Tag Archives: Covid-19

SARS-CoV-2 is changing at a glacial pace

SCIENTISTS have had eyes on Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, since the beginning of this pandemic. They can see it is evolving, but it is happening at a glacial pace compared with two other viruses with pandemic potential: those that cause flu and Aids. That is good news for efforts to develop vaccines and treatments, but scientists remain wary that anything could still happen…

Tiruppur, India

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 18 September 2020. To continue reading, click here.

The dirty vaccine race

TO begin with, it felt like a sleek performance from a well-honed relay team. On 11 January, only 10 days after reporting a new respiratory disease, the Chinese published the genome sequence of the virus that causes it. Researchers around the world set to work building vaccines against Covid-19, as the disease became known, and the first candidate entered human trials on 16 March; it was joined, as the months passed, by dozens of others…

Illustration by James Melaugh for The Observer

This article first appeared inThe Observer on 30 August 2020. To continue reading, click here.

The Covid novels are arriving

THE first coronavirus novel from a major British writer has just been published. Summer, the last book in Scottish writer Ali Smith’s seasonal quartet, is infused with the pandemic we are living through. That it has appeared now is a tribute to the agility of both author and publisher, whose goal was to produce literature in as close to real time as possible. Does it herald a coming wave of pandemic fiction…?

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 7 August 2020. To continue reading, click here.

‘It’s not over’: intimate diaries from the eye of the UK’s coronavirus storm

WHEN the Oxford team working on a Covid-19 vaccine first started holding weekly catchups in early February, Christina Dold, a 35-year-old senior postdoctoral researcher, jokingly referred to them as “Cobra” meetings. But it was in one of these early sessions that she found out how many volunteers they would be immunising daily, once the vaccine was ready to be tested. “I remember looking at a colleague. We were either going to cry or laugh, because the huge number of samples we’d have to process – potentially more than 100 a day – scared the living daylights out of us…”

Christina Dold, vaccine scientist. Photograph: Suki Dhanda/The Guardian

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 4 July 2020. To continue reading, click here.