The Latest: How to protest safely in a pandemic

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readJun 3, 2020


Dear Reader,

Yes, protests could lead to a rise Covid-19 cases. Yet speaking out against racism and police brutality is a risk huge numbers of Americans have deemed worth taking.

The racism ingrained in American life and the U.S. health care system has been amplified by the coronavirus. Data shows Black people are significantly more likely to die of Covid-19 than other groups in the U.S. due to long-standing economic, environmental, and health inequities.

The time between becoming infected with Covid-19 and symptom onset — if you have symptoms — is on average five to six days, though it can be longer. So it’s unknown what cases will look like until later. (Any reports blaming new cases on the protests happening right now are off base. Increases seen now are more likely from states and cities reopening.)

If you are protesting, here’s what you can do to lower your risk of getting Covid-19, and here’s why you should consider getting tested for the illness (as well as where to find free testing sites).

What’s new:

  • A Covid-19 vaccine update: During a live Q&A with the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. should have a “couple hundred million” doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by early 2021. Read more.
  • At least 26,000 nursing home deaths: New data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services shows Covid-19 has killed 26,000 nursing home residents and 449 staff. NBC News reports that the figures are likely much higher. Read more.
  • A 10-year recovery: A U.S. budget agency says the economy could take nearly a decade to fully recover Read more.
  • New remdesivir data: Gilead Sciences released study data on Monday showing that the drug helped people with moderate disease recover faster when they received it for five days, but the benefit was not statistically significant when given for 10 days. Read more.
  • Coronavirus bills: A Colorado man was billed more than $840,000 after he spent two weeks fighting Covid-19 in an intensive care unit, and he had insurance. Others have reported high bills for Covid-19 tests.
  • Unemployment passes 40 million: Another 2.1 million unemployment claims were filed 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. 📩

Keeping perspective:

“The threat to Covid control from protesting outside is tiny compared to the threat to Covid control created when governments act in ways that lose community trust. People can protest peacefully and work together to stop Covid. Violence harms public health.” — Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New on the blog

Should You Get Tested for Covid-19 After Protesting?

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Amplifying America’s Racism

Why Cutting Ties With the World Health Organization Is a Mistake

Church and Coronavirus Is a Dangerous Combination

Essential explainers

A Guide to Protesting During a Pandemic

Everything You Should Know About Antibody Tests Right Now

Coronavirus May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything

‘Superspreaders’ Could Actually Make Covid-19 Easier to Control (Bloomberg Opinion)

What You Need to Know About Chronic Disease and Coronavirus

You Can’t Get Covid-19 From a Vaccine

Insights from Around the World

🇸🇪 The Good and Bad Lessons From Sweden

🇮🇹 Why the Coronavirus Was So Deadly for Italy

🇰🇷 What We Can Learn From South Korea’s Coronavirus Response

🇯🇵 How Did Japan Defy the Odds?

🇻🇳 Vietnam’s Coronavirus Death Toll Is Zero. The Cost? Total Surveillance.

🇳🇿 What it Is Like to Live in a Country That “Beat” Coronavirus

Smart reads

This Scientist Is Running Thousands of Antibody Tests a Day

Covid-19 Is Hitting the Middle Aged Harder Than We Think

New Gene-Edited Lab Mice Are Especially Good at Catching Covid-19

Why People Won’t Change Their Minds on Covid-19

How Masks Transform Our Social Relationships

Our Homes Are Going to Look Very Different Post-Pandemic



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