Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020 Top 10 Posts

Image by Josh Mazgelis via Creative Commons

Each December of the life of this blog, I post a list of the ten posts composed over the year that received the highest views. 

Because of the global pandemic, many of my posts posted this year focus on SARS-CoV-2 (the virus) and COVID-19 (the disease). 

Four of the ten posts in this year's Top 10 do come from topics more typical for my blog: three book reviews regarding aging and one preview for a conference on aging. 

Here is the list in descending order of views (most viewed first): 

1. Virtual MAIA Every Thursday in August. 23 June 2020.  LINK

2. Podcasts about COVID-19. 1 July 2020.  (and SARS-CoV-2). LINK

3. Books about Epidemics and Pandemics.  31 May 2020. LINK

4. Coronavirus, Ageism, Ableism and More. 1 March 2020.  LINK

5. This Chair Rocks: Book Review. 7 January 2020.  LINK

6. MacKay's Swiss Cheese Virus Defense. 31 October 2020.  LINK

7. Settings that Heighten Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Transmission. 12 June 2020. LINK

This was a place where I updated with links to news stories and CDC information as the science of settings that increase risk was coming into focus. I wouldn't look at this post. It just documents my need to follow the science. There are better sources for conveying accurate, current data on this research question.  

8. Check the Data: COVID-19 Dashboards. 3 August 2020. LINK 

9. Elderhood: Book Review. 22 January 2020. LINK

10. Olive Again: Book Review. 7 February 2020. LINK

I am NOT a scientist or medical professional. If you have a question about the virus / disease, please consult a licensed medical professional and read information by respected professions who follow evidence-based medicine and publish peer-reviewed scientific articles. 

Nevertheless, when faced with challenges in any are of my life, I read voraciously. I was keen to do a great deal of reading during the early months of the pandemic in an attempt to understand risk factors, settings with a high risk of transmission, and other literally vital information.  I was sharing information as I found things that were helpful. 

I also read and reviewed nine books about epidemics and pandemics as a way to place this pandemic within a context. 

For example, I encountered Ian MacKay's Swiss Cheese model about two weeks before the New York Times shared it.  (I follow him on Twitter as someone who receives retweets from tenured faculty members in microbiology and virology.) 

I read about a thousand words a minute, and I read several hours every day.  And because my eyes were fatigued from teaching online, I took the time to find quality podcasts to that I could listen to scientists and public health officials at the end of the day while I rested my eyes. 

As soon as I saw public health officials starting to create infographs and press releases, I stopped updating my earlier posts on these topics (which had links).  I am a little embarrassed that some of these posts made the Top 10. I will add disclaimers next to each of these below. 

My concern goes out to all of you as we conclude this challenging year. Love and light to you and yours. 



  1. What on earth will you read about when this is all over?

    1. Oh, I will migrate my reading to another interest. I've been a voracious reader my whole life. This last year, I also read several books about Classical Greece because I teach a class in the fall based on the birth of democracy in Athens. I have no idea where my interests will go next, and that's part of the fun of life: not knowing where my interests will lead me next! I might even get macular degeneration, and then I'll have to explore audiobooks. Or I could lose my cognition, and then I will have to recalibrate as a person who doesn't read. Tomorrow is not promised. And this pandemic has persuaded me to stop making long-term (or even mid-range) plans.