Coronavirus Reading List
We know that many of you are looking for reliable, evidence-based information on the novel coronavirus outbreak. Team Moulton’s IEEE-USA Science & Technology Policy Fellow Sarah is here to help!
Below, you can find a curated set of links to better understand the COVID-19 outbreak and its implications. Some of this information is used to keep Congressman Moulton informed on the outbreak and the government’s response.
Check back for a regularly updated list of what we're reading:
Scientific American details nine important things we have learned about COVID-19 at this point in the pandemic.
An interactive presentation of COVID-19 symptoms is produced by The New York Times.
WIRED shares an updated guide of what to do if you or a loved one might have COVID-19.
The Washington Post provides an updated list of common COVID-19 questions and answers.
An effective COVID-19 vaccine won’t change the world right away, as reported by The Washington Post.
Nature recounts that Chinese companies are making significant progress on COVID-19 vaccines but are encountering issues as the virus wanes.
The Wall Street Journal notes that COVID-19 researchers hope that monoclonal antibody therapies, which can both prevent and fight infection, can serve as a bridge to a vaccine.
The Atlantic gives a sobering reminder that COVID-19 will be ever present and will continue to circulate around the world.
Science writes on the lingering effects of COVID-19 in some patients, including brain fog and heart damage.
National Geographic asks whether COVID-19 patients will regain their sense of smell post-infection.
STAT News explores why the number of new cancer diagnoses plummeted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nature ponders whether virus-naming conventions should change part-way through the current pandemic.
Show Me the Data
The Wall Street Journal presents growing evidence that face masks matter and play a critical role in reducing the transmission of droplets.
The Boston Globe explains the key COVID-19 metric of positive test rates.
The New York Times details how to think like an epidemiologist, featuring Bayesian analysis.
A primer on evaluating COVID-19 news while staying calm is shared by Scientific American.
WIRED interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci on vaccine candidates, reopening schools, and other lessons learned from COVID-19.
The Washington Post recounts how the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has been instrumental to developing COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
The Wall Street Journal gives a reminder that COVID-19 survivors should stay vigilant given all that remains unknown regarding immunity to the virus.
STAT News writes about how COVID-19 is leaving lasting impacts on the heart, raising concerns about long-term damage.
National Geographic shares a primer on how to travel safely amid COVID-19, if you must.
An illustrated guide of what back-to-school might look like in the coming weeks is presented by The New York Times.
The Wall Street Journal investigates criteria which may prompt open schools to close in order to keep students and staff safe.
The New York Times details how scientists are studying the Diamond Princess cruise ship outbreak to understand how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person.
A case for assessing ventilation in order to mitigate airborne transmission of COVID-19 is made in The Atlantic.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on new COVID-19 vaccine results.
How scientists made so much progress on a COVID-19 vaccine so fast is explored by STAT News.
WIRED reports on the four COVID-19 vaccines closest to becoming a reality.
Science warns of “vaccine nationalism” and potential adverse impacts on the global distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
STAT News offers actionable suggestions for fixing the COVID-19 situation in the U.S.
Poynter interviews the Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine on the reasons why Black and Hispanic residents are more likely than white residents to become infected with COVID-19.
Science asks whether it is safe to strike up the band given the potential for musical instruments to generate airborne particles that could carry the virus causing COVID-19.
The potential for mask wearing to bring COVID-19 infections under control is investigated by STAT News.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may hold important keys to understanding persistent medical issues following COVID-19 infection, as reported by STAT News.
New studies about infectivity suggest that individuals infected with COVID-19 should isolate for at least 10 days after symptom onset, as shared by The Washington Post.
The Atlantic breaks down a new study from the U.K. and explores how long immunity to COVID-19 might last.
STAT News acknowledges that no one wants to go back to lockdown and asks whether there is a middle ground for containing COVID-19.
Science suggests ways to keep COVID-19 at bay as implemented by schools across the globe.
NPR investigates how Hong Kong reopened schools and why they were closed again.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the U.S. government has agreed to pay two companies nearly $2 billion to secure 100 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine, which will be provided to Americans free of charge if proven to work safely.
Nature writes that which vaccine or vaccines will work to protect people from COVID-19 is still anyone’s guess.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine development process.
Science writes that controversial human challenge trials are gaining support as a measure to accelerate the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Show Me the Data
WIRED argues for more color-coded charts as a tool for the public to understand and navigate risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ProPublica presents a helpful primer on how to understand COVID-19 numbers and figures.
A public health group’s call for states and communities to record and share standardized data on 15 key metrics to track COVID-19 is detailed by STAT News.
STAT News asks 11 infectious disease, epidemiology, and pandemic preparedness experts how to avoid COVID-19 mistakes made in the spring going forward.
WIRED details the difference between asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases of COVID-19.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revoked the Emergency Use Authorization for hydroxychloroquine, stating that the drug is “unlikely to be effective in treating COVID-19,” as reported by STAT News.
The Wall Street Journal investigates what went wrong with data from little-known company Surgisphere Corporation, leading to the retraction of scientific publications.
The New York Times shares the approach its journalists take to evaluate scientific studies and their results.
ProPublica explores how and when a COVID-19 vaccine may be reality and explains the many challenges associated with “fast-tracking” a vaccine.
STAT News reports that a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech has generated immune responses in patients and is safe.
Russia is joining the global race for a COVID-19 vaccine, as detailed by The Wall Street Journal.
The Washington Post writes that existing vaccines are being evaluated to see if they are capable of protecting the body’s innate immune system against a new pathogen.
The early, extraordinary history of vaccines is recounted by WIRED.
The Wall Street Journal reports that clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of a COVID-19 antibody cocktail therapy are set to start.
Five new COVID-19 treatments under development are chronicled by NPR.
Coronavirus and Children
National Geographic emphasizes the importance of catching up on missed routine vaccinations before sending children back to school in the fall.
WIRED analyzes the risks associated with sending a child back to daycare.
STAT News presents a sobering look at the correlation between social factors including race and COVID-19 outcomes.
Staying Safe Online
Axios notes that COVID-19 fraud is everywhere and offers practical advice to protect yourself.
The New York Times provides results from a survey of 511 epidemiologists as to when they expect to fly, hug, and engage in other everyday activities again amid COVID-19.
The New York Times offers a new Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker showing the status of promising vaccines that have reached trials in humans as well as some still being tested in cells or animals.
The federal government plans to fund and conduct studies of three potential COVID-19 vaccines starting this summer, according to The Wall Street Journal.
NPR writes that vaccine makers are hedging their bets with respect to which COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines will emerge as effective and safe.
Science explores the complicated nature of vaccine efficacy trials, both in the U.S. and globally.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on the impact of COVID-19 on minority communities.
Financial Times reports on how COVID-19 is exacerbating disparities in health and employment experienced by the Black community.
COVID’s Impact on the Body
The Atlantic investigates the prolonged health effects of COVID-19 experienced by some individuals afflicted with the virus.
Nature presents evidence showing that children are spared the worst effects of COVID-19 on account of healthy blood vessels.
If you or a loved one needs support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is here for you at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
CNET gives sage advice for taking care of your mental health and coping with stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality protests, and beyond.
NPR ponders whether it is safe to visit the doctor or the dentist at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic and provides helpful questions to ask when scheduling an appointment.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on the diagnosis and early treatment of COVID-19.
WIRED presents a video of 16 health care workers speaking about their experiences treating COVID-19 patients.
WBUR details results from the second of four rounds of COVID-19 nursing home audits conducted throughout the Commonwealth by the Baker Administration.
