5 April 2020

Questions about Covid19 and Virology? The Doctor is In!

Posted by Dan Satterfield

The last straw this week was today’s  BBC story of conspiracy theorists setting fire to mobile phone towers. It seems they think the Covid19 virus is being caused by the upgrade to 5g mobile phone service.

While I don’t there is any hope for these folks, if you’re convinced the Moon landing was real and that pro wrestling is a hoax, I think I can help with some reliable info about Covid19, and viruses in general. You see, I  spent 5 hours Saturday in a Virology class at Columbia University. Yes, the university is closed, but the lectures are online and they are superb.

I’ll warn you that, non science geeks might find them slightly complex (unless you did AP Biology/AP chemistry or some type of college science degree), but they do not assume you are a pre-med student! So, if you can’t take another replay of The Princess Bride or Contagion, check them out. The class is being taught by Dr. Vincent Racaniello (a virologist at Columbia University) and you do not need to be an expert in organic chemistry to understand it. Lecture one is here. You can find the rest on YouTube.

For up to date information about Covid19, you should listen to Dr. Racaniello’s This Week in Virology audio podcast, An episode from just a few days ago features Racaniello talking with a fellow virologist who is fighting Covid19 right now.

Another podcast, about the immunology of Covid19 is also very informative.

A BIG thank you to all of the experts in the field who are taking the time to put out reliable information. Oh and be prepared, because, like all good scientists, you’ll sometimes hear them say “I don’t know”. That’s usually a good sign that you are hearing from an expert. The stuff they DO know, however, is fascinating.

To all the nurses, doctors, and every other health care worker, you are the real heroes. To everyone else, wear a mask you made at home, stay away from people, and be safe. 

Hunkered down on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and doing the weathercast from my library!