Coronavirus

A Science Reader for COVID-19

Covering concepts from spillover to virus mutation, this collection of free-to-access readings provides scientific context around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Great White Shark

Sharks Before and After Jaws

The blockbuster Jaws (1975) provoked fear by portraying sharks as "mindless eating machines." But what did people think of sharks before then?
City of Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium poster promoting testing for tuberculosis, 1939

What Happened to U.S. Public Health?

After the Civil War, support for public health measures was high. Now, some people blast them as part of the "nanny state."
An illustration of four people standing and wearing masks

Choosing Love over Eugenics

Some writers see contagion as a metaphor for community—proof that we exist within an interdependent network and not as autonomous disconnected islands.
from Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici by Antonio Franchi

Plant of the Month: Peony

Peony's effectiveness as an ancient cure translated into a tool of statecraft in the eighteenth century.
A nurse applies a vaccine in Caracas, Venezuela in March, 2020

How Will a Coronavirus Vaccine Work?

Four different ways researchers use the virus's own structure to train our immune systems to exterminate it.
A man wearing a surgical mask and gloves threading his needle with suture before an operation.

The Surgeons Who Said No to Gloves

In the late 1800s, doctors in German-speaking countries were having trouble agreeing on one simple thing: whether to wear gloves during surgery.
Lady Montagu in Turkish dress, circa 1756

Before Vaccines, Variolation Was Seriously Trendy

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is credited with popularizing variolation among the aristocracy in England.
The workroom at St James's workhouse" from The Microcosm of London (1808)

The Trouble with Nursing Homes

From the almshouse to the nursing home, has long-term care for seniors been destined to fail?