MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Financial Calamity, The Brain-Body Connection During COVID-19

AIRED: March 25, 2020 | 0:27:25
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALYNN WALTER, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

>>> HELLO, I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

YOU KNOW, LIKE YOU AT HOME, WE

HERE AT "METROFOCUS" ARE

PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING

DURING THIS CORONAVIRUS

PANDEMIC.

NEVERTHELESS, WE ARE COMMITTED

TO BRINGING YOU THE MOST

IMPORTANT STORIES AFFECTING OUR

COMMUNITY.

TONIGHT WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW

THE CRISIS IS IMPACTING OUR

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

ECONOMICALLY.

IS THE MTA FACING A FINANCIAL

CALAMITY?

JOINING US NOW IS WYNC THE

TRANSPORTATION REPORTER.

STEVEN, THANKS FOR JOINING US.

THE FIRST QUESTION, BEFORE WE

GET TO THE ECONOMICS, WHAT'S THE

STATUS, THE GENERAL STATUS OF

BUSES AND SUBWAYS?

ARE THEY STILL RUNNING ON

REGULAR SCHEDULE?

>> YEAH, AS A MATTER OF FACT,

THE TRAINS ARE ABSOLUTELY

RUNNING ON A REGULAR SCHEDULE.

BUSES ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO

KEEP A REGULAR SCHEDULE BECAUSE

THE ROADS ARE SO EMPTY RIGHT

NOW.

BUSES CAN RUN MUCH EASIER THAN

NORMAL.

SO THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT

THEY CAN STAY ON THE REGULAR

SCHEDULE.

BUT METRO-NORTH, LONG ISLAND

RAILROAD ARE RUNNING ON REGULAR

SCHEDULE.

THEY ARE WORKING HARD TO ENSURE

THAT FIRST RESPONDERS, NURSES,

PEOPLE WHO ARE PROVIDING

ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES,

THOSE KINDS OF FOLKS, CAN

CONTINUE TO USE PUBLIC

TRANSPORTATION TO GET AROUND

DURING THIS CRISIS.

>> BUT WHAT'S THE RIDERSHIP LIKE

ACTUALLY?

I MEAN, ALMOST EVERYONE AND

ALMOST EVERYTHING LOCKED DOWN.

WHO IS RIDING THE SUBWAY NOW OR

THE BUS?

>> YEAH, IT IS -- THE DROP IN

RIDERSHIP IS INCREDIBLE.

METRO-NORTH HAS SEEN A 90% DROP

IN RIDERSHIP.

THAT MEANS ONLY 10% OF THE

REGULAR CUSTOMERS ARE STILL

GOING.

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD IS DOWN

60%, 70%.

SUBWAYS ARE DOWN AS WELL.

INCREDIBLE NUMBERS.

80% OF THE RIDERSHIP IS DOWN.

BUSES ARE ABOUT MAYBE 50.

THOSE NUMBERS ARE GOING UP EVERY

DAY AS FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE

LEAVE THEIR HOMES.

I SHOULD SAY THE CITY DID AN

INTERESTING ANALYSIS OF

TURNSTILE DATA AND FOUND IN

MANHATTAN THAT'S THE BIGGEST

DROP IN RIDERSHIP.

SOME OF THE OUTER BOROUGHS,

DEEPER IN THE BRONX AND QUEENS

AND BROOKLYN, THE RIDERSHIP DROP

HAS NOT BEEN QUITE AS SETEEP AS

THE CENTER OF MANHATTAN.

YOU HAVE SEEN THE PHOTOS OF

TIMES SQUARE.

NOBODY IS THERE.

IT'S NOT SO EVENLY DISTRIBUTED

BY THE RIDERSHIP IS INCREDIBLY

DOWN.

AND THE MTA VERY CONCERNED ABOUT

FARE BOX REVENUE WHICH IS NOT

THE LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING,

BUT A LARGE SOURCE OF FUNDING.

AND IN FACT I SHOULD TELL YOU

THIS WEEK THE MTA BEGAN DOING

REAR BOARDING ON BUSES, ALMOST

EVERY SINGLE BUS, YOU CAN BOARD

FROM THE REAR NOW, WHICH MEANS A

LOT OF FOLKS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO

PAYUP UPFRONT UNLESS YOU ARE IN

A SELECT BUS SERVICE BUSES AND

THE MTA IS OKAY WITH THAT.

THEY WANT TO PROTECT THE BUS

DRIVERS AND INSURE THEY ARE

KEEPING THE SIX FEET OF

DISTANCE, WHICH IS INCREDIBLY

HARD WHEN YOU ARE DRIVING A BUS.

>> I GUESS THAT'S THE BIGGEST

ARGUMENT FOR KEEPING THE REGULAR

SCHEDULE BECAUSE IF THEY REDUCE

THE SCHEDULE, SOCIAL DISTANCING

WOULD BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT.

