In the endless news cycle that is COVID-19 there’s an almost ceaseless cry that is repeated over and over again. While the subject changes, the basic idea has remained remarkably similar over the last 14 months: “[x] will protect you against coronavirus!”.
Sadly, it’s almost never true.
The newest case of this hopeful thinking has to do with eyeglasses. Headlines across the globe have, for the last week, been proclaiming that people who wear glasses are less likely to catch COVID-19. The New York Post even said that people who wear glasses are “2–3 times less likely to get COVID-19”…
As the pandemic has progressed, something has become starkly clear in almost every situation where it has been examined. It’s a slightly depressing fact, but time and again it has proven true, not just in the United States but in countries across the world.
The evidence is clear, you see — advantage, in particular economic advantage, is impressively protective against the worst harms of COVID-19. Being rich is, when it comes to COVID-19, good for your health.
There are many scientific questions that have come up during the pandemic. We’ve investigated the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, looked into school closures, and even checked to see whether spectacles could protect you from getting Covid-19 (the jury is still out on that one).
But perhaps the most consistent question that has been asked, over and over again, is whether vitamin D supplements can treat coronavirus effectively. The allure is understandable — vitamin D is cheap, relatively safe, and there’s some evidence that it can help with the common cold, which is often caused by coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-2. If it…
After more than a year of the pandemic, everyone is ready for this to end. It’s just exhausting. The lockdowns, the reopenings, the constant turmoil about what this will mean for our jobs and lives. The ever-present fear that the worst will happen to ourselves or someone we know and love.
I’ve gotta say: pandemics are no fun.
Note: This is my individual opinion about my own choices. There’s a bit of public health stuff in here too, but what I’m really going over is why I will make a choice for me and not what the best decision for society as a whole might be from an epidemiological standpoint.
After a year of darkness, vaccines really are the light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel. Yes, vaccination programs take time, and yes, they don’t fix anything immediately. …
In a very frustrating pandemic, there are so many myths floating about that it can be challenging to know which one is the most upsetting at any one time. There’s the horrifying anti-vaccine sentiment, the outright denial of COVID-19, or the more pernicious misinformation where people pretend that the disease exists but isn’t much of a problem, or you can’t control it anyway.
But for Australians and our Kiwi cousins, there’s one myth that is both extremely common online, and sounds more absurd than anything.
The idea that we’ve just been “lucky”. As anyone living in the two nations can…
Almost a month into 2021, and despite the promise of a fabulous new year the reality has already set in that the next 12 months probably won’t be as much of a breeze as we’d hoped. Vaccine programs are slowly rolling out, but given the scope of them it’s unlikely that we’ll be back to anything resembling normal any time soon. …
I took the train to work today. I write a lot of my articles to the sound of moaning tracks, and this one was no different. On Friday, I am going out to a show in a live theatre, probably after getting food at a restaurant in the city. It’s summer in Sydney, so I’ve been going to the beach a lot, and this weekend will probably be no different, although I’ll try to get to the local bouldering gym for a few hours as well.
There are so many myths about COVID-19 that sometimes it is really quite challenging to keep up. Despite spending the end of 2020 writing about numerous myths, and why the were wrong, they still pop up with alarming regularity.
Case in point: the new idea that if you don’t have current symptoms of COVID-19, there is no reason to worry that you could spread the disease. While this is a very popular thought, it is, unfortunately, just not true.
In the last 12 months, fact checking has gone from a fun pastime where you get to make fun of Big Walnut to something of a life-and-death scenario where the myths that are promulgating online can have serious consequences for people’s longevity. Instead of impacting which berry you favor at the supermarket checkout, the scientific myths of 2020 might define how your government chooses to respond to a global pandemic.
It’s a bit less fun than it was last year to check facts, is what I’m saying.