This is a transcript of our episode “Staying home: How social distancing helps fight coronavirus.”

Listen to the episode: Website | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts

Note: This episode was released on March 24, 2019. It’s part of an ongoing series to answer kids’ questions about the coronavirus — and viruses in general — and shed light on how scientists are learning more about this virus every day. 

This episode tackles questions like, “Why do we have to be out of school for three weeks?”, “Does the virus go away when you wash your hands?”, “How did the coronavirus start?” and more. 

You can also check out the latest episodes in this series: Masks and mouth mist: What we know about the coronavirus now, Coronavirus: How to be a helper from home and  Virus Busters: How scientists are working to stop the coronavirus. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Gus: You’re listening to Brains On, where we’re serious about being curious.

Brains On is supported in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Bob (on a video call): How do I get this thing to work….

Sanden: Hi, Bob! Sanden’s on the call! 

Menaka: Menaka’s here! 

Marc: Hey everybody -- Marc here. Bob, this was a great idea!

Molly:  Oh, hi! Molly’s here -- can you guys see me?

Sanden: Yep. Are we waiting for anyone else?


Bob: I think that’s everyone? Well, OK. Well, thanks for joining me. I was getting a little lonely and I missed you guys so… what’s that sound? (paper crinkling) Anyone hear paper crinkling?

Menaka: Oh, sorry. My roommate is making an entire origami zoo. She’s just finishing the giraffes. — I’ll mute.

Bob: Well, as I was saying, I was feeling lonely and -- (beeping sounds) Uh, Sanden, what’s that noise??

Sanden: Oh! Hey, sorry that’s me - My poodle Penelope’s discovered this new app, it’s a daily scent scavenger hunt for dogs. She’s been using it all over the house. Anyway, I’ll mute.

Bob: Thank you. So, now that we’re all -- Oh heavens. (swordfighting noise) What now

Marc: Ha! Oops! That’s me. My guinea pigs are using their down time to learn fencing. Muting now!

Bob: (marching band tune) More noise?!

Gungador: SORRY! Gungador listening to marching band records -- helps lift spirits!

Molly: (knitting sounds) And I was knitting myself a lab coat of many colors. Sorry, will mute!

Bob: Ah… finally. Peace and quiet. Actually, it’s too quiet. I’m feeling all alone again! Ah -- forget it! I don’t care about the noise, I just want to hear your voices! Unmute everybody (cascade of sounds come back in)

Molly: Aww - we miss you to Bob!

Menaka: Yeah, it's good to hear you all.

Gungador: Sanden look taller on screen!

Sanden: Aw man, I miss you guys.

Bob: Hey, you know, everybody, if I got some popsicles and hold 'em up to the screen…

Marc: This is nice.

Sanden: Is anyone else, like, not getting out of their pajamas?

Gungador: Next time! Virtual dance party!

Molly: OK, so I already knitted a sweater for my microphone. Oh and I knitted some earmuffs for penelope the poodle,

Bob: Hey, Menaka, it looks like you can still ride your scooter at home!

Marc: Have you changed your hair?

Menaka: I can scooter! But I have to scooter really slowly.

Marc: I can totally send out taco recipes if anybody wants them.

Sanden: Does anyone else really miss wearing pants?

(conversation fades down, theme music plays)

Molly: This is Brains On, I’m Molly Bloom and back again is our pal Gus from Seattle, Washington. Hi Gus!

Gus: Hi Molly! 

Molly: A lot has changed over the last few weeks because of this new coronavirus.

Gus: Yeah -- people are being extra careful.

Molly: They’re not going out much.

Gus: They’re avoiding crowds.

Molly: A lot of schools and restaurants and stores are closed for a while. Lots of events and parties have been canceled.

Gus: And everyone is washing their hands.

Molly: So much handwashing. But hands are tough - they can handle it. Right, hands? 

Molly's Hands: Oh yeah Molly - we’re doing great! Yeah, just remember to moisturize us sometimes, okay? 

Molly: Sure thing hands!

Gus: Do you always talk to your hands?

Molly: It’s a new thing. I figured, if they’re going to help me fight the spread of this virus -- I should really get to know them. 

Hands: We agree - it’s a good idea! Yeah, we like getting to know you too, Molly.

Gus: Okay. Fair enough.

