24 articles from SUNDAY 5.7.2020

Starwatch: Venus catches the eye in the head of the Bull

Venus is back in our sky before the sun rises, and will rise earlier as July progressesVenus has returned to the sky. Following its passage between Earth and the sun on 3 June, it can now be seen in the pre-dawn sky. The planet is bright and unmistakable lying in the eastern sky. It is currently located in the constellation of Taurus, the Bull, directly in the group of stars that marks its head....

It is time we made masks compulsory | Letters

Countries where face mask use is widespread have seen fewer Covid-19 deaths, writes Prof David Smith, while Philip Rundall thinks shops should do more to encourage customers to wear themYour comment (Editorial, 2 July) that disparagement of face masks might have come at a cost is well illustrated by comparing different countries. In Hong Kong (population 7.45 million), a survey in March found that...

DNA Linked to COVID-19 Was Inherited From Neanderthals, Study Finds

A stretch of DNA linked to COVID-19 was passed down from Neanderthals 60,000 years ago, according to a new study.Scientists don't yet know why this particular segment increases the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus. But the new findings, which were posted online Friday and have not yet been published in a scientific journal, show how some clues to modern health stem from ancient...

Met police urged to investigate Dominic Cummings' trip during Covid-19 lockdown

Exclusive: ex-chief prosecutor’s lawyers say behaviour of Boris Johnson’s adviser warrants ‘thorough investigation’The Metropolitan police have been urged to launch an immediate investigation into Dominic Cummings’ trip from London to Durham at the height of the coronavirus outbreak by the former chief prosecutor for north-west England.Lawyers for Nazir Afzal have written to the Met...

WHO underplaying risk of airborne spread of Covid-19, say scientists

Open letter says there is emerging evidence of potential for aerosol transmissionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe potential for Covid-19 to spread through airborne transmission by lingering in the air is being underplayed by the World Health Organization, a group of scientists have said.In an open letter due to be published this week, 239 scientists from 32...

Fears of widespread disorder unfounded as English pubs reopen

Relief as concerns about overwhelmed emergency services fail to materialiseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageFears that emergency services would be overwhelmed after pubs and restaurants reopened in England have not materialised, according to initial reports.Ahead of pubs opening for the first time since 23 March, NHS England told hospitals and ambulance services that...

I've spent years taming the OCD monster. Coronavirus has ruined everything

I’d come to think of myself as a sad wizard, burdened with rituals to prevent catastrophes. Then the pandemic made those threats realFor many of us, coronavirus has inspired a bit of a germ obsession. We wash our hands until they’re chapped. We see other people as potential vectors. We wipe down our groceries with Lysol, apparently having decided that, if it comes to it, we’d rather die of...

If you’re over 75, catching covid-19 can be like playing Russian roulette

Are you hiding from covid-19? I am. The reason is simple: the high chance of death from the virus.  I was reminded of the risk last week by this report from the New York City health department and Columbia University which estimated that on average, between March and May, the chance of dying if you get infected by SARS-CoV-2 was 1.45%. That’s higher than your lifetime chance...

Former WHO director Anthony Costello: 'Opening pubs before schools says something about our priorities'

The paediatrician and member of Independent Sage on Matt Hancock, the likelihood of a vaccine and why 50,000 deaths were preventableAnthony Costello is a paediatrician and international expert on child health who has been an outspoken critic of the British government’s response to Covid-19. He is a member of Independent Sage, a group of experts set up to provide “robust, independent advice”...

What kind of face mask gives the best protection against Covid-19?

Your questions answered on what type of mask to wear to cut the risk of getting Covid-19Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageYes. Different types of mask offer different levels of protection. Surgical grade N95 respirators offer the highest level of protection against Covid-19 infection, followed by surgical grade masks. However, these masks are costly, in limited supply,...