Q&A: Cramer shares summer COVID-19 research experience

With a background in laboratory research at the University of Louisville, Dr. Daniel Cramer, a biology teacher, worked with a COVID-19 research team over the summer.

Q: What is your take on COVID-19?

A: It was surprising, and it has almost been a year since it has first popped up. It’s similar to its predecessor SARS. COVID-19 and SARS are in the same family. Originally, I did not think this would be as infectious as it is since SARS wasn’t, but it was definitely mutated from that. 

Q: What is his opinion on the vaccine? (Coming soon, how effective?)

A: We were promised a vaccine by November. There are three very well established groups, one out of England and two out of the U.S that are very close to finding a vaccine — by that I mean they are at least into trials. They are in their third stage of their trials which is the final stage, but it usually takes several months. The Chinese and the Russians have also both started vaccinating certain populations. We haven’t seen any data from where the vaccine is derived from, so we don’t know much about it. 

Q: What is your experience working with a COVID-19 team?

A: I was doing model work. A couple years ago when I was at Louisville, I worked with SARS and they are both similar. The main animal models for this are the hamster and the ferret because they mimic us as far as lung capacity and symptoms, better than mice and others.

Q: Are masks/social distancing effective?

A: The first line we have to this particular virus is masks and social distancing and washing. As long as all of us keep that up, we will eventually turn the corner on this but we all have to be very careful with what we are doing. We could have another outbreak as soon as two weeks if people start being careless.

Q: What do you think of all the school is doing for prevention? Is it effective?

A: I am very impressed with the student body here. They have reacted well with this. The fact that we don’t have the same problems that some of the other schools around us have is largely due to the fact that the students are abiding by the rules. The students and staff are being responsible. People are washing their hands as they already should’ve been. There are not many problems with people not wanting to wear masks. I’m hoping that when these students and staff members are outside of school, they are doing the same thing.

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