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Researchers have learned a lot about the new coronavirus in the 233 days since officials in China reported cases of a then-unknown disease to the World Health Organization. Much of what they’ve learned upended their early assumptions about the virus. The changes aren’t just hard to keep track of; they also make it hard to adjust to new recommendations.
Initially, researchers thought it spread almost entirely through droplets of mucus or spit between people in close proximity. Now, we know it can spread through the air. Researchers thought that it was mostly passed between people with obvious symptoms. Now we know that people can contract the virus and never be visibly sick.
During an emergency like a pandemic, it’s entirely normal for…