The truth about coronavirus mutations and more COVID-19 updates

A roundup of the top stories you may have missed this week.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

This week, we’re highlighting some of the most interesting perspectives and opinions about the fight against COVID-19.

Here are our must reads for this week.

1. What the Porn Industry Has to Teach Us in the COVID-19 Era

Two decades ago, the mainstream pornography industry developed and implemented a set of testing protocols for performers to prevent the spread of HIV. Now, some health experts are looking to it as a blueprint for the future of COVID-19 testing, according to STAT.

2. The Problem With Stories About Dangerous Coronavirus Mutations

A newly released — and not yet peer-reviewed — paper claims that the coronavirus has mutated in a way that makes it more transmissible. The Atlantic talked to a handful of experts who say we shouldn’t take that claim at face value.

3. Mark Cuban Hired Secret Shoppers to Scope Out Reopened Stores in Texas

Texas has given restaurants and retailers the go-ahead to reopen so long as they follow strict safety standards. Billionaire Mark Cuban sent secret shoppers to hundreds of locations in Dallas to see if they were abiding by the rules — and then shared the findings on his blog.

4. Can Kids Transmit the Virus?

Economist and author Emily Oster dug into the latest research on the ability of children to catch and spread the coronavirus. She then summarized it all in a newsletter — read it if you’re still wondering whether you should plan for your kids to spend the entire summer at home.

5. In a Town Split by a Border, Virus Rules Vary From Door to Door

Baarle-Hertog, in Belgium, and Baarle-Nassau, in the Netherlands, are essentially two towns from two countries sharing the same physical space. This New York Times report digs into what that means for residents trying to navigate the nations’ very different coronavirus response efforts.

Did we leave something off this list? We want to hear about what you’re reading and any interesting ideas you’d like us to cover. Drop us a line at [email protected].

I’ve had COVID and am constantly getting colds. Did COVID harm my immune system?
Does COVID somehow weaken the immune system to make us more prone to other infectious diseases? Here’s what scientists know.
Long COVID: Self-targeted immune attacks may lurk behind it
Researchers are working to get a more complete understanding of the cells and antibodies behind long COVID.
Newly discovered antibody neutralizes all variants of the coronavirus 
Using modified mouse models originally designed for HIV, researchers have discovered an antibody that stops all known strains of COVID-19.
FDA authorizes updated COVID-19 boosters
The FDA has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s updated COVID-19 boosters, which target the now-dominant Omicron subvariants.
Researchers may have created a universal coronavirus vaccine
All currently licensed COVID-19 vaccines target the spike protein’s S1 region, which is prone to mutations. We need a universal vaccine.
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