The great COVID-19 supermarket stampede

Last year, most of us were blindsided when we entered our local supermarket, trudged down the toilet paper aisle and were confronted with extended shelves of emptiness. Somewhat disappointed and definitely a little bit anxious (especially if we were running low on the soft, white goodness), we began to wonder how long it would be before we sighted toilet paper again.

The happiest people in the pandemic

“How can we rejoice if we’re at war?” This was one of the questions that arose in my mind after reading a book comprised of testimonies of people who experienced World War II as children. Decades after this nightmare, and stricken by a crisis that casts its shadow over people and nations everywhere, the question remains: can we still be happy in times...

How you can get your sense of smell back after a cold

A recent study showed how we can fully restore our olfactory sense after a cold, during which nasal constriction prevents us from smelling even the most intense smells.

The Great Reset: a revolution that has been proposed before

Every January, economic and governmental elites gather in their hundreds in Davos, the exclusive ski resort in Switzerland, where the World Economic Forum holds its annual high-level meeting. This year, because of the pandemic, the in-person meeting had to be rescheduled. But the controversies surrounding the meeting's theme – The Great Reset – were not postponed.

Under the shadow of the pandemic: was 2020 really the worst year in history?

Peering through the dust settling from the chaos of last year, we are trying to see into the unknown of the coming year, hoping for the best. Irrespective of what our hopes for 2020 were, our expectations for 2021 seem to centre on things going back to normal.

COVID-19: Beyond coincidence and bad luck: causes of animal to human virus transmission

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are specialists who are not surprised by this crisis, and believe that in the future we could be facing other pandemics if we fail to fix the mistakes that led to an increase of animal to human pathogen transmission.

Eight months into the pandemic, where are we headed?

We do not know what 2020 would have looked like without a pandemic, but we already know that some losses could have been prevented. And, if the future lies in the spectrum of pandemics, as the WHO warns, we should learn all the lessons that can be learned from this long journey.

The fragility of the good news about COVID-19 mortality

The mortality rate of COVID-19 remains high, but not as high as its transmission rate, and this good news needs nuances and explanations.

Spanish flu to COVID-19: Lessons from a forgotten pandemic

The Spanish flu filled graves in almost every cemetery in the world. However, surprisingly, this tragedy had largely been forgotten until recently. A century later, the issue returned to the centre of attention, with specialists wondering if they can identify a pattern in the evolution of the COVID-19 health crisis based on the pandemic from a century ago.

How lethal is COVID-19, and other (un)answered questions

There have now been over 12 million cases of COVID-19 infection globally, and half a million deaths. Researchers are constantly looking for new and better information to reduce the uncertainty around the virus.

COVID-19: Let’s not go back to normal

Let’s not go back to the abnormality of before! This is one of the messages which the French hung from their balconies on May 1, when the activities that would usually happen on this national public holiday could not take place. What can we change and what is worth changing after COVID-19?

COVID-19: Those who “would have died anyway”. How much is a human life worth?

Discussions about the reasonable number of deaths in a pandemic, about whether or not the price for saving people is killing the economy and, ultimately, debates on a life’s value were brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19: Why and how do masks, gloves and other protective equipment help?

I leave the house with gloves and a mask on. When I return, I clean my shoe soles and I wash my gloves with disinfectant. Then I take off my clothes, place them somewhere outside, take off my gloves and mask and wash my hands. Is this normal? Or am I a germophobe?

COVID-19: Should we care about the environment in the midst of an economic crisis?

Our planet may be fittingly compared to the 1994 film, Speed: A bomb is planted on a bus and rigged to explode when the bus slows to less than 80 kilometres per hour. The bus barrels through Los Angeles, hitting obstacles and endangering the lives of passengers and pedestrians until a solution is found.

Life after COVID-19: What will the new normal be?

Many certainties and convictions will be swept away. Many things that we thought were impossible are happening. The day after we have won, it will not be a return to the day before; we will be stronger morally.