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A newly released — and not yet peer-reviewed — paper claims that the coronavirus has mutated in a way that makes it more transmissible.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].

What’s next for COVID-19 drugs?
Paxlovid may have underperformed in a new trial, but other promising COVID-19 drugs are being authorized or in the works.
New antiviral shortens COVID-19 by 1.5 days
People taking simnotrelvir, a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19, felt almost immediate symptom relief and got better 1.5 days faster.
World’s first “self-amplifying” vaccine approved in Japan
The approval of the first saRNA vaccine could signal a new era in how we prevent and treat everything from infections to cancer.
HIV drug shows promise against COVID-19 and MERS
Based on promising lab tests, the HIV drug cobicistat could be an effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
How AI played an instrumental role in making mRNA vaccines
Years before Moderna created an effective mRNA vaccine against COVID, the company put into place AI systems to accelerate the research process.
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