Molly: Also, I don’t see that many people in person anymore, so the more friends to talk to, the better. So, Gus, how are your hands doing right now? 

Gus: Rashy. They’re definitely rashy. I have to moisturize them like every day or two. 

Molly: Because you’ve been moisturizing them so much? 

Gus: Yeah, and for some reason it feels colder now,  the water feels colder because I’ve been washing them so much. I don’t know how that works…

Molly: That’s a lot of handwashing. So you and I both talked exactly two weeks ago, and a lot has changed since then. So your school is closed now right? 

Gus: Yeah, six weeks. 

Molly: So what is life like for you right now? 

Gus: Uh, boring. I do nothing but bike, play with my drones, stuff like that. 

Molly: Anything else you’ve been doing like cooking or cleaning or writing the great American novel? What else have you been up to? 

Gus: Actually now that you mention it, I think I have been cooking more. I have been cooking breakfast a little bit more more. I cooked a dinner or two. 

Molly: What kind of stuff are you cooking: 

Gus: Stew, eggs, toast, stir fry. That’s all I can think of. 

Molly: So you and your parents are both home all the time now. So how is that going? 

Gus: Well, we’re all kind of stir-crazy so we get into a lot of arguments. They’re not bad, they’re just dumb. 

Molly: So what are you hearing from your friends? How do you communicate with them right now? 

Gus: I have a little app where I can message my family and friends. Currently I have… at least ten people on there. 

Molly: And are you doing any video chatting with anybody? 

Gus: Yeah, I did a couple days ago with my Grandma.

Molly: Nice. Ok, let’s start today with a question I am sure a lot of you are asking.

Isaac: My name is Issac, I am from Boston, Massachusetttes. Why do we have to be out of school for three weeks? Bye, thank you! 

Gus: It’s a question I’m asking too! And you know, we may end up being out of school for more than three weeks. 

Molly: We asked Tom Tsai to help us answer this question. He’s a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who also studies how diseases spread.

Gus: He said there’s one main reason people are being asked to stay home.

Tom: The main reason is you want to prevent spreading the infection. And the more everybody, not just children, but also adults, stay home from school or from work, that gives everybody a chance to decrease the chance of getting sick from this infection. And more importantly, also gives a chance for people who are sick from this infection, to be able to see the doctors and get care.

Molly: He said closing things down is important because this coronavirus seems to spread even before people show signs that they’re sick. And some people who get this virus, never really get sick at all.

Gus: So you might not think you’re sick because you feel fine, but you’re actually spreading this virus.

Molly: And even though it might not make you very sick, you could give those germs to someone who could get very sick from them.

Gus: So keeping our distance, even if we feel fine, is our best bet. This is called social distancing.

Molly: In fact, experts recommend you stay at least 6 feet away from anyone outside your family. And all this social distancing is related to another phrase you may have heard people saying lately:

Gus: Flattening the curve.

Tom: So what people mean by “flattening the curve,” the curve is essentially a cartoon. It's just a way for us to look at a large number of numbers very quickly through a picture. 

Molly: So the curve he’s talking about is part of something called a graph — graphs are kind of a way to do math in pictures. In this case, scientists are using these graphs to look at the number of people who are sick over time. 

Gus: If you look at these curves, they look like little hills.

Molly: As the line goes up the hill, that represents the number of sick people going up. There's more sick people. Then the number peaks at the top of the hill -- and then the line starts going down the hill. 

Gus: That means the number of people who are sick is going down too. 

Molly: This hill shows the pattern of how people get sick with these kinds of germs.

Gus: The number of people who are sick goes up, until it peaks, then it goes down. 

Molly: And basically, the steepness of this hill -- how much it goes up --  that shows us the speed the coronavirus is spreading. So if the hill looks like a really steep mountain, it means this virus is spreading quickly.

Tom: But if we can spread that out or flatten the curve, as many scientists are saying, what that means is, you're spreading out the number of people who are infected over a much longer period of time.

Gus: Right now we’re on the upward part of the hill. And we’re aiming for more of a grassy knoll, or a mellow sand dune. 

Molly: That means fewer people get sick at once, which could also mean that fewer people get sick overall. And when fewer people are sick at once, it’s easier for doctors and nurses to take care of everyone. So let’s flatten that hill!

