Charles writes:

Hello TWiVers and Dr. Griffin;

I sort of asked this question before, but it was buried with a lot of other stuff.  On TWiV 648 at 27:56 Dr. Daniel Griffin speaking:

“So I’m still curious to see where tocilizumab fits in.  In the context of a background of steroids.  First because what we see is when we give the tocilizumab without steroids, that il-6 just shoots up and it might go from being in the 40s to maybe over 3000.  I mean it really goes up if you haven’t done something.  Because you’re blocking the receptor which is going to create this feedback. So it seems to me a problem if you don’t somehow shut down that feedback loop.”

Sorry if I got the transcript a bit wrong.  As just a computer programmer, if my understanding of immunology is off, please correct me.  Tocilizumab works by binding to the cell receptor, preventing IL-6 from binding to the cell.  This creates the feedback loop where the body keeps on producing more and more IL-6.  Siltuximab binds to IL-6 and prevents it from being able to bind to a cell.  Would that difference make a difference with respect to the feedback loop?

Thanks for all of the time and effort that goes into TWiV.  I am glad you have decided to use your time to help the community.


John writes:

Dear TWiV –

The weather here in Cambridge, England is:

EGSC 050850Z 20012KT 9999 SCT022 21/14 Q1012

Which is very pleasant.  That report is from about 2km from me.

Several questions & issues below – I understand If you only respond to a (possibly null) subset.

Daniel Griffin: “I’m going to challenge the concept of sensitivity”

Yes, I’ve been doing that myself, to anyone in the UK who will listen, and some that won’t.

Michael Mina made it clear that the “sensitivity” of – for example – Abbott ID-Now can be given an arbitrary value between zero and 100%, by the choice of test samples used to assess sensitivity.   Mina referred to cherry-picking samples in TWiV-640.  If the sensitivity of a test depends on the choice of reference test samples used to measure sensitivity, sensitivity makes little sense.  Part of the problem is that a binary infected/not-infected model just isn’t appropriate.

I also challenge the concept of specificity.

You folks have too, for some months, but not quite explicitly.   If specificity means not indicating the presence of viable virus, when no viable virus is present, the clinical PCR tests have poor specificity if their results are interpreted as indicating the presence of viable virus particles.   In the same way that we could give an arbitrary sensitivity to Abbott ID-Now by our choice of reference test samples, we could give a clinical RT-PCR test an arbitrary specificity, when tested against a cell culture reference.  So again, specificity, in the established sense, makes little sense.

Daniel Griffin: “I’ve created a little table here”

Can someone publish that table ?

Daniel Griffin: “IL6 shoots up from 40s to maybe over 3000” – please be careful about units!

Daniel seems to have a bit of a habit of leaving out units – because he – and you folk – know what the implied units are.

His high-school physics teacher would not be pleased.   Please, please always state the units! It makes it easier for us folk who are at least a bit scientifically literate, but unfamiliar with the specific context.  Stating the units can also be a check on our thinking – if the units don’t make sense, maybe the numbers don’t make sense.

Sometimes the numbers are dimensionless – like Ct.  But it is clearer to say “35 cycles”, or better “35 PCR cycles”, rather than just “35”.

Relatedly: It’s good style to avoid abbreviations.   At least on first use. So try to say: “Biosafety Level 3”, not just “BSL-3”.   It only takes a fraction of a second longer, and it’s clearer to a wider audience.  If “BSL-3” is the natural term for you, maybe try something like: “… which requires a BSL-3 – that’s Biosafety level 3 – lab“.

Daniel Griffin: “an RNA load – or an RNA piece number of about 100 or less and that’s that  sensitivity of our nucleic acid amplification test”

This is sort of about units again, and language.   From previous TWiVs, I understand this to mean 100 “piece”s per ml.  Is that right ?

It’s a little confusing, because “piece number” has also been used in the past to refer to a subsequence of a gene, where the gene is being processed in several overlapping “pieces”.

My question is: what is the precise meaning of a “piece” here?

I’m not clear whether Dr Griffin was being vague, or whether he had a precise meaning in mind, such as:

A “piece” is a contiguous sequence of DNA (or RNA) extending from a subsequence matching a primer to a subsequence matching a probe.

Keep up the good work, and stay safe.


Mary writes:

I recently started listening to your podcast, so please forgive me if I’m asking a question that has already been answered.  I am a solo practitioner in Houston and have tested almost 6000 people for COVID since March, primarily using saliva samples (through MicrogenDX).  My facility is unique in that I have been testing asymptomatic people from the start – I have never restricted who gets tested – and since the lockdown ended, I have tested many people who need clearance to travel or go to camp.  

I am in the process of analyzing my data, but one trend that really stands out is intrafamilial transmission – or lack of it.  When I look at the many families I’ve tested, I cannot find a single family where every member of the family tests positive.  I have faith in the sensitivity of my test… I just finished a 6 week run of 13% positive test rate…. and I understand that T cell immunity is part of this.  I’m wondering if you could direct me to valid research in this area as I’d like to explore it further.

Thank you for your help.  


Mary Talley Bowden, M.D. 
Otolaryngology and Sleep Medicine 
Houston, Texas

Marisa writes:

Dear Vincent and fellow TWiV-ers,

I am not “just” a NYC public school teacher, I am also “just” a scientist. I have been a teacher in the NYC public school system for a little over ten years. I came to teaching as a 2nd career, after having been a research scientist, working as molecular biologist and yeast geneticist, most recently on DNA dynamics at your institution. I did have a brief stint in a virus lab long ago, working on DNA packaging in T4 bacteriophage during the summer as an undergraduate student.

I have been listening to TWiV and TWiEVO religiously since I found out about them earlier this year. I came for the informative and sane discussions about SARS-CoV-2. I have listened to older episodes. And I will remain an avid listener after this pandemic is over. Hearing all of you, both your on- and sometimes off-topic banter, makes me feel like I am once again part of a science journal club or in a lab meeting. I enjoy staying informed about the latest science for my own interest and so that I can infuse my lessons with interesting and current findings. Your podcasts make this so enjoyable.

I am writing to you on behalf of NYC public school teachers. A group of teachers at my school is advocating for a safe reopening of our schools. My colleague and I have written a letter to Governor Cuomo, imploring him to wait to bring students back into the school buildings until it can be done safely. Incidentally, my colleague is also a research scientist turned teacher who worked at your institution, in a virology lab, although we did not know each other at the time. She is also now an avid listener of TWiV. A link to our letter is provided at the bottom of this email. I hope that you can take the time to read our letter. I think that the influence of TWiV will be blazingly obvious. 

We are in the process of distributing our letter to collect signatures in support of our cause before sending it to Governor Cuomo. We seek the signatures of school faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni, citywide, as well as any interested parties who have a stake in keeping the curve flattened in our area, toward helping to ensure the health and safety of everyone. Given the lack of appropriate safety measures in place, we do not see how our schools can resume in-person learning in NYC without triggering a second wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections. As an expert in the field of virology and, along with Michael Mina, an expounder of the urgent need for rapid, frequent testing, I hope that you will sign our letter. We would appreciate anything you might be able to do to help us to amplify this message from teachers. We are all in agreement that we must follow the best available science and do what is right in order to safely reopen schools. In the words of Daniel Griffin, give us our “brakes and seat belts.” We want to tell the Governor, “Do, there is no try!” when it comes to keeping our schools safe (TWiV 638).

Thank you for all that you do and for being voices of reason! TWiV has made it so much more pleasurable to keep up with the morass of preprints and peer-reviewed publications on SARS-CoV-2. 

Our letter: Letter from NYC Public School Teachers to Governor Cuomo

All the best,

-Dr. Wagner
Marisa Wagner, Ph.D.
Biology Department
Bronx High School of Science

[graphic below can be used to access letter]

Mark writes:

Dear Team TWiV,

Here is another submission in your “haiku arc”.

Fauci the Doctor
Won’t lie for the President
He deals with the facts

Recently quotes seem to have displaced chit-chat about weather.  Here is another one from Yogi Berra, he foreshadowed this pandemic: “It ain’t over ‘til its over.”

Wear a mask. Stay at home. Wash your hands.


Anthony writes:

Mice do enjoy exercising in wheels.  Exercise wheels are great for enrichment.  The wheels will need to be swapped out and cleaned every so often.



Tim writes:


It has been a very long time since Michael Mina’s appearance (yes I mean that wrt to the message and call to action – low CT testing NOW!)  Since then I have written my congresspeople, my daughter’s college, my own CEO and reached out to E25Bio with an offer to personally pay for 50,000 dollars worth of assays to shop at cost on my own time to schools and elderly care facilities in my community at cost.



Clearly, I am not a person of influence, but more poignant is the lack of urgency and attention.

I wonder if we might own up to the fact that Virology is being used as a tool in the current environment to funnel money and support causes beyond public health.  Clearly those in executive positions in our own government are using Virology to torture children at our border.  If that sounds hyperbolic… it’s not… it is happening now – using the pandemic as justification.

At what point do we not start to consider that this crisis not only has been  unfortunate but is actively being used to drive down civilization as we know it.  I guess we will have to wait for the Treasury bonds to go AA (let’s not stop there) before anyone takes notice.  In fact the attack on the federal bond rating might be the ultimate goal here (insert theory here.)

There seems to be very little action to get Virology, Immunology and Science back into the net positive column as a force for good.

No question here.  Just a comment.

Virology is a tool.


PS My daughter just got her “no school until 2021 if then” letter this week.  She started a job search, [only] to find a US Border Patrol position coming up in her search.  Joy.

Steve writes:

Hello TWiV team!

  It’s 23 °C with an 8.5 UV index in Carlsbad California (like many days throughout the year…). I recently learned about TWiV through social media a few weeks ago. What an awesome find! I absolutely love the intelligent dialog and have been impressed with every episode, the guests, and letters. Kudos to you Vincent and the whole team for developing a wonderful, information rich platform. Long live TWiV! 

 I just finished listening to TWiV 640 (Test often, fast turnaround, with Michael Mina) and have been passing along the information to several friends and colleagues non-stop. The episode stimulated several ideas and a couple questions I wanted to ask the TWiV team. I imagine you are inundated with emails, but hopefully you’ll have time to read this.

 Actually, I was a bit surprised there was initial skepticism on pooling, but am glad the TWiV team understands its merits. We have been using pooling methods in high-throughput screening (HTS) for decades in preclinical drug discovery. It’s a very effective strategy and the deconvolution methods are well established. Pooling has been especially effective in conjunction with combinatorial chemistry methods that were developed back in the 90’s. I am merely a software engineer, biophysical chemist, and entrepreneur with minimal hands on PCR experience; but when the first at home tests became available (e.g. Pixel by LabCorp), I encouraged my friends to swab all their household members and combine the samples in the vial, especially since 5 swabs are provided with the kit. I also suggested taking samples for each person over a couple days before sending the combined pool back for analyses – but that was just my twisted thinking 🙂 I was so pleased to see that the FDA recently (July 18) issued the first EUA for pooling for up to 4 subjects.

 Getting to my question(s) – do you think the Spike protein density on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e. the number of Spike surface proteins per Virion) might be related to the virus’ infectivity and virulence? How about to the speed of immune response and sustenance? I appreciate these probably fall into what Fauci in TWiV 641 characterized as “data-free zone” questions, but perhaps the TWiV team can speculate. Along those lines, I am wondering if RNA repeats coding for Spike have been evolving that may result in increased Spike expression (perhaps overlooked in basic PCR given the number of copy runs issued). Also, I am wondering if it is possible to quantify Spike density through the analysis of data across PCR cycles within a typical diagnostic run i.e. without full strain sequencing. I would expect more Spike rich SARS-CoV-2 may improve test sensitivity, and perhaps enhance the kinetics (i.e. speed to result). This may help change community mindset and facilitate approval against FDA pushback.

Getting to my suggested call to an industry leader who might help us out of this mess. Many years ago I had the privilege to work in an exciting company in Silicon valley (Affymax). Affymax had many successes, including developing the gene-chip technology under the now famous Affymetrix. Alejandro Zaffaroni (“Alex”) was the founder of these and several other impactful companies.  Alex was legendary for orthogonal thinking. He constantly sought to join many disciplines to solve complex problems. Alex understood that many drugs came from natural products screening, but one of the greatest challenges was sample collection. Prior to his passing, Alex once told us years prior he approached the then CEO of Coca-Cola knowing that Coke had one of the largest worldwide distribution networks. Alex pleaded with the CEO of Coke to collaborate. If Mr. Coke would be open to instruct all its drivers to scrape the bottom of their shoes into sample envelopes upon return to their hubs and sent to one of Alex’s companies to screen, Coke would in-turn get a percentage of every drug discovered/developed. Unfortunately Coke passed on this multi-trillion dollar opportunity. This story resonates with many possibilities, especially given the current pandemic.

