Roundup of February 2020 Posts

autumn leaves, transition kitchenFebruary 2020, all 29 days of it, came and went here in New England with just a few flakes of snow and generally mild temperatures. Every day, I heard stories of massive storms sweeping across the country but they never quite made it here. We experienced clouds and rain but nothing worse than a few minor snow flurries.

Things got hotter on the political front, though, with candidates savaging one another in debates and then dropping out of the race like autumn leaves in a high wind. The whole political landscape changed in a space of weeks, the way a line storm strips branches, changing New England from glorious autumn to grim winter. Experts and commentators struggle to make sense of the new perspective.

The Spread of Covid-19

Human Coronavirus, 2019-ncCoV, epidemic, public health, roundup of February 2020 postsCovid-19, the corona virus sweeping across the planet, has already created havoc in the travel industry, interrupted supply chains for manufacturing, caused major events to be cancelled, and sent quarterly corporate profits plunging. It also drove a run on face masks that don’t actually protect you very much.

Way back in 2013, I wrote about the danger of MERS CoV, another corona virus spread through animal contact. I predicted that the Muslim Hajj would provide the ideal mechanism for transmitting MERS CoV to people who would then take it back to their countries of origin. I was right about the threat but MERS CoV never spread the way Covid-19 has. We dodged a bullet in 2013 but seemingly learned no lessons about preparedness.

This year’s Hajj will start on July 28 and run until August 2. Saudia Arabia is preparing for the worst.

Roundup of February 2020 Posts

Change and uncertainty aside, I offer the monthly roundup of February 2020 Posts. Take a break from the pervasive bad news and expand your horizons with some new and different information.

Boston and History

Business and Technology

Earth and the Environment

Health and Safety

Movies and TV


Women Challenging Change

Think Positively

Always Wash Your Hands, Covid-19, Corona virus, Roundup of February 2020 postsWhen you’re ready to go back out into the world, wash your hands and leave. Think positively and set your expectations accordingly. My mantra is, “I am thin and fit and strong and healthy.” I say it every time I think I might be coming down with something and even when I’m in a situation, like a crowded airplane, where germs and viruses could be spreading around. It works for me.

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About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. Aline’s articles have also appeared on the Atlas Obscura website. She has been an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America since 1988 and is a long-term member of the Spacecrafts science/fantasy writers’ group. As a tour guide, Aline leads architectural and historical walking tours of the city for Boston By Foot, ghost tours for Haunted Boston and historical bus tours of the city. She lectures on Boston history and has appeared in the Boston Globe, as well as on TV for Chronicle, an award-winning television program that broadcasts stories of New England. As a lecturer, Aline has spoken at Brandeis