Tom: The important part to understand is the more we work together as a group, as a society, by staying at home, doing a good job of washing our hands, and preventing the spread of infection, every single person has a role to play to make sure the disease doesn't last as long as it could.

Molly: So it’s frustrating that we don’t know exactly how long schools and other gathering places will be closed. 

Gus: And it’s a total bummer to have to cancel fun stuff like birthday parties and trips.

Molly: And it’s hard that there’s so much uncertainty about when exactly we can start hanging out in person again and rescheduling all these fun things that we’ve needed to cancel. But know that by doing this -- by taking these big steps to help flatten the curve -- we’re helping everyone.

Gus: You’re helping the people who could get sick.

Molly: You’re helping the people who take care of those who get sick by making sure there aren’t too many people who need help all at once.

Gus: We’re all doing our part! 

Molly: Say, hands -- do you know what’s a fun, completely safe activity you can do without leaving your house? 

Molly's Hands: What’s that Molly? 

Molly: Guessing the ….


Molly: Are you ready for the mystery sound Gus? Alright, here it is: 

(Mystery sound plays)

Gus: Oh very wet. It sounds very wet. 

Molly: What do you think it is? 

Gus: That’s a hard one, and this sounds totally unrealistic, but I honestly think it sounds like someone chopping vegetables with a mouthful of water. 

Molly: I really like that guess. 

Gus: But maybe like washing dishes or washing your hands in a bucket. 

Molly: All really good guesses. Well, we're going to be back with the answer in just a bit, so hold tight. 

Hands: Yay! We love holding things tight, Molly! Yeah, it’s our forte! 

Molly: Oh hands...

Edith: Hi I am Edith - my question is, does the virus go away when you wash your hands

Soap: I can help with that.

(Funky music plays)

Soap: Hey there Edith and everyone out there in podcastland. It is time to get down and rock and roll with your fresh faced friend - soap.

Singers: Soap is your friend!

Soap: I’ve got some news to kick your blues - if you’re in trouble just look for my bubble because I totally make viruses go away -- and I’ve always got your back.

Singers: Soap’s got your back!

Soap: You see, I’m filled with special virus busting molecules. They look like tiny bent pins. One side is a little round head and the other side is a long zig zaggy pin tail. And these molecules are far out man. They have what’s called a hybrid structure.

Singers: Hybrid pins!

Soap: That means one side is attracted to water. The little round head sides -- they just love getting wet. But the other side - the zig zag tail -- it’s repelled by water! It can’t stand being wet. So when you lather up, the water loving side gets all splish-splashy, jumping right into that pool party on your hands.

Singers: They like to swim!Soap: But boy oh boy -- the other side of these sweet, soapy molecules -- they do NOT like the pool one bit. So dig this! They start looking for anything that isn’t water that they can grab on to. They especially love greasy things.

Singers: They like the grease!

Soap: And you know what’s good and greasy? Viruses. They’ve got this nasty, greasy coat on them. And that water-hating side of the soap molecule -- it loves to grab that greasy virus. They get so grabby, they can break that coat apart, destroying that virus right then and there.

Singer: Ohhh -- Virus is gone!

Soap: These grabby, water-repellant sides of soap also grab onto dirt and bacteria and other uncool things on your hands. And while you scrub your mitts, they hold that stuff tight . Then it's time to rinse it all off. The water washes those soapy molecules right off your hands. And they carry all the dirt and dead viruses they’re clinging to with them -- Right. Down. The draaaain.

Singer: Soap saves the day!

Soap: That’s right -- that’s how my molecules work. They break up viruses and grab bits of dirt and carry it all with them down the drain. So make sure you let me do my thing -- by washing for at least 20 seconds each time. And remember cool cats: soap’s always got your back.

Singers: Soap’s got your back!

Molly: We want to know, what have you been doing if you are out of school right now? 

Gus: Have you been practicing the electric viola? 

Molly: Translating all the Harry Potter books to Pig Latin? 

Gus: Surveying the bugs outside your home? 

Molly: Or making up new dance moves? Whatever it is, we want to know about it. 

Gus: Record yourself telling us about something awesome you’ve been up to and send it our way. 

Molly: We could play it in a future episode. Just go to 

Gus: You can also send us a drawing, or that mystery sound recording you've been meaning to get to. 

