise can be addressed. [➡︎watch the video]

Padraic X. Scanlan, Beats Working: Wage-Replacements in Past and the Present


The pandemic, and government responses to it, have reignited these foundational debates about the purpose of wages, the nature of the labour market, and the role of governments in political economy.[➡︎watch the video]

Tanya L. Sharpe, Moving from a Moment to a Movement: #30@8:30


How is COVID-19 affecting some of our most vulnerable populations & how can we ensure that we are responding to their needs? Efforts to responds to these questions sparked the evolution of The Centre for Research & Innovation for Black Survivors of Homicide Victims (The CRIB) “30@8:30” — weekly, 7-part series of Instagram Live talks focused on COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable populations throughout our global community. [➡︎watch the video]

Teresa Scassa, Pandemic Privacy


Using contact-tracing apps as an illustration, this talk explores the particular features and preoccupations of pandemic privacy.[➡︎watch the video]

Catherine Evans, Expertise and Objectivity in Crisis: A Historical Perspective


Here, Professor Evans offers some thoughts on the history of expertise, objectivity, and authority, and how a historical perspective can help us to approach ethical decision-making in turbulent times. [➡︎watch the video]

Roberta K. Timothy, Race Matters: Ethical Implications of COVID-19


The actions and omissions of world leaders, public health leaders, and policy makers in charge of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic will reveal historical and current impacts of colonial violence and continued health inequities among African, Indigenous, racialized, and marginalized folks. Utilizing a critical intersectional decolonizing framework, this discussion will talk about the ethical dilemmas within the COVID-19 responses. [➡︎watch the video]

Elena Comay del Junco & Gal Katz, Philosophers as Pundits


This talk considers a few initial responses to the current crisis from prominent philosophers, and situates these in a longer lineage of philosophers trying to comment on current events. Despite the predominance of bad takes, it’s precisely the naivete of philosophers that makes their interventions of value. [➡︎watch the video]

Petra Molnar, Borders and Pandemics: Surveillance Won’t Stop the Coronavirus


Virus-killing robots, cellphone tracking and artificially intelligent thermal cameras can all be used against refugees and people crossing borders, with far-reaching results and impacts of various human rights. [➡︎watch the video]

Nicola Lacetera, The Social and Ethical Support of Markets in a Pandemic


Professor Nicola Lacetera discusses some of the ethical issues with the normal functioning of markets during this pandemic. In particular, price gouging as well as the production of vaccines and other covid-related products is examined (from hand sanitizers to ventilators and vaccines…). [➡︎watch the video]

Sunit Das, Terraforming the Ethical Landscape: COVID-19 and the Principle of Justice


Here, Dr. Sunit Das interrogates ethical considerations involved in the state of medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by reconsiderations of cancer care, in which the pillar of justice is exposed as internally divided. [➡︎watch the video]

Abi Adams-Prassl & Jeremias Adams-Prassl, COVID – 19 Three Challenges For Labour Market Regulation


Drawing on new survey evidence of the impact of Covid-19 on international labour markets, this workshop sets out three key challenges for Labour Market Regulation going forward. [➡︎watch the video]

Nina Sun & Livio Zilli, Criminalization & COVID – 19 Public Health And Human Rights Implications


Taking an interdisciplinary approach of law, policy-making and public health, this talk dives into the health and human rights considerations of criminalization of COVID-19. [➡︎watch the video]

➡︎ The entire The Ethics of COVID Podcast is available here.

➡︎ Click here to watch the accompanying video series.

➡︎ Never miss an episode! Get notified when upcoming episodes are added, by subscribing to C4e Radio, on any–or all–of the following podcast platforms: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | RSS.