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COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2

The coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has by now reached every aspect and even the most remote corner of our daily lives. We therefore have decided to compile a list of relevant news and announcements, developments, and useful links in relation to this viral outbreak on this active “COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2” news page. We will update and add to this page on a regular basis. This page is not a compilation of all relevant information but rather contains some key highlights that we consider to be of importance to share with the community.

Feel free to contact us either via email at info@enlightenbio.com or via twitter at @enlightenbio with additions that we missed and should be included in this compilation.

Helpful resources

Tracking our COVID response

COVID-19 risk level dashboard – displays risk levels for each county/state in the U.S.

Mortality Tracker

COVID-19 Module Data Dashboard – Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity Pathway – Statistical methods were used to generate estimates of patient impact and hospital capacity measures that are representative at the state level. The estimates are based on data submitted by acute care hospitals to the NHSN COVID-19 Module. The statistical methods include weighting (to account for non-response), multiple imputation (to account for missing data), and a running 7-day smoothing technique (to account for daily fluctuations and updated responses in reporting to NHSN). This dashboard is automatically updated by 12:00 pm ET on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.

WHO embraces plan for Covid-19 intellectual property pool (May 15) – In response to the global race to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization embraced a proposal to create a voluntary pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information that could be shared for developing drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

How we reopen safely – Tracking states as they make progress towards gating criteria.

STAT COVID-19 Drugs & Treatment tracker (April 27) – A guide to some of the most talked-about efforts to treat or prevent coronavirus infection, with details on the science, history, and timeline for each endeavor. This tracker tracks novel medicines, not repurposed drugs.

Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads – The Financial Times analyses of the scale of outbreaks and the number of deaths in countries around the world (free to read).

Corona Daily – Provides you an overview of relevant articles on the COVID-19 pandemic which crosses science, public policy, psychology and philosophy – curated daily.

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research – This article covers the developing situation which is updated daily by the Our World in Data team.

CDC’ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidelines

Johns Hopkins Covid-19 interactive map – Provides up-to-date counts of total confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases worldwide, country-by-country breakdowns, with death and recovery rates.

COVID-19 in US and Canada – Real time updates with credible sources.

World Health Organization’s COVID-19 information resource – Includes tracking of countries, areas or territories with cases, confirmed cases, and deaths.

COVID-19 U.S. Molecular Equipment Locations by Manufacturer – This map represents national and local hospitals and medical facility locations with installed molecular equipment by manufacturer.

Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Resources – This program was established to facilitate online communication and collaboration across borders, as well as to provide frontline medical teams around the world with the necessary communication channels to share practical experience about fighting the pandemic. Provides comprehensive guidelines and best practices by China’s top experts for coping with COVID-19.

COVIDbase – A useful resource with a work-in-progress curated list of projects, news, and data related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19) – The Allen Institute for AI has partnered with leading research groups to prepare and distribute the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), a free resource of over 44,000 scholarly articles, including over 29,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses for use by the global research community.

Information Collection Platform for COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention – This project aims at collecting and gathering information of hospitals, hotels, factories, logistics, donations, contributions, prevention, treatment and any live information regarding national epidemic prevention from reliable sources to help all affected people, organizations better communicate and coordinate with each other to efficiently and effectively fight against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that started in Wuhan, Hubei, China. All of the code will be open-source and the data collected will be carefully reviewed/validated and available to the public.

The COVID Tracking Project – The COVID Tracking Project collects information from 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and 5 other US territories to provide the most comprehensive testing data we can collect for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. We attempt to include positive and negative resultspending tests, and total people tested for each state or district currently reporting that data.

World Health Organization’s COVID-19 information resource – Includes tracking of countries, areas or territories with cases, confirmed cases, and deaths.

Coronavirus Tracker – The SF Chronicle is compiling an exhaustive list of every coronavirus case in California.

DNAstack Launches COVID-19 Beacon to Accelerate Sharing Genomic Data in the Fight Against Novel Coronavirus – The beacon for SARS-CoV-2 will be available at covid-19.dnastack.com and will enable the scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of the virus in real time.