Boston-based doctors clarify and reaffirm their stance encouraging public health agencies to call for the public to wear masks in The New England Journal of Medicine.
World News Roundup
Bill Gates has expressed disappointment with President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization , stating that this group is critical to global efforts to eliminate polio and respond to future epidemics, as reported by STAT News.
Financial Times shows how Germany can serve as a model for tackling COVID-19, with the nation emphasizing extensive testing and early track and trace.
NPR shares the story of how a nun in Zambia with a COVID-19 radio show is playing a key role in raising awareness and disseminating vital public health information about the virus.
Operation Warp Speed has selected five vaccine candidates as finalists, including one developed by Cambridge biotechnology company Moderna, as reported by The New York Times.
STAT News interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci on Operation Warp Speed and COVID-19 vaccine development more broadly.
NPR interviews National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins on the same subjects, touching upon his optimism for a vaccine by the year’s end and the need to prioritize safety.
Show Me the Data
Science reports that two COVID-19 studies using data provided by little-known data analytics company Surgisphere are coming under intense scrutiny and beginning to unravel.
The Economist provides evidence that early projections of COVID-19 in America underestimated the severity of the virus, but have since improved.
The New York Times gives a helpful primer on how to read a scientific paper.
COVID’s Impact on the Body
National Geographic investigates how long COVID-19 can persist inside the body and whether people can be quickly reinfected with the virus.
The unique and aberrant changes that COVID-19 afflicts upon human cells are detailed by STAT News.
Science explores how a blood vessel attack could trigger a fatal “second phase” of COVID-19 infection as well as how sex hormones offer clues to why the virus affects men in a more severe manner.
If you or a loved one needs support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is here for you at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
Scientific American predicts that psychological trauma is the next crisis for COVID-19 health care workers.
WIRED reminds us that we may be facing crisis fatigue given the COVID-19 pandemic, economic distress, and nationwide civil unrest all simultaneously taking place.
NPR shares how to get sleep during these uneasy times.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on data from newly-published studies on a drug to treat COVID-19, highlighting its potential as well as its problems.
WIRED explores the promise of antibody treatments, which can both provide relief to patients and serve as a bridge to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Wastewater testing is gaining traction as a potential indicator of rising COVID-19 infections, as reported by STAT News.
NPR, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic provide perspectives from public health experts on virus-related risks associated with various summer activities and how to take precautionary measures to stay safe.
The Washington Post reminds us that there is a chance that COVID-19 will never go away, even with the successful development and deployment of a vaccine.
The New York Times reports that the world is still far from herd immunity from COVID-19, according to recent serology studies conducted around the globe.
Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
WIRED shares that scientists are scrambling to understand how COVID-19 spreads through air, specifically from person to person and place to place, and proposes three potential strategies to create an antiviral infrastructurecapable of protecting humans from transmission.
The Wall Street Journal writes that the race is on to develop rapid COVID-19 tests prior to the fall, including at-home diagnostic strips and other options.
STAT News asks whether contact tracing can work in the U.S. and help prevent another COVID-19 related lockdown.
BBC News investigates the human toll of COVID-19 misinformation and details the potential for direct and indirect harm.
Nature recounts the ongoing battle against COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories and argues that COVID-19 researchers need to respond to misinformation about the virus.
Debunking the “Plandemic” Video
Science fact-checks the viral “Plandemic” video and asserts that the main claims and allegations are not true.
ProPublica asks critical questions to assess COVID-19 misinformation presented in “Plandemic.”
The MIT Technology Review details measures social media companies are taking to prevent videos containing COVID-19 misinformation like “Plandemic” from being widely shared and viewed.
STAT News writes that the world may be expecting too much of a COVID-19 vaccine, which could end up behaving more like a traditional influenza inoculation that reduces the risk of contracting the virus and of experiencing severe symptoms should infection occur - rather than serving as a definitive cure-all.
Researchers including National Institutes of Health (NIH) leaders Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci articulate a strategic approach to COVID-19 vaccine research and development in Science.
The Boston Globe reminds us of the many regulatory hurdles associated with vaccine development, which contribute to the long timeline for testing and producing a vaccine.
The New York Times writes that scientists fear a comeback of COVID-19 prior to a second wave of infections in the fall, especially as many states start to reopen their economies.
The Wall Street Journal interviews Bill Gates on the evolving science of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to invest in systems to prevent future outbreaks.
Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, speaks with Science about his professional career fighting infectious diseases including Ebola and HIV and his near-death experience with COVID-19.
STAT News details lessons learned from the successful eradication of smallpox, including the importance of global cooperation.
WIRED presents an overview of which states are reopening, which states remain on lockdown, and the reasoning behind these decisions.
Dr. Anthony Fauci warns states and localities of the consequences associated with skipping over federal guidelines and lifting restrictions too quickly, as reported by NPR.
Boston infectious disease experts advocate for a unified, gradual reopening strategy that also includes plans to reclose if necessary in The Boston Globe.
Financial Times travels to Paris, Texas and shares a cautionary tale on reopening America.
COVID’s Impact on the Body
The New York Times details a new study on pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which provides the strongest evidence to date that the syndrome is linked to COVID-19.
The many ways in which COVID-19 attacks the body are investigated by The Washington Post.
The Washington Post writes that doctors are developing an improved toolbox of COVID-19 treatment options and are expressing hope as the pandemic progresses.
Nature argues that COVID-19 drug trials need to be bigger and more collaborative in order to provide statistically meaningful results.
A government official involved with Operation Warp Speed explains the federal effort to accelerate vaccine development and production in Science.
The Washington Post cautions that finding a vaccine won’t immediately end the COVID-19 pandemic given the time required to manufacture billions of doses.
Listen to the Science (and Scientists)
The New York Times takes a look at the leadership style of Ohio’s Dr. Amy Acton and explores how she is an effective messenger of information.
National Geographic interviews Dr. Anthony Fauci, the scientific face of the U.S.’s COVID-19 response, on a wide range of topics.
The Boston Globe profiles MIT science superstar Dr. Bob Langer and details his efforts to combat COVID-19.
Our team knows listening to science is how we will win the war against COVID-19. We made the case today in the Gloucester Daily Times.
Predicting the Future
STAT News shares three potential scenarios for the COVID-19 pandemic: recurring small outbreaks, a giant wave, or a persistent crisis.
The Boston Globe provides a reminder of the importance of preparing for a second wave of COVID-19.
Animals and Antibodies
A four-year-old llama named Winter is playing an outsize role in finding experimental antibody therapies for COVID-19, as reported by The Washington Post.
Science details the race to find antibodies able to stop the virus causing COVID-19, as many researchers are optimistic that antibodies will be valuable as a preventative or therapeutic measure before a vaccine arrives.
Nature writes about the complex biology behind how the virus causing COVID-19 behaves in the human body.
UNDARK explores the resiliency of bats to disease and the debate that has reignited amid the COVID-19 crisis.
A team of scientists from MIT, the McGovern Institute, and the Broad Institute developed an experimental prototype for a new, inexpensive COVID-19 test based on a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR, as reported by The New York Times.
WIRED recounts everything we know about COVID-19 antibody tests to date.
STAT News provides a helpful primer for interpreting the results of COVID-19 serosurveys, or studies designed to determine how widely COVID-19 has spread in a community.
A Nature editorial clamors for evidence showing that COVID-19 contact tracing apps are secure and effective.
The MIT Technology Review writes that Google and Apple prohibited location tracking to be used in their COVID-19 contact tracing apps.