 TWiV seems to have a very broad reach. Maybe there is a listener out there with a relationship to Jeff Bezos and might pass along a similar thought. Perhaps Jeff is listening himself, or should! Amazon delivers to (and picks-up from) a huge number of households. Amazon is well poised and could readily deliver a sample saliva vial to each (esp. prime) customer household and collect back the pooled household saliva sample. Many of us receive deliveries multiple times a week, especially now, so a short time series is also possible. Coupled with an additional pooling strategy across households and communities with inexpensive paper tests at a few central testing locations, we could rapidly identify burgeoning COVID-19 hotspots (and households) in a matter of days! The federal government fumbled the coordinated testing ball, but a couple companies and the richest person on the planet with an impressive infrastructure at his disposal can help recover the ball to help us out of this mess.



Steven Muskal, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Eidogen-Sertanty, Inc.

Mike writes:

Rapid testing gaining attention

Hi TWiV Team –

Governor DeWine in Ohio just referred in his press conference to the need for rapid, point-of-care COVID test.  Additionally, he announced that Ohio was entering into an agreement with several other states (I recall Maryland and Louisiana, but there were others) to secure these tests to create demand for these types of tests.

Thanks for all that you do.


Toledo, OH

Rebecca writes:

Hello from Toledo, Ohio, where it is 74 F / 23 C. I was just listening to today’s press conference given by Governor Mike Dewine, and I must admit that I geeked out when I heard him announce the following:

“Today I’m announcing that we are entering into a multi-state purchasing agreement w/ Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests.

This will help us detect outbreaks sooner with faster turnaround time; expand testing in congregate settings; and make testing more accessible for the most high-risk and hard-hit communities.

Scaling up the use of these rapid point-of-care tests will serve as an important screening tool and a critical addition to our plan to limit the spread of #COVID19.”

It certainly appears to me that the effort on the part of TWIV listeners to get the word out is having an effect. Officials are listening and taking action. Sometimes it feels that everything I am able to do is too small and insignificant to make a difference, but knowing that I, along with so many others, played a part in raising this topic gave me a much-need glimmer of hope.

I am “just” an archivist working on my masters in Library and Information Science, but the letters you’ve read from other readers underline just how much the population needs a stronger understanding of science in general and virology in particular. Thank you for giving your listeners such wonderful ammunition for striking back against the miasma of anti-think.


Chris writes:

My name is Chris, I’m a UCSD alumn, Drug Discovery Manager for a CRO, and founder of a startup here in San Diego. I’ve been reverting to your podcast as my main source of BS free COVID information and have turned all of my friends to your channel as I have heard one too many false facts spreading through our friend group. I have a slightly peculiar question – if you spray down a surface that’s been inoculated with the virus with a saline solution or ocean water, would it damage, kill, or diminish the viability of the virus on that surface?

Why I am asking – my startup, SurfUp, is an automated surfboard rental station. We’d like to ask customers to wash down the board in the ocean before bringing it back to the station but I would like to know if that is a viable solution. I’ve been searching for a research article but haven’t found any studies looking at the viability of the virus in saline solution. Do you know if any such studies have been conducted?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this!

Much appreciated,

Chris Hissom
CEO SurfUp, Inc.

Tom writes:

Dear TWIV,

In a recent episode you briefly mentioned that Maine is doing well. Living here, and now watching license plates from places like Florida, Tennessee,  Georgia, and even Texas appear with increasing regularity, I have been amazed at the low numbers we have here in Washington County Maine (Only 9 so far). Is this true? I watch the unmasked visitors pack restaurants and grocery stores as if we were living back in 2019, and am amazed there has been no increase in numbers.  Today I saw an article from the Bar Harbor area that mentioned that the hospital there is seeing cases, but the numbers that get reported are correlated with the state of residence and not the state of testing!  I could not believe it and went to the Maine CDC site. It is true:

Who is Included in the Data? Data are about individuals who claim residency in Maine regardless of what state they were tested in, or where they are currently living. For example, an individual who claims residency in Maine but lives in Florida will appear in this data even if they were living in Florida at the time of illness. County listings are by residence of patient, not location of the hospital or testing location. (

I then looked at the cumulative confirmed cases statewide and found the number 3548. However, the same site states that there were total of 5385 positive tests?

Based on this information, we could have 100 positive testing tourists actually in Maine, who would not be recorded as positive tests in Maine.  How do we (or those doing infection control) determine if our community includes a rise in positive tests with this type of reporting?  Thoughts/concerns?