COVID-19 public dataset program: Making data freely accessible for better public outcomes – To aid researchers, data scientists, and analysts in the effort to combat COVID-19, Google Cloudis making a hosted repository of public datasets, like Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (JHU CSSE), the Global Health Data from the World Bank, and OpenStreetMap data, free to access and query through the COVID-19 Public Dataset Program.

The spreading / transmission / tracking of COVID-19

What we now know — and don’t know — about the coronavirus variants (January 19) – It is suggested that the virus variant dubbed B.1.1.7, came from a person who was immunocompromised and had a rare chronic case, essentially providing an incubator for the virus to accrue mutations as it replicated for weeks or months in that person’s body. The virus, the hypothesis goes, then spread from that person to others.

Quest Diagnostics Granted CDC Contract to Sequence COVID-19 Gene Variants to Aid Public Health Response to COVID-19 (January 18) – Large-scale longitudinal genomic survey of the SARS-CoV-2 virus using a random set of samples collected will be performed to understand viral variants and to mobilize an effective response to COVID-19.

COVID reinfections are unusual — but could still help the virus to spread (January 14) – The data suggest that repeat infections are rare — they occurred in fewer than 1% of about 6,600 participants who had already been ill with COVID-19. But the researchers also found that people who become reinfected can carry high levels of the virus in their nose and throat, even when they do not show symptoms. Such viral loads have been associated with a high risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Covid-19: New variant ‘raises R number by up to 0.7’ (January 1) – The UK’s latest R number has been estimated at between 1.1 and 1.3. It needs to be below 1.0 for the number of cases to start falling.

More COVID Variants Expected on U.S. Shores (December 30) – The strain may be at least 56% and up to 70% more transmissible than the “wild type” virus, although not more severe or more deadly. The British variant has likely been circulating there since September 2020.

Update on new SARS-CoV-2 variant and how COG-UK tracks emerging mutations (December 14) – COG-UK has been supporting genomic surveillance efforts to identify variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the genome sequencing data from the UK.

COVID-19 spread increases when UV levels decrease (December 16) – Natural variations in ultraviolet radiation influence the spread of COVID-19, but the influence is modest compared to preventive measures such as physical distancing, mask wearing, and quarantine.

The Vaccines Are Coming. It’s Time to Call Your Mom (December 7) – The next, crucial step in beating the pandemic? Having conversations with our vaccine-shy loved ones.

40,000-Person Iceland Study Finds Youth Under 15 Half as Likely to Catch and Spread Coronavirus (December 11) – The findings build on the scientific consensus that age matters when it comes to catching and spreading COVID-19. Some studies, however, put the immunological threshold even earlier, at 10 to 12 years old. As children begin to go through puberty, it appears that their risk of contracting and transmitting the virus increases.

The Swiss Cheese Model of Pandemic Defense (December 5) – A NYT article discussing how a several layers combined — social distancing, plus masks, plus hand-washing, plus testing and tracing, plus ventilation, plus government messaging — significantly reduce the overall risk. Vaccination will add one more protective layer.

This scientist’s decades of mRNA research led to both COVID-19 vaccines (December 5) – Kariko’s obsessive 40 years of research into synthetic messenger RNA was long thought to be a boring dead-end. She said she was chronically overlooked, scorned, fired, demoted, repeatedly refused government and corporate grants, and threatened with deportation — among other indignities. She fled Communist-run Hungary at 30 for the US in 1985 with $1,200 hidden inside her 2-year-old daughter’s teddy bear.

Mayo Clinic research confirms critical role of masks in preventing COVID-19 infection (November 24)

NIH expands research to improve COVID-19 testing among underserved and vulnerable populations (November 20) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded nearly $45 million to expand the research network of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program, adding 20 institutions and seven states and territories. 