Two public health experts provide insight as to how contact tracing can be used as an effective tool for protecting yourself and your loved ones in The New York Times.
Coronavirus and Children
Science debates whether schools should reopen and notes that childrens’ role in the COVID-19 pandemic is still a mystery.
A pediatric surgery fellow argues in The Washington Post that the COVID-19 pandemic is already upending and reshaping childrens’ lives.
Show Me the Data
The Boston Review provides a comprehensive overview of models versus evidence as pertaining to scientific knowledge and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Economist investigates the estimated years of life lost from COVID-19 and concludes that most individuals likely would not have passed away soon had they not contracted the virus.
There are no easy answers with respect to how high the COVID-19 death toll will go, as reported by STAT News.
The New York Times reports that immunization rates have dropped drastically and reminds us of urgency of staying on top of our vaccines to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our neighbors healthy during the COVID-19 crisis and to avoid a competing pandemic.
The Washington Post investigates how the University of Pennsylvania is determining whether eight labrador retrievers - and their powerful noses - can detect an odor associated with the virus causing COVID-19.
A clinical trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows that hospitalized patients with advanced cases of COVID-19 who received a new experimental drug recovered faster than similar patients receiving placebo.
The CEO of the company that produces the drug committed on the record to making the drug accessible and affordable as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, as told to STAT News.
STAT News recounts the realities associated with manufacturing pharmaceuticals, some of which Gilead Sciences may encounter as it seeks to quickly ramp up production of the potential treatment.
Nature provides a graphical guide to vaccine basics and details eight different approaches under consideration for provoking an immune response capable of blocking or killing the virus.
Bloomberg details "Operation Warp Speed," a not-yet-announced Manhattan Project-style effort by the Trump administration to bring together private pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and the military to drastically reduce the amount of time needed to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal shares that an ad-hoc group of scientists, billionaires, and industry titans is working behind the scenes to encourage the Trump administration to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development.
The New York Times writes on the COVID-19 vaccine under development at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, which has been shown to be effective in monkeys and is preparing for mass clinical trials.
The Serum Institute of India is starting to mass produce the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine a bold bet given the unproven efficacy of the vaccine in humans, as reported by The Economist.
National Geographic considers the history and science of vaccine development and reminds us why a COVID-19 vaccine could end up taking much longer than a year.
STAT News posits that the success of a COVID-19 vaccine will hinge on its delivery and notes the importance of strategic manufacturing and deployment.
An op-ed by a medical doctor and epidemiologist in The New York Times argues that a COVID-19 vaccine will not stop the pandemic unless all countries end up having access to it.
The Atlantic explores why the COVID-19 crisis continues to be so confusing and analyzes the forces driving uncertainty amid the pandemic.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new $1.5 billion “Shark Tank” style national COVID-19 testing challenge to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative diagnostics, as reported by Stat News.
Show Me the Data
WBUR unpacks statistical and mechanistic models used by researchers and notes the limitations of both in predicting the continued course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An analysis performed by The New York Times shows that total deaths in seven states hard hit by COVID-19 are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the time period between March 8 and April 11, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Boston Globe investigates when COVID-19 case numbers in Massachusetts will start to decline and shares a new model developed by researchers at Northeastern University suggesting that Boston’s outbreak began much earlier than previously thought.
If you have had and fully recovered from COVID-19, please consider signing up with the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project in order to be notified of future information and opportunities to donate plasma.
The New York Times provides a primer on convalescent plasma, or blood plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 that may contain antibodies capable of helping others fight the virus, and shares a story on the quest to find convalescent plasma donors.
WIRED details the struggles faced by blood centers across the country to get convalescent plasma from COVID-19 survivors to current patients wanting the experimental treatment.
Boston Magazine reports that a patient at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester improved after receiving the hospital’s first convalescent plasma transfusion.
The Boston Globe shares that many patients spending an extended amount of time on a ventilator experience long-term health impacts and may never be the same.
Challenges concerning post-COVID-19 care and the long path to recovery are recounted in The New Yorker.
Show Me the Data
The Boston Globe writes that COVID-19 is a crash course in uncertainty with respect to harnessing data to yield virus-related predictions and that the numbers are failing us.
Four Boston-area professors and researchers warn about studies claiming that COVID-19 death rates are smaller than expected in The Washington Post.
Politico details that the University of Washington’s forecasting model, which has come under criticism from some epidemiologists for relying on mathematical formulas and for being overly optimistic, revised its numbers and is now projecting more than 74,000 COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. by August.
An analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health shows that the U.S. recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two times as many deaths were labeled as attributable to COVID-19 at the time.
An investigation of excess deaths across 14 countries conducted by Financial Times concludes that the COVID-19 death toll may be significantly higher than reported in official counts.
A new interactive online tool developed by Massachusetts General Hospital simulates different COVID-19 reopening strategies and shows a spike in fatalities if restrictions in the Commonwealth are lifted suddenly, as reported by The Boston Globe.
Nature describes how researchers are sifting through data to compare different national response strategies and determine what policies effectively contain COVID-19.
If you or a loved one needs support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is here for you at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
The Boston Globe argues that practically everyone will be affected by COVID-19 emotionally and that more of an effort needs to be made to address mental health impacts.
A developmental neuropsychologist provides commentary to WBUR that the brain fog you are experiencing is normal and makes space for processing emotions that often follow fear.
NPR asks a neuroscientist and psychiatrist questions about what goes on in the brain when we are anxious and how to get our "thinking brains" back online.
The New York Times ponders what wellness means now and how to think about self-care during these uncertain times and gives a reminder to check in on those who may struggle with using technology to stay connected.
Vox writes that the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning against COVID-19 immunity passports and notes that there is “currently no evidence” that someone cannot be reinfected with the virus.
Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb argues in The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. needs to win the COVID-19 vaccine race, as vaccines developed by other countries may not be available in America quickly.
The New York Times shares the story of a Hingham man who spent 32 days on a ventilator at Massachusetts General Hospital and highlights the many COVID-19 medical mysteries associated with his case.
An emergency medicine resident conveys lessons learned regarding medicine, law, and society from calling patients with positive COVID-19 tests in STAT News.
The New York Times reiterates that there is no evidence that sunlight, bleach, or any disinfectant on or in the human body can eliminate or cure COVID-19.
New York City shares that its poison control experienced higher-than-normal call volume in the 18 hour period following President Trump’s remarks on disinfectants, as detailed by NPR.
The Boston Globe reports that there has been a sharp increase in calls to poison control regarding chemical exposure to disinfectants between January and March, as cleaning product use increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New York Times creates a guide for safely making and using disinfectants to eliminate COVID-19 from surfaces at home.
The Boston Globe writes on the Partners In Health team supporting the Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative tasked with creating and implementing the Commonwealth’s ambitious contact tracing program.
Partners In Health is hiring contact tracers, resource coordinators, and case investigators to support the new Community Tracing Collaborative. NPR shares that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding 650 new health workers to supplement staff at state health departments as well.
Slate argues that we cannot reopen the country without improved contact tracing and conveys what this might entail.
TIME provides a primer on contact tracing and how it can be employed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
CNET details the outsize role that smartphones will play in contact tracing as well as potential privacy implications.
WIRED ponders whether COVID-19 contact tracing poses a privacy risk and provides answers from security experts and cryptographers.
MIT and several partner organizations are leading an effort known as Private Automated Contact Tracing (PACT) to develop an open, interoperable, privacy-preserving protocol for contact tracing.
TechCrunch shares that Apple and Google provided updates about their joint COVID-19 contact tracing system, including technical details intended to improve developer flexibility and user privacy.
