For many researchers, the choice to spend decades working in a lab or in the field comes from a desire to help — to expand understanding of how life works or to improve human health. So when Covid-19 emerged, many scientists dropped what they were doing and switched their focus to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the pandemic.
This piece makes some very good points. We are seeing funders pushing into COVID research. Yes, it is important and a global concern, but a lot will be written over the next years about how we might have overplayed things compared to other just as deadly and damaging health issues. Climate change being one of the priorities which seems to dropped off the priority list.
We, a virologist and virologist-physician, saw this pivot in our own fields. Many of our colleagues began working on SARS-CoV-2. As an editor/advisor at the Journal of Virology and Science, one of us handled hundreds of papers in 2020, nearly half focused on Covid-19. Curious about the trend and implications, we analyzed published papers about SARS viruses found in PubMed and found the number had increased twentyfold relative to the early 2000s, when the first SARS coronavirus appeared. Our analysis has not yet been published.