Essential reading: A collection of articles published in PMP Magazine by academics and experts on the Coronavirus pandemic. Analyses, advice, facts, and mythsbusting.

Updated: July 2020.

Why protesting racism during a pandemic is important

Why protesting racism during a pandemic is important – An epidemiologist explains.
Going to a protest may increase your risk of COVID-19. But calling out the structural racism that takes black lives and affects health outcomes for people of colour is also vital.

Coronavirus: Why some people lose their sense of smell

Coronavirus: Scientists uncover why some people lose their sense of smell.
Olfaction has been called the Cinderella of the senses because of its neglect by scientific research. But it has come to the forefront in this pandemic.

Social distancing: One metre or two?

One metre or two? The science behind social distancing.
France says one metre, Spain says two. But what really constitutes a safe distance when it comes to COVID-19?

How to protest during a pandemic and still keep everyone safe

How to protest during a pandemic and still keep everyone safe from coronavirus: 6 questions answered.
It is nearly impossible to avoid close contact when protesting, and easy to forget the risks. An infectious disease expert answers key questions about how to avoid spreading the coronavirus to family.

Coronavirus and asthma: What we know so far

Coronavirus and asthma: What we know so far.
Once in hospital, preliminary data from the UK shows that asthma is associated with an increased risk of dying with COVID-19.

The psychological impact of shielding indoors

Coronavirus: The psychological impact of ‘shielding’ indoors – and how to move on.
Many people who are shielding during the coronavirus pandemic will need help to step forward and reclaim life.

Nicotine therapy – The evidence is weak and contradictory

Nicotine therapy for coronavirus – The evidence is weak and contradictory.
Eight million people die from smoking each year. Let’s not stockpile the therapy that can help them quit.

The different risks for people living with diabetes

Coronavirus and diabetes – The different risks for people with type 1 and type 2.
New data shows the threat posed by COVID-19 differs significantly between people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

How to beat anxiety when going back to work

Coronavirus: How to beat anxiety when going back to work.
There comes a point in the coronavirus pandemic when we just have to let go and give up control. Most of our worries won’t come true anyway.

Should you fly yet? Flying during Covid-19

Should you fly yet? An epidemiologist and an exposure scientist walk you through the decision process.
Fear of flying means something altogether different in the age of the new coronavirus. Now the biggest concern is how to keep from becoming infected. If you must fly, here are some things to consider.

A sudden loss of smell is a reason to self-isolate

Sudden loss of smell – Why it is a reason to self-isolate.
There is abundant evidence that a sudden loss of smell is related to COVID-19.

King's College app helps predict Covid-19 infection without a test

Coronavirus: Research reveals way to predict infection – without a test.
Symptoms like loss of smell and taste are powerful predictors of COVID-19 infections.

What is the R rate and why it is important

OK, R, what is it and why it is important.
As Matt Hancock and the Government acknowledge that the R rate has increased from a range of 0.5-0.9 last week to 0.7-1 now, here is an important piece by Dr Philip Lee to understand what exactly R is and why it is important to defeat Covid-19.

Covid-19 can attack your gastrointestinal tract

Worried about coronavirus? Pay attention to your gut.
COVID-19 can attack your gastrointestinal tract, and those with symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting may have a worse version of the disease.

Does nicotine protect us against Covid-19?

Does nicotine protect us against coronavirus?
A study from France concluded smoking might protect against coronavirus. But particularly now, in the midst of a pandemic, it is critical we don’t take headlines at face value.

Use a condom if you are recovering from Covid-19

Coronavirus found in semen of young men with COVID-19.
It would be sensible for those recovering from COVID-19 to use a condom until research is done to clarify how long infectious virus stays in semen.

Keeping safe at the supermarket

Coronavirus shopping tips to keep you safe at the supermarket.
Frequently-touched surfaces including trolley handles and card readers carry the highest number of coronavirus particles.

Many patients reporting neurological symptoms

Coronavirus: Many patients reporting neurological symptoms.
One way the novel coronavirus might enter the brain is through the olfactory nerves in the nose.

NO miracle foods or diet can prevent or cure Covid-19

There are NO miracle foods or diets that can prevent or cure COVID-19.
There is no evidence that garlic, lemons, and the ketogenic diet can prevent or cure coronavirus.

The puzzle of why the risk of death of Covid-19 is greater for men and for the elderly

Coronavirus: The puzzle of why the risk of death is greater for men and for the elderly.
Some things about COVID-19 still don’t add up.

No hard evidence chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine prevent or treat Covid-19

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine: No proof these anti-malarial drugs prevent novel coronavirus in humans.
Taking these drugs to treat COVID-19 without medical advice has caused poisonings and death.

Ibuprofen and Covid-19 symptoms

Ibuprofen and COVID-19 symptoms — Here is what you need to know.
There is currently no evidence showing ibuprofen makes COVID-19 symptoms worse. But the cautious approach is to avoid it if at all possible – especially for those with pre-existing health conditions.

How to keep your gut microbiome healthy to fight Covid-19

Coronavirus: How to keep your gut microbiome healthy to fight COVID-19.
Your gut plays an important role in building your immune defences. Don’t neglect it.

