Coronavirus disease 2019 #COVID-19

Many have been trying to make sense of the #COVID19 pandemic & its implications. Since I’m not an epidemiologist I can only quote experts. I’ve put this provisional summary of research findings together in the hope of dispelling conspiracy theories & inspiring others to contribute.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)



Alan Baxter’s Tweet Threads

These are threads of Tweets from immunologist, Alan Baxter.

In my experience Alan has been most measured and scientific in his coverage of COVID-19.

Alan has been one source I’ve used to gather information about the virus and the COVID-19 pandemic

Apr 06th 2020, 19 tweets, 4 min read
Apr 20th 2020, 22 tweets, 5 min read

May 10th 2020, 17 tweets, 3 min read

World Health Organisation COVID-19 Timeline

Despite the current US presidency to discredit the World Health Organisation its COVID-19 timeline shows steady progress on understanding and recording the impact and tnhe spread of SARS-CoV-2

John Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University reports that it is hosting a course titled Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Johns Hopkins University Experts. It’s a series of short modules exploring the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conspiracy theories

Cornell University Alliance for Science features a piece by distinguished science journalist COVID: Top 10 current conspiracy theories. Mark is also the author of the book Six Degrees.

He begins:

As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, the world also faces a global misinformation pandemic. Conspiracy theories that behave like viruses themselves are spreading just as rapidly online as SARS-CoV-2 does offline. Here are the top 10 conspiracy theories making the rounds.

Dr Michael Ryan

The Guardian recently covered this comment from Dr Michael Ryan, the director of the WHO health emergencies programme, has said

there is a way out of the Covid-19 pandemic for communities, adding that ‘a careful and measured return’ to workplaces and schools with the right precautions could work, but that concerts and other mass gatherings were much more difficult.

The beginnings of what became the COVID19 pandemic perhaps as early as October

Cornell University Alliance for Science also carried an article suggesting an earlier start to infections from the virus. They report on scientists analysing the genetic trees of 7,666 SARS-CoV-2 genomes who conclude that

the genetic trees of 7,666 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected from around the world estimated a common ancestor to the circulating COVID virus strains as having most likely appeared in China at some point between Oct. 6 and Dec. 11, 2019.

They find no evidence for the conspiracy theories claiming COVID-19 virus was deliberately created or accidentally released from a lab, noting:

genetic analysis making clear that SARS-CoV-2 has natural origins, most likely having jumped into humans originally from bats.

SARS-CoV-2 shares 96 percent of its genome with a horseshoe bat virus called BatCoV RaTG13, which researchers say shows “no evidence of recombination events.” An intermediate animal host connecting this bat virus to human COVID has still not been definitively identified, but is thought to have been pangolins — an endangered animal illegally traded in Asian wildlife markets and also widely used in non-scientific Chinese medicine.

Science News: the coronavirus wasn’t made in a lab

In this report writes:

the SARS-CoV-2 virus has components that differ from those of previously known viruses, so they had to come from an unknown virus or viruses in nature.

So SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from anything but natural viruses.

Kirby Institute: The COVID-19 pandemic update

One of the best resources I’ve yet found on COVID19 is from the Kirby Institute at the University of NSW, and Professor Raina MacIntyre’s detailed analysis.

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