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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

Diagnostics company Cepheid has received emergency authorization from FDA for the first point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 test. Unlike existing tests, it can provide results in about 45 minutes, which means we have a better chance of reducing the spread of the virus which leads to COVID-19, which has killed nearly 14,000 across the world.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has gone just this side of declaring martial law due to a .000008 risk of death from COVID-19. His promotion of panic has led to depletion of essential goods nationwide. With 40,000,000 people and the fifth largest economy in the the world (if it were its own country), California can vacuum up the nation's short-term stores easily. And has. Forget survey results about equality, social justice, and kindness, in reality America's most progressive state is just as greedy and selfish as anyone when it comes to personal behavior.
Because of concerns about spreading coronavirus, tens of millions of people are working from home that didn't before. 
How many people on a survey would respond positively that they'd hoard goods at the expense of others?

Very few. On surveys, 78 percent of Americans disagree with even 'no victim' greed like being paid more than someone else to do the same job and yet if there is one thing that California's reaction to 335 cases of COVID-19 in a state of 40,000,000 has shown, it is that at the first sign of trouble it's all about greed. And it makes no difference if you are a CEO or an employee, a Democrat or, in California, even more of a Democrat. Nearly everyone is doing it.
If there is reason for hope that coronavirus fears may mean pro-science beliefs get back to being the norm in modern culture, it is that regular chemicals have disappeared from store shelves in San Francisco while they clamor for vaccines they used to distrust. Meanwhile, there are plenty of organic alternatives and vegan food to be found.

If there is reason for despair it's that 64 percent of British millennials believe the moon landing was fake. Distrust of reality is so endemic that 11 percent of millennials in the country think Tupac Shakur faked his own death and is living in hiding somewhere.
Smoking is in decline to such an extent that there is no longer fear about creating Prohibition-style casual criminals with totalitarian rules or outright bans, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is doing the next best thing; mandating graphic warnings on packages.