Owen writes:

Hi TWiV Team,

I am a soon to be PhD student at UW-Madison with a Master’s in virology. I’m writing today to comment on something that hasn’t been brought up in regards to rapid testing. Like all of you, I think that rapid testing is the answer to helping us safely weather the pandemic while waiting for a vaccine. It’s been brought up that this test could/would be used in homes to test children each day before they go to school. If they’re positive they say home. However I don’t think this would always be the case. I don’t have kids myself, but I can give an example in the food industry. I’ve known lots of wait staff who have been diagnosed with flu or other illnesses, etc but still went into work because they’d be fired if they didn’t or because they couldn’t pay the rent if they didn’t go in. It’s very likely every one of us has been served by a sick person at a restaurant (one of the reasons I think it’s a bad idea to go to restaurants during this time). I think that some parents may be in this boat and even if they aren’t sick themselves, they can’t stay home with their positive child because they may lose their jobs or may need the hours simply to pay the bills. Considering those in lower socioeconomic standing have already been hit harder by this pandemic, this could add even greater strain. I was wondering if you all could comment on what you think could be done to mitigate this if anything.

Thank you so much for your wonderful podcast. You guys make it so much easier to stay on top of the deluge of information. Your perseverance in educating the masses has helped me keep my cool many times while being mansplained by conspiracy theorists how this pandemic is a hoax.

Thank you for all that you do,

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Musashi writes:

Hi i’m Musashi

Just wanna ask how much testing per capita is considered to be needed to say that the number of covid cases and number of deaths is somewhat close to the real number, and how likely is that a country with very low testing is underreporting, for example the USA has 1.35 more times deaths per capita than Mexico, but USA performs 23 times more times tests per capita than Mexico, the difference is giant and opens the possibility than Mexico’s actual per capita numbers may be even worse than those of the USA, but can very low testing covering up the data? Do you think that states within the USA may actually decrease testing as a political tool to lower their actual per capita numbers?  

Finally i just wanna tell you that i really like you a lot and i appreciate you, and you deserve more views because your podcast is so perfect and i hope you’re having a great day.

Best Regards,


Anne writes:

Dear TWIV,

I am a 77-year-old retired carpenter living in Amherst, Massachusetts, where the temperature has been too darn hot all summer. As a non-scientist I have really learned a lot from TWIV. I’m determined to learn about Covid directly from scientists and not from journalists or social media. Thus my appreciation of your podcast.

It is my understanding that it is non-symptomatic and pre-symptomatic Covid carriers who are shedding the most virus and therefore are the primary infectors of others. I assume the non-symptomatic people who never develop Covid are unaware that they are shedding the virus – unless of course they are tested. Do you have any idea of the number of those people who never know they are/were shedding the virus? Is the two week quarantine irrelevant for such carriers/shedders? IE if they quarantine for two weeks will they be past their shedding period?

I’d also appreciate it if you talked a little more about masks.. It seems to me most people think if they have a mask on they don’t need to maintain a 6 foot distance from others, but since most of the masks don’t seal around our mouths and noses it seems to me we need to maintain 6 feet with a mask on and if we want to take our masks off we need to get eight or 10 feet away. Is that correct? Also, I have been keeping a mask in my back pocket and pulling it out to put on whenever needed – if a delivery person comes or if I get close to someone on my walks. Then back to the pocket it goes – along with whatever virus it might have picked up. The next time I’m in the house I usually wash my hands. But is this a bad mask practice? Or if I wash the mask once a day is it OK?

Lastly I’ll just comment that the University of Massachusetts is in Amherst and we are about to be inundated with thousands of students living both on and off campus. I am COVID-SCARED! I’ve been diligently trying to get the powers-that-be to talk with Dr. Michael Mina.

Thank you so much for your podcast.  


Howard writes:

Dear TWIV mavens

I thought that you might find the following emails about Mina’s contagion-testing proposal worthwhile.  CAlphonso, ISemeniuk, and KGrant are all reporters for the Globe and Mail: education, science, and special assignment respectively.  Sam Hammond, Leslie Wolfe, and John Weatherup are the most visible leaders of education workers unions in Ontario: elementary, secondary, and support workers respectively.  I hope that I didn’t too badly distort Mina’s proposal or your position.

