This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.

The Latest: A December case, and the plot thickens

Dear Reader,

Is this still happening?

Certain things are becoming routine: grabbing a mask before heading outside, standing six feet apart in the grocery store line, hosting happy hour with family over video chat. But it’s also just really surreal. We’ve reached the point in the pandemic where we need advice for things to talk about that are not the pandemic.

But we’ve also reached the point in the pandemic where it’s appropriate to share advice on how to interpret antibody test results (check with your doctor or pharmacy; you might be able to get one now). And experimental vaccines are entering human trials. Cases of the coronavirus are still on the rise, but science is also moving forward.

What’s New:

  • France identifies a December case of Covid-19: French doctors have discovered a case of Covid-19 from late December in a man who was hospitalized near Paris. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the man had no travel history to China. The news suggests the virus was spreading in Europe earlier than previously believed.
  • The Trump administration considers winding down Covid-19 task force: The New York Times is reporting that Trump administration officials are “telling members and staff of the coronavirus task force that the White House plans to wind down the operation in coming weeks.” Cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. continue to increase.
  • Pfizer will begin human trials for its coronavirus vaccine: The company is beginning human testing of the vaccine candidate in the U.S. Pfizer is jointly developing the vaccine with the German biotech company BioNTech, and human tests started in Germany last month. (Read more).
  • Cases are not fading in the U.S.: The New York Times reports that Covid-19 cases are growing in the U.S. by 2 to 4% daily, and over 1,000 people have died each day for over a month.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A Quick Q&A:

Can kids transmit the coronavirus?
Yes, it seems they can. However, as Brown University economist Emily Oster reports, “in practice it seems that infection among kids is simply very unlikely. It’s not that they are infected and don’t know it, it seems like they are just not infected very often. And when they are, it may be that the mild symptoms limit their viral spreading.”

Read the full story here.

New on the Blog

What’s the Deal With the Story About the Mutant Coronavirus?

The Rare and Mysterious Syndrome Showing Up in Some Kids

Kids and the Coronavirus: What Everyone Wants to Know

So You Got Your Antibody Test Results Back. Now What?

Essential Reads and Explainers

Why Covid-19 Patients are Lying Facedown in Hospitals

Your Immune System Is Your Greatest Asset Right Now — Here’s How to Care for It

Bare-Minimum Moves for People With No Time to Exercise

How the Brain Copes With Social Distancing

6 Smart Reads

Scientists Want to Know if Fitness Trackers Can Detect Covid-19 Early

Dying People Can Access Experimental Drugs for Covid-19, but It’s Complicated

The Rich and Powerful Are (Unsurprisingly) Bypassing Flight Restrictions

Social Distancing Informants Have Their Eyes on You (The New York Times)

The Pandemic Is a Perfect Storm for ICU Delirium (The Atlantic)

After Four Antibody Tests, I’m Still Not Sure I’ve Had Covid-19 (Bloomberg)

Personal Pandemic Stories

I Am Not a Hero. I Am Scared.

A Beloved Father of Six and Veteran Lost to Covid-19

What It’s Like to Have Covid-19 (New York Times)



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Alexandra Sifferlin

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that