Vaccines and US

COVID-19 Science

In a matter of mere days in early 2020, our lives were turned upside down. We read about and listened to the available information on COVID-19 and wondered how to protect ourselves against an unseen enemy. Many turned to science looking for answers, but this virus was new to everyone and the science was evolving. The resources on this page explain the science of COVID-19, how it spreads, how to protect yourself, and how scientists around the world have worked together to understand it.

Watch the COVID-19 ASL Video Series from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more information »

How COVID-19 Spreads and How to Stop It

Find out how COVID-19 spreads and learn how everyday safety measures, from homemade masks to hygiene, can stop its spread and keep our communities safe.

How Covid Spreads Stanford Animation

Stanford Center for Health Education

How COVID-19 Spreads

This visual animation shows how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads.

Minnesota Department of Health

How COVID-19 Spreads in Communities

What starts as one person with COVID-19 can quickly become dozens or more. Take steps to protect your family, your friends, and people you may not even know.

Orlando Science Center

Masks Aren't Good for Everything

Watch a humorous video about what masks are good and not so good for.

Minute Physics

Why Masks Work Better than You'd Think

Watch a quick explainer about the math behind how well masks work at stopping disease transmission.


Seeing Your Breath: Using Science to Choose the Proper Mask

The Exploratorium uses their Giant Mirror exhibit to collect evidence about which face coverings work best to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


Observa tu aliento: Usa la ciencia para elegir la mascarilla

En este video, con la ayuda del Espejo Gigante, recopilamos evidencia sobre qué elementos de protección facial funcionan mejor para prevenir la propagación del coronavirus.


How Does Soap Inactivate Coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are surrounded by the same type of membrane that surrounds human cells. Learn how disrupting this membrane with soap or alcohol inactivates the virus.

Deep Dive COVID-19 Science

Explore more in-depth science behind the coronavirus, including its genetic code and the latest research on COVID-19.

Minute Physics

How To Tell If We're Beating COVID-19

This video is a collaboration with Aatish Bhatia about how to see the COVID-19 tipping point using a logarithmic scale in "phase space," plotting the growth rate against the cumulative cases, rather than either of these against time.

Minute Physics

Why Less Sensitive Tests Might Be Better

This video is about how cheap, fast, and less sensitive rapid antigen tests might be better for screening (& maybe surveillance) than PCR COVID tests.


What We Know About the Coronavirus from Genetics

Dr. Derisi talks with the Exploratorium about the biology of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2; the large testing facility the Biohub created within weeks; and insights into the virus from its genome.