On January 8th, I asked The Verge’s science team to keep an eye on early reports of a new virus that had recently emerged in China. When I dropped an article about that new virus from The Washington Post in Slack, someone joked that 2020 was off to a strong start, clearly jinxing the entire year for the rest of humanity. Whoops.
Jokes aside, this past
decade, year, six and a half months has featured a disturbing flood of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad news. More than half a year in and not only do we still not know when this will all end, we’re also seeing a tsunami of new cases in the US and record-high hospitalizations.
There’s so much we still don’t know, but we do know that this is going to keep going for a long, long time. We’ve got to pace ourselves if we’re going to make it. That’s why we’re starting with a weekly format for this column instead of bombarding you with a daily dose of news. Hopefully we can give you some context for the big headlines and help you keep track of our collective scientific progress as we stumble our way toward the future. It’s still an experiment, but these are a few things we’ll keep an eye on:
- Research – What we’re learning about the virus itself: how it spreads and what it does in the human body.
- Development – Notable news from the vaccine and treatment fronts: we won’t link to every paper, but we’ll keep track of general progress and major milestones when they come up.
- COVID Perspectives – This is a disease that has profoundly shaken, ended, and wrecked lives. When looking at the overwhelming numbers, we can sometimes forget that each case and death was a human being. These stories remind us that there’s more to the numbers.
We might also throw in a bit of non-coronavirus news just to remind you that there are other things going on in the world. Let’s get started.
- Most people in the United States are still highly susceptible to the coronavirus, CDC study finds: The actual number of coronavirus cases in the US might be anywhere from two to 13 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, a new report from the CDC estimated. Unfortunately, the study also found that most people in the country still don’t have antibodies, leaving them vulnerable to the virus. (Laurie McGinley / The Washington Post)…Read more>>