Rolf Potts is an American travel writer, essayist, and author. He has written two books, Vagabonding (Random House, 2003) and Marco Polo Didn't Go There (Travelers Tales, 2008), and his travel writing has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Outside, Salon.com, Slate.com, The Guardian, and World Hum.
“Imagine you wake up and you get this call telling you that your father died three days after your mother. How do you think I felt? I couldn’t even cry any more. ” –Marco Ferrarese This episode of Deviate, Rolf summarizes the pandemic-travel reports he’s been getting from travelers is places like London, Turkey, Mexico, India, and Macau (2:00); then the episode transitions into Marco Ferrarese’s report about his travel-writing excursion in Peru, and what it’s like to be locked down in the Peruvian mountain town of Cabanaconde (4:45); how he heard that Tundra and Maurizio, his parents back home in the Lombardy region Italy, had become sick, and why the virus was still spreading in that part of the country (6:45); how his parents’ illness was initially misdiagnosed, and how things changed when they were admitted to the hospital (11:40); how it was difficult to interpret the news that was being passed along from the hospital as his parents’ conditioned worsened, and how he found out that his mother, and later his father, had died (14:00); and how seriously we need to take the warnings we hear about COVID-19 (21:00). Marco Ferrarese is an independent researcher and freelance writer. He is author of Nazi Goreng, and Banana Punk Rawk Trails: A Euro-Fool’s Metal Punk Journeys in Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia, and has reported from all over Asia for a number of international publications including BBC, CNN and National Geographic Traveller. Episode art shows Marco Ferrarese’s parents, Tundra and Maurizio, visiting the southern Italian town of Matera in 2015. The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber.  Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at deviate@rolfpotts.com.
“Epidemiologists have found that you can slow a pandemic tremendously by focusing public hygiene efforts on three key global airports.” –Dr. JP Santiago In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Dr. JP Santiago talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic will change global air travel moving forward (2:00); the prescience of the 2011 movie Contagion, what the scientific data says right now about how long COVID-19 can contaminate various surfaces (13:30); what to make of certain “folk cures” for COVID-19, as well as whether or not it’s safe to take medicines like ibuprofen to treat symptoms (20:00); the future of post-traditional medical treatment approaches, such a telemedicine (29:30); what other pandemics, such as H1N1 can (or cannot) teach us about how to respond to COVID-19 (34:00); and when “normal” life might return, given pandemic concerns, and what that might look like (42:00). JP Santiago has been a family medicine physician in private practice in Dallas/Fort Worth for nearly 20 years. He earned his medical degree in 1997 from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and did his residency training and was chief resident at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Texas. He will be retiring from private practice in April to work for the Indian Health Service to provide medical care to Native American reservations as a traveling physician. His wife is a physician as well and he has four children. He maintains an aviation magazine online at: https://theavgeeks.com/ Notable Links: World Health Organization COVID-19 updates (website) JP’s updates on the COVID-19 pandemic (Facebook posts) 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (global viral outbreak) 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Iceland Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks Contagion (2011 Steven Soderbergh film) The New England Journal of Medicine (medical journal) 2003 SARS outbreak (global viral outbreak) Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (TV show) 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic (global viral outbreak) 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic (global viral outbreak) Antibody (protein utilized by the immune system) This episode is also brought to you by AirTreks, an industry leader in multi-stop international travel. AirTreks is a distributed travel company with employees working from all corners of the world to help with your flight planning, specializing in complex routes with up to 25 stops. The AirTreks website offers suggested pre-planned travel itineraries to help you get started, but can customize to fit your journey. The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber. COVID-19 episode art was created by Luke Van Tassel. More of his art is online here. Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at deviate@rolfpotts.com.
“We need to avoid cherry-picking pandemic data that suits our personal narrative of what we think is going on.” –Dr. JP Santiago In this episode of Deviate, Rolf and Dr. JP Santiago talk about how the “existential threat” of pandemic is changing the way family-practice doctors are dealing with patients right now (1:40); the role of data in medicine, the definition of “observer bias,” and how the willingness to arrive at conclusions that contradict one’s initial hypothesis is essential in a medical context (9:30); a history of the shortcomings and dangers of naming infectious diseases after animals, people, or geographical places (20:00); how capitalism can be a force that can both enable and compromise solutions during a pandemic (33:30); and Dr. Santiago’s advice on how people should respond to the pandemic (40:00). JP Santiago has been a family medicine physician in private practice in Dallas/Fort Worth for nearly 20 years. He earned his medical degree in 1997 from the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, and did his residency training and was chief resident at the University of Kansas Medical Center before returning to Texas. He will be retiring from private practice in April to work for the Indian Health Service to provide medical care to Native American reservations as a traveling physician. His wife is a physician as well and he has four children. He maintains an aviation magazine online at: https://theavgeeks.com/ Notable Links: World Health Organization COVID-19 updates (website) JP’s updates on the COVID-19 pandemic (Facebook posts) 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (global viral outbreak) Mike Pompeo (American secretary of state) WHO Best Practices for the Naming Infectious Diseases (PDF) AIDS (immunodeficiency virus) Gay-related immune deficiency (original name for AIDS) 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic (global viral outbreak) 2003 SARS outbreak (global viral outbreak) 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic (global viral outbreak) 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome (global viral outbreak) This episode is also brought to you by AirTreks, an industry leader in multi-stop international travel. AirTreks is a distributed travel company with employees working from all corners of the world to help with your flight planning, specializing in complex routes with up to 25 stops. The AirTreks website offers suggested pre-planned travel itineraries to help you get started, but can customize to fit your journey. The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber. COVID-19 episode art was created by Luke Van Tassel. More of his art online here. Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at deviate@rolfpotts.com.
