Monday, January 18, 2021
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the coronavirus that cornered humanity

#In The #Conversation #We started 2020, like everyone else, without knowing what was coming our way. #Even so, we started the year with two reminders of great importance in the current context: that even nobles are wrong and that it is important to retract scientific articles. The article, signed by the researcher from the #University of #Aveiro (#Portugal), #Manuel #Souto, was prophetic in a year in which epistemological humility has been conspicuous by its absence and when we have the record number of almost 85,000 articles published on covid-19 . #How many preprints will they be approved? #How many papers ill will they be retracted?

The researcher at the #University of the #Basque #Country #Marta #Macho also anticipated events by sharing with us the story of #Isabel #Zendal, “the mother of all vaccines”, one of the many women that the history of science has trouble remembering . #His work serves as a reminder of the enormous effort that mass vaccination against diseases as fearsome as smallpox has involved: although it is recent today, the fight against covid-19 will be just one more in the war against infectious diseases.

The others

#It has been a year of infoxication, hoaxes and also otherness. #This concept has great relevance in pandemics: the others may be homosexuals if we are talking about AIDS or the #Chinese, #Italians and #English when referring to the coronavirus. The researcher from the #University of #Oviedo #Elena #Avanzas analyzed how health crises favor discrimination against those who are perceived as infected, while encouraging a false sense of security when thinking that ours are healthy.

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SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus that we had not heard of a year ago. #Today we are optimistic thanks to the start – in record time – of the vaccination campaigns against covid-19. #However, researchers from the #Miguel #Hernández #University #Enrique #Perdiguero and #Rosa #Ballester gave us a realistic vision of the eradication and elimination of infectious diseases from a historical perspective. #To know if the coronavirus joins the malaria club or the smallpox club, we will have to wait.

#However, viruses are much more than just pathogens. #Even if one of them has managed to change our lives, we really wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. #In fact, they are the most important evolutionary engine of nature. The CSIC researcher #Ester Lázaro defended in an article their unfair bad reputation: SARS-CoV-2 has caused us many problems but, throughout our history as a species, viruses have contributed to making us human.

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#Count and contextualize

#In The #Conversation we have tried to count and contextualize a pandemic full of uncertainties and changing evidence. #Also provide public service information on issues that have confused and concerned us as much as masks and vaccines. #As a sample, the researchers #Blanca #Lumbreras and #Salvador #Peiró explained to us the difference between each type of test and warned that they are imperfect tests that require adequate interpretation.

The pandemic is a global problem that requires global solutions. They must find a delicate balance between factors such as the economy, health and the environment. A group of researchers from the #Polytechnic #University of #Catalonia tried to take into account this difficult balance in a matter as controversial as that of masks: the best is not the one that best protects, but the one that takes into account the context of its use and also, the cost it entails for the planet.

#One planet, one health

2020 could also spell the beginning of the end for mink farms. #This is what the researcher from the #National #Institute for #Agricultural and #Food #Research and #Technology #Elisa Pérez wondered in #September at the same time that she defended the need to implement strategies #One #Health, whose importance the pandemic has underscored. #Since then, numerous outbreaks among these animals have forced the slaughter of millions of specimens around the world due to the growing fear that SARS-CoV-2 will find new reservoirs in which to hide and mutate while we try to avoid infection.

#This year has been difficult for the entire planet, but the researchers have been a sector particularly affected by the pandemic and the confinements. The researcher at the #University of #Deusto #Lorena #Fernández shared the reasons why women can not want write in The #Conversation and we encourage them to do so. #Hopefully in 2021 they can talk about how science brings light even closer to the end of the pandemic tunnel.

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#coronavirus #cornered #humanity

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