PROTECTING THE BUS DRIVER, TALK

ABOUT HOW SAFE IS THE SITUATION

FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION WORKERS

AND FOR THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO

END UP USING THE SYSTEM?

>> WELL, THE MTA IS DOING A VERY

AGGRESSIVE CLEANING CAMPAIGN.

THEY HAVE BEEN DOING IT WELL

OVER A WEEK NOW.

THAT INCLUDES DISINFECTING ALL

THE BUSES, ALL THE TRAINS, ALL

THE COMMUTER RAIL TRAINS AS

WELL.

EVERY 72 HOURS, THEY SORT OF

ROLL THROUGH THE SYSTEM.

EACH GETS A DEEP CLEANING.

THAT GOES FOR STATIONS WHICH ARE

GETTING CLEANED AT LEAST TWICE A

DAY.

MTA OFFICES, THEY HAVE A LOT OF

OFFICE WORKERS, AND THEY WERE

VERY WERND ABOUT GETTING THOSE

PLACES CLEANED.

THE MTA ASSURES US THOSE ARE

BEING CLEANED EVERY DAY.

THEY ARE USING A SPECIAL FORMULA

THAT THE CDC RECOMMENDS.

AND VERY EARLY, I BELIEVE, YOU

KNOW, WHEN WE WERE STARTING TO

SEE THE NEW ROCHELLE CASE, THE

MTA IMMEDIATELY ROLLED OUT

AGGRESSIVE CLEANING MEASURES TO

LET THE PUBLIC KNOW IT IS SAFE

TO RIDE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AS

THIS SORT OF CRISIS UNFOLDED IT

BECAME, WELL, MAKE SURE YOU KEEP

DISTANCE, STAY OUT OF PUBLIC.

THE MTA MADE SURE THOSE FOLKS

WHO NEED TO GO INTO THE PUBLIC

CAN DO SO SAFELY AND THE BUSES

ARE CLEAN, THE SUBWAYS ARE CLEAN

AND ACCESSORY VANS AS WELL.

THOSE HAVE BEEN CLEANED EVERY

DAY.

IN FACT, THE MTA, YOU KNOW, THEY

USED TO SHARE THOSE VAN RIDES

WHERE THEY PICK SEVERAL PEOPLE

UP ON A ROUTE.

THAT'S NOW STOPPED.

IT'S JUST ONE PERSON IN THE VAN

AT A TIME.

THOSE SERVICES ARE STILL

CONTINUING FOR FOLKS WHO NEED TO

GET WHERE THEY NEED TO GO.

>> AND SPECIFICALLY THE HEALTH

OF THE TRANSPORTATION WORKERS,

DO WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF

TRANSPORTATION WORKERS WHO HAVE

TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS?

>> WELL, JUST LIKE EVERYONE IN

NEW YORK CITY, THEY ARE NOT

IMMUNE TO IT.

AS THE NUMBERS GO UP INEVITABLY

THE NUMBER OF TRANSIT WORKERS IS

GOING TO GO UP.

THE LATEST NUMBER IS 30, BUT THE

NUMBERS GO UP EVERY DAY.

IN FACT, JUST THIS MORNING, I

SHOULD SAY LAST NIGHT, THEY

TESTED SOMEONE AT THE END OF THE

AC LINE, AND THEY HAD TO CLEAR

OUT A BUNCH OF WORKERS AND TELL

FOLKS STAY AWAY FOR THE TIME

BEING SO THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH

WORKERS TO RUN THE C TRAIN THIS

MORNING.

THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE, OF

COURSE, AS MORE WORKERS CYCLE

BACK IN.

THEY WILL GET THE TRAINS UP AND

RUNNING AGAIN.

BUT THAT IS AN ONGOING CONCERN

THAT IF ENOUGH WORKERS ON A

PARTICULAR LINE OR A DEPOT TEST

POSITIVE AND THEY NEED TO CLEAR

THE SPACE OUT, DISINFECT IT,

IT'S POSSIBLE THEY WON'T HAVE

ENOUGH PEOPLE TO RUN CERTAIN

LINES.

LAST WEEK IT WAS THE FRESH PONDS

MEADOW BUS DEPOT HAD SOME

ISSUES.

BUT THE MTA IS VERY AGGRESSIVE

AND THEY FOLLOW THE STATE

PROTOCOL AS FAR AS WHAT HAPPENS

IF YOU FEEL SICK, IF YOU NEED TO

SEE A DOCTOR, IF YOU TEST

POSITIVE.

THERE IS SORT OF A CHECKLIST.

AND THE UNION TELLS ME IT'S

GOOD.