Pre-symptomatic detection of COVID-19 from smartwatch data (November 18) – This study analysed physiological and activity data from 32 individuals infected with COVID-19, identified from a cohort of nearly 5,300 participants, and found that 26 of them (81%) had alterations in their heart rate, number of daily steps or time asleep. Of the 25 cases of COVID-19 with detected physiological alterations for which we had symptom information, 22 were detected before (or at) symptom onset, with four cases detected at least nine days earlier.

More than half of in-hospital deaths from COVID-19 among Black, Hispanic patients, study finds (November 17) – Researchers found that Black and Hispanic people made up 58% of all patients hospitalized for COVID-19, yet no racial or ethnic differences in mortality rates among people hospitalized with the disease was found with 53% of inpatients died from the disease.

Machine Learning to Predict Mortality and Critical Events in a Cohort of Patients With COVID-19 in New York City: Model Development and Validation (November 11) – New models assess COVID patients’ risk of adverse clinical events.

Stanford-led team creates a computer model that can predict how COVID-19 spreads in cities (November 10) – The study merges demographic data, epidemiological estimates and anonymous cellphone location information, and appears to confirm that most COVID-19 transmissions occur at “superspreader” sites, like full-service restaurants, fitness centers and cafes, where people remain in close quarters for extended periods. The researchers say their model’s specificity could serve as a tool for officials to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 as they reopen businesses by revealing the tradeoffs between new infections and lost sales if establishments open, say, at 20 percent or 50 percent of capacity.

The Worst Day of the Pandemic Since May (November 10) – The United States is experiencing an unprecedented surge of hospitalizations across the country. Today, states reported that 61,964 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, more than at any other time in the pandemic. For context, there are now 40 percent more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than there were two weeks ago.

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and North America (October 30) – Washington State & Germany did not lead to major outbreaks, rather serial, independent introductions triggered the major outbreaks in the United States and Europe that still hold us in the grip of control measures.

Archived news – The spreading / transmission of COVID-19

Decoding SARS-CoV-2

Inside the B.1.1.7 Coronavirus Variant (January 18) – Great visual description (storytelling) of what each new coronavirus mutation does at the molecular level and they impact the virus, its shape, and potential vaccine performance.

Immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 assessed for up to 8 months after infection (January 6) Data shows that immune memory in at least three immunological compartments was measurable in ~95% of subjects 5 to 8 months PSO, indicating that durable immunity against secondary COVID-19 disease is a possibility in most individuals.

What you need to know about the new variant of coronavirus in the UK
(December 15) – First sequenced in the UK in late September, the virus has now 17 mutations that may affect the shape of the virus, including the outer spike protein – many of these mutations have been found before in other viruses, but to have so many in a single virus is unusual. How these mutations affect the spreading of the virus is unclear, but rapid growth is seen. So far, no mutation has been shown to make any SARS-CoV-2 lineage more transmissible or more dangerous.

Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in Covid-19 (December 11)

Temporal and spatial heterogeneity of host response to SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary infection (December 9) – The virus corresponds to distinct spatial expression of interferon response genes demonstrating the intra-pulmonary heterogeneity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Structural analysis of full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein from an advanced vaccine candidate (November 27) – This study confirms the structural integrity of the full-length spike protein immunogen and provides a basis for interpreting immune responses to this multivalent nanoparticle immunogen.

Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication by blocking membrane fusion (November 25) – Results highlight one of the possible antiviral mechanisms of Cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H) – an interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene – and provide the molecular basis for its therapeutic development.

More people are getting COVID-19 twice, suggesting immunity wanes quickly in some (November 18) – There are hints that people who have serious COVID-19 mount the strongest responses, just as in the two other serious human diseases caused by coronaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Both trigger high antibody levels that last up to 2 years, and T cell responses to SARS can be detected even longer. Because of these persistent immune defenses it is believed that most reinfections will be asymptomatic.

