Entries by Martha Nelson

When will this end?

In the upcoming months, there will be intense pressure to relax social distancing, get back to work, and let your children run outside. And never return. For at least a week. Tension over when to open sectors of the economy will explode into a ThunderDome Death Match between politicians, economists, and medical experts. Expect government […]

COVID book club

In case the COVID epidemic has piqued your interest in the wild world of viruses, there are some wonderful books that manage to pack scientific detail about viruses, emerging pathogens, and the threat of global pandemics into vivid narratives aimed for a lay audience. Here are 5 non-fiction books I recommend. Excellent for bored teenagers. […]

Return of the COVID blog

I apologize for the three-week hiatus in the COVID blog. A few Saturdays ago a horse and I had a little disagreement about whether I or not I should be on its back. The horse won. The Suburban Hospital ER was empty except for a few COVID cases, and scans showed that I had experienced […]

Good COVID Ideas

Across the world, people are coming up with great ideas for how to deal with the COVID emergency. I’ll keep a running list in case others want to copy. Senior hotline for COVID information, isolation (CA) Drive-through testing clinics (NY) Free COVID testing (including emergency room visit), regardless of health insurance (Fed) Paid sick leave […]

Helpful COVID Resources

Map of global COVID cases/deaths, Johns Hopkins University Good summary of several aspects of COVID outbreak Incubation Period Symptoms CDC info for preparing your home Deeper into the Science Modeling tool to simulate how interventions could alter the course of a COVID epidemic, Richard Neher Molecular epidemiology, Trevor Bedford

If you think you’re infected

Week 11 (March 9-15) Do I have COVID? The most tell-tale signs of a COVID infection are: -Fever -Dry cough -Shortness of breath More details on symptoms here. A snuffy/runny nose is a sign that you probably have just a regular respiratory infection. What do I do now? If you are severely ill, go to […]

How Afraid Should I Be?

Week 11 (March 9-15) There’s a simple reason people can’t decide whether they should be scared out of their wits or shrugging off COVID. It’s because human brains are not good at thinking at abstract population levels. Even doctors’ brains. But you cannot understand the current COVID situation if you don’t have a simple understanding […]

Don’t Panic

Week 11 (March 9-15) What a difference a night makes. Tom Hanks has COVID. The NBA and MLB canceled games. It’s going to suddenly become a whole lot easier for mayors to close schools and cancel senior bingo games. Most Americans now recognize that COVID is going to have a major impact on their daily […]

Canceling big events

Week 11 (March 9-15) Summary: COVID is more widespread than the numbers suggest. Waiting until you already have cases in your community before canceling large events will make your epidemic more intense and difficult to control. When you start flooding hospitals with sick people is when people really start dying. (a) 𝐖𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐨 𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐞 […]

Protect Granny

Week 10 (March 2-8) It’s been a week since my post about COVID-19. Here’s the latest. 𝑹𝒊𝒔𝒌 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒑𝒔If you’re in a risk group (e.g., elderly*, underlying conditions), the time to think about social distancing has come. The virus is now transmitting in US communities. It may not be in your community yet. But we don’t […]