Disease

Without a doubt, our world is now quieter since sheltering began, and we can imagine that the air smells sweeter. These are good things but purchased at the terrible costs of COVID-19 suffering and death and devastation of the global economy. The environmental scientist in me thought about lessons to be learned from our present situation.
A new review article published in The Lancet concludes that school closures are ineffective at controlling coronavirus epidemics. What else could be wrong with the conventional wisdom about COVID-19?
"Although the epidemiology of COVID-19 is evolving, we have determined that there is a large overlap between causes of deaths of COVID-19 patients and the diseases that are affected by long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5).” It is a great leap from overlap to claiming PM2.5 results in "excess" mortality from COVID-19. But what the heck, why let the fear generated by COVID-19 go to waste?
Vaccines, antivirals, and antibodies are all possible strategies to treat the novel coronavirus. When will these potential COVID-19 therapies be available? And will they work?
An occasional feature where a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
We will soon be approaching the moment when, despite all of our best efforts, we'll be one ventilator shy of what's needed. It's now time to share what critical-care physicians and nurses have known for some time, and what they're planning to do when that moment arrives.
There are several online trackers for the pandemic — many with very thoughtful infographics, combining illustration and information. One of the newer and better ones is The Upshot Coronavirus tracker from the New York Times.
In war, the first casualty is truth. Apparently, the same is true of pandemics. Some people are now pretending that they saw the novel coronavirus coming long before anybody else, including scientists and public health officials. In their revisionist history, they were beacons of clarity while others were "COVID deniers."
Would the widespread wearing of face masks decrease the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19? Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut right or wrong answer to the raging face mask debate. If there is any benefit, it probably lies in protecting the public from a potentially infected wearer rather than the wearer from a potentially infected public.
Just when you thought the pandemic of misinformation could not get worse, Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, surfaces to add his misinformative spin. His website has two video presentations on suspect therapies for COVID-19. Let's consider them in turn.
Throughout this pandemic, we have heard many heartbreaking and heartwarming stories of how we're responding and coping. Many of those have been about the elderly, accounts written by adult children describing how they miss contact with their parents, segregated from them by institutional living. But here is a first-hand account by an older couple in their mid-80s, who describe what they are thinking and living through during this staggering health crisis.
In the Digital Age, we have access to more information than at any time in human history. But that doesn't stop the spread of conspiracy theories. Here are the best (worst?) ones involving the new coronavirus and the disease COVID-19.