Are people with blood group A really at higher risk of catching Covid-19?

Coronavirus: Are people with blood group A really at higher risk of catching COVID-19?
Coronavirus: Are people with blood group A really at higher risk of catching COVID-19?

A vital breathing technique for coronavirus sufferers.

#Videospotting: A vital breathing technique for coronavirus sufferers.
Watch Dr Sarfaraz Munshi describing a vital breathing technique for coronavirus sufferers. The technique that relieves respiratory symptoms could prevent patients from contracting secondary pneumonia which could prove incredibly dangerous to their health.

Beware the cross-contamination during Covid-19.

#Videospotting: Beware the cross-contamination during Covid-19.
Molly Lixey, a former emergency room nurse in Michigan recorded a brilliant, off-the-cuff Facebook video to show how cross-contamination works when at a grocery store and why, as she points out, “there’s no point in wearing gloves, if you’re not gonna wash your hands every time you touch something.”

The problem with social distancing in Coronavirus times.

Coronavirus is accelerating a culture of no touching – Here’s why that’s a problem.
Touch is essential to wellbeing, so we must make an effort not to associate it with negative feelings once the coronavirus outbreak is over.

Comparing the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic and Covid-19.

Coronavirus: What the 2009 swine flu pandemic can tell us about the weeks to come.
Modelling highlights the urgent need for strong interventions. The later we act to reduce coronavirus’ replication number, the greater the cost in illness and death.

Self-isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus self-isolation: How to avoid cabin fever.
A psychologist’s top tips for staying mentally well in this time of pandemic.

The origins of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus origins: Genome analysis suggests two viruses may have combined.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic is undergoing extensive genetic analysis around the world to understand its origin and evolution.

What social distancing means.

Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool we have to fight the coronavirus.
With no vaccines or treatments, the fight against coronavirus comes down to this behavioral technique. A physician explains how it works.

What hand sanitisers you should use.

Coronavirus: Not all hand sanitisers work against it – here’s what you should use.
The best way of preventing the spread of the coronavirus remains washing your hands with soap and water, but alcohol-based hand sanitisers with at least 60% alcohol are a practical alternative.

Why closing schools?

Coronavirus, kids and school closings: A public health expert answers 4 questions.
So far, children have not been as sickened by the coronavirus as adults. So why do officials talk about closing schools? And what does this mean for you as a parent? A public health expert explains.

Misinformation in time of Coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Why we should keep our eyes and ears open as well as our hands clean.
While COVID-19 is a real concern for businesses and governments, a more serious issue right now is the wider impact of heavily recycled information on society.

Social distancing and the social contract.

Social distancing and the social contract in the time of Covid-19.
We all participate in a social contract, the collective agreement to protect each other, and the modern world with its safety net and cooperatively produced technology is what makes pandemics like coronavirus a thing that can be survived by most of the population.

Can warmer weather stop Coronavirus?

Will warmer weather stop the spread of coronavirus?
With spring fast approaching, is there a chance for the spread of Covid-19 to finally stop? Don’t count on it, says a virologist.

Does Vitamin C cure Coronavirus?

Time to debunk claims that vitamin C could cure coronavirus.
Though so-called naturopathic influencers on social media claim taking near-lethal doses of vitamin C is the cure for COVID-19, one expert says that vitamin C is unlikely to cure coronavirus.

Can herd immunity protect us?

Coronavirus: Can herd immunity really protect us?
Letting the virus ‘pass through the community’ is not a good public health strategy.

Hand hygiene and the eldery.

Hand hygiene is utterly vital to your parents and grandparents right now.
A very important thread by Rachel Clarke on the importance to protect our elders during the Coronavirus pandemic even if it means insisting on some basic things for their protection.

Why you ought not to panic.

Coronavirus: Ten reasons why you ought not to panic.
Could something similar to 1918 flu pandemic (25m deaths in less than 25 weeks) happen now with the Coronavirus Pandemic? Probably not; we have never been better prepared to fight a pandemic, Professor Ignacio López-Goñi writes.

How to stop the Coronavirus anxiety.

Coronavirus: How to stop the anxiety spiralling out of control.
Coronavirus fear? Stop constant checking and stay social. Psychological distress and widespread panic must not take over your life.

A false sense of security.

Pandemics spread where people have a false sense of security.
This thread by Silvia Stringhini is an essential read: the testimony of an Italian doctor with the dramatic description of working in an Italian hospital during the Coronavirus epidemic. Medical staff are real everyday heroes.

Why hand-washing really is important.

Why hand-washing really is as important as doctors say.
As the Coronavirus spreads, public health officials stress the importance of hand washing. But can it really make that much of a difference? A microbiologist explains why.

Explaining the WHO’s decision to not declare a global public health emergency yet.

Coronavirus outbreak – WHO’s decision to not declare a global public health emergency explained.
The World Health Organization decided that the coronavirus outbreak in China is not a public health emergency of international concern. At least, not at the moment.

A new human Coronavirus.

Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus.
Chinese scientists sequence coronavirus causing pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan. And it has never been seen before.

(Cover: Markus Spiske from Pexels.)