COVID-19 was in the United States as early as January, and yet we had no idea. To most people, the virus was a distant worry, if that.
But SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was already circulating in major U.S. cities, according to Alessandro Vespignani, Sternberg Family distinguished university professor, who directs Northeastern’s Network Science Institute. And if we want to keep our communities safe going forward, we need to understand how we missed a virus that was right under our noses. “We don’t want to fall into this trap in the future,” Vespignani says.
What researchers are learning now will help us make smart decisions when the number of infections has dropped off and we begin to lift physical-distancing measures.