The dangers of seeking false certainty

I recently posted a thread on twitter about virus decay. In it, I explained that it’s a bit misleading to think about SARS-CoV-2 “surviving on plastic for 3 days” because the virus decays exponentially: if you start out with more virus, you’ll have detectable virus around for longer.

SARS-CoV-2 is mutating; here's what that means

You’ve probably seen a lot of headlines like this one from the New York Daily News: “Coronavirus is mutating and now has eight strains: doctors”. These headlines are sensationalist and irresponsible.

Is COVID-19 "airborne"?

You may have heard speculation that SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, is “airborne”. Sounds scary! You may have also heard public health officials reassure you that it’s not. But the “airborne” question bedevils scientists trying to communicate with the public.

The risks of (mis)timing an exponential

A minimal mathematical model of the problems involved in attempting to enact an optimally-timed, short-lived disease control effort

Immunity Primer

People who recover from an infection with SARS-CoV-2 / HCov-19 are likely to be immune for some time. That is, the virus is “immunizing”. To understand why this is likely to be the case, we need a quick primer on immunology.


I recently did a Q&A on Facebook about the COVID19 pandemic and about HCov-19/SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing it. People asked if they could share the answers, so I’ve converted some of the frequently asked questions into a blog post.