What does it actually mean to be immune?

A quick crash course and new updates on blood types, baldness, and N95s

As talk of spikes, second waves, and vaccine testing continues, we thought this week would be a good time to review one of the fundamental concepts underlying all of these new developments: immunity from the virus.

But first, some recent updates to the site in case you missed them:

  • a news-in-context piece breaking down what we can imagine many of you may be wondering: are protests going to cause an increase in cases?

  • another news-in-context piece that discusses blood types and baldness and whether they confer some protection from the virus (spoiler alert: one probably does, one probably doesn’t — can you guess which is which?)

  • an explainer on masks — a deep dive into how they work, why they matter, and more

And as mentioned last week, we’re continuing to update the site every weekday, so keep your questions and suggestions coming!

Explainer Highlight: Immunity

This explainer discusses immunity — as in what it actually means, in terms of basic biology, to be protected from COVID. Understanding this is key to understanding other questions such as whether can you be re-infected after contracting the virus once, how vaccines actually work, and what needs to happen before, at a population level, we can be considered relatively safe from the virus.

The piece answers all of these questions and more, so we’d recommend reading it, but if you don’t have the time, here is a handy (shareable!) infographic:

Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns — you can get a hold of us via email, TwitterInstagram, and the site itself.