Bidirectional associations between COVID-19 and psychiatric disorder: retrospective cohort studies of 62 354 COVID-19 cases in the USA (November 9) – A diagnosis of COVID-19 (compared with other health events) was found to be associated with increased rates of subsequent psychiatric diagnoses, and whether patients with a history of psychiatric illness are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Archived news – Decoding SARS-CoV-2

COVID-19 testing

FDA Issues Alert Regarding SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutation to Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratory Staff (January 8) – The SARS-CoV-2 virus can mutate over time, like all viruses, resulting in genetic variation in the population of circulating viral strains, as seen with the B.1.1.7 variant. The FDA is taking additional actions to ensure authorized tests remain accurate by working with test developers and conducting ongoing data analysis to evaluate all currently authorized molecular tests. The FDA believes the risk that these mutations will impact overall testing accuracy is low.

A rapid at-home covid-19 test — for under $50 — just got FDA approval (November 18) – The California biotechnology company’s (Lucira Health) single-use home test kit, which it expects to sell for less than $50, requires a prescription from a doctor. 

New saliva-based antibody test for SARS-CoV-2 highly accurate in initial study (November 13) – This could prove useful for large-scale screening and epidemiological surveys and cuts down on reliance on blood draws.

Stanford engineers have developed a genetic microlab that can detect COVID-19 in minutes (November 4) – By leveraging the “lab on a chip” technology, which is a microfluidic chip just half the size of a credit card containing a complex network of channels smaller than the width of a human hair, researchers can now test for COVID-19 in 30 minutes.

FDA Compares Performance of COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests (September 17) – The FDA revealed comparative performance data for 55 molecular diagnostic COVID-19 tests that the agency approved under an Emergency Use Authorization protocol. Patients, physicians, and laboratories can use the online data to get a better understanding of how each authorized commercial assay compares with a reference panel the FDA developed.

Abbott’s Fast, $5, 15-Minute, Easy-to-Use COVID-19 Antigen Test Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization (August 26) – Mobile App Displays Test Results to Help Our Return to Daily Life; Ramping Production to 50 Million Tests a Month.

Verily Life Sciences has established a CLIA-certified lab at the South San Francisco headquarters to create additional lab capacity in support of programs in the COVID-19 testing space, including their own return-to-work efforts for their employees (August 10)

Archived news – COVDI-19 testing

COVID-19 treatment development

Rhizen Pharmaceuticals Announces US FDA Acceptance of its IND Application for RP7214 in SARS-CoV-2 Infection; Phase 1 Clinical Trial of RP7214 Set to Begin Early December 2020 (December 1)

Regeneron’s casirivimab and imdevimab antibody cocktail for COVID-19 is first combination therapy to receive FDA emergency use authorization (November 21) – First treatment confirmed statistically significant anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Initial doses will be made available to approximately 300,000 patients, with no medication out-of-pocket costs, under U.S. government allocation program.

Remdesivir for the Treatment of Covid-19 — Final Report (November 5) – The data shows that remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.

Regeneron Antibody Cocktail Cuts COVID-19 Viral Load, ‘Medical Visits’ (October 29) – But number needed to treat is high, and issues of scale-up, cost remain

Remdesivir becomes first Covid-19 treatment to receive FDA approval (October 22) – The drug, sold under the brand name Veklury, has been used under emergency use authorization. Earlier this month, a World Health Organization-sponsored global study found remdesivir did not help patients survive or even recover faster, but a US study found the infused drug shortened recovery time for some patients by about a third. The FDA uses data submitted by a drug’s maker when it’s considering approval. Gilead submitted a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed the drug shortened the course of illness from an average of 15 days to about 11 days in hospitalized patients.The FDA also considered two other studies. One showed a slight benefit of the drug and another showed the drug did not make much difference.

Regeneron’s Antibodies Prevent and Treat SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Monkeys (October 13) – A new report evaluates the in vivo efficacy of the Regeneron antibody cocktail in both rhesus macaques and golden hamsters, which may model more severe disease. The study demonstrates that REGN-COV-2 can greatly reduce virus load in lower and upper airways and decrease virus-induced pathological sequelae when administered prophylactically or therapeutically in rhesus macaques.

