Asia Global 

New COVID-19 test developed in Singapore detects past infection within an hour

A new COVID-19 test that can rapidly assess if a person has been previously infected with the coronavirus is now available to hospitals in Singapore. Launched on Friday (May 15), the cPass serology test detects antibodies – formed by the body to fight off infections – in the blood or serum of patients. It is not used to check for active infection. Its main purpose rather, is for contact tracing, detecting asymptomatic cases and assessing herd immunity. Such serological tests have been used in Singapore for contact tracing. What is different about the new…

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Global North America 

What if Covid-19 Returns Every Year, Like the Common Cold?

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is often compared to its close genetic cousin SARS-CoV-1. And for good reason: The virus responsible for the early 2000s SARS outbreak is, in many ways, the closest parallel to what we’re dealing with now. Researchers look to it when studying how long the new virus survives on surfaces and whether it makes sense for us to wear masks. It provides a guide for how the curve of cases and deaths might bend if we all do our part and stay home. The comparison offers some…

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Global North America 

The Fallacious Fantasy of Doomsday Prepperism

What makes a person a prepper? Is it how many rows of cans are stacked in their basement? Intimate familiarity with the finest brands of water purification tablets? Or is it the glint in their eye when they talk about the impending collapse of civilization? Mark O’Connell has a theory. “Preppers are not preparing for their fears: they are preparing for their fantasies,” he writes in his new book, Notes From an Apocalypse, a tour of places where catastrophic thinking reigns. Ford O’Connell, a prepper lives for the moment when…

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Global North America 

China coronavirus infections rise as some Spanish companies prepare to restart work

Largely imported new Chinese cases prompts Wuhan-style restrictions near border with Russia China has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases along its northern border with Russia, as some Spanish factories and construction sites are preparing to resume work amid other continuing restrictions. On Sunday Chinas national health commission reported 108 new infections, the highest number in more than five weeks, surpassing Saturdays 99, which was nearly double the 46 reported on Friday. All but 10 of the cases were imported, and seven of the local infections were in the Heilongjiang…

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Europe Global 

Lessons of a Hero From the Plague for Surviving the Coronavirus

Naturally, comparisons to the Black Death are echoing around now. The bubonic plague was a highly contagious bacterial disease that came and went throughout Europe and beyond for three centuries. In its first explosive visitation in the mid-1300s it might have led to the deaths of one-third of Europe’s population in under a decade. Some say we shouldn’t draw comparisons as too alarmist. The plagues mortality rate was at least 50 per cent as compared to something around 3.4 per cent for COVID-19. Besides, they argue, today were enlightened; we…

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