IT'S RELIABLE AND THEY ARE DOING

THEIR BEST AND THEY ARE

SATISFIED THAT THE MTA IS ALSO

DOING ITS BEST TO PROTECT ITS

WORKERS.

>> YEAH, I SHOULD SAY THAT WE

ARE TAPING THIS ON MONDAY

EVENING.

SO, THAT'S THE REFERENCE YOU ARE

MAKING.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL

SITUATION.

IS THE VIRUS CREATING WHAT SOME

ARE CALLING AN MTA FINANCIAL

CALAMITY OR POTENTIAL FINANCIAL

CALAMITY?

>> WELL, WE WEREN'T EVEN A WEEK

AND A HALF INTO IT BEFORE THE

CHAIRMAN PAT FOYE SENT A LETTER

TO NEW YORK'S CONGRESSIONAL

DELEGATION ASKING FOR A

$4 BILLION BAILOUT TO HELP THEM.

THAT'S ANTICIPATING ROUGHLY

$4 BILLION LOST BY THE END OF 20

TO DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS.

AND THAT INCLUDES A FARE BOX

REVENUE LOST, BUT ALSO NEW YORK

STATE TAXES, WHICH THE MTA

RELIES QUITE A BIT ON, TO

FINANCE ITS OPERATING BUDGET.

THE MTA'S OPERATING BUDGET WAS

ALREADY ON VERY PRECARIOUS

FOOTING AS IT WAS.

I MEAN, BY STATE LAW, THEY NEED

TO BALANCE THEIR BUDGET EVERY

YEAR.

EVERY YEAR THEY JUST GET TO THE

BALANCING POINT WHERE IT'S JUST

EVEN, AND THEN TWO YEARS OUT

THEY ARE PROJECTING A $1 BILLION

DEFICIT.

$500 MILLION DEFICIT.

THEY ARE DOING A LOT TO CUT

COSTS.

JUST BEFORE THIS HAPPENED, THEY

WERE IN THE MIDST OF AN

INCREDIBLE REORGANIZATION --

>> AND I WANT TO GET TO THAT.

BUT LET ME ASK YOU THE BASIC

QUESTION.

WHAT IS THE ARGUMENT THAT PAT

FOYE IS MAKING TO THE FEDS FOR

THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY TO COME TO

NEW YORK CITY?

I MEAN, IT COULD BE A

CATASTROPHE FOR US, BUT HOW IS

THAT A NATIONAL CATASTROPHE?

>> I MEAN, THEY SAY NEW YORK

CITY IS THE LIFEBLOOD -- THE MTA

IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF NEW YORK

CITY.

NEW YORK IS THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE

NATION AS FAR AS GENERATING GDP

AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE HERE

WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL

ECONOMY.

BEFORE THIS WE WERE TALKING

ABOUT WHAT A CATASTROPHE IT

WOULD BE IF NEW JERSEY COMMUTERS

COULDN'T GET IN FROM, THROUGH

THE GATEWAY TUNNEL IF THAT

DOESN'T GET BUILT, LET ALONE NEW

YORK CITY WORKERS NOT BEING ABLE

TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY.

WALL STREET IS HERE, OF COURSE.

SO MANY COMPANIES ARE BASED IN

NEW YORK CITY.

PEOPLE NEED TO BE ABLE TO GET

AROUND AND MOVE FREELY.

THE MTA ALSO ARGUES SOMETHING

LIKE 38% OF PUBLIC TRANSIT

RIDERS RIDES HAPPEN IN NEW YORK

CITY WHETHER IT'S LONG ISLAND

RAILROAD, METRO-NORTH BUSES,

SUBWAYS, ET CETERA.

SO NOT HAVING AN MTA SUBWAY THEY

FEAR COULD HAVE QUITE BIG

NATIONAL REPERCUSSIONS

FINANCIALLY IF COMMERCE CAN'T

FLOW AND MONEY CAN'T BE

GENERATED HERE LIKE IT USED TO

BE.

>> AND I GUESS HAVE YOU HEARD

ANYTHING ABOUT, CONCERNS ABOUT

WHAT THE MUNICIPAL BOND MARKET

OR THE NATURE COULD BE IF THE

MTA GOES BELLY UP?

>> WELL, CERTAINLY THE MTA

RELIES A LOT ON SELLING BONDS.

ITS RATING WAS NOT TOO BAD AS

FAR AS I UNDERSTAND.

I AM CERTAINLY NOT AN EXPERT IN

THE MTA'S BOND ISSUES, BUT I DO

KNOW THAT THEY RELY A LOT ON

CREDIT.

THEY WILL HAVE A LOT OF DEBT

COMING UP.

SO I SUPPOSE THAT WILL ALSO BE A

MAJOR CONCERN IF THEY CAN'T PAY

THEIR DEBT.

