Sawbones: Coronavirus

Sawbones: Coronavirus

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

Maximum Fun, 2020

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Scientific
  • Applicable


While uncertainty about China’s current novel coronavirus outbreak strikes fear into many a traveler’s heart, this podcast puts the situation into perspective. Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin McElroy explore the origins of the novel coronavirus and its relatives that caused SARS and MERS, and provide realistic context concerning the dangers they pose to humans. They discuss where coronaviruses originate, how they affect humans and how likely individuals are to contract one. Their overall advice is to relax for now. People don’t know enough about the novel coronavirus to justify panic.


 A number of coronaviruses predated the current one.

In 1965, researchers discovered that viruses cause the common cold. Over time, scientists identified a number of viruses which cause an array of upper respiratory illnesses in humans and animals. The name “coronavirus” was given to a group of viruses that, under a high-powered microscope, appeared to be covered with crown-like spikes. Other viruses were named enterovirus or rhinovirus.

Rumors continue to fly around social media about how the latest coronavirus is spread. No, your pets can’t give you coronavirus. No, it was not leaked from a Chinese lab and intentionally spread by malicious scientists. It’s not a big pandemic mystery, it’s simply a new coronavirus, which is still being studied.

[Editors Note: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious viral respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), also known as “novel coronavirus.” Reports in December 2019, from Wuhan, China, first cited the disease, which has spread globally, resulting in the...

About the Podcast

Dr. Sydnee McElroy and husband Justin McElroy host Sawbones, a lighthearted but informational podcast about medical history.

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