Assorted Science Links (March 2020)

The third edition of my monthly pile of science links.

Microbiology and Medicine

"SARS-CoV-2: virus dynamics and host response"

A good overview of how SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease COVID-19) functions and its effects in humans.

An important point regarding the age-skewed mortality rates: "The high viral load in elderly patients is associated not only with low immunity but also with high expression of the ACE2 receptor (the cell-entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2) in older adults."

"Coronavirus (COVID-19) current situation and case numbers"
Australian Department of Health official stats for COVID-19 cases. Good news: it may be affected by delays in reporting but we may have passed the inflection point a week ago (i.e. the rate of change is still going up, but the rate of change of that is decreasing).

Parascience and Pseudoscience

"Assam BJP MLA Suman Haripriya: Cow dung, urine may cure coronavirus"
A member of the Indian parliament promoting a literally bullshit "cure".
"'Dangerous' coronavirus advice calling COVID-19 the 'common cold' distributed to Canberrans"
The "advice" originated with Canberra naturopath Bill Giles, and suggested rinsing your mouth out with peroxide bleach, a further gargle of silver and regular quaffs of brandy could prevent or cure an infection. Lucky for Giles, real medical profesionals are too busy dealing with a pandemic to have him charged for quackery.
"Goop-approved shrink says there's 'no such thing' as coronavirus"

Kelly Brogan - who allegedly has an MD from Cornell University and a master's from MIT - denies not only that SARS-CoV-2 exists, but she also denies that you can prove any viruses exist or cause diseases.

As a bonus, she also dips into the choose-your-own-reality form of science denial: "Could this contagion be a reality for others? Absolutely. It's not for me."