Researchers from MIT; the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard along with colleagues world-wide identified specific cells in the lungs, nasal passages, and intestines that appear to be targets of the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by The Boston Globe.
The Washington Post details Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s quest to develop and validate four prototypes of 3-D printed nasopharyngeal swabs for COVID-19 testing use.
NPR produces a whimsical comic featuring cats on how to spot fake news.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on potential paths to an effective COVID-19 vaccine and available strategies for developing therapeutic agents.
Nature writes that momentum is building to conduct a controversial human challenge vaccine study, in which healthy individuals are intentionally infected with COVID-19, but that no trial is planned as of yet.
The Atlantic argues that human challenge studies for COVID-19 can be ethically justified and young, healthy individuals should be allowed to volunteer for trials that can potentially speed vaccine development.
Rep. Bill Foster of Illinois, who holds a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard, is interviewed by Science on the potential for Congress to embrace a more risk-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine development process.
An expert panel convened by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommends against doctors using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for treating COVID-19 patients, as explored by NPR.
Politico writes on a large analysis of the use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and notes that researchers reported more deaths among those given the drug versus standard care for COVID-19.
Science uncovers a potentially fatal side effect of malaria drugs including hydroxychloroquine, a type of irregular heart rhythm that sometimes leads to cardiac arrest.
Signs of Infection
The Washington Post writes about a mysterious blood-clotting complication that is killing COVID-19 patients and puzzling doctors.
COVID toes, or purple or blue lesions appearing on the toes, may be another indicator of COVID-19 infection and worthy of further rigorous, conclusive research as shared by Forbes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield warns that a second wave of COVID-19 next winter is likely to be even more devastating than the current wave given the overlap with flu season, as stated in an interview with The Washington Post.
The New York Times writes that the first COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. occurred much earlier than previously thought given an announcement yesterday by officials in Santa Clara County, California attributing the deaths of two residents in early and mid-February to the virus.
STAT News reports that Dr. Rick Bright is no longer serving as Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), an unanticipated development that comes as BARDA is expected to play a key role in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.
WIRED reminds us that science is the process of building and testing models and the results of experiments are often surprising or different from what we would expect.
Earth Day x Coronavirus
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, MIT President Dr. L. Rafael Reif argues in The Boston Globe that the ongoing struggle to respond to COVID-19 holds valuable lessons about the kind of scientific advances and leadership it will take to tackle the climate crisis.
Atmospheric scientist Dr. Marshall Shepherd writes in Forbes that we can all do something to combat COVID-19 and protect planet Earth.
Vox shares seven science-related facts we have learned about Earth since the last Earth Day.
The Philadelphia Inquirer shows seven visible ways in which Earth has improved since the COVID-19 shutdown.
The National Education Association provides Earth Day lessons, projects, activities, and games for grades K-5.
Bloomberg Opinion tells the captivating story of how Dr. Joe DeRisi once solved a snake pandemic and how the co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is now turning his attention to tackling the COVID-19 testing problem.
NPR compiles a comprehensive overview of facts as the COVID-19 testing debate rages on.
WBUR shares how hospital and academic labs in Massachusetts have conducted more than 50,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests—about a third of the total tests conducted in the Commonwealth - and are contributing to faster turnaround times for small health centers including the Lynn Community Health Center.
Nature presents results from a survey of over 4,000 U.S. researchers suggesting that better coordination could make hundreds of thousands more COVID-19 diagnostic tests available.
Nature also writes on uncertainties currently associated with COVID-19 antibody testing.
Reasons to be cautious about preliminary results from serosurveys, or antibody prevalence studies, suggesting a vast undercount of COVID-19 infections are detailed by Science.
WBUR is hosting a virtual Town Hall tonight at 6pm with Dr. Kevin Tabb, President and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, about upcoming COVID-19 health care challenges in Massachusetts.
Journalists at The New York Times discuss the latest scientific research and medical news about COVID-19 as part of the new “Live at Home” event series.
The Wall Street Journal explores why it’s so hard to talk with your parents about COVID-19 (and vice versa) and reminds us of the importance of empathic listening.
NPR details emergent accuracy concerns with Abbott’s ID NOW testing platform following a preliminary study of five of the most commonly-used COVID-19 diagnostic tests by the Cleveland Clinic.
WIRED analyzes not-yet peer-reviewed results from two California serosurveys, or antibody prevalence studies, which can provide a valuable snapshot of COVID-19’s progress in a given geographical location.
Science traces the ferocious rampage and devastating impacts of COVID-19 throughout the body, from the brain to the toes.
STAT News writes about how a cytokine storm, or massive overreaction of the immune system, nearly killed a healthy marathon runner and doctor afflicted with COVID-19.
An emergency doctor volunteering in New York City recounts lessons learned from treating patients with Covid pneumonia, which can cause a dangerous form of oxygen deprivation known as “silent hypoxia.”
ProPublica shares that ventilators are just one part of the COVID-19 treatment picture and knowledge of when to use them, along with other medication and therapies, continues to evolve.
Science details the new Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership, launched by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bring together leading biopharmaceutical companies, other parts of government including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to COVID-19.
STAT News answers several questions regarding COVID-19 immunity and antibodies and notes that there still is much that we don’t know.
The Atlantic writes on how quantum chemist turned German Chancellor Angela Merkel is embracing scientific and evidence-based thinking during the COVID-19 crisis.
Show Me the Data
WBUR reports on the latest COVID-19 data showing that Massachusetts is in the middle of the surge now.
Nature shares that an early “sero-prevalence survey,” or widespread antibody testing conducted in California revealed a higher prevalence of COVID-19 infection than suggested by official figures.
New research aggregated by the Associated Press suggests that the number of COVID-19 infections may be much higher than expected given the prevalence of asymptomatic cases and flawed testing methods.
A renowned physician-scientist and Nobel Laureate economist argue in The Atlantic that America can’t reopen without additional tests and worse still, we are testing the wrong people.
The Wall Street Journal details several issues impeding efforts by laboratory operators and state health officials to expand COVID-19 diagnostic testing including supply shortages, testing backlogs, and unreliable results.
The New York Times writes about issues associated with COVID-19 antibody testing including quality and reliability concerns, potential misuse, and demand far outpacing current supply.
Nature asks whether COVID-19 antibody tests really will change anything, as the true potential of these tests remains unknown.
The Boston Globe reports that Cambridge biotechnology company Moderna will receive up to $483 million dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to accelerate the development of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.
The Economist ponders whether a COVID-19 vaccine can be developed quickly enough and on a large enough scale.
WBUR profiles certified sign language interpreter Rupert Dubler, a steady presence at Governor Baker’s COVID-19 press briefings.
The MIT Technology Review, STAT News, and WBUR report on a new study by Harvard researchers published in Science projecting a possible need for prolonged or intermittent social distancing into 2022.
Homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem writes in The Atlantic that we are entering a period of adaptive recovery, during which we learn to live with COVID-19 as progress is made on treatments and vaccines.
Science details how government and industry leaders are turning to behavioral scientists for advice on persuading citizens to abide by the dramatic changes required by continued social distancing.
The Washington Post reminds us that while there are several promising drug candidates, there currently is not a “magic bullet” treatment for COVID-19.
STAT News provides an update on a closely-watched clinical trial of a drug for treating patients with severe COVID-19.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares a new audio interview on caring for patients with COVID-19 as health care providers await evidence from randomized trials.
The facts on anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine are presented by The New York Times.