It would be good if you could put up on your website two standard emails describing/promoting Mina’s proposal that could be sent by TWIV stalwarts: one to reporters, the other to education union leaders.  More than anyone else these groups are likely to treat the proposal seriously and be able motivate political leaders to act.  Other standard emails to school board leaders, local public health officials, and relevant politicians would also be helpful in spreading the word.  Most people find writing an email intimidating.  Having a standard email as a place to start would increase the likelihood that the idea gets proper attention.

Finally, there has been some coverage about the Canadian government’s dismantling a year ago for strictly bureaucratic reasons the Global Public Health Intelligence Network, much like the US government’s dismantling of its pandemic preparedness group.  When you decide to take a rest from reading the latest pre-print research, I’d really like to hear an episode on the value these two groups, and those in other countries and NGO’s like WHO, in alerting the virology community about signs of potential new outbreaks, and what sort of early-warning systems should be put in place now.

Thanks again for your work,


Patty writes:

Dear Twiv Troup,

I am new to the world of podcasts but am now almost addicted. As a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service, alone delivering mail in a truck all day, I find it helps pass the day. I tripped over the sound of Vincent’s voice in mid June 2020 and have been an avid listener ever since. 

The first time I heard Vincent (in June 2020) was on a podcast that originally was aired on May 15, 2017, called Every Little Thing. The episode was titled “The Quest to Wipe Out a Virus.” Vincent was obviously an expert speaker on the episode. I was so intrigued I googled Vincent’s name and here we are.  I listened to the June 14th TWiV episode called Fancy Ferrets, and now I cannot get enough.  I even went back to the January 12 and 26 episodes to hear some of the first conversations about SARS CoV-2. 

I have no school age children in my world at the moment, but am still concerned about the reopening of schools across the country. My question concerns face coverings. When face coverings are being discussed, we are often talking about face masks.  What about clear plastic face shields.  Can they give a teacher the same or even better protection than a cloth mouth and nose covering? It seems to me that for the younger students especially, it is vital for them to see the teachers face in its entirety during instruction.  As I understand it, vital pathways are still developing in a human’s brain in the earlier school years.  I just do not hear much discussion about the use of a face shield and was curious if this is an option. Thankfully, virtual learning is an option. At least it is something.  I am not as worried as others are when it comes to children wearing face masks.  Children spend a great deal of their day following instructions and I think will be more compliant than the adults. In fact, I bet the children would take pleasure in correcting an adult about the proper usage of a mask.

It is obvious that an inexpensive, rapid, at home test would be the best course of action as described by Michael Mina. I have written to my Florida state representatives about the rapid test and the only response I received  was auto generated.  I even wrote to Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Chis Coumo of CNN with hopes that someone would read it. Why isn’t this being explored more? I wait with baited breath each day to hear about it outside of TWiV.

I had no idea that this science would ever interest me.  When I hear things on the news regarding the current pandemic that concerns me,  I am anxious to hear what the TWiV troup has to say. Yes! Thank you for countering the miasma of anti-think. Brilliant! Although some of what is discussed on TWiV is beyond my abilities to understand, I do learn more each time I listen, and now also watch on Youtube. Keep up the wonderful banter! I appreciate having you all in my ear each week.

Oh, I almost forgot.  It is partly cloudy here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It is a typical 87 degrees fahrenheit with a heat index of 99. There is a 20% chance of precipitation.  We just said goodbye to Tropical Storm Iasais, which is now hitting the upper east coast as a Hurricane.



Peter writes:

Hi TWiV team.

Greetings from Antalya, Turkey, where current temperatures are in the mid 30s°C in the day and mid 20s°C at night, with humidity ranging from 33% to 66%.

The COVID-19 statistics for in Turkey are not looking too bad at the start of August, though we are wondering what effect the opening of hotels to overseas tourists will have. Some personal concern there as my stepson has just started work at a hotel.

The use of 80% alcohol lemon scented kolonya, “cologne” hand sanitizer has been common practise for over a hundred years in Turkey.  It is an important tradition to offer Cologne during guest visits, on bus trips and in restaurants. Its offering during holiday family gatherings has also become somewhat of a ritual. If you should visit a Turkish house, the first thing that you will be offered is Cologne to freshen your hands.

If you are again taking listeners’ picks I have a link to a topical 2nd World War British film about how coughs and sneezes spread diseases. It includes interesting suggestions for various homemade masks.

This was from the Ministry of Information and produced by Verity Films.