Molly: Or send us a question, like this listener: 

Anshi and Jess: Hi my name is Anshi, Hi my name is Jess. We're from San Ramon, California. Why does our tongue stick to ice? 

Gus: We’ll answer that at the end of our show. 

Molly: Plus, we’ll shout out the latest group to join the Brain Honor Roll. 

Molly: You’re listening to Brains On from American Public Media, I’m Molly.

Gus: I’m Gus.

Kara: I’m Kara and this is my best friend Gilly!

Gilly: We’re viruses and we’re taking over this podcast!

Molly: Again!?

Gilly: Well, our regular studio was shut down because of contamination.

Kara: Surprise! WE were the contamination!

Gilly: Yeah we were!

Molly: I’ll be right back -- I’m going to go get some disinfectant wipes.

Kara: Okay people, get ready for…

Both: Going Viral with Kara and Gilly!

Kara: So, I’m sure you’ve all seen the news.

Gilly: About the rhinovirus getting a nose job?

Kara: Gilly, Rhinoviruses cause the common cold. All their jobs are in noses. That’s literally where they thrive. Not news. I’m talking about this new virus that’s getting all the headlines.

Gilly: Oh, that new coronavirus. Yeah, what’s it’s deal? I bet it’s a Leo.

Kara: I heard it’s a Sagittarius.

Gilly: Ohh… I can see that.

Kara: Anyway, we have questions and so do you. 

Gilly: You guys have sent us a TON of them since our last episode.

Kara: Yeah, like SO many.

Gilly: We are not coronaviruses ourselves --

Kara: And we’ve been busy binge watching our new favorite show Law and Order: Kleenex Unit, so we haven’t really had time to get ourselves up to speed on this new viral sensation... so we brought in an expert to help us.

Gilly: She’s a pediatrician. She studies infectious diseases and tropical medicine! She’s with Baylor College! It’s Dr Jill Weatherhead! 

Jill: Oh, hi!

Kara: Nice to meet you doctor. Come, let’s shake hands.

Jill: Yeah, I don't want you to get near me right now.

Kara: Smart move.

Gilly: So Doctor, we’ve got a question from a listener that’s basically what we’re all wondering.

Nelson: Hi, my name is Nelson and my question is how did the coronavirus start?

Jill:  Well, we are as scientists looking into how the Corona virus started. And so this is a really good question. That's going to take some time for the scientists to figure out. What we do know is it most likely started from a bat, and that bat came in contact with another animal called an intermediate host. But we don't know currently what that intermediate host is. And that’s what scientists are currently trying to figure out. Humans then came in contact with the intermediate host, which is most likely an animal, and that's how the virus got into humans and started spreading between people.

Gilly: Ohhh, so there was a mystery animal involved. Any guesses what it might’ve been?

Jill: So there's a lot of different animals that are being evaluated. Most recently, they've talked about an animal called a pangolin.

Kara: That’s an animal that’s part penguin and part chameleon.

Jill: Uh no.

Kara: Yeah I totally made that up. So what is a pangolin?

Jill: It has an outside scaly layer, that kind of looks like an aardvark with scales on it. But that has not been confirmed as the source of the virus yet.

Gilly: Okay, so this coronavirus came from bats, got picked up by some as of yet still unknown intermediate animal --

Kara: Maybe a pangolin… 

Gilly: And then made the jump to humans.

Jill: That's right.

Gilly: And FYI humans, usually an animal virus can’t infect you but sometimes -- we mutate!

Kara: It’s like our super power.

Gilly: And sometimes we mutate in just the right way so that we can infect a new species. And, once in a while, that new species is you. Don’t at us haters! It’s just how we are.

Kara: Yup. Okay, so next question…

Emma: Hi my name is Emma, I’m six from San Antonio, and I want to know why does the coronavirus structures look the way it does and why does it have all those spiky things?

Gilly: Yeah - who is it’s stylist because those spikes are on point.

Kara: Heh, nice one Gil.

Jill: So, yeah, they have a very interesting appearance and they're called a corona virus because of those spikes, the spikes are called spike proteins. The spike proteins are what help the virus get into the cells. So the spike proteins will bind to a receptor on a human cell. And that allows, when they bind together, that allows the virus to enter into the cell.

Gilly: Ah, so the spikes are like keys that help it unlock the door to a cell - very clever coronavirus.