A LOT OF THEIR OPERATING FUNDING

GOES TOWARDS PAYING DOWN DEBT

FOR MONEY THEY BORROWED IN THE

PAST.

SO IF THEY CAN'T CONTINUE TO PAY

THAT OFF, IT IS GOING TO BE

DIFFICULT.

IF THEY CAN'T SELL BONDS TO

FINANCE OTHER OPERATIONS AND

PROJECTS, IT'S GOING TO BE A

PROBLEM.

THEY JUST CASHED OUT $1 BILLION

LAST WEEK TO KEEP THEM GOING.

IT'S NOT EVEN CLEAR THAT'S GOING

TO LAST FOR A LONG TIME WITH

SUCH A BIG AGENCY, YOU KNOW,

70,000 TRANSIT WORKERS ALONE,

NOT TO MENTION ALL OF THE

ONGOING PROJECTS WHICH WE HEARD

ABOUT SO MUCH, WHICH STILL NEED

TO BE FUNDED AND WORKERS STILL

NEED TO GET PAID.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU

MADE REFERENCE TO.

THE MTA WAS PLANNING TO SPEND

$51 BILLION ON INFRASTRUCTURE

PROJECTS, A NUMBER OF THEM.

BADLY NEEDED.

WILL THAT HAVE TO BE SCRAPPED,

DO YOU THINK?

>> THAT IS A BIG MYSTERY.

WE ARE ALL WAITING TO FIND OUT

WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS BIG

CAPITAL PLAN.

BEFORE THIS, YOU KNOW, DR CRISI

OCCURRED, THE MTA WAS MAKING.

SO BIGGEST PLANS THEY HAVE EVER

MADE TO MODERNIZE THE SUBWAYS.

NEW SIGNALS ACROSS THE SYSTEM.

AN ACCESSIBLE STATION WITH

ELEVATORS EVERY OTHER STOP FOR

FOLKS.

JUST INCREDIBLE STUFF THAT

EVERYONE WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT.

THE MTA AND VERY MUCH, YOU KNOW,

THE ADVOCACY COMMUNITY BELIEVED

THE MTA WAS TURNING A CORNER

WITH MODERNIZING ITS SYSTEM.

LIKE YOU SAID, OVER $50 BILLION

IS NOTHING TO COUGH AT.

IT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST

CAPITAL PLANS THEY HAD EVER HAD.

SO THEY WERE OPTIMISTIC THAT THE

ECONOMY BWAS GOING TO HUM ALONG

NICELY AND TAXES WOULD COME IN

AND THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO FUND

THIS.

NOW IT'S ABSOLUTELY UNCERTAIN.

EVEN BEFORE THIS, CONGESTION

PRICES, WHICH WE GOT PASSED LAST

YEAR, WAS SUPPOSED TO GO ONLINE

THIS COMING DECEMBER/JANUARY.

THERE IS NO IDEA WHERE THAT

STANDS NOW.

BUT IT WAS GOING TO RELY ON A

LOT OF THAT MONEY TO FUND THESE

PROJECTS.

THERE IS THE INTERNET SALES TAX

WITH THE ECONOMY GOING DOWN.

IT'S NOT CLEAR HOW MUCH MONEY IS

GOING TO COME IN ANYMORE.

ARE THEY GOING TO SCALE IT BACK,

SCRAP IT?

WHICH PROJECTS GO FIRST?

AROUND THE TIME CORONAVIRUS

FIRST STARTED THERE WAS SORT OF

A COMMITMENT TO, OH YEAH, WE ARE

GOING TO KEEP GOING, THIS IS

STILL GOING TO HAPPEN, THE

ACCEPTABLE STATIONS ARE STILL

GOING TO HAPPEN.

NOW IT'S VERY MUCH UP IN THE

AIR.

I FEEL LIKE THERE IS A LOT OF

UNCERTAINTY AND THE MTA WILL BE

HOLDING A BOARD MEETING LATER

THIS WEEK WHERE I THINK THEY

WILL START TO ADDRESS SOME OF

THOSE CONCERNS THAT LOT OF FOLKS

ARE HAVING.

>> WE HAVE ABOUT 20 SECONDS

LEFT.

WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

ARE WE GOING TO BE FEELING THE

EFFECTS OF THIS CORONAVIRUS IN

THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO COME?

>> IT'S VERY LIKELY.

IT'S VERY LIKELY.

IF THEY DON'T MAINTAIN THE

SYSTEM, IF THEY DON'T KEEP IT

UP, IF THEY DON'T CONTINUE TO

IMPROVE IT, WE COULD VERY EASILY

SLIDE BACK TO WHERE WE WERE A

FEW YEARS AGO WITH BREAKDOWNS

CONSTANTLY AND WITH THE GENERAL

PUBLIC AFRAID TO RIDE BECAUSE OF

CORONAVIRUS FEARS, YOU WILL

PROBABLY SEE FEWER RIDERS AT A

TIME WHEN RIDERSHIP WAS JUST

COMING BACK FROM THE DOLDRUMS

WHERE IT WAS BEFORE.

SO WE CAN EXPECT A LOT OF

UNCERTAINTY.

>> ALL RIGHT.

STEVEN, WE WILL BRING YOU BACK

TO GIVE US UPDATES AS THIS

CRISIS UNFOLDS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US

TODAY.

>> THANKS A LOT FOR HAVING ME.

>>> THE SUDDEN SHIFT IN

LIFESTYLE AND ROUTINE HAS SENT A

SHOCKWAVE THROUGH AMERICA'S

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM CAUSING

STRESS AND ANXIETY FOR ALL OF

US.

ONLINE WE SEE PEOPLE COMING UP

WITH INGENIOUS WAY OF

MAINTAINING THEIR PHYSICAL

FITNESS EITHER ALONE OR IN

GROUPS WHILE MAINTAINING SOCIAL

DISTANCING AND STAYING AT HOME.

WHAT ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR

BRAIN?

DR. WENDY SUZUKI, A PROFESSOR OF

NEUROSCIENCE AND PSYCHOLOGY AT

THE NEW YORK UNIVERSITY CENTER

FOR NEUROSCIENCE SAYS

MAINTAINING THE HEALTH AND

ACUITY OF OUR MOST CRUCIAL ORGAN

IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANT,

ESPECIALLY FOR OUR SENIOR

POPULATION.

WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

HAPPY TO BE HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

SO, FIRST, I JUST WANT TO ASK

WHAT FEELS LIKE A BASIC

QUESTION, BUT YET SOMETHING THAT

I THINK WE WANT TO UNDERSTAND

MORE, AND WHAT DOES SUCH A

SHOCK, AND AGAIN WE ARE NOT JUST

TALKING ABOUT FEAR AND ANGER AND

ALL OF THESE EMOTIONS THAT WE'RE

ALL SUDDENLY FEELING ADDED ON

WITH ISOLATION.

WHAT IS THAT DOING TO OUR

PHYSICAL BRAIN?

>> WELL, IT IS CAUSING A LOT OF

STRESS.

IT'S CAUSING ANXIETY.

IT'S CAUSING DEPRESSION.

THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR BRAINS

LONG TERM STRESS AND ANXIETY

CAUSES HIGH LEVELS OF STRESS

HORMONES THAT CAN SHRINK PARTS

OF THE BRAIN AND START TO CAUSE

LOTS OF LEVELS OF BRAIN DAMAGE.

SO WE WANT TO TRY AND NIP THIS

IN THE BUD.

AND ABSOLUTELY ACKNOWLEDGE WE

ARE IN A SERIOUS SITUATION.

THIS IS A PANDEMIC, AND THERE IS

SOMETHING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE CAN TAKE

STEPS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR

BRAINS MAINTAIN GOOD HEALTHY

ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM.

>> SO, WHAT WAS -- WAS THERE

ANYTHING ABOUT THE WAY THAT WE

WERE LIVING OUR LIVES THAT WAS

ACTUALLY GOOD FOR OUR BRAINS?

I MEAN, I KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE

INTO BRAIN TEASERS AND INTO SORT

OF LIKE, YOU KNOW, CHALLENGING

THEMSELVES WITH LEARNING NEW

THINGS, BUT WAS THERE A WAY THAT

OUR AMERICAN LIFESTYLE WAS THAT

WAS ACTUALLY GOOD FOR OUR

BRAINS, OR IS THIS PERHAPS A

CHANCE TO RETHINK THE WAY THAT

WE ENGAGE WITH THE WORLD NOT

ONLY FOR OUR BRAINS, BUT ALSO

PSYCHOLOGICALLY?

>> I THINK BOTH.

WE HAD WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITIES

BEFORE THIS PANDEMIC HIT TO DO

LOTS OF GOOD THINGS FOR OUR

BRAINS.

WE KNOW THAT EXERCISE IS W

WONDERFUL FOR THE BRAIN.

COGNITIVE ENGAGEMENT PLAYING.

GAMES LIKE BRIDGE AND CHESS AND

BEING ENGAGED IN YOUR JOB AS YOU

DO.

YOU HAVE TO LEARN SO MANY

DIFFERENT THINGS ABOUT SO MANY

DIFFERENT TOPICS, FOR EXAMPLE.

GOOD EATING IS VERY GOOD FOR

YOUR BRAIN.

SO WHAT HAS CHANGED NOW?

I FIND IT FASCINATING THAT

PEOPLE ARE GIVING SO -- GETTING

SO CREATIVE IN THE WAY THAT THEY

INTERACT.

TODAY I TOOK AN ONLINE VIDEO

YOGA CLASS THAT HAD PEOPLE ALL

AROUND THE WORLD ASSOCIATED IT.

IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT FROM ANY

OTHER YOGA CLASS I EVER TOOK.

AND IT IS CHANGING THE WAY THAT

WE ARE CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE.

THAT CONNECTION IS VERY, VERY

IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BRAIN, OUR

BRAINS.

SO YOU CAN SAY THAT THIS

PANDEMIC HAS KIND OF INCREASED

THE WAYS THAT WE CAN ENHANCE THE

FUNCTIONS OF OUR BRAIN WITH

CREATIVITY, FOR EXAMPLE.

>> WELL, I WONDER IF YOU CAN

TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT --

WITHOUT BEING TOO SCIENCE AND

JARGONY, ABOUT THE WAYS THAT

WHAT YOU WERE SAYING, THAT

CREATIVITY HAS SORTED OF

AWAKENED IN SO MANY PEOPLE, HOW

DOES THAT IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN'S

FUNCTIONALITY?

>> YEAH.

SO, CREATIVITY IS SOMETHING THAT

IS FASCINATING TO SO MANY

DIFFERENT PEOPLE, AND CREATIVITY

IS PART OF KIND OF COGNITIVE

ENGAGEMENT, COGNITIVE

ENHANCEMENT.

WE KNOW THAT, FOR EXAMPLE,

PEOPLE WITH HIGHER LEVELS OF

EDUCATION, THEY STAYED IN SCHOOL

LONGER PERIODS OF TIME, THEIR

BRAINS TEND TO BE MORE RESILIENT

TO AGING AND COGNITIVE DECLINE.

SO CREATIVITY AND USING YOUR

BRAIN IN A NEW WAY IS ONE ASPECT

OF THAT.

SO I LOVE ALL OF THE WAYS THAT

I'M SEEING PEOPLE INTERACTING

WITH EACH OTHER IN DIFFERENT

WAYS FWR OPERA SINGING OUT OF

THE WINDOWS IN MILAN TO ONLINE

HAPPY HOURS, WHICH I ALSO DID

FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST NIGHT

AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

SO THAT IS HOW WE THINK ABOUT

CREATIVITY IN THE BRAIN.

>> ANOTHER THING IS THAT YOU

HAVE BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR THE

IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE AND THAT

HAVING AGAIN AN AFFECT ON OUR

PHYSICAL BRAIN.

I AM WONDERING IF YOU COULD SORT

OF EXPLAIN HOW THAT WORKS AND

WHY IT'S WORTH, EVEN IF IT'S

JUST GETTING OUT AND TAKING A

WALK AROUND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD,

WHY THAT'S WORTH IT.

>> YEAH.

SO, SO IMPORTANT.

I'D SAY THAT EXERCISE IS THE

MOST TRANSFORMATIVE THING THAT

YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR BRAIN TODAY.

YOU CAN DO IT INSIDE.

YOU CAN DO IT OUTSIDE.

BUT MOVING YOUR BODY IS

TRANSFORMATIVE BECAUSE IT HAS

IMMEDIATE POSITIVE BENEFITS.

IT IS BATHING YOUR BRAIN IN WHAT

I LIKE TO CALL A BUBBLE BATH OF

NEUROCHEMICALS, INCLUDING

DOPAMINE AND SEROTONIN THAT

INCREASE YOUR MOOD AND DECREASE

STRESS AND AINXIETY.

SOMETHING EVERYBODY NEEDS.

AND FOR THE LONG TERM, IT

ACTUALLY STIMULATES THE BIRTH OF

BRAND-NEW BRAIN CELLS IN A BRAIN

AREA THAT IS VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO

AGING AND ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE.

THAT IS CALLED THE HIPPOCAMPUS.

SO IT'S -- YOU CAN THINK OF THE

BRAIN LIKE A MUSCLE, LIKE THE

REST OF YOUR BODY, A MUSCLE IN

THE REST OF YOUR BODY.

THE MORE YOU WORK OUT AND THE

MORE YOU MOVE YOUR BODY, THE

STRONGER YOUR BRAIN GETS, THE

BIGGER AND FATTER THIS BRAIN

AREA, THE HIPPOCAMPUS, GETS.

SO IT TAKES LONGER FOR AGING AND

NEURODEGENERATIVE STATES TO

START TO AFFECT IT.

AND SO YOU ARE STAVING OFF THE

DEBILITATING EFFECTS OF AGING

AND NEURODEGENERATIVE STATES,

WHICH ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR OUR

SENIORS WHO ARE PARTICULARLY

VULNERABLE.

SO I AM A NEW ADVISOR FOR

MAPLEWOOD SENIOR LIVING AND

INSPIRE SENIOR LIVING HERE IN

THE CITY, AND WE TALKED A LOT

ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO

KEEP OUR SENIORS, WHO ARE

HOPEFULLY SAFE IN THEIR HOMES,

BUT NOT JUST SITTING THERE.

CAN THEY GET UP?

CAN THEY DO A LITTLE BIT OF

CARDIO OR AT LEAST ENERGETIC

VACUUMING?

CAN THEY CHANGE THE BEDS?

THERE IS SO MANY THINGS YOU CAN

DO AROUND THE HOUSE THAT

ACTUALLY COUNT AS EXERCISE.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET IN YOUR

SPANDEX TO MAKE IT COUNT, BUT

HOUSEWORK AND EVEN GETTING UP

AND TAKING A LITTLE WALK AROUND

THE APARTMENT IF YOU DON'T WANT

TO GO OUTSIDE.

THAT COUNTS AS WELL.

VERY IMPORTANT TO MAKE SURE THAT

YOUR FRIENDS, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR

SENIORS NOT ONLY HAVE THAT FOOD,

CARE PACKAGE THAT WE'RE ALL

GIVING TO OUR SENIOR FRIENDS,

BUT OARE REMINDED TO GET UP, GE

OUT, TAKE THEM OUT FOR A WALK

STAYING SIX FEET APART IF YOU

CAN.

BUT VERY IMPORTANT FOR THEIR

MENTAL HEALTH, ESPECIALLY TO

DECREASE THAT ANXIETY,

DEPRESSION, THAT COMES WITH THE

ISOLATION THAT WE'RE ALL

EXPERIENCING.

>> OF COURSE.

AND THAT, I THINK, IS SO

INTERESTING AND MIGHT EVEN FEEL

PROFOUND, ALTHOUGH OBVIOUS TO

YOU, BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE SEEM

TO FEEL, YOU KNOW, IF I CALL AND

CHECK IN OR IF, YOU KNOW, IF

THEY KNOW HOW TO USE THE

INTERNET, MAYBE WE CAN PLAY A

GAME OR SOMETHING ONLINE, VIDEO

CHATTING.

BUT IT'S THE ACTUAL MOVEMENT OF

THE BODY THAT YOU ARE SAYING

THAT'S WHERE THE KEY IS?

>> YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

AND IT WORKS NO MATTER WHAT AGE

YOU ARE.

I HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE ASK ME,

WELL, I'M 65.

IT'S TOO LATE FOR ME.

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.

THERE ARE STUDIES THAT HAVE

SHOWN THAT OLDER PEOPLE IN THEIR

70s THAT HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED

WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, WITH

THREE MONTHS OF INCREASED

MOVEMENT, WHICH FOR THEM WAS

JUST WALKING, YOU KNOW, KIND OF

POWER WALKING FOR THREE MONTHS,

COMPARED TO PEOPLE THAT JUST DID

STRETCHING AND TONING, THEIR

DEMENTIA SCORE SIGNIFICANTLY

DECREASED OVER THOSE THREE

MONTHS.

AND WITHOUT THAT INTERVENTION,

THE DEMENTIA SCORE TENDS TO, IN

ALL OF OUR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH

DEMENTIA, GO UP AND UP AND UP AS

YOU AGE.

SO THIS IS SOMETHING, IT'S NOT

JUST A VITAMIN, IT IS A

MEDICINE.

MOVEMENT IS A MEDICINE FOR YOUR

BRAIN.

>> THAT IS SOMETHING I HAVE NOT

HEARD BEFORE.

SO THAT IS INCREDIBLY UNIQUE.

I WANT TO ALSO ASK YOU SINCE YOU

ALSO ARE A PROFESSOR OF

PSYCHOLOGY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY

IS THE BEST WAY FOR US TO

ATTEMPT TO HANDLE JUST THIS RUSH

OF EMOTIONS?

SO MANY PEOPLE I HAVE BEEN

SPEAKING TO, IT'S NOT JUST FEAR.

IT'S ANXIETY.

IT'S ANGER.

DEPRESSION.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

WHAT IS A GOOD WAY FOR US TO

START TO MANAGE THOSE EMOTIONS

THAT THEY DON'T OVERWHELM US

INTO INACTION?

>> I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU THE

NUMBER ONE STTIP THAT CAN HELP

IMMEDIATELY, AND THAT IS SIMPLY

TAKING DEEP BREATH IN AND OUT.

WHY?

BECAUSE OUR BREATH IS CONTROLLED

BY TWO DUELING NERVOUS SYSTEMS.

ONE THAT IS ACTIVATING US TO RUN

AND FIGHT.

THAT IS CALLED THE SYMPATHETIC

NERVOUS SYSTEM.

