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Category Archives: Medicine

How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond

Nature – This coronavirus is here for the long haul – here’s what scientists predict for the next months and years. “…It is clear now that summer does not uniformly stop the virus, but warm weather might make it easier to contain in temperate regions. In areas that will get colder in the second half of 2020, experts think there is likely to be an increase in transmission. Many human respiratory viruses — influenza, other human coronaviruses and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) — follow seasonal oscillations that lead to winter outbreaks, so it is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will follow suit. “I expect SARS-CoV-2 infection rate, and also potentially disease outcome, to be worse in the winter,” says Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Evidence suggests that dry winter air improves the stability and transmission of respiratory viruses, and respiratory-tract immune defence might be impaired by inhaling dry air, she adds. In addition, in colder weather people are more likely to stay indoors, where virus transmission through droplets is a bigger risk, says Richard Neher, a computational biologist at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Simulations by Neher’s group show that seasonal variation is likely to affect the virus’s spread and might make containment in the Northern Hemisphere this winter more difficult…”

Journalists’ guide to COVID data

RTDNA: “Watch a press conference, turn on a newscast, or overhear just about any phone conversation these days and you’ll hear mayors discussing R values, reporters announcing new fatalities and separated families comparing COVID case rolling averages in their counties. As coronavirus resurges across the country, medical data is no longer just the purview of… Continue Reading

The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away

The Atlantic – No matter what happens now, the virus will continue to circulate around the world. “The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has sickened more than 16.5 million people across six continents. It is raging in countries that never contained the virus. It is resurging in many of the ones that did. If there was… Continue Reading

World’s Biggest Landlord Buys World’s Biggest Genealogy Website

Gizmodo: “The Blackstone Group will buy a majority stake in the genealogy website Ancestry.com in a deal worth $4.7 billion, according to a press release published Wednesday. Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, is the world’s largest landlord and Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy website, with over 6 billion records on family history in… Continue Reading

Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out in the Open

Bloomberg Opinion – Noah Smith: Without fixes for infrastructure, education, health care and government, the U.S. will resemble a developing nation in a few decades. “The U.S.’s decline started with little things that people got used to. Americans drove past empty construction sites and didn’t even think about why the workers weren’t working, then wondered… Continue Reading

Humans are notoriously bad at assessing their risk. In a pandemic, that’s a problem

San Francisco Chronicle: “In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the familiar options of everyday life narrowed to almost nothing. The Bay Area largely hunkered down and stayed home while the coronavirus numbers climbed. Decisions had been made for us: School and work were closed, travel and socializing designated unsafe by health officials. The… Continue Reading

Washington Post tracking coronavirus’s spread across the U.S.

“There’s a lot that we know or are learning about the coronavirus, but two seemingly basic questions are still difficult to answer: How many people have been infected with the virus and how many have been killed by it? That’s where Jacqueline Dupree comes in. Dupree, a technologist on The Post’s News Logistics team, has… Continue Reading

You asked, we’re answering: Your top coronavirus questions

“CNN readers from around the world have asked more than 90,000 questions about coronavirus. We’re reading as many as we can and answering some of the most popular questions here. Search by topic or by keywords (below) to find answers to your questions. If you have a question we haven’t answered, ask us here. You… Continue Reading

COVID recovery time survey shows what ‘long haulers’ already knew: Symptoms can persist

Fast Company – “Newly published research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that recovery from COVID-19 is a very long process for many sufferers, even younger ones. In a new survey of coronavirus outpatients, the agency found 35% had not returned to what they would consider normal health within two to three… Continue Reading

NIST study finds that masks defeat most facial recognition algorithms

NIST: “Now that so many of us are covering our faces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how well do face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks? The answer, according to a preliminary study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is with great difficulty. Even the best of the 89 commercial… Continue Reading

The World’s Supply Chain Isn’t Ready for a Covid-19 Vaccine

Bloomberg: “The industries that shepherd goods around the world on ships, planes and trucks acknowledge they aren’t ready to handle the challenges of shipping an eventual Covid-19 vaccine from drugmakers to billions of people. Already stretched thin by the pandemic, freight companies face problems ranging from shrinking capacity on container ships and cargo aircraft to… Continue Reading