The Boston Globe details how local hospitals are using hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients, even though sparse data exist to support its widespread use as a treatment against the virus.
Given that viral respiratory infections often lead to bacterial pneumonia, doctors are administering more antibiotics than normal - a recipe for the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria as detailed by Science.
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) validated three methods for decontaminating N95 respirators for limited re-use.
State Rep. Jon Santiago, who works as a doctor in the Boston Medical Center emergency room when he’s not serving on Beacon Hill, shares an update from the COVID-19 front lines.
Show Me the Data
The Boston Globe shares new COVID-19 town-by-town data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and notes that there are 22 municipalities without a confirmed case of the virus.
Two professors at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health argue in The Boston Globe that conducting COVID-19 tests on a representative sample of the population can yield valuable infection data.
The New York Times reports on Massachusetts’s ambitious contact-tracing program, which may help the Commonwealth in the coming months as it seeks to relax social distancing measures and reopen its economy.
The Economist explores the role that app-based contact tracing may play in helping countries get out of lockdown.
Technology to track and monitor individuals may be able to slow the spread of COVID-19 but raises concerns globally about digital surveillance, data privacy, and government overreach, as detailed by The Wall Street Journal.
The Atlantic posits that the battle against COVID-19 will not end once the U.S. reopens for business and that this will likely be an unusual, pandemic-driven summer.
The Washington Post Editorial Board notes that the science behind COVID-19 is challenging but expresses optimism that international research collaborations will lead to treatments and vaccines.
STAT News reports on President Trump’s decision to end U.S. funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) and notes that the WHO will continue to focus on stopping COVID-19 and saving lives.
Testing and Immunity
Harvard Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Marc Lipsitch writes in The New York Times that many important decisions are being made with respect to COVID-19 immunity based on only glimmers of data.
There are still many unanswered questions surrounding immunity to COVID-19, as uncovered by The Washington Post.
The Wall Street Journal details that thousands of volunteers across 27 Major League Baseball teams will participate in the largest COVID-19 antibody study conducted in the U.S. to date.
Treating the Virus
ProPublica investigates how ventilators work and the specific role that they play in aiding patients with COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal shares that families are searching for plasma donors for loved ones currently afflicted with COVID-19.
WBUR answers several questions regarding the path to recovery from COVID-19.
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Tom Frieden speaks with STAT News reporter Helen Branswell on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MIT Technology Review details about why waiting for herd immunity to COVID-19 is currently not an option.
Scientists affiliated with Rutgers University received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new collection approach that uses saliva as the primary COVID-19 test biomaterial.
The Boston Globe writes about the difficulties associated with developing COVID-19 antibody tests given that biotech companies are learning about the virus in real-time.
WIRED uncovers the real reason behind giving a COVID-19 test to Bronx Zoo tiger Nadia, namely to better understand human health and animal health issues.
Combating the Virus
STAT News investigates the amount of virus necessary to make a person sick with COVID-19.
The New York Times explores what doctors fighting COVID-19 wish they had known a month ago including the use of proning, or having patients roll onto their sides or bellies, to increase oxygen levels.
WBUR provides a primer on how contact tracing works and can be employed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
A perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine argues that health care providers need to play an important role in addressing emotional outcomes as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Social scientists including economists, political scientists, psychologists, and behavioral scientists, are scrambling to collect real-time data on how people are responding to the evolving stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as shared by Science.
Nature shares how pauses in scientific research due to COVID-19 could imperil weather forecasts in the near-term and threaten climate studies in the long-term.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is starting a study to quantify undetected cases of COVID-19 by seeking to determine how many adults in the U.S. without a confirmed history of infection have antibodies to the virus. Healthy volunteers over the age of 18 anywhere in the U.S. can participate and will be asked to consent to enrollment over the phone. Individuals with a confirmed history of COVID-19 or current symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are not eligible to participate. Individuals interested in joining this study should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Washington Post shares rare footage of a 3D CT scan of the lungs of a COVID-19 patient as well as a video of mousetraps and ping pong balls produced by the Ohio Department of Health to explain the concept behind social distancing.
The Los Angeles Times reports that COVID-19 causes damage to the body well beyond the lungs, including lasting effects on the heart and liver.
The New York Times looks back on the Biogen leadership meeting in Boston in late February, which we now know was one of the first COVID-19 superspreading events.
The New Yorker explores how Dr. Anthony Fauci became America’s doctor and details his lengthy career researching and combating infectious disease.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares a new audio interview on emerging tools in the fight against COVID-19, along with a new study on the compassionate use of the drug Remdesivir for treating patients with severe COVID-19.
The Atlantic investigates the best hopes for a COVID-19 drug, namely one capable of blocking the virus’s proteins from hijacking, suppressing, and evading humans’ cellular machinery.
An update on the COVID-19 vaccine development landscape is provided by Nature.
The New York Times reports that more COVID-19 treatments and vaccines are moving toward human trials.
Scientific American writes that drug EIDD-2801 shows efficacy against COVID-19 in human cells and mice.
The Lancet puts forth commentary on COVID-19 and associated risks to the supply and quality of tests, drugs, and vaccines.
Attorney General Maura Healey and Massachusetts General Hospital released a COVID Vaping Advisory warning that smoking and vaping may put people into a higher-risk category, as reported by The Boston Globe.
The New York Times shares that two teams analyzing genomes from coronaviruses taken from New Yorkers starting in mid-March have preliminarily determined that most New York COVID-19 cases came from Europe, as opposed to Asia.
The Washington Post analyzed state-level data and found that hundreds of young Americans are dying of COVID-19, demonstrating that everyone is at risk.
A clinical psychologist argues in USA Today that mental illness is an epidemic within the COVID-19 pandemic requiring policymakers to rise to the challenge.
Forbes reports that nearly half of Americans are suffering from mental health issues on account of COVID-19 and provides recommendations for protecting your mental health.
The American Psychological Association details seven crucial research findings for coping with COVID-19.
Cultivating an attitude of tragic optimism is shared in The New York Times as one solution for weathering the COVID-19 crisis.
PBS NewsHour interviews the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health about taking care of yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Washington Post talks with mental health professionals about how you can take an honest look at yourself and determine what you might need to adapt in this new era of social distancing.
The Harvard Business Review posits that the discomfort you are experiencing is actually grief.
The Atlantic encourages us to take time for sorrow and grieve our losses from COVID-19.
WBUR interviews Dr. David Roberts, President and CEO of the North Shore Medical Center, on the hospital’s COVID-19 capacity and response.
Three Massachusetts hospitals received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct clinical trials of a Japanese flu drug that could be used to treat COVID-19, as reported by The Boston Globe.
Charting the Infection
Vox shares the need to “raise the line” and increase health system capacity in addition to flattening the curve.
TIME details how the number of COVID-19 deaths compares to other pandemics and deadly events in American history.
Chag Semeach to those who are celebrating!
This year, Jeff Jacoby reminds us that despair is never the right answer and this pandemic, too, shall pass.
The New York Times shares Passover rituals go on, but with screens this year.
The Los Angeles Times publishes helpful tips for joining a community Zoom Seder or hosting your own Zoom or FaceTime Seder.
Chabad provides a comprehensive set of resources for celebrating Passover during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the global COVID-19 death toll has passed 81,000, as some countries seek to extend lockdowns while others are beginning to lift restrictions.
The New York Times explores how we will know when the time has come to reopen the country and proposes four criteria that can serve as a baseline for cities and states.
WIRED shares how some Asian countries who flattened the curve are already needing to do so again, on account of travelers from the U.S. and Europe reimporting COVID-19.