Scientists Find An Avenue To Attack The Coronavirus, Aided By Cloud Imaging (September 22) – Findings discussed may let doctors one day administer drugs to COVID-19 patients that interact with the spike protein at the site where it captures linoleic acid, one of the body’s essential fatty acids that’s absorbed through food. See the original Science paper published this week.

F.D.A. ‘Grossly Misrepresented’ Blood Plasma Data, Scientists Say (August 28) – Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, the F.D.A. commissioner, erroneously stated that convalescent plasma would have saved 35 percent of coronavirus patients this year. Scientists were taken aback by the way the administration framed this data, which appeared to have been calculated based on a small subgroup of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in a Mayo Clinic study: those who were under 80 years old, not on ventilators and received plasma known to contain high levels of virus-fighting antibodies within three days of diagnosis. Many experts — including a scientist who worked on the Mayo Clinic study — were bewildered about where the statistic came from.

Protein Interactions Point the Way to Drugs Against COVID-19 (August 4) – A recent Cell report details findings on how SARS-CoV-2 modifies proteins within infected host cells to enhance the virus’s ability to invade neighboring cells. These viral modifications involve a route of infection not previously seen in the family of coronaviruses. The report also specifies at least half a dozen existing drugs that — with further testing and official approval — could be pressed into service against the virus.

Engineering human ACE2 to optimize binding to the spike protein of SARS coronavirus 2 (August 4) – A stable dimeric variant shows potent SARS-CoV-2 and -1 neutralization in vitro. The engineered receptor is catalytically active and its close similarity with the native receptor may limit the potential for viral escape.

Data show panic and disorganization dominate the study of Covid-19 drugs (July 6) – 1,200 clinical trials aimed at testing treatment and prevention strategies. Analysis found many of the studies are so small — 39% are enrolling or plan to enroll fewer than 100 patients — that they are unlikely to yield clear results. About 38% of the studies have not actually begun enrolling patients.

Gilead announces price for Covid-19 drug remdesivir (June 29) – The vast majority of patients are expected to receive a 5-day treatment course using 6 vials of remdesivir, which equates to $2,340 per patient.

Archived news – SARS-CoV-2 treatment development

SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine not affected by mutation seen in contagious coronavirus variant, study indicates (January 8) – A mutation found in fast-spreading coronavirus variants does not negate the Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.

Stanford single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for COVID-19 (January 5) – Their vaccine, contains nanoparticles studded with the same proteins that comprise the virus’s distinctive surface spikes. In addition to being the reason why these are called coronaviruses – corona is Latin for “crown” – these spikes facilitate infection by fusing to a host cell and creating a passageway for the viral genome to enter and hijack the cell’s machinery to produce more viruses. The spikes can also be used as antigens, which means their presence in the body is what can trigger an immune response.

Phase 3 trial of Novavax investigational COVID-19 vaccine opens (December 28) – The randomized, placebo-controlled trial will enroll approximately 30,000 people at approximately 115 sites in the United States and Mexico.

Rolling Out the Covid Vaccine Is a Huge IT Challenge (December 21) – The current U.S. data infrastructure is not up to the task. This article outlines four broad actions to improve the data infrastructure that can be taken to ensure that the vaccination effort is effective and equitable, protects privacy, and thwarts wrongdoing.

Listen: Moderna’s vaccine milestone, Warp Speed’s hurdles, and biotech in 2021

The lightning-fast quest for COVID vaccines — and what it means for other diseases (December 18) – The COVID-19 experience will almost certainly change the future of vaccine science.

Moderna Announces FDA Authorization of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in U.S. (December 18)

F.D.A. Panel Endorses Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine (December 17) – An advisory group’s recommendation will mean millions more Americans can be inoculated, extending protection against Covid beyond major urban areas into rural and suburban regions.

Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine (December 10) – The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines.

F.D.A. Advisory Panel Gives Green Light to Pfizer Vaccine (December 10)

Tracking today’s FDA advisory panel meeting on the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine (December 10).

