ABC correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton discusses new book 'The New Normal,' living during a pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- ABC's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Jen Ashton, has been reporting on COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

She's brought us many important updates and offered guidance to keep us safe.

ABC30 Anchor Landon Burke spoke with Dr. Ashton about her new book, "The New Normal." She said the goal is to help readers "think like a doctor" and make informed decisions going forward.

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

Landon: So Dr. Ashton, first question. Why is this concept of the new normal so important to grasp?

Dr. Ashton: Well, it's a question I've gotten from the beginning of the pandemic from our viewers on ABC and my real patients and friends and family. And, you know, they kept on using that term when are we going to go back to normal and it reminds me of that saying, you know, "after pregnancy bounce back" and we can't live our life in reverse. So I think that when you hear that term it's important to realize that, where we are right now is really all we have. And so in the book, I take people through how to think like a doctor to interpret the ever-changing scientific landscape that this virus and pandemic has thrown at us. (I) really take people through how they can use the same skills that we use in medicine to make basic decisions about how to live our lives in the present, and in the future, so it's not time-stamped. It's not, you know, explaining facts that tomorrow we could look, learn, have changed its basic concepts that can be a real necessity in these pandemic times.

Landon: I think that's perhaps maybe a comfort that we can take in these times. I want to know your opinion on this, the progress that we're making in this pandemic, are we, in a sense, "inventing the wheel" for maybe the next challenge that we encounter as a society on a global scale?

Dr. Ashton: Well, I would like to hope so. In medicine and science, we always look backward in history to learn from our mistakes so we don't repeat them in the future. But the reality is is that infectious disease specialists have been warning about a pandemic like this for decades and no one really listened to them. So, when you look back in history in medicine and science in public health. This is not the first pandemic and it won't be the last so I do hope that we learn both on an individual level national level, and a global level, some really important lessons from the last year and start putting them into action, literally today. And so that's part of what I try to do in "The New Normal." Because it's been our life now for over a year and it's not miraculously gonna disappear.

Landon: In closing, your colleagues often tease you that you are perhaps the busiest person in all of television. I'm inclined to agree with your colleagues. I'm just wondering, for my own curiosity and the curiosity of our viewers who watch you every day. Could you please walk us through your typical daily schedule?

Dr. Jen: Sure. Well, first of all, I don't have that much of a social life unfortunately so that's probably my biggest secret, but I normally wake up at five in the morning sometimes a little earlier, sometimes 5:15. I do 20 minutes of meditation, then I get, you know, reading about what I have to do on Good Morning America, on our show GMA Three. Two days a week, I see patients, about five days a week, I get at least an hour of exercise in because I do not function if I don't have that stress release. Then I shut it down by about nine 9:30 pm every single night. So, I can get you seven to eight and a half hours of sleep. Literally that that's all I do. I really, I don't watch TV. I'm way behind on Netflix.

Landon: There we go. The brutal irony that you are on television so much yet you watch it so little.

Dr. Ashton: Right. And it was really important to me to write this book, to help people through these unchartered waters so, you know, that's really all I do. Very boring.

Landon: Well, we will we are very grateful for that and in your daily routine, I think there is a lot of good practices there that we could learn from.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.