From observational studies to rapid development of vaccines, knowledge-sharing was a key feature of science in 2020
The raw numbers around Covid-19 are simply incredible when you consider that this was a disease almost no one had heard of in December 2019. At the time of writing, this year about 240,000 people in the UK have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, and more than 70,000 people have had Covid-19 listed as a cause of death on their death certificate.
I began 2020 anxious about the reports emerging from Wuhan: they seemed to imply an asymptomatic transmission of a respiratory pathogen that was serious enough to put sufferers into intensive care units. I am a clinical academic with specialist training in respiratory and intensive care medicine; I also lead a research programme that focusses on the lung inflammation caused respiratory infections – to me, and others, what was being reported looked like serious trouble.