Covid-19 vaccines are amazing. They have turned what were enormous, horrific epidemics in country after country into manageable problems. Places like the US, UK, Israel, and others, which were until recently speeding headfirst off a cliff, are now celebrating as cases drop and people can finally let go of some of that pandemic anxiety that’s been going around.
A year ago, I spent a few weeks looking into the infection fatality rate of COVID-19. At the time, this was a minor side-project I could do in the extra time I had saved because I was working from home during lockdown and no longer had a 1.5-hour commute twice a day. It was a fascinating, complex problem, but also relatively easy to attempt to answer based on current best evidence at the time, because that consisted of only a few dozen scientific papers and preprints.
Vaccines against Covid-19 are rolling out across the world, and it’s a beautiful sight. If you had told most scientists this time last year that we would be seeing effective, safe vaccines preventing Covid-19 infection in every corner of the globe within 12 months, we would probably not have believed you. The monumental amount of work required to get us to this place cannot be overstated — it is a truly spectacular achievement.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been fraught with unknowns, from the nature of the disease to broader societal impacts and everything in between. The last 15 months have often been more about the endless cavalcade of things we don’t really understand than the few facts we can be sure of.
There have been many questions we have been desperate to answer during this pandemic. How fatal is COVID-19? What drugs can we use to treat it? If you’re working from home, is there really a reason to own more than one pair of formal pants?
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been telling a single story. It’s a very compelling narrative, playing into our worst fears and greatest hopes about the pandemic, and it has inspired numerous politicians, scientists, and other experts to try and take action.
The story is simple: the pandemic might be bad, but lockdowns must be worse.
Some have approached this account with some objectivity, and tried to argue that despite the incredible harms of an uncontrolled global pandemic lockdowns are more harmful. …
Edit 6/04 with new data about the MHRA and EMA investigations into these clots and the Astrazeneca vaccine.
Vaccines are amazing, life-saving innovations, and the COVID-19 vaccines are no different. As with any medical procedure, there are potential drawbacks to using them, but we know from massive pieces of scientific research that the COVID-19 vaccines are both safe and effective.
And yet, as you have probably heard on the…
At the end of a long, dark COVID-19 winter, vaccines are the spring we’ve all been waiting for. If you had asked most scientists this time last year whether they thought that we would have a COVID-19 vaccine licensed and given to millions of people by the start of 2021, the answer would almost certainly be “absolutely not”.
And yet, here we are. Millions of people already immunized, safe from the numerous harms of COVID-19. It’s been a doom-filled year, but things are really looking up for us all.
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.