FDA Staff Find Few Faults with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vax (December 8) – The Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate (BNT162b2) appeared to meet criteria for an emergency use authorization, with no major concerns raised by FDA staff in a briefing document released by the agency Tuesday. –

Oxford COVID vaccine paper highlights lingering unknowns about results (December 8) – The Oxford–AstraZeneca partnership is the first major developer to publish detailed data from phase III trials.

Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process (December 4) – This interview focuses on the EUA process, the science, and who should make the final call, this as the FDA is reviewing two emergency use authorization requests for COVID-19 vaccines.

UK authorises Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (December 2) – The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) will shortly publish its final advice for the priority groups to receive the vaccine, including care home residents, health and care staff, the elderly and the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Archived news – SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development

Coronavirus reading

Sweden passes law allowing coronavirus lockdowns, expects to use it soon (January 8) – While public health experts in Sweden have argued that voluntary measures can significantly reduce transmission, the country is now struggling to handle a surge in cases at overstretched hospitals.

Lockdown to Stay at Home, Shown as Ineffective Way of Dealing With Pandemic (December 23)

‘People are going to die’: Hospitals in half the states are facing a massive staffing shortage as Covid-19 surges (November 19) – 48 states are going through a surge in the wrong direction and they all need help

Why isn’t routine Covid-19 testing happening in prisons and immigrant detention centers? (October 27) – Most testing performed in correctional and immigration detention facilities is still reactionary. In settings where even soap can be hard to come by, the lack of testing has proven to be a disaster. The infection rate in federal prisons and jails is nearly six times higher than the rate among the U.S. population, while the age-adjusted death rate is three times higher.

The Difference Between Feeling Safe and Being Safe (October 26) – But safety means something different in a pandemic. Safety is among the most powerful motivators of human behavior, which also makes the drive to feel safe a potent accelerant for confusion, disinformation, and panic. Staying safe requires an accurate, mutually agreed-upon understanding of reality on which to assess threats and base decisions. Since the pandemic arrived in the U.S., however, politicians have sparred over basic safety precautions and aggressive reopenings…

The Swedish COVID-19 Response Is a Disaster. It Shouldn’t Be a Model for the Rest of the World As of Oct. 13, Sweden’s per capita death rate is 58.4 per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University data, 12th highest in the world (not including tiny Andorra and San Marino). But perhaps more striking are the findings of a study published Oct. 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which pointed out that, of the countries the researchers investigated, Sweden and the U.S. essentially make up a category of two: they are the only countries with high overall mortality rates that have failed to rapidly reduce those numbers as the pandemic has progressed.

White House Appears to Endorse Herd Immunity Strategy for COVID-19 (October 12) – An article by Joyce Frieden (MedPage Today)

Schools Aren’t Super-Spreaders (October 9) – Fears from the summer appear to have been overblown. An article by Emily Oster, Economist at Brown University (The Atlantic).

This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic (September 30) – An interesting article describing the difference between the now-famed R0 (pronounced as “r-naught”) which is an average measure of a pathogen’s contagiousness and k, the measure of the pathogen’s dispersion. k asks whether a virus spreads in a steady manner or in big bursts, whereby one person infects many, all at once. After nine months of collecting epidemiological data, we know that this is an overdispersed pathogen, meaning that it tends to spread in clusters, but this knowledge has not yet fully entered our way of thinking about the pandemic—or our preventive practices.

Science Is What Determined a Successful Public Response to COVID-19 (September 22) – an article by Meredith Salisbury in Techonomy discussing why flattening the curve wasn’t an effective COVID-19 strategy, and more about the best and worst public health responses.

The Coronavirus Is Mutating, and That’s Fine (So Far) (September 11) – The real question is: Has the virus become more virulent or more infectious than it was when it was first detected in Wuhan, central China, in December? The evidence suggests that it has not.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral (September 9) – The latest piece written by Ed Yong (The Atlantic)

No, 94 Percent of COVID-19 Deaths Were Not Caused by Something Else (September 1) – Important read! Only 6 percent of reported COVID-19 deaths have the virus as the sole cause of death listed. Thinking that 94% had additional issues is a huge misunderstanding of the statistics.

Archived news – Coronavirus reading

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