The Virus: SARS-CoV-2

NY Times - April 30, 2020
How Coronavirus Mutates and Spreads
J. Corum and C. Zimmer

The coronavirus is an oily membrane packed with genetic instructions to make millions of copies of itself. The instructions are encoded in 30,000 letters of RNA — a, c, g and u — which the infected cell reads and translates into many kinds of virus proteins.

NY Times - April 3, 2020
Bad News Wrapped in Protein: Inside the Coronavirus Genome
J. Corum and C. Zimmer

The genome of the new coronavirus is less than 30,000 letters long, while the human genome is over 3 billion. Scientists have identified genes for as many as 29 proteins, which carry out a range of jobs from making copies of the coronavirus to suppressing the body’s immune responses.

NY Times - March 13, 2020
How Coronavirus Hijacks Your Cells
J. Corum and C. Zimmer

The virus that causes Covid-19 is currently spreading around the world. At least six other types of coronavirus are known to infect humans, with some causing the common cold and two causing outbreaks: SARS and MERS.

Treatment, Vaccine, Prevention

NY Times - April 30, 2020
How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take?
S. A. Thompson

A vaccine would be the ultimate weapon against the coronavirus and the best route back to normal life. Officials like Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the US administration’s coronavirus task force, estimate a vaccine could arrive in at least 12 to 18 months.

Data Sources (pandemic)

How do sources compare? by H. Ritchie et al., March 19, 2020 — Our World in Data

— There are three key sources providing regular updates of COVID-19 cases and deaths globally and by country.

  1. World Health Organization
  2. European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC)
  3. Johns Hopkins University


NOTE: Script for downloading the CSV file into R

1 #these libraries need to be loaded
2 library(utils)
4 #read the Dataset sheet into “R”. The dataset will be called "data".
5 data <- read.csv("", na.strings = "", fileEncoding = "UTF-8-BOM")

Data Sources (other)