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  • Heather Caslin

The one with #scicomm in the age of COVID-19

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

The spring of 2020 will forever leave a mark in my mind and in my heart. It has been a very interesting time to be involved in science communication, that’s for sure. On a positive note, I think many people are particularly interested in following the scientific process of understanding disease, developing treatments, and developing vaccines, and there’s a lot of interest to learn more about immunology, epidemiology, and public health. But it has also been really stressful to observe the way people and gov’t officials consume and gather insight from scientists and scientific data. Fortunately, I already had lots of interest in teaching the process of science and understanding research, both in the academic and public domains, prior to this pandemic. But that doesn't make up for the fact that I still cannot believe we're not having moments of silence every day for the tens of thousands of deaths.

I’ve spent some of my free time providing resources and mythbusting on my Instagram page, but I wanted to link them all here as a resource to find them all easily. In a quickly moving pandemic with new info coming out at least weekly, this is a little risky, but I think it’s an interesting historical record from the perspective of learning what we knew and when. The purpose of these posts was not political, and they are certainly not all encompassing, as I also shared many posts of other people and Instagram stories were a major place to share information. But I hope you find them interesting, and if anything, you can observe my posts get better over time ;)

The one about why public health recommendations quickly changed from wash your hands to cancelling schools, slowing travel, and reducing large gatherings:

The one comparing coronavirus to the flu:

The one on why kids seem to be protected from coronavirus infection (+/- symptoms):

The on about evolution in real time- observing virus, bacterial, and cancer replication and mutations:

The one about how viruses jump from bats:

The one on herd immunity- what it is and why it’s a vaccine strategy (not pandemic response!):

The one about the immune response and symptoms of COVID-19:

The one on your body’s stress response and how to combat the symptoms you’re feeling in this pandemic:

The one about testing:

The one on potential COVID-19 treatments:

The one about why the science supported gov’t recommendations won’t hurt your immune system (mythbuster):

The one about llama antibodies:

The one about why this isn’t the same as the 1968 flu and we shouldn’t hold Woodstock:

The one about Vanderbilt's back to work policies:

The one about lifting restrictions:

On airborne transmission:

The one with the great immune system article:

The one with a deeper dive into COVID knowledge:

The one about how quickly these vaccines have been made:

The one about COVID vaccine safety:

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