The 20 Most Read Stories of 2020 on Ars Technica

Let’s clear the obvious: 2020 stinky. It was a terrible year by many measures, no matter where you live in this orb. So we’ll do something a little different this time for our Top 20 Read Stories. We’ll have two lists: the top 5 stories related to COVID-19 and everything else. So, if you have more COVID coverage than you can afford, please skip that with our blessings. If not, here we go:

2020 under review, COVID section

5. Here’s what the WHO says your mask should be to prevent the spread of COVID-19

One of the things we’re proud of throughout our 22-year history is that we know people. When we launched in late 1998, that meant covering things like Celerons overclocking. In 2020, we did the same, but with COVID-19. So it is fitting that the first story in the COVID Countdown is only about how to choose a good mask.

Early in the pandemic, there were confusing messages on the masks, and it wasn’t until late spring that the WHO issued guidelines for concealment to the public. “This is new research, commissioned by the World Health Organization, that we didn’t have a month ago,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on the response to COVID-19. In short, triple-layer masks are best, with a hydrophobic on the outside and a hydrophilic substance on the inside.

4. SARS-CoV-2 is like a mixture of viruses of two different types

In order to treat the new coronavirus, you need to get rid of the coronavirus. Or like Jay Timmer put it,

One of the longer questions about this pandemic is a simple one: Where did it come from? How did a virus suddenly appear that had not previously infected humans, equipped with what it needed to spread China across the globe in a matter of months?

What we learned from the SARS-Covid-2 study will help us once the next pandemic emerges. We hope we have at least another century for that to happen.

3. Results of the remdesivir COVID-19 trial are out, and that’s good news

At the current stage in 2020, this story is written by Jonathan Gitlin It is a great illustration of how treatment modalities have evolved as more research is done and data is gathered. In the early days of the epidemic, remdesivir, an antiviral developed in response to the Ebola outbreak, seemed to be a promising treatment. And in the study we reported in May, it definitely was: Study participants with COVID-19 experienced a reduction in recovery time from an average of 15 days to 11 days.

But then it didn’t turn out that remdesivir was the breakthrough treatment we all had hoped for. In fact, a huge global study that reported results in October showed that the remdesivir Don’t do much To treat COVID-19. “Between the two groups, the World Health Organization found that remdesivir did not reduce mortality. It also did not change the number of patients who presented the need for ventilation, nor did it change the proportion of patients who were discharged after seven days of hospitalization.” Beth Mall Wrote.

2. The Feds confirmed that the CDC’s failed Coronavirus tests were contaminated with the Coronavirus

Another one from the early days of the pandemic. In this case, it is a story that foreshadowed the difficulties the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention faces. As COVID-19 was in the early stages of its march across the United States in February, the CDC sent laboratory test kits to the states. There was one major problem: The groups themselves were contaminated with SARS-CoV-2.

“It was tragic,” said Scott Baker, executive director of the Public Health Laboratory Association, at the time. “The whole time when we were sitting there waiting, I really felt, we were here at one of the most important milestones in public health history, and the biggest tool in our toolbox was missing.”

1. Don’t Panic: Ars Technica’s Comprehensive Guide to Coronavirus

This was also the most read story of the year (and one of the most read stories of the past decade on Ars). This guide has been updated more than 20 times in a month’s period, and has been an invaluable resource for our readers in the early stages of the pandemic.

Approximately 10 months after the initial deployment, with the first responders receiving the vaccination, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It might be faint, but it’s there, and it’s getting close. So let’s finish this section of our 2020 summary with a reminder from our comprehensive guide.

You should be concerned and take this very seriously. But don’t panic.

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