The Latest: The end of the winter surge

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readFeb 17, 2021


Dear Reader,

The winter surge is finally relenting. Across the United States, case counts, hospitalizations, and reported deaths have sharply dropped. This is encouraging news because it means that the steps we’re taking to control the spread of the coronavirus are working.

Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden put it succinctly in the weekly Covid-19 epidemiology update he writes on Medium: “The thing about wearing masks, not traveling, and minimizing time spent sharing indoor air with people who are not in our household? They work.”

But we shouldn’t let our guard down: Though case counts are decreasing, they’re still too high, and the new Covid-19 variants are harder to contain because they’re more transmissible. Aerosol transmission, as Robert Roy Britt reminds us in the Coronavirus Blog, remains a major concern. Keeping up social distancing and proper masking is more critical than ever.

Relaxing the rules around these behaviors may have driven the winter surges in the first place, new research from Princeton University suggests. Though the cold weather driving people indoors certainly didn’t help, it was a secondary factor, as my colleague Drew Costley wrote in the Coronavirus Blog this week.

We’re not in the clear yet, and a spike in the spring may still be possible. But the good news is that we know what works to prevent another surge from happening.

I want to invite you to share your questions and concerns about Covid-19. Send me an email, and I’ll do my best to address them on the Coronavirus Blog.

Stay safe and stay hopeful,

Yasmin Tayag
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A quick Q&A: How to support Asian Americans facing violence because of Covid-19 misinformation.

A spate of violent attacks on Asian Americans — many of them elderly — has drawn attention toward misinformation that falsely racializes the virus. Remember that the coronavirus doesn’t discriminate by race, and it can infect and be spread by anyone. Russell Jeung, PhD, a sociology professor and co-lead of the organization Stop AAPI Hate, recently shared tips on how to support Asian people right now:

  • Correct misinformation that racializes Covid-19.
  • Encourage your school, work, church, or organization to release a public statement calling for racial justice.
  • Support community groups geared toward racial justice, especially cross-racial community projects.

Read more for additional guidance and resources.

New on the Blog

The Latest Research on Vitamin D and Covid-19

Experts Express Concern Over Airborne Spread of More Contagious Coronavirus

Montana’s Mask Mandate Has Been Lifted. Why Aren’t All Montanans Celebrating?

Experts Say Covid-19 Vaccine Is Not Linked to Miscarriage or Infertility

Essential explainers

Do You Really Need 2 Vaccine Doses if You Already Had Covid-19?

What’s Actually Driving Winter Surges of Covid-19?

Why Social Anxiety Feels So Much Worse During the Pandemic

A few more smart reads

COVID-Linked Syndrome in Children Is Growing and Cases Are More Severe

COVID-19 Took My Sense of Smell Nearly a Year Ago

This Is What Has to Happen Before Life Can Return to Normal



Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.