A soaring employment rate 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. It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Virus. It’s How Much.

Inhaling a single coronavirus particle isn’t going to make you sick. But what’s the minimum number of particles that will? This New York Times piece looks at experts’ attempts to answer that question — and why doing so is no easy task.

2. May Sees Biggest Jobs Increase Ever of 2.5 Million as Economy Starts to Recover From Coronavirus

Lockdowns and social distancing in response to the coronavirus led to the fastest drop in employment in U.S. history. But according to data reported on by CNBC, the situation took a major turn for the better in May, which featured the nation’s biggest one-month jobs surge in at least 80 years.

3. The CDC Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long been considered one of the best health agencies in the world, if not the best — and then the coronavirus happened. The New York Times explores how and why the CDC’s pandemic response fell far short of expectations.

4. Corrosive Effects of Tear Gas Could Intensify Coronavirus Pandemic

Thousands have gathered to protest the killing of George Floyd over the past 10 days. That alone could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases, but law enforcement’s widespread use of tear gas on protesters could make them even more vulnerable to infection, experts told the New York Times.

5. How the World Can Avoid Screwing up the Response to COVID-19 Again

The U.S. was woefully unprepared to effectively address the COVID-19 pandemic — see the above article on the CDC. This STAT article details how we could do better in the future, according to 11 pandemic and infectious disease experts.

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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