Editors’ Notes Spring 2020

COVID Editor’s Note

“We’re near the end of the beginning of coronavirus”; several health experts have coined this phrase since late-April. After two months of lockdowns, the state and national governments have relaxed some social-distancing guidelines, and others have even begun measures to partially reopen their communities due to the low numbers of cases in their areas. However, for more at-risk and struggling areas, the coronavirus could last beyond the summer months, especially if we fail to consider the scientific implications of reopening.

To stop this global health threat, people must extensively consider a scientific perspective on coronavirus; thus, the CHASM has focused on covering COVID-19 this issue. To ensure the safety of their citizens, national and state governments had to approach the coronavirus from a primarily scientific viewpoint, not a political one. Even for individuals to decide to stay at home, they had to be informed of the science: the coronavirus is a highly contagious virus with a long incubation period. 

When reports come out on the coronavirus, people often consider how they should react with a broader sense of knowledge. For example, you might have skimmed a news headline and heard that the coronavirus can last in the air, and you question if it is safe to even go outside. Although this fact is true, our articles outline the specifics of these ideas. An article in this issue explains how coronavirus microdroplets spread in the air and what precautions you should take. Another fact you might have heard is that people are contracting coronavirus more than once. Even with health experts actively researching the coronavirus, there is still uncertainty about whether recovered coronavirus patients develop immunity. This issue features multiple articles discussing antibodies and immunity to the coronavirus. These topics help you understand a medical approach to the end of the coronavirus and not only the end of the beginning. 

Most governments have imposed lockdowns, and these lockdowns have statistically slowed the spread of the coronavirus for a short time. Yet, the end of lockdowns with the presence of coronavirus remains inevitable: we cannot keep people sheltered-in-place for a long period. The most obvious impact of the coronavirus is on the economy; many people have lost their jobs and businesses. However, the economy is not the only drawback of lockdowns; social isolation could have a profound effect on mental health––an article in this issue discusses this effect. Civilians, the government, and health experts do not know when or if coronavirus will disappear, and people need to consider how to contain coronavirus in the classroom, workplace, or public spaces.

– Gerson Personnat

Non-COVID Editor’s Note

Although the Covid-19 outbreak may be our main focus for this issue, we still wanted to cover all areas of STEM because science doesn’t stop during pandemics—quite the opposite, in fact. For this issue, we’ve separated articles into three categories: concepts explained, ongoing research, and new technologies. Our writers have covered topics ranging from Zoom’s digital privacy to understanding what neurons are; for car fanatics, there’s one about the legendary V12 engine, which has dominated more than just the sports car world. That being said, this issue marks the first time we’ve included math articles, and to commemorate the expanding of the magazine’s scope, we’ve officially changed our name to the Current Happenings Across STEM Magazine

We hope you find this issue as enjoyable to read as it was to produce it!

– Andrew Zhao

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