A Curated List of COVID-19 Sources

Nature Overtakes Us

If there is interest in talking to us at OLI-works about the current COVID-19 pandemic, specifically to compare notes and share thoughts about how developments are occurring in your local area, feel welcome to contact us. We have launched a free, OLI speak-easy with network members across Canada, the US and Europe.

We will be sharing observations and insights on two tracks:  1) the scientific state-of-the-art, and socio-political actions with respect to the new coronavirus, and 2) developments in information and communication technology (ICT). We sense a major convergence between life sciences research and intentions to re-shape global geo-politics.  This is a detective story and the proof is beyond us for now, but maybe you wish to join in the chase.

For day-to-day developments we assume that readers are consulting the authoritative sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), ministries of public health in their own countries and regions, and the coronavirus COVID-19 database at the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering in the US.

We are compiling a short list of links (including video series) that we feel are particularly valuable for those who are not trained in science, public policy for health or the businesses of therapeutics and vaccines. There is a possibility you have missed these credible resources. We state here that we have a preference for articles in science journals and information feeds from organizations that in both usual times and emergencies support science and technology (S&T). However some excellent reporting is ongoing by the news media and when we come across an exceptional article or are alerted to one, we review it and may add it to our list. At the same time, we do not wish to overwhelm readers and aim to maintain a modest list revolving around the science and public policy for COVID-19. Our purpose is to engage an audience interested in discussion.

For the record, the person who is holding the pen on this blog, Meg Barker, has a BSc in biology, specializing in cell biology, a year of graduate studies in biochemistry, and early career working experience at three different academic research laboratories in Canada. For the better part of her working life, she was responsible for areas in publicly-funded science and policy, and delivered projects and programs in Canada and abroad. Meg has also been an enabler of virtual teams and “Communities of Practice” using ICT since the early 1990’s. She cannot claim to be a scientific expert herself, as her laboratory research days are long past, nor is she a software engineer, but Meg knows how to find experts and discern legitimate scientific reports from the general noise and clamour.  More about her here (scroll down).

The novel coronavirus that has emerged is named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is named COVID-19.  Below we present links to resources that we have reviewed.

A Virtual Summit Presented by Singularity University – Recordings available on YouTube. Scroll down. An estimated 23,000 attended this event held for three days, March 16th – 18th.

The journal Science provides a video interview session on Facebook

March 20, 2020 article in The Atlantic by Ed Yong.  This succinct and elegant article explains the body of scientific knowledge around coronaviruses, and why the novel SARS-CoV-2 can invoke an extreme immune response – called a cytokine storm – that in some cases kills its human host.

March 25, 2020 article in The Atlantic by Ed Yong. This essay is helpful for elucidating the problems that befall a state (the US) when it neglects or suppresses urgent scientific evidence. Quoting the author: “…the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018…”

March 22, 2020 article by a former Director of the US Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Tom Frieden.

April 9, 2020 article in the Globe and Mail by journalists Kathy Tomlinson and and Grant Robertson. This well-researched story suggests that a profound lack of attention, ignorance, bias against science or combinations thereof by the previous Canadian federal government in 2006 and 2010 meant that Canada, with (at least formerly) world-leading capability in science, health and technology, was not ready for the current coronavirus pandemic. But it could have been.

Ongoing, free podcasts offered by Scientific American, such as their “Science Talks”

As of March 23, 2020, the current Canadian federal government launched a fund of CAD$275M for coronavirus research and medical countermeasures, as described here.

If you have come across particularly useful articles that have helped you understand the science, public health issues or related international developments, please feel free to contact us with your suggestions. We will at minimum review these and may add them to this blog.

 

Mar 24th, 2020

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