As promised, I will be sharing one of the responses I received from a reader who is finding ways to physically distance but maintain social closeness. Here’s one from Joyce R. that’s like a drive-in movie, but the movie is … each other.
“A dear friend and I, both in our 80s, like to go out for coffee. We can’t but came up with this: She will drive to my house with her coffee, stay in her car outside while I, with my coffee, sit either outside in a lawn chair 12 feet from her car with her window down, or I sit in my car from the same distance. We can see each other and talk as long as we want, far enough apart with fresh air available. We may decide to wear masks or gloves.” —Joyce R.
What are some of the ways that you are socializing from afar?
- Let us know at the link above! We'll share selected answers in a future edition of Inverse Daily.
Coronavirus resources from Inverse staffers
- What it’s like to be a pregnant physician during the coronavirus outbreak (The New Yorker)
- The best dystopian books to read while in self-quarantine (Mic)
- Twitter’s struggling to keep up with fake coronavirus content (Input)
- Is there actually a link between vaping and coronavirus? (Time)
- Thousands of Americans stranded abroad are still trying to get home (Slate)
As a growing number of people bounce back from COVID-19, there’s one question on many people’s minds: Are you immune if you get — and recover — from COVID-19? According to microbiologist Mark Slifka, the answer is yes, at least for a while.
“In the short term, you have to be protected or the virus would kill you,” Slifka tells Inverse.
How well we can combat coronavirus depends on little viral assassins called antibodies. The immune system generates antibodies when faced with viral invaders, and they help flag and neutralize the virus. When we come into contact with the same pathogen twice, these antibodies help us “remember” the virus and take it down more efficiently.
At this point, we have no idea how long these antibodies, which create immunity, stick around after COVID-19. Some say we’re likely to be protected just a few months, while others think immunity could linger two to three years.
At this point, people can't bank on gaining indefinite immunity to COVID-19 if they beat the virus. Until we know more, the best defense against COVID-19 is still never getting it in the first place.
More on the coronavirus:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggested the electric car company could get into the heating business after it launched the Model Y compact SUV with a new installed heat pump system. Musk declared on Twitter that he “sure would love to do home HVAC that’s quiet & efficient, with humidity control & HEPA filter.” Ideas for the system included the house speaking with the car as it pulls up to get the system ready along with reusing condensation water and filtering it through.
Will it happen? It’s not as unreasonable as it first seems. Tesla uses its technology in other home-based products like the Powerwall, and Musk detailed a “house of the future” back in 2016. If Tesla is going to move further into the home, it’s most likely to leverage its existing technologies.
More news on Tesla:
If you're looking for something to distract you from the ongoing lockdown, just look up. A bright comet is headed towards the Sun and might just be the brightest comet we've observed in our night sky in more than 20 years.
Comet ATLAS was first discovered in December 2019 and was quite faint at the time. However, the dusty body keeps increasing in brightness at a much higher rate than astronomers first predicted. At the rate that it's going, ATLAS could be visible to the naked eye in the skies, appearing brighter than Venus.
We've put together your essential guide to comet ATLAS, including the best time to view the comet, what the comet is made of, and where it came from.
In related comet news:
You're probably aware of the idea that there are bacteria in your mouth, but seeing those bacteria is enough to change the way you think about your tongue. Images taken of 21 human tongues reveal that bacterial community in detail.
A study released Tuesday reveals that the oral microbiome – the community of bacteria that live in the human mouth – are actually highly organized. The human tongues in this study had a layer of Actinomyces that attach to the surface of the tongue. From there, there's a layer of Rothia and finally, a "thin crust" of Streptococcus.
Seeing this structure is one thing, but scientists are hoping that by understanding how bacteria fit together in our mouths, we may be better able to understand how they influence broader trends in our bodies. These slightly weird but ultimately striking images are the first step.
In other microbiome news:
As countries work to fight the spread of the coronavirus, Russia is encouraging citizens to pay for things digitally instead of with cash for fear of currency carrying the coronavirus. Russia isn't alone in this fear, as many politicians around the globe are worried about how cash could spread the virus. It turns out it can, but you can't get the virus from it unless you touch your face after touching your money.
In other coronavirus news: