Perspective, Part 1: Reducing infection risk

Coronavirus anxiety I wrote the original version of this post on Monday (five days ago), but it wasn’t reading quite right, so I thought I’d come back to it on Tuesday with fresh eyes. I didn’t manage to open the file again until today (Saturday), with a new perspective given how this past week unfolded. Continue reading “Perspective, Part 1: Reducing infection risk”

Beyond antibodies: T-cells and long term immunity

Antibody levels and T-cells in the news Worryingly, the percentage of people found to have antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in countries that experienced early waves of infections is much lower than what we would need for ‘herd immunity’, and antibody levels drop in the weeks to months after recovery (see this blog post for a quickContinue reading “Beyond antibodies: T-cells and long term immunity”

The beauty before us: Blackberries and queen anne’s lace

I spent a lot of my summer vacation days outside as a kid.  We didn’t have cable TV, and with only three stations coming in clearly, television didn’t offer much distraction.  Our Atari game system was good for hours of entertainment, shooting aliens, avoiding meteors, frog-jumping over cars on a highway… (children of the 70’sContinue reading “The beauty before us: Blackberries and queen anne’s lace”

Antibodies and immunity

Cells in our bodies communicate by releasing signals Our bodies are made up of organ systems, each made in turn of tissues and cells. Our heart is a collection of cells that work together to pump blood through our arteries and veins, our muscles are collections of cells that can contract in response to nerveContinue reading “Antibodies and immunity”

A little fun: birds and grass carrying wasps

I’ve been enjoying our back porch this summer, sitting under our shady honey locust drinking coffee, or relaxing, or reading, or eating. I especially enjoy the hammock my family gave me for my birthday this spring – why did it take me so long to get a hammock??   While I’m outside, I watch andContinue reading “A little fun: birds and grass carrying wasps”

Another Numbers Post (and a correction)

First, I would like to make a correction to the U.S. infection rate numbers I put in my last post.  I made a mistake in the way I built my equation for calculating infection rate.*  My apologies for reporting improperly calculated numbers!  Here is the corrected and updated graph of U.S. infection rates for theContinue reading “Another Numbers Post (and a correction)”


This is a long one!  But it summarizes quite a bit of information that relates directly to social distancing policies, and what sorts of decisions our public officials are (or should be) making.  I have a couple more post topics lined up which should be shorter, one about vaccine development, and another about possible treatmentsContinue reading “Numbers”

How long can the virus 'stay alive', and how do I get rid of it??

In order to understand how long coronaviruses can last on surfaces, and also which disinfectants will destroy them, we have to understand more about the overall construction of viruses in general, and coronaviruses in particular.  For something so fundamentally simple as a packet containing ‘copy me’ information and a few key proteins, viruses come inContinue reading “How long can the virus 'stay alive', and how do I get rid of it??”