If this is confusing to you, here's some genetics 101:
Variants come from new genetic mutations, which arise randomly when the virus replicates. These mutations are all accidents, and happen randomly. Some mutations do nothing, some hurt the virus, and some help it.
Jul 20, 2021 • 10 tweets • 3 min read
People are looking at the percent of vaccinated hospitalizations and getting alarmed. But by itself, this number can't tell you much about how the vaccines are working, as it's highly dependent on the rate of vaccination in a community. Here's some maths to show what I mean👇🏽
As more people are vaccinated (and all else being equal), total hospitalizations will decrease but the *percent* of vaccinated hospitalizations will increase, not because the vaccines aren't working, but because there are more vaccinated people and fewer hospitalizations overall.
Jul 19, 2021 • 7 tweets • 1 min read
With all the discussion on how to combat false info on social media, a reminder that a lot of vaccine-hesitant folks distrust official sources and believe these false articles in part *because* they are pulled off mainstream platforms.
Some people share articles with false info primarily *because* they're censored, as a way to try to fight censorship.
Jul 18, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
As someone endeavoring to be a science communicator, one of the highest compliments I can receive on my writing is “it’s an easy read.”
I remember reading Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger in college, sometimes spending hours trying to understand a single page…
Honestly it made me feel intellectually inferior that I had so much trouble understanding what they were saying.
Then my philosophy prof let us in on a secret: it was in vogue, at the time these authors wrote, to be basically unintelligible. The harder it was to understand…
Jun 30, 2021 • 12 tweets • 2 min read
One of the reasons misinformation can be so mind-boggling and exhausting is the high degree of self-contradiction. Granted, not everyone believes every rumor simultaneously, but overall self-contradiction is often a hallmark of misinformation. Here are a few examples:
"If a 75-year-old with pre-existing conditions gets COVID and dies from pneumonia 4 days later, COVID was not the true cause" and "if a 75-year-old with pre-existing conditions gets the vaccine and dies from pneumonia 4 days later, the vaccine was definitely the true cause."
May 30, 2021 • 17 tweets • 3 min read
There's a new "explosive paper" (not yet available) that claims SARS-CoV-2 was man-made.
An earlier version of these claims was published by the same group last year. Until the new paper is available, here's a review of the previous claims, many of which appear unchanged.
In their original paper, they lay out several claims based on the structure of the spike protein which they claim are evidence that it was engineered by humans and did not arise naturally. They use a lot of flowery scientific language, but here is what they argue, simplified:
May 2, 2021 • 9 tweets • 3 min read
Wanted to share all the articles I've written on the COVID vaccines in one place. When I have time I want to make a page on youcanknowthings.com for common vaccine FAQs, but... med school is keeping me busy, so for now, a twitter thread will do.