Massachusetts public health officials issued new, voluntary guidance to hospitals for allocating ventilators and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, should providers become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
A doctor of Internal medicine details in The New York Times about the damage that COVID-19 does on the lungs and shares what you should know before you need a ventilator.
The Washington Post reports that the University of Washington’s influential forecasting model has revised its COVID-19 estimates downward but notes that not every model agrees.
New data show that African Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 as detailed by STAT News.
Researchers are studying sewage to estimate the full extent of COVID-19’s spread as written by Nature.
The Washington Post shares the story behind Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor’s “Seventh Inning Stretch,” which airs daily at 3pm on Facebook.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy to be “essential workers” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb argues in The Wall Street Journal that the best near-term hope for returning to normal is coupling technology with the rapid development of an effective therapeutic drug.
NPR provides a reminder that clinical studies have not yet shown that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19.
Science shares how an MIT engineering professor translated the infamous spike protein structure of COVID-19 into music using a new technique called sonification. The result is worth a listen!
New Mask Guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday that Americans should wear cloth face coverings in public settings.
The FDA also announced on Friday that it will now permit the use of KN95 masks approved by China, which are nearly identical in performance to N95 masks and more widely available.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker states in CommonWealth Magazine that the new CDC guidance is appropriate and that masks also prevent people from touching their faces.
Meanwhile, Mayor Martin J. Walsh urges all Bostonians to wear cloth face masks when outside of their homes.
The Boston Globe reports that not everyone may feel safe wearing a mask and asks us to be aware of our biases and considerate of others during these unprecedented times.
Face Mask Science
WIRED explores the facts on masks and urges Americans to cover up.
Two local global health advisors make the case for wearing face masks in The Boston Globe.
Science notes that the greatest benefit of wearing a mask may be covering the mouths of people already infected and that not wearing a mask may be a big mistake per Dr. George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).
Making Your Mask
The Washington Post provides an easy tutorial for sewing your own fabric mask.
The New York Post shares instructions for an easy no-sew fabric mask.
The Verge reminds us to be vigilant when reviewing claims regarding the effectiveness of face masks for sale on Etsy.
The New York Times investigates the best household materials for DIY cloth face masks.
The Wall Street Journal surveys all of the whimsical fabrics appearing on homemade masks.
The Wall Street Journal shares the incredible story of the New England Patriots’s plane flying 1.2 million N95 masks to Massachusetts to protect health care workers. 300,000 will go to aid New York state.
Bill Gates writes in The Washington Post that the choices we make now will have an enormous impact on the path of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future in general.
The MIT Technology Review provides a clear and concise overview of serological testing, which looks for antibodies to COVID-19 and can indicate whether or not an individual was once infected with the virus.
A scientist in Maine claims that an extract from lobsters might be suitable for treating COVID-19 as shared by the Bangor Daily News.
Tufts University Assistant Professor Dr. Josephine Wolff writes in The Washington Post that the U.S. should carefully harness technology and data to contain COVID-19, while being mindful of privacy protections.
STAT News reports how digital tools can help with COVID-19 contact tracing as well as how tech companies are rising to the occasion and dedicating resources to the pandemic response.
WIRED details how a piece of wearable technology resembling a wristwatch and used by opioid patients has been retooled to remotely monitor those infected with COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal shares that more supercomputing power has been diverted to fighting COVID-19 with researchers focusing on finding treatments and vaccines, studying the spread of the virus, and understanding the impact of social distancing measures.
Some hospitals are deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect tell-tale signs of COVID-19 on chest scans, as reported by IEEE Spectrum.
War on the Rocks argues that advanced military medical technology can be accelerated and applied to tackle COVID-19 and future pandemics.
April Fools' Day
The Cut makes a strong and compelling case that today is not the day for pranks.
K-Pop Star Jaejoong of JYJ learned that the hard way after undertaking a misguided COVID-19 prank, as detailed by The New York Times.
The Hill reports that several nations, including India, Thailand, and Germany, are giving stern warnings about spreading COVID-19 misinformation on April Fools’ Day and that Google is cancelling its annual jokes and mischiefin order to provide accurate information during the pandemic.
Combating Misinformation - What You Can Do
The Atlantic shares how to fight COVID-19 misinformation along with ways to help those around you to be better informed about the pandemic and reminds us of our civic duty to prevent the spread of rumors and falsehoods.
A helpful video for discerning and stopping COVID-19 untruths is produced by BBC News.
Combating Misinformation - Treatments
Science writes about how many scientists lament the Trump Administration’s embrace of risky malaria drugs as a possible, yet unproven COVID-19 treatment.
WIRED details how the recent debate over ibuprofen reveals the danger of COVID-19 rumors.
Four psychiatrists share their worry about the shocking increase in people self-medicating with unsafe drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic with The New York Times.
Combating Misinformation - Media
Business Insider reports that Snopes, one of the oldest fact-checking organizations on the internet, is Overwhelmed by COVID-19 misinformation and struggling to keep up with demand while maintaining an established vetting process.
NewsGuard's Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center lists 147 websites in the U.S., the U.K., France, Italy, and Germany publishing false information about COVID-19.
WIRED concludes that while it is easy to be cynical in the middle of a crisis, the public actually can be trusted in a pandemic.
WIRED writes on the mathematics behind projecting the course of COVID-19 and highlights the University of Washington’s state-by-state forecasting model.
Epidemiologists predict that COVID-19 hospital resource use will likely peak in Massachusetts on or around April 14, as reported by The Boston Globe.
Staying Safe Online
ZDNet shares that cyber criminals are opportunistically targeting remote workers through phishing emails and spam campaigns as well as COVID-19 themed malware and ransomware packages.
NPR interviews a hacker turned information security lawyer on the cybersecurity issues associated with working from home.
The Harvard Business Review provides a reminder that employees and employers need to take care to protect themselves as well as confidential information along with helpful tips for minimizing risk online.
Online classes in Massachusetts are being disrupted by “Zoom-bombing,” as shared by The Boston Globe.
On National Doctors’ Day, Forbes shares 15 accounts from the COVID-19 front lines. Our sincere thanks to all health care professionals courageously working to treat patients and impede the spread of disease.
How You Can Help
The Washington Post provides a comprehensive overview of how you can help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has launched a new PPE procurement and donation website, which contains a link for health professionals interested in volunteering to support COVID-19 response efforts.
If you have had and fully recovered from COVID-19, please consider signing up with the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project in order to be notified of future information and opportunities to donate plasma.
STAT News provides a comprehensive overview of what we know and what we don’t know three months into the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Lauren Silvis argue in The Wall Street Journal that rapid diagnosis, targeted surveillance, and bolstering lab supplies will help to defeat COVID-19.
The Washington Post details recent thinking on how to safely evaluate and ease COVID-19 restrictions when the time comes and points to a recently-released plan by the American Enterprise Institute.
The Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team estimates that COVID-19 could have infected 90% of the world’s population and killed over 40 million people without any mitigation measures.
The U.S. Government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and Johnson & Johnson announced that they are investing over $1 billion in a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in part by a laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Nature details how a radical proposal to infect healthy individuals with COVID-19 and conduct “human challenge” studies could accelerate vaccine research.
Human geneticists are searching for genes that may make some people more vulnerable to COVID-19 , with the hope that any findings can be used to identify those most at risk and inform potential treatments.
The Atlantic shares how plasma containing antibodies from COVID-19 survivors might help those still afflicted with the virus.