Kara: Okay, that brings us to our next q -- which is…

Celia: Hello, my name is Celia and I live in Wilmington Delaware. And my question is, what really happens to you when you get the coronavirus?

Jill: There is actually a spectrum, meaning of multiple different ways people can have symptoms. Some people actually are what's called asymptomatic, meaning they don't have symptoms at all and don't feel sick. The majority of people feel like they have the flu, so they feel like they have muscle muscle aches, they have fever. They may have a cough, but some people actually have other symptoms, like a sore throat or they have stomach pains and diarrhea. So people present a little bit differently, but the majority of people will have fever and cough and just not feel well.

Gilly: Fascinating stuff here doc. I could listen to you talk about viruses all day. 

Kara: Okay, how about this one?

Marco: Hello - my name is Marco. I live in Brisbane, Australia. My question is, if you get coronavirus, after you are better, can you get it again? Thank you.

Jill: We don’t know that yet. And we’re finding out more information to know if we have what's called sustained immunity, which means once you get it, you'll have immunity to it for your life. And there's certain viruses like measles, where once you have measles, the likelihood of getting it again is very rare. And then we have other viruses like the flu where you can get it each year. So we don't know where on the spectrum this is going to be yet.And that will come with time as we understand more about the virus. 

Kara: Ok. Next question!

Anna: Hi, I’m Anna from Greenville South Carolina. Why does the coronavirus impact human cells and not other animals when our DNA is so similar?

Jill: So coronaviruses actually do affect other animals, and that's what is so interesting about it. So as we have talked about the virus, actually it has mutated from an animal virus so that it is now infected in humans. Now, what we have learned so far and when we look at the CDC and the World Health Organization, they say we actually cannot pass it to other animals. So your pets, your cats, your dogs, you're not going to pass it to them because they don't have the right receptors for the virus to be infected.

Gilly: That’s right, viruses like corona and us, we do mutate, but once we jump to a new species, it doesn’t mean we can just keep jumping to other animals. Mutations take time and are random so it’s not like we can spread to new animals easily.

Kara: Awww. But I really want to infect a puppy. They’re sooo cuuuuuute.

Gilly: Well, that’s all we have time for. Thanks so much Doctor Jill Weatherhead. We learned so much, like… we became wiser, smarter… we really bonded you know? Let’s have a hug before we say goodbye.

Jill: Nice try, but still no. 

Gilly: Yeah I was 100 percent going to go up your nose. Oh well! 

Kara: See you next time viralinos! 


Molly: Finally - they’re gone.

Gus: Time to go into wipe down mode?

Molly: Yep - start sanitizing. Ugh.

Molly: Okay Gus, ready to get back to that Mystery Sound? Here it is again.

(Mystery sound plays)

Molly: Ok Gus, last time you thought it was someone chopping vegetables in their mouth or washing their hands or doing the dishes. Do you have any new thoughts. 

Gus: Maybe gutting a fish. I don’t know, it just sounds like that. Because I've been to lakes where they have a little tent where someone can gut the fish for you or like a trout farm or something like that. And they put it in a water bucket. 

Molly: Yeah it’s a very gloopy wet noise. Well here is the answer:

Maya: Hi, my name is Maya. I’m from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey. That was the sound of my mom making chicken pot pie. You can hear her mixing frozen vegetables with chicken and a cheese sauce. Besides chicken pot pie, my mom makes a mean mashed potato. 

Gus: Oh wait what? 

Molly: There were vegetables involved. And chicken and gloopiness. But it was all in the service of a chicken pot pie. 

Gus: Sounded like they were chopping something. 

Molly: You were correct. 

Molly: So, like we mentioned, the goal of staying home and social distancing is to help slow the spread of the coronavirus so health care workers can take care of everyone who needs help.

Lisa: All doctors and nurses are coming to work and working hard to take care of patients. Everybody’s trying to do everything they can to help take care of people.

Gus: That’s Dr. Lisa Dabby.

Molly: She’s an emergency medicine doctor with the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gus: She’s on the front lines of this fight against COVID-19.

Molly: That’s the name for the sickness caused by this new coronavirus.

Gus: She helps treat people with strong symptoms, but she says it’s important to keep in mind that most people who get it will be able to get better all on their own.

Lisa: I think what people need to step back and remember is that 80 percent, which, you know, eight out of 10 people who get this virus do just fine. They don't even need to go to the hospital for 80 percent. 

