What We’re Reading: 05/22/20


COVID-19 is still very much in front of mind. Here are a few highlights from the week that we recommend you check out—

Lockdown Delays Cost at Least 36,000 Lives, Data Show

Studying the timeline of spread elucidates how critical each moment was—and still is—in controlling the coronavirus. Researchers deduce that if we initiated our response just one week sooner 36,000 deaths could have been prevented. This article is worth a read for the graphs alone, serving as a dire reminder of our missteps and our progress. A siren reminding us to stay the course, maintain distance, wear masks, and be vigilant.  (From nytimes.com)

‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’

Viral tests, taken by nose swab or saliva sample, look for current COVID-19 infection. Antibody tests take blood samples to check for biological markers that indicate you were exposed in the past. It’s easy to see why the collection of accurate data from each type of test is extremely important. They serve different purposes and reveal different information. 

States are relying on the accuracy of CDC testing metrics to build out and schedule reopening plans, but there’s a big problem: the CDC is conflating viral and antibody testing data.  Some states are even modeling their own testing data in the same way; others have corrected the practice. Frankly, the absence of national guidelines for collecting data hampers our ability to know the breadth of testing capacity and how well testing has improved. An important read.  (From theatlantic.com)

‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells

Don’t worry, this article isn’t as heavy as the last two, but it is a deep dive into Covid immunology. Get the nitty-gritty on a cellular level, learn how this virus changes the way our body reads segments of DNA. The dynamics are fascinating, COVID-19 is totally unique. Then, if you aren’t tuckered out, check out Dr. Donna Farber’s Covid Immunology webinar and get deep in the weeds. It’s a long weekend, why not?  (From statnews.com)

Now for a reprieve, a piece of fiction that hits close to home in ways unexpected—

"The Afterlife"

by Jonathan Lethem

The story opens with our main character R. and a group of passengers on a shuttle bus to the afterlife. A delightful read that challenges you to make sense of R.’s world and your own, building as if to wake you from a recurring lucid dream.   (From newyorker.com)

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