|Today we’re introducing our brand new newsletter: Coronavirus in Context.
In this weekly email, we’ll bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here.
Here’s a first taste of what it’ll look like…
First things first, let’s talk about why this coronavirus outbreak is a pretty huge deal — and if you have any reluctant boomers in your family, here’s what you should tell them.
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning we’ve never seen it before. This makes it challenging for medical professionals to come up with treatments and a vaccine — none yet exist and no, Trump, you can’t treat or prevent it with a flu shot.
The good news? The prognosis for a vaccine is excellent. Experts believe we could have one in 12-18 months. In the meantime, we should all follow the guidelines for proper hygiene and social distancing in order to limit the spread and flatten the curve.
Even better news: For the first time in human history we’re not facing this challenge alone. The age of artificial intelligence has given us a powerful ally in the form of automated testing and machine learning-powered insights for virologists and researchers building a vaccine.
For now, avoid unwittingly spreading or contracting the virus by following this simple but effective mnemonic device, courtesy of Wu Tang Clan:
Don’t forget to subscribe here to keep receiving Coronavirus in Context!
By the numbers
|Each week we’ll zoom in on a different statistic, and give it some context. Today we’re looking at COVID-19 cases reported globally as of 8AM PST today as compared to those estimated for the entire 2009 H1N1, or “swine flu,” pandemic. (Note: While the numbers are far less, COVID-19 is no less deadly. Here’s an article from Live Science breaking down why.)|
Tweet of the day
What to read
|Spare computing power, secret cell phone data hacks, and airline bailouts…|
|We know, we know… there are a million articles out there on how to stay sane at home: What yoga moves to do, what sourdough bread to bake, how to pick up a phone and actually call someone… so we’re adding to the noise!
In this section, one of our writers will share one weird internet thing they’ve been obsessing over while in lockdown. First up is editor, creative, and Big Spam mummy Georgina:
It’s interesting to see what kind of ~*content*~ is picking up speed these days — obviously, many social distancing memes. I haven’t seen it yet, but surely clean-fluencers should be having a moment? I’m going to do my part by recommending Mrs. Hinch.
Honestly, if you haven’t heard of Mrs. Hinch by now, I don’t know what you’ve been doing. Sophie Hinchliffe is a housewife from Essex who became an Instagram sensation for posting incredibly soothing videos of her cleaning. That’s it, just cleaning.
She’s now got over 3M followers, multiple branding deals, a published book, and my heart forever. Give her a follow, and let her anti-bacterial goodness soothe your soul in these times of constant hand-washing.
I’m also very unironically into the mindlessly grey vlogger aesthetic? Idk, my standards for entertainment are dropping.
|We’ll be back with more Big Spam tomorrow, and the next Coronavirus in Context returns on Tuesday. Subscribe here to receive it in your inbox.
Until then, practice social distancing, and please don’t take advice from strangers on the internet. Instead, get up-to-date facts at the following official resources:
Stay healthy and take care of each other,