San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology, in partnership with local biotech firm Biogen and Wuxi Biologics in China, reports early progress in developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is using the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism to fast-track non-medical, non-clinical-care COVID-19 research, as reported by Science.
Nature shares how researchers around the world are redeploying their time, expertise, and resources to contribute to COVID-19 relief efforts.
The House of Representatives passed a $2 trillion dollar COVID-19 bill, which is the largest economic stimulus ever and is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump immediately.
Hospital Capacity Issues
The Atlantic explores how COVID-19 is taxing hospitals and pushing capacity limits like never before.
Massachusetts General Hospital has morphed a sports medicine office into a COVID-19 clinic, as reported by STAT News.
WIRED details the Army Corps of Engineers’s race to turn hotels into hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
On The High Seas
Nature writes on what recent cruise ship outbreaks have revealed about COVID-19 and how closed environments are ideal for studying how the virus behaves.
The rich history of Navy hospital vessels is uncovered by Popular Science, as the USNS Comfort deploys to New York City and the USNS Mercy to Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the Navy Times reports that deployed aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is anchoring in Guam to attempt and stop an on-board outbreak of COVID-19.
A View From Space
Four astronauts reveal their best tips for enduring months of social isolation in space in Business Insider. Retired astronaut Scott Kelly shares more and suggests going outside in The New York Times.
Popular Mechanics details the many NASA projects and facilities shut down or paused on account of COVID-19.
Nature provides specific impacts on the James Webb Space Telescope, slated to launch in March 2021.
Meanwhile, Space News reports that NASA is looking for ways to contribute to the federal government’s COVID-19 response.
WIRED presents photographic proof of the earthly impacts of COVID-19 from space, including empty cities and pop-up hospitals.
The International Space Station is the third brightest object in the sky and is easy to spot from your backyard, as long as you know when to look up!
The Atlantic presents a vision of the future after the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
An interactive model published in The New York Times reveals the risk of returning to normal too soon.
The Washington Post shares how a negative COVID-19 test result does not always mean you are free from infection.
Here are critical actions each of us can take today to prevent infection, prepare, stay home, and recover from illness.
Groceries and Goods
WIRED assures us that we won’t run out of food anytime soon, and the critical role that truckers play in bringing supplies to a store near you.
The Atlantic reminds us of the risk that COVID-19 poses to staff at supermarkets and explores how a Marine Corps Lieutenant General tackles the logistics of grocery stores.
The Boston Globe details how grocery stores are a lifeline but also a place of anxiety and compiles a list of local food pick up and delivery options.
The Lily, a Washington Post publication, shares shopping tips for the pandemic, while Vox provides simple, straightforward advice for ordering groceries online.
As reported by WIRED, the Postal Service is tasked with a surprising supply role in a Doomsday scenario through the medical countermeasures program known as the “Postal Plan.”
Nature writes that scientific research will likely offer a lasting COVID-19 exit strategy and commits to doing everything possible to help researchers and clinicians realize this goal.
Dr. Holden Thorp, Editor-in-Chief of Science, remarks that the scientific community needs to underpromise and overdeliver with respect to COVID-19 testing, drug trials, and vaccines in order to engender continued public trust.
Researchers from the new Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington are examining how misinformation is spreading during the COVID-19 outbreak and impacting public understanding and decision-making.
Popular Science explores visualization challenges and why so many COVID-19 maps may be misleading.
Happening in Hospitals
Dr. Thomas Kirsch writes in The Atlantic about the risks of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers unable to treat patients with COVID-19.
In The New England Journal of Medicine sounding board, experts discuss the fair and ethical allocation of medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An article in Nature details the century-old approach of infusing patients with antibody-rich plasma from survivors that may be key to keeping those infected with COVID-19 out of intensive care at use in New York.
WIRED shares a report on how doctors are creating registries to collect chronic disease-specific COVID-19 data in order to track symptoms and find solutions.
The Atlantic provides snapshots of music and encouragement from balconies around the world.
The Washington Post presents the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s “Bedtime With Bach” and uncovers the story behind DJ D-Nice’s popular “Club Quarantine” Instagram party.
A cautionary tale of a couple who ingested chloroquine phosphate or chloroquine and a reminder that as of yet, no drugs have been approved for treating COVID-19 in the U.S.
Science shares that the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global megatrial of the four most promising coronavirus treatments including a drug combo already used against HIV, a decades-old malaria treatment, and a new antiviral previously investigated for treating Ebola.
A century-old tuberculosis (TB) vaccine is also under examination for its ability to bolster the human immune system, allowing it to better fight viruses such as COVID-19.
Dr. Garret A. FitzGerald of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania writes in Science that evidence does not indicate that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) consumption puts COVID-19 patients at risk of more severe disease.
Voxuncovers an important lesson from the 1918 influenza pandemic: leaders need to tell the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear.
The Washington Post details how Ignaz Semmelweis, a 19th Century Hungarian doctor recently featured in a Google doodle, discovered that hand-washing could be used to prevent the spread of infection.
The New York Times gives advice on how to remedy and overcome technical issueswhen working from home.
The Washington Post shares how virtual dinner parties are helping people to fight isolation, while The New York Times provides tips for how to host a successful virtual happy hour.
A licensed couples therapist explains how to maintain relationships, create structure, and draw boundaries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New York Times details six simple things you can do to maintain your physical and mental health from home.
Harsh steps including containment are needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 - and can only be effective if Americans work together to protect themselves and their loved ones.
The New York Times reports growing evidence that lost sense of smell and taste are peculiar, telltale signs of COVID-19.
COVID-19 and Tech
In collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy and others, IBM is launching the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth an unprecedented amount of computing power to help researchers understand the virus, its treatments, and potential cures.
Science investigates how using cell phones to enable digital contact tracing could track and impede the spread of COVID-19 but notes associated privacy concerns.
Be wary of phone scammers claiming to be from the CDC and asking for your personal and financial information to reserve a COVID-19 vaccine.
Charting the Infection
91-DIVOC presents an interactive visualization of the exponential spread of COVID-19.
Vox compares cumulative COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Italy and depicts why we are not overreacting, in one chart.
The New York Times illustrates the profound effects of cutting a link in the COVID-19 chain of transmission.
The New York Times and Descartes Labs analyze smartphone movement data to show the state-by-state impact of social distancing and work-from-home measures.
ProPublica and the Harvard Global Health Institute explore regional demand for hospital beds under nine different COVID-19 scenarios.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins calls for "full national engagement in those commitments to try to reduce spread" of COVID-19 in this recent profile in The Atlantic.
While much of COVID-19’s biology remains a mystery, scientists are beginning to make educated guesses about where the virus came from and why it behaves in such an extreme way.
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City developed an easily-replicable antibody test that may allow scientists to better understand how quickly COVID-19 patients start to develop antibodies to the virus.
CNN reports that Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, identified 77 drug compounds that might effectively prevent COVID-19 from infecting host cells.
Meanwhile, psychologists, economists, and neuroscientists are working to identify evidence-based solutions to behavioral challenges critical to conquering COVID-19.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares an audio interview on new research on possible treatments for COVID-19.
Charting the Infection
Politico plots the number of COVID-19 tests performed, positive cases, and deaths over time for all 50 states.
The New York Times provides a detailed look at which countries are flattening the COVID-19 curve.
World News Roundup
Nature writes on what China’s COVID-19 response can teach the rest of the world about controlling the viral pandemic.
Science explores what has allowed South Korea to be successful in drastically reducing COVID-19 cases. Detailed data reporting may have placed a key role.
While scientists have some ideas, we really don’t know why Germany has a low fatality rate.
Scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in Africa, where the number of cases is rising rapidly.
Similarly, Bloomberg posits that Latin America isn’t prepared for an onslaught of COVID-19 cases.
Vox recommends speaking in terms of actions, not just facts, when encouraging older loved ones to socially distance.
The Washington Post reports on stark new CDC data showing that young and middle-aged adults aren’t immune from COVID-19 hospitalization in the U.S.
COVID-19 poses risks for children, and we need to protect them as well, as explained by Vox.
Despite reports you may have seen, there is NO scientific evidence establishing a link between ibuprofen (Advil) and adverse impacts in those with COVID-19.
STAT News calls for an evidence-based approach to allocate ventilators and other critical COVID-19 resources.
A British scientific paper led to new strategies and measures for impeding the spread of COVID-19, as reported by The Washington Post.
Self-Care in the Age of COVID-19
The CDC shares that everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, and that there are measures you can take to reduce stress in yourself and others.
The Boston Globe puts forward recommendations for coping with COVID-19 anxiety and seven tips that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
WBUR explores staying mentally healthy and resilient during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Vox provides ideas for feeling a little less alone while social distancing, along with tips for older folks on using tech to stay healthy and connected.
Wellington, the Shedd Aquarium’s Rockhopper Penguin, will surely bring a smile to your face.
Working in Unison
The Atlantic warns that the biggest COVID-19 risk we face right now is keeping our courageous medical professionals healthy.
Science Magazine reminds us that we can all play a part in finding solutions to COVID-19, whether you are gazing into a microscope or picking up food for a friend or colleague.
The Red Cross is currently facing severe blood shortages, consider helping your neighbors by donating if possible.
Charting the Infection
Data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health are sorted into easily digestible charts updated daily by WCVB.
Nature highlights the critical role of science advisers in government to ensure transparent collaboration between different political bodies.
Politico provides an insightful Q&A with State Rep. Jon Santiago, who works as a doctor in the Boston Medical Center emergency room when he’s not serving on Beacon Hill.
Sen. Ed Markey argues in The Boston Globe that we need a Manhattan Project-level response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
COVID-19 Testing and Treatment
Hundreds of scientists worldwide are working together to find effective treatments for COVID-19 as detailed by The New York Times.
While a widely-available vaccine remains at least a year away, Forbes reports that the first person has been injected with a trial COVID-19 vaccine developed in part by Cambridge biotechnology company Moderna.
Stopping the Spread of COVID-19
NPR provides a helpful primer on the do’s and don’ts of serious social distancing.
More reason to avoid the playground: viable COVID-19 virus can live for up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel.
Vox breaks down the science of soap and why viruses including COVID-19 stand no chance.
The Boston Globe shares what you need to know about COVID-19 emergency measures in Massachusetts.
The 11 things everyone should know about COVID-19 - including when to seek medical care and how to protect the people you live with - are detailed by Vox.
WIRED presents a primer on everything you need to know about COVID-19 testing.
How COVID-19 Spreads
Nature discusses the extent to which COVID-19 may be spreading under the radar and how there may still be some value from containment strategies.
The New York Times illustrates how COVID-19 hijacks your cells and spreads infection.
Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 can exist as an aerosol only under limited conditions, and that this route of transmission is not driving the pandemic per STAT News.
We don’t know how long social distancing will need to last, and epidemiologists and virologists say that the answer ultimately depends on a number of factors.
A psychologist shares science-based tips to ensure emotional resilience during these uncertain times.
Handshakes and Such
The Boston Globe provides a historical account of the handshake and calls for abandoning the particularly germy custom.
Rep. Moulton makes the case for decisive, prompt intervention in WBUR’s Cognoscenti to curtail the continued spread of COVID-19.
Talking About Coronavirus
The National Association of School Psychologists provides helpful tips for discussing COVID-19 with children.
Meanwhile, the Harvard Health Blog shares ideas for talking about COVID-19 with teenagers.
Finally, Buzzfeed frames how to convey the severity of COVID-19 to parents and grandparents.
Get to know Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top expert on epidemics, who has been involved with every major outbreak over the past 40 years.
The Boston Globe shares how we can learn from the Italian experience with COVID-19 and take measures to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Government agencies and federal officials balance perceived risk against economic and social concerns when setting attendance cutoffs for gatherings.
Staying Well at Home
You can go to the grocery store, but you shouldn’t head out the door to socialize. The New York Times explains the do’s and don’ts of social distancing.
The Boston Globe shares five free workouts that you can do at home to release endorphins and reduce stress and how to feed your family during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Staying Safe Online
Be aware of emergent COVID-19 hoaxes, including fake emails and texts intended to induce panic.
WIRED explores how Wikipedia is preventing the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
The Boston Globe offers a useful COVID-19 primer clarifying what many public health terms mean.
The New York Times shares interactive models of outbreak scenarios and explains how aggressive, timely mitigation can yield the best results.
Cyber criminals have attempted to exploit interest in a popular map tracking COVID-19 cases, but you can find the real Johns Hopkins University map here.
Response and Testing
Science Magazine takes on the disinfectant measures used abroad in response to an outbreak to evaluate the risks and benefits.
A Northeastern University researcher points out that the current COVID-19 trajectory in Massachusetts bears a striking resemblance to that found in Italy, but that it is not too late to take action and prevent cases.
A public health student writes in The New York Times that the coronavirus outbreak can be hard for both the healthy and the sick due to the isolation paradox.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention gives an important reminder to focus on our own mental health during these uncertain times.
The Cut provides a comprehensive overview of everything to know about COVID-19 in the United States.
Our behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic goes under the microscope in this STAT News article, reminding us to keep calm and carry on.
An Australian researcher’s findings emphasize that preemptive social distancing and enhanced hygiene are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Experts have put together best practices for social distancing and self-isolation in the event that you find yourself with COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 Health Experience
There still is much we do not know about the full range of COVID-19 experiences per this article from The Cut.
Health Care Capacity
The New York Times reports on procuring Personal Protective Equipment, negative pressure rooms, and other precautionary measures hospitals are taking to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, most hospitals’ surge capacity to care for individuals with COVID-19 is lacking. This is true for hospitals in Massachusetts, especially if the number of COVID-19 cases spikes rapidly.
Assisting Vulnerable Populations
Vox shares five steps you can take to help the most vulnerable among us during these uncertain times.
Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center, a nonprofit serving the homeless population, highlights the risk the coronavirus poses to vulnerable populations in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Public Health Association has formed an Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus and Equity to ensure that vulnerable people in our state receive critical services.
In a major break from established protocol, Massachusetts biotech firm Moderna is skipping animal testing and going straight to testing a potential COVID-19 vaccine in humans.
Simple But True
The Boston Globe reports how COVID-19 raced through the recent Biogen leadership conference at a speed that state health officials and company executives were unable to match.
STAT News covers the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) that the COVID-19 outbreak has become a pandemic.
One simple chart explains why slowing the spread of COVID-19 is nearly as important as stopping the virus in its tracks.
The Atlantic addresses the question “What should I do if I start to feel sick?”
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) takes a close look at testing for the coronavirus and implications for public health policy.
The New York Times looks at a medical study testing for the flu in Seattle that was shut down by the government, rather than being repurposed to monitor the region’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Paul Farmer, co-founder of the global health organization Partners In Health, discusses his concerns with the US response to COVID-19.
Only one measure has been effective against COVID-19 so far: social distancing.
Past outbreaks may provide clues as to whether closing schools will prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A chemistry professor explains why soap - yes, soap - is key to combating COVID-19.