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."
Anti-vaccine group Children's Health Defense says governments and corporations are using the coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) to advance a "global immunization agenda." The group claims that our leaders just needed the right pandemic as a pretext to goad us into getting vaccines. This is a clever story. It's also false.
Bad luck played a role in the COVID-19 pandemic, but China's criminally negligent and malevolent behavior has placed the world in a position in which bad things are likelier to occur. Therefore, China must bear the brunt of the blame, and our relationship with that country should not go back to normal.
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.
On Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, New York Times science and health reporter Donald McNeil praised China's mass quarantine camps as the best way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. A CBC documentary reveals what that policy entails: Citizens are literally being dragged out of their homes as they cry and scream. Others have their doors welded shut.
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.
If there was any effect of this drug on COVID-19, it was minimal. Hydroxychloroquine, whose toxicity is far lower, may be safer than chloroquine. But that doesn't matter if the drugs are ineffective.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. But these kinds of measures can't last forever. The public is willing to tolerate massive disruptions to daily life only when it believes the disruptions will end. Therefore, mitigation is a more viable option.
There are two false narratives emerging on social media that need to be addressed. The first is that the virus is a hoax. The second is that the U.S. is "the next Italy." Both are wrong.
We've been quite busy answering questions about coronavirus, UV light, and hand sanitizer.
For epidemiologists, the most important unanswered question about the Wuhan coronavirus, or COVID-19, is the case-fatality rate. But for the general public, the question is much more personal: "Might I – or anyone I love – get sick and die?"
Historically, microbiologists named new diseases after locations, animals or people. To this day, flu strains are named after the city in which they were first isolated. Obviously, that's because microbiologists are racist. Right?