Miscellaneous Covid thoughts

1) I so loved this article about why we all need to wear masks once we come out from under social distancing.  In part because I’ve already been reading so much, this one really convinced me on the value of masks.  And, the fact that we should just use good-old fashioned surgical masks and definitely save N95 for medical personnel.  And, in making its case, I learned so much about respiratory virus transmission.  Lots of really, really good stuff here.

2) It seems that this coronavirus seems to be mutating pretty slowly as these things go.  That’s great news, as it suggests that once we get a vaccine, it will actually work for a while.

3) And this was a terrific primer (put together by the good folks at NC State) on viruses and viral evolution with a bunch of scientists– again, learned so much.

4) If you only think you know what you are talking about, never, never submit to an interview with Isaac Chotiner.  Richard Epstein is a law professor who thinks he’s an epidemiologist and wrote a very influential piece (likely influencing Trump) suggesting we are over-reacting.  Rarely, oh so rarely has an emperor been seen to be so starkly naked as he is in this interview.  It really is a must-read– just trust me.  Also, just a great example of “if all you have is a hammer…” and his hammer is evolution despite knowing nothing evolution in viruses.

Honestly, reading #2 and #3 above you will definitely more about evolution in viruses than Epstein does and yet he based a whole policy argument based on what he doesn’t understand.

5) Will Covid-19 diminish in Summer?  Lots of science, and… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  Though, more than anything… don’t count on it.  And, if it does, we’ll get to say… it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

6) It’s really hard to know what I would have made out of this when I was a very young adult before I had settled on political science.  But, I can say, if I, as in some crazy body-switch movie, went back to being 18, I would so go into epidemiology.

7) I really wish I had had some more warning the library was closing.  Just cannot do e-books and really wanted to read a novel, but not a lot of unread novels lying around my house.  So, I made the very rare for me decision to re-read a novel and I started re-reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  Very good call

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Miscellaneous Covid thoughts

  1. itchy says:

    4) Wow, that is so cringingly horrible. This guy makes biological claim after biological claim with no idea what he’s talking about. And he’s wrong about the advantage of being a lawyer. It puts him at a disadvantage. A lawyer formulates a conclusion, then tries to build a case supporting that conclusion — exactly the opposite of how to approach a scientific topic.

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