Science

How much does vitamin D protect us from diseases like COVID?

“What is this nonsense?” Erica Rice, a social worker from California, remembers thinking while she watched the rambling video her aunt had shared on Facebook. A middle-aged woman in Hunstville, Alabama, stood on her porch telling viewers they needed to get outside and lay in the sun to prevent “the COVID.”  It was April 2020, early in the pandemic—before masks became like a second skin—and Rice assumed the minutes-long clip was just one of the many virus-conspiracy theories plaguing the…

Science

The animal kingdom is full of coronaviruses. Here’s what that means for COVID’s future.

Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture drops more than six million packets from airplanes across the east coast. The packets are covered in fish oil, and coyotes and raccoons find them irresistible. Inside, past the tasty coating, is an oral rabies vaccine. The goal is to build up herd immunity in wild populations themselves, reported Veterinary Practice News in 2020. When about half of potential rabies carriers are inoculated, transmission falls dramatically. That in turn means that wild…