Songs to wash your hands by: Memes are an unexpected ally in the fight against coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus (a.k.a. Covid-19) spreads, plenty of exploitative scheming and misinformation has proliferated online — but the internet has also become a crucial tool for sharing important, legitimate facts about the outbreak, including scientific info, travel updates, and news on the death toll and spread.

Naturally, there have also been plenty of memes. But due to a combination of unprepared governments, delays in testing for the coronavirus, xenophobia, and general public confusion, meme-makers are treating the threat a little less flippantly than they did during other global scares of the recent past. So …

Will coronavirus cause a global recession? We still don’t know.

Well, that was bad. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 2,000 points on Monday, over growing fears about the novel coronavirus outbreak and oil prices. Markets in Europe and Asia also tumbled, in one of the worst weeks for stocks since the 2008 financial crisis.

This is just the latest grim economic news. The spread of Covid-19, as the disease is formally known, is unsettling supply chains, sapping sales of some products, throwing travel into chaos, freaking out the stock markets, and intensifying fears of a global recession.

There’s still so

Why we should stop comparing the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak to the 1918 Spanish flu

In a climate of international conflict and turmoil, a disease begins to spread across the globe. It hits the United States on the way to becoming a worldwide pandemic. While most infected survive, the fatality rate is well above that of an ordinary flu. Eventually, one in three humans on earth is infected. At least 17 million people, and maybe as many as 100 million, perish.

This is not a prediction, it’s a description of how the influenza pandemic of 1918-9 (which came to be erroneously known as the “Spanish flu” — more on that below) became one of, …

How does the new coronavirus spread? These new studies offer clues.

How does the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19, spread? That’s just one of many basic, tricky questions about this latest pandemic threat.

The virus that causes Covid-19 — known as SARS-CoV-2 — has already infected more than 111,000 people in just over two months. (Of them, at least 3,892 have died.) And the best explanation for this rapid spread is that the virus is being passed through droplets from coughing or sneezing. When these virus-laden droplets from an infected person reach the nose, eyes, or mouth of another, they can transmit the disease.

But are there other ways SARS-CoV-2 moves …