Timeline 2020: Week 20

Sunday, 10 May

Italians are looking on aghast at the UK’s coronavirus response, says The Guardian. Is it really no accident that Britain and America are the world’s biggest coronavirus losers?

Everything you always wanted to know about false negatives and false positives* (*but were afraid to ask) is now summarized in 10 steps to understand COVID-19 antibodies. The colors will help you memorize true and false negatives and positives.

Spain’s best newspaper El País publishes ‘ccu ccg ccg gca – The 12 letters that changed the world.’ (If you read Spanish, take a look.)

Monday, 11 May

France eases lockdown restrictions among a sense of incertainty. The newspaper Le Monde reports that according to official figures 8,674 new positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 were registered between May 1 and 9. Epidemiologist Daniel Lévy-Bruhl, head of the respiratory infections unit of Santé Publique France (Public Health France) estimates that the real figures are probably twice or three times as high (3,000 to 4,000 new infections each day) – despite barrier gestures, social distancing and general confinement.

Tuesday, 12 May

The MMWR publish a report about a high SARS-CoV-2 attack rate following exposure at a choir practice.

Wednesday, 13 May

There is evidence that China is censoring COVID Reference. Google Analytics data of two dozen websites, both medical (Amedeo, Free Medical Journals, FreeBooks4Doctors) and non-medical (TheWordBrain, Ear2Memory, GigaSardinian, GigaMartinique, SardoXSardi, Polish Yiddish and ItalianWithElisa, among others) show that by number of visitors, China was always among the Top 10 countries, generating between 3.3% and 14.8% of website traffic (see https://covidreference.com/censorship).

Not so with COVID Reference. Six weeks after the launch of COVID Reference, China is 27th, after Paraguay, accounting for 0.39% of global traffic. Is someone standing on the data line between COVID Reference and China (Figure 6)?


Figure 6. Google Analytics data for www.CovidReference.com on 13 May. Six weeks after the launch of COVID Reference, China is 27th, after Paraguay and right before the Netherlands and Russia.


Friday, 15 May

In a memorable blog entry for the British Medical Journal, Paul Garner, professor of infectious diseases at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, discusses his COVID-19 experience as having “been through a roller coaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion”.

A video experiment using black light and a fluorescent substance demonstrates how quickly germs can be spread in environments such as restaurant buffets and cruise ships: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGQEuuv9R6E.

Saturday, 16 May

A new highly transmissible and potentially deadly virus is detected in Germany: SADS, Severe Acute Dementia Syndrome. The new syndrome manifests as an irrepressible desire to ignore the danger of COVID-19. In several German cities, an improbable alliance takes to the streets – left- and right-wing extremists, antisemites, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers –, claiming the right to live and to die without social distancing and face masks. The German Government immediately informs WHO.