The Latest: Everyone is jealous of California right now

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readApr 15, 2020


Dear Reader,

It’s too early to say whether California is in the clear, but public health experts are watching closely. Yesterday, the governor announced six indicators that will guide when the state decides to reopen the economy, which include the ability to do thorough testing and the ability for hospitals to handle surges (read about the plan here). Hopefully other states and cities can model what works — if California is successful.

In the meantime, here are three stories I recommend on how the pandemic is stirring a worker revolution, how new testing tools could stop the next pandemic, and what it’s like to get married over Zoom.

What’s New:

  • Trump plans to halt WHO funding: The president said on Tuesday that he planned to stop U.S. funding of the World Health Organization while reviewing its role in what he said was “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.” Read more.
  • Big Pharma partners up: Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline are collaborating to speed up vaccine work. The companies said the vaccine would be ready for human testing in the second half of 2020. Read more.
  • A warning in 2018: State Department cables warned of safety issues at a Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses, Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin reports.
  • A saliva test for coronavirus gets approval: The Food and Drug Administration gave the test emergency use authorization. It will allow for broader screening than nose and throat swabs.
  • Extremely ugh: New modeling published in the journal Science suggests that there could be recurrent coronavirus outbreaks in the wintertime, and that some prolonged or intermittent social distancing could be necessary into 2022. Basically, a vaccine can’t come soon enough.

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:

How do I treat myself if I get the coronavirus?
If you get sick and you live alone, how do you nurse yourself back to health? Writer Mo Perry’s story for Elemental is for solo dwellers, but some of the advice is applicable to everyone. Here are a few pointers.

  1. Anticipate your needs. What do you eat and drink when you’re sick? What medications or supplies do you need to have on hand?
  2. Track your data. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, or gastric symptoms.
  3. Connect with your health care provider. They can help you plan for what to do should you need professional care.

Read the full story here.

New On the Blog

California’s Coronavirus Strategy

There’s a New Saliva-Based Test for Covid-19

Making the Mask Situation Better — for Now and the Future

Coronavirus and Your Shoes: What You Should Know

Essential How-Tos and Explainers:

The Five Stages of Grief Can Explain Your Pandemic Anxiety

How to Assemble a Family Health History That Can Save Your Life

Stay 6 Feet Apart, We’re Told. But How Far Can Air Carry Coronavirus? (New York Times)

How to Stay Motivated When Your Job Isn’t Saving Lives

How to Keep a Company Alive When Working Remotely Is Not an Option

Personal Pandemic Stories

What It’s Like to Get Married on Zoom

I Am a Gay Scientist. Here’s How I Think About Risk.

My Nonno Had Alzheimer’s — Coronavirus Would Bring a Bittersweet End to His Pain

I Left New York for Greener Pastures — and a Puppy

6 Smart Reads

America Is About to Witness the Biggest Labor Movement It’s Seen in Decades

How Elite Athletes Are Staying Fit During the Pandemic

New Testing Tech Could Stop the Next Pandemic

No One Is Coming to Help the Undocumented Workers

Zoom Burnout is Real

Our Pandemic Summer (The Atlantic)



Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

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