The CDC on Blast, a Classic Painkiller, and Wearing a Mask to a Job Interview
A roundup of stories we’re reading about Covid-19 today
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was “long considered the world’s premier health agency,” writes a team of reporters in a highly critical New York Times feature, but a string of critical errors it made in its coronavirus response may have damaged its reputation for good. Mistakes made in deploying widespread testing in the early days of the pandemic set the foundation for even more errors. Now, the U.S. is left to deal with faulty data on infections and deaths, cities reopening too early, and the continued spread of the virus. As one doctor put it: “They let us down.”
- Contact tracing is a very effective method for identifying everyone who’s been in contact with a person who’s tested positive for the coronavirus, but it’s a tedious one, involving numerous phone calls and in-person interviews. There’s an app for that — but it involves tracking people’s movements. On Monday, U.S. lawmakers unveiled a bill to protect the privacy of people who use these apps, but as the MIT Technology Review reports, the protections proposed in the bill are already baked into the contact tracing tech being offered by Apple and Google.
- Many of the drugs being studied to treat Covid-19 patients are not well known to the public, but researchers in London are now trying an old classic: ibuprofen. When tested on animals, the painkiller and anti-inflammatory appeared useful for treating acute respiratory distress syndrome, a severe complication of Covid-19, reports the BBC. You might recall that there was some concern over the safety of ibuprofen in the early days of the pandemic, but the Commission on Human Medicines has concluded that it’s safe to take for coronavirus symptoms.
- As cities across the country reopen, the likelihood is high that you’ll soon find yourself in an awkward social distancing situation. Say, for example: Should you wear a face mask during an in-person job interview? Alison Green answers with a resounding yes in The Cut, saying that it may be awkward, but if a potential employer responds negatively to your public health efforts, you might want to reconsider working for them in the first place.