The Latest: Hold the bleach

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
2 min readApr 24, 2020


Dear Reader,

This week we explored some compelling and controversial strategies on the blog. We wrote about why New Zealand appears to be crushing the curve, why Sweden’s containment strategy is so contentious, and why some scientists want people to volunteer to infect themselves with the coronavirus. (Would you? I haven’t decided.) The president suggested an idea yesterday about injecting disinfectant. Do. Not. Do. That.

Since we have no solid answers (except about the dangers of injecting bleach), the only thing to do is explore options and debate approaches. As antibody testing ramps up, I recommend this story from OneZero biotech writer Emily Mullin on how “immunity passports” could create a new category of privilege.

What’s New:

  • Aid package moves forward: The House approved a $484 billion rescue package to help small businesses and hospitals. President Donald Trump is expected to sign it Friday at noon.
  • Trump’s Covid-19 treatment advice alarms experts: In a press conference, Trump suggested an idea to inject disinfectant, which angered and confused medical experts. Read more.
  • Antibody testing estimates wider spread of virus in New York: Preliminary results from a study that randomly tested 3,000 people at grocery stores in 19 counties suggests that 13.9% of people in New York have had coronavirus. Some experts are skeptical of findings and want more information about the kind of test used.
  • Job loss is skyrocketing: Another 4.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week.

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

Was this email forwarded to you by a friend? Sign up to receive regular updates from our Coronavirus Team in your inbox.

Sign up here 📩

Powerful Perspective:

“I was scared, and I don’t get scared. Other doctors do, but not ER doctors. We don’t scare easily.” — Michele Harper, MD, “When This War Is Over, Many of Us Will Leave Medicine”

Read the full story here.

New On The Blog:

Would You Volunteer to Be Exposed to the Coronavirus for Science?

New Zealand Is Crushing the Curve

5 Important New Science Findings

Helpful Stories for Our New Normal

How to Ease Your Quarantine Aches and Pains

This Is Why You Can’t Remember Yesterday

Yes, We Really Are Having More Headaches Right Now — Here’s Why

Expert Insights

An Infectious Disease Doctor: Blindly Endorsing Hydroxychloroquine Is Medical Malpractice

A Health Policy Leader: Most Americans, Across Party Affiliation, Support Strict Social Distancing

6 Smart Reads

‘Immunity Passports’ Could Create a New Category of Privilege

The Real Reason It’s So Hard to Order Groceries Online Right Now

Meet the Protesters in Puerto Rico Who Want More Testing

These Men Lived in a Factory to Help the Response (Wall Street Journal)

What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like (New York Times)

Op-Ed: Stop Getting So Excited About ‘Preliminary’ Findings (Wired)



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