“All the struggles of travel have taught me lessons about survival that will be useful coming up.” –Rollie Peterkin “I don’t think there are any ‘right’ choices at the moment. We’re all making the best with what we’ve got to work with.” –Aimée Bruneau “I think we’ll come out of this with a better sense that caring for other people is the most important thing in life. Not material possessions. Not political differences. Not ethnicity or religion. Just the fact that we’re all one human family.”  –Barbara Weibel In this episode of Deviate, Mike and Anne Howard describe what it’s like to be staying put in Poland during the pandemic lockdown (2:30); Justine Miller talks about being stuck in a Tunis hotel after flights stopped leaving the airport (6:00); Rollie Peterkin recounts what it was like to travel in Turkey as news of the pandemic mounted (9:00); Samantha Page talks about how Australian emergency preparedness was enhanced by the recent wildfire outbreak there (13:30); Aimée Bruneau describes a comparatively laid-back atmosphere in Mexico (17:00); Jeremy Kroeker talks about how his inter-continental motorcycle journey has come to a stand-still in Uruguay (22:00); Barbara Ann Weibel talks about how locals and expats are working together to solve problems in Thailand (26:00); Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl describe uncertain attitudes toward outsiders in parts of Argentina (30:45); Troy Nahumko talks about how his kids are dealing with new developments in Spain (35:00); and Dennis and Stephanie Kay describes how pandemic life in France is a model for what could happen in the United States (39:30). Pandemic dispatch correspondents: Mike & Anne Howard (@HoneyTrek) are the authors of Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent, and Comfortably Wild: The Best Glamping Destinations in North America. Justine Miller (@JustineIMiller)  is a TV reporter for News 12 The Bronx and News 12 Brooklyn in New York City. She and her husband are in the middle of a seven-month sabbatical that is taking them around the world. Rollie Peterkin (@Rolliepeterkin) is the author of The Cage: Escaping the American Dream, which recount his experience of becoming an MMA fighter in Peru after having left a career as a bond trader on Wall Street. Samantha Page (@sampagee) has traveling internationally for more than two years, and is now based in Canberra, where she works as a writer and content developer for the Australian National University. Aimée Bruneau is a professor of acting, a public speaking coach, an audiobook narrator, a children’s book author, a yoga teacher, a world travel addict, and an international pet-sitter. Jeremy Kroeker (@Jeremy_Kroeker) is the author of Motorcycle Therapy: A Canadian Adventure in Central America, and Through Dust and Darkness: A Motorcycle Journey of Fear and Faith in the Middle East. Barbara Ann Weibel (@holeinthedonut) has been traveling the world since she walked away from corporate life in 2007. She shares stories about the places she visits and the people she meets on her blog, Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel. Karen Catchpole and Eric Mohl (@transamericas_journey) have been traveling full-time since 2006, when they left their apartment in New York City and embarked on their ongoing Trans-Americas Journey. Troy Nahumko is an author and musician based in Caceres, Spain. His recent travel writing focuses on travels around the Mediterranean, from Tangiers to Istanbul. Dennis and Stephanie Kay are Americans who have been living abroad and traveling the world since 2003. They are currently living as full time residents in Strasbourg, France. This episode is also brought to you by AirTreks, an industry leader in multi-stop international travel. The AirTreks website offers suggested pre-planned travel itineraries to help you get started, but can customize to fit a given journey. The Deviate theme music comes from the title track of Cedar Van Tassel’s 2017 album Lumber. COVID-19 episode art was created by Luke Van Tassel. More of his art online here. Note: We don’t host a “comments” section, but we’re happy to hear your questions and insights via email, at deviate@rolfpotts.com.
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Creator Details

Birthdate
Oct 13th, 1970
Episode Count
113
Podcast Count
2
Total Airtime
5 days, 5 hours