The Latest Data

Scientists are learning more about Covid-19 every day.
Here’s the most up-to-date info.
If any of this information has been proved incorrect, please contact me ASAP!

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay
The U.K. Coronavirus Variant: What We Know
(NY Times, 12.21.20)

It MIGHT be more contagious, and it MIGHT infect children more easily, but we don’t know either of those things for sure. Right now, it looks like the available vaccines will still work.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
What Matters
In COVID Transmission
(BBC Science Focus, 12.23.20)

The big take-homes from a huge meta-analysis:

  1. The majority of infections happen indoors (don’t eat in a restaurant!).
  2. Ventilation makes a BIG difference.
  3. Living in crowded housing increases your risk a lot.
  4. The majority of people won’t transmit infection; a small number of people are the ones who will, so:
  5. It’s more important to find out where you GOT the infection than it is to find out who you might have given it to.
Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay
What the Vaccine’s Side Effects Feel Like
(The Atlantic, 12.18.20)

“The COVID-19 vaccine will make some people feel sick. But they’re not—that’s the immune system doing its job.”

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
What Is COVID Doing
To Our Hearts?
(UCSF Magazine)

“The disease may damage cardiac muscle even in those who never displayed symptoms.” The damage can become apparent in either the short or the long term.

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay
Pfizer-BioNTech
COVID-19 Vaccine
(12.11.20)

The first vaccine against COVID-19 available in the US can be used in people as young as 16 years of age.

“The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. . . . More people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.”

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (12.18.20)

The Moderna vaccine is authorized for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.

“The most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. . . . More people experienced these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash
When can children get the COVID-19 vaccine?
(The Conversation, 12.08.20)

Probably not before the start of the next school year. Vaccine trials for kids ages 12 – 18 started this fall (Pfizer in October, Moderna in early December), but trials for kids under 12 haven’t even begun. NB: The Pfizer vaccine can be used in kids ages 16 and 17.

The War on COVID-19:
Testing Update

(Massachusetts High Technology Council Report, 11.23.20)

The upshot? Federal, state, and local governments should be systematically screening people WITHOUT symptoms in order to stop the spread of this disease.

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay
Most Infected Folks Shed Virus
for About a Week

(NY Times, 11.29.20)

“People with Covid-19 . . . are most infectious about two days before symptoms begin and for five days afterward, according to a new analysis of previous research.”

Image by badafest from Pixabay
COVID-19: When Are You Most Infectious? (Inverse, 12.05.20)

Per the authors’ article in The Lancet Microbe, it’s between Day 0 and Day 5 of infection.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Concrete Evidence That Masks Help Keep Schools Safe (ProPublica, 11.24.20)

This article focuses on two Georgia school systems – one where a mask mandate was instituted, and one without a mask mandate. Their different outcomes highlight the need to follow CDC guidance on Covid-19 precautions.

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Wear Masks
and Open the Windows
(Max Planck Society, 11.13.20)

According to this model of Covid-19 aerosol transmission, opening windows every hour, having everyone wear masks, and decreasing the number of students from 25 to 12 took the probability of infection in a classroom from 90% to 12%. You can enter parameters for your own rooms and see how your risk changes.

Photo by Atoms on Unsplash
The Children Never Had the Coronavirus. So Why Did They Have Antibodies?
(NY Times, 11.10.20)

A study suggests that certain colds may leave antibodies against the new coronavirus, perhaps explaining why children are more protected than adults.

Navy Research Confirms Need
For Strict Coronavirus
Testing Protocols
(NY Times, 11.11.20)

Two new studies clarify how Covid-19 spreads among young adults and expose the limits of quarantine measures.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Restaurants and gyms were spring ‘superspreader’ sites. Occupancy limits could control COVID, new study predicts (Stat News, 11.10.20)

Using cellphone data from 1 in 3 Americans, researchers have identified the indoor public places most responsible for the spread of Covid-19 in the spring, and they argue that sharply limiting the occupancy of these locales — chiefly restaurants, gyms, cafes, hotels, and houses of worship — could control the raging pandemic without resorting to lockdowns.

Image by Mona El Falaky from Pixabay
Wear Masks To Protect Yourself From The Coronavirus, Not Only Others, CDC Stresses
(NPR, 11.11.20)

Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

Image by tigerlily713 from Pixabay
New Science Suggests How to Shorten Quarantine (Elemental/Medium, 11.10.20)

Testing upon exit of quarantine — ideally around day six or seven — is more effective than upon entry, and testing twice could make an eight-day quarantine as effective as a 14-day one

Image by MetsikGarden from Pixabay
Pandemic Has ‘Fat Tail’ With More Superspreading Events Than Expected, MIT Study Finds (WBUR Commonhealth, 11.06.20)

New research from MIT calculates that superspreading events are even bigger drivers of the COVID-19 pandemic than previously thought.

Photo by JAJA DO on Unsplash
Masks Work. Really. We’ll Show You How (NY Times, 10.30.20)

With coronavirus cases still rising, wearing a mask is more important than ever. In this animation, you will see just how effective a swath of fabric can be at fighting the pandemic.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Clots, Strokes And Rashes. Is COVID-19 A Disease Of The Blood Vessels?
(WBUR, 11.05.20)

The definition of k is a mouthful, but it’s simply a way of asking whether a virus spreads in a steady manner or in big bursts, whereby one person infects many, all at once.

Maher33 from Wikimedia Commons
How an Ill-Fated Fishing Voyage Helped Us Understand Covid-19 (NY Times, 10.20.20)

The finding is believed to be the first direct evidence that antibodies protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans, and it offers clues about what sort of concentrations might be needed to confer immunity. 

Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay
Musical instruments don’t spread aerosols as far as you might think (University of Minnesota Twin Cities, 10.19.20)

A new study by University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering researchers has found that wind instruments typically do not spread aerosols farther than one foot. The researchers suggest that mitigation strategies including social distancing, putting masks over instruments, and using portable filters can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on musical stages.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Next up in hunt for COVID-19 vaccine: Testing shots in kids (AP, 10.21.20)

The global hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine for kids is only just beginning — a lagging start that has some U.S. pediatricians worried they may not know if any shots work for young children in time for the next school year.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic
(The Atlantic, 09.30.20)

The definition of k is a mouthful, but it’s simply a way of asking whether a virus spreads in a steady manner or in big bursts, whereby one person infects many, all at once.

Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay
Incubation Time
And Infectiousness

For folks who read scientific journal articles. Median incubation time; shorter incubation –> more severe disease; and just because you test positive doesn’t mean you’re infectious


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