Molly: And Lisa says by staying home, you’re helping healthcare workers like her do their job.

Lisa: I know it's hard to be home. And I know it's hard to not see your friends, but it's really, really important right now that we do our best to not spend a lot of time with other people so that we don't spread the virus. So, kids, you too have the power to help attack and fight this virus by not interacting with other people and not spreading it to other people. Know that we're all out there working our hardest to try to figure this out and take care of people. We're gonna get through this just fine.

Molly: Scientists are also working hard right now on new medicines and vaccines that will fight this virus.

Gus: We have an episode all about that coming soon.

Molly: But if you’re still feeling overwhelmed by all this - that’s okay, you’re not alone.

Gus: Yeah - one thing we like to do when we feel overwhelmed is to meditate.

Molly: We talked with author Mallika Chopra about this. She wrote a book called Just Breathe, which is a meditation guide for kids.

Gus: Here’s one meditation she shared with us that you can try right now.

Mallika: So when we are anxious or stressed or nervous about something, we often feel it in our stomachs. Like butterflies in our stomachs. So a meditation that I recommend is something called blow those butterflies away. This meditation is super simple. You take a deep breath in. You feel the air coming into your stomach. You envision all of that nervous energy as colorful patterned butterflies. And then you blow out forcefully through your nose, and as you blow out you just envision the butterflies flying away. So this is a good way to use your breath to let that nervous energy out. 

Molly: To hear more meditations and learn more about where nervousness comes from -- or about other emotions --

Gus: Like anger, sadness and joy --

Molly: -- check out our four part series on emotions.

Gus: Just head to brains on dot org and search feelings.

Molly: So before we go, we want to give a big old thanks to all of the scientists, doctors, nurses and emergency responders for working so hard and tirelessly during this coronavirus outbreak.

Gus: Yeah! And to everybody else who is doing their part too… teachers… grocery store workers… and YOU! Let’s give everybody a hand! 

Gus's Hands: Sure thing Gus! Yeah, here we go! 

Molly: Gus! You’re talking with your hands now too!

Gus: What can I say - they’re good company!

Molly: Scientists think the coronavirus started in bats but eventually mutated to infect humans.

Gus: And people around the world are social distancing, by keeping six feet apart and staying home to help stop it from spreading.

Molly: The goal is to make it so fewer people get sick at the same time -- it’s called flattening the curve.

Gus: And if you’re feeling overwhelmed -- try meditating by taking deep, slow breaths. It really helps! 

Molly: That’s it for this episode of Brains On.

Gus: Brains On is produced by Marc Sanchez, Menaka Wilhelm, Molly Bloom and Sanden Totten.

Molly: We had engineering help from the great Andrew Walsh and production help from Kristina Lopez, Rosie duPont and Ruby Guthrie. Many thanks to Katie Horneffer, Eric Ringham, John Miller, Anna Weggel, Tracy Mumford and Phyllis Fletcher.

Gus: And now, before we go it’s time for the Moment of Ummmmmm…...

Anshi and Jess: Why does our tongue stick to ice? 

Alexis: Well, your tongue is a fascinating muscle. My name is Dr. Alexis Noel, I’m a mechanical engineer, and I study animals in nature to learn how we can make better robots for our future. On the outside of your tongue, if you zoom in real close, your tongue actually looks like a toothbrush. Your tongue is covered in tiny little hairs called villi. These hairs hold onto your saliva, much like a kitchen sponge does. On the inside of your tongue, your body pumps blood into the muscle to keep it warm. On a cold day, if you stick your tongue out into the air, your body pumps blood into the tongue to keep the saliva warm, enough to give you a tongue popsicle. So what happens is when you touch your tongue to a very cold surface like ice, well the ice is so cold that it sucks up the heat from your tongue very quickly. The tongue can’t supply warmth fast enough, so the ice instantly freezes your saliva. And since your toothbrush tongue is coated in saliva, it sticks to the tongue as well. Eventually your tongue will win the heat battle. The ice cube won’t be able to keep up with your tongue heat, and that means the frozen saliva will quickly defrost. If you want to speed up the process, pour some warm water on the ice cube and it will quickly unstick. 

Molly: We’ll be back soon with more answers to your questions.

Gus: Thanks for listening!