ANOTHER NERVOUS SYSTEM THAT IS

THE REST AND DIGEST AND THE

WEEKEND NERVOUS SYSTEM.

THEY ARE BOTH AFFECTING OUR

BREATHING, AND THAT STRESS

NERVOUS SYSTEM IS MAKING US

BREATHE LIKE THIS.

THE BEST WAY TO COUNTER THAT IS

SIMPLY TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH

BECAUSE WE HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL

OVER THAT.

AND THAT IS -- TRY IT OUT.

IT CAN CALM YOU, EVEN IF YOU

STILL HAVE THOSE WORRIES ABOUT

WHAT THE PANDEMIC IS DOING.

IT WILL HELP THE WHOLE REST AND

K

DIGEST NERVOUS SYSTEM KICK IN

JUST BY STARTING TO BREATHE

DEEPLY AND WITH INTENTION.

SO THAT IS MY NUMBER ONE TIP.

MY NUMBER TWO TIP IS TO GET UP

AND MOVE, AND MOVE YOUR BODY,

DANCE TO YOUR FAVORITE MUSIC,

TAKE ONE OF THE FREE YOUTUBE

CLASSES THAT ARE ALL OVER THE

INTERNET AND GROWING EVERY DAY

BECAUSE EVERYBODY IS GIVING OUT

THERE OF THEIR EXERCISE

EXPERTISE.

AND SO THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS.

BREATHE AND MOVE.

>> I FEEL LIKE THE MOST HELPFUL

THING THAT YOU SAID, AND PERHAPS

THIS JUST A ME THING, BUT

SOMETHING THAT I CAN CONTROL IS

REALLY, I THINK --

>> EXACTLY.

>> THAT'S THE BEST THING I

HEARD.

>> YES, YES, ABSOLUTELY.

AND ALL THE OTHER PARTS OF THE

NERVOUS SYSTEM THAT ARE IN THIS

BATTLE BETWEEN STRESS AND

NON-STRESS, MUCH HARDER TO

CONTROL YOUR HEART RATE.

CAN I CONTROL MY HEART RATE?

TRY REALLY HARD, YOU CAN'T.

CAN I CONTROL MY DIGESTION?

NO.

CAN I CONTROL MY REPRODUCTION?

NO.

WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL IS YOUR

BREATH.

THAT'S WHY IT'S SO POWERFUL.

>> THAT IS A REALLY, REALLY

POWERFUL THING.

I JUST WANT TO -- WE'RE RUNNING

OUT OF TIME.

I WANT TO ASK, WHAT IS IT THAT

YOU HOPE, ASIDE FROM THE HEALTH

AND WELL BEING, OF COURSE, OF

EVERYBODY AND THEIR PHYSICAL

HEALTH, BUT WHETHER IT COMES TO

OUR BRAIN, WHAT IS IT THAT YOU

WOULD HOPE THAT WE AS A COUNTRY

ARE ABLE TO TAKE AWAY FROM AND

HOW WE TREAT THIS CRUCIAL ORGAN?

>> YES.

WELL, I THINK THAT JUST

APPRECIATION OF THE POWER AND

THE BEAUTY OF OUR OWN BRAINS.

THE BRAIN IS THE MOST COMPLEX

STRUCTURE KNOWN TO HUMAN KIND,

AND WE ALL HAVE ONE.

AND IT NEEDS TO LAST A LIFETIME.

AND THAT IS WHY EXERCISE IS SO

TRANSFORMATIVE.

IT'S THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO.

IT'S FREE.

ALL YOU DO IS MOVE YOUR BODY.

IT DOESN'T REQUIRE ANY EXTRA,

YOU KNOW, FEES TO PAY.

AND I LIKE TO CALL EXERCISE THE

SUPERCHARGED 401(K) FOR YOUR

BRAIN.

EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A DEPOSIT OF

MOVEMENT, YOU ARE LITERALLY

HELPING YOUR BRAIN LAST FOR A

LONG, LONG TIME IN THE FUTURE.

STAVING OFF AGING AND

NEURODEGENERATIVE STATES.

AND IT IS POWERFUL, AND YOU CAN

DO IT RIGHT NOW.

>> LISTEN, DR. SUZUKI, I WANT TO

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME

ON THE PROGRAM AND WITH SOME

REALLY IMPORTANT HELPFUL,

POWERFUL TIPS SO THAT WE CAN GET

THROUGH THIS, I THINK, AS STRONG

AND COME OUT VIBRANT AS

EVERYBODY.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>>> FOR THE LATEST NEWS ON THE

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND YOUR

COMMUNITY, VISIT US AT

"METROFOCUS".ORG, FACEBOOK AND

TWITTER.

GOOD NIGHT, AND STAY SAFE.

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY

JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,

ROSALYNN PRCHLT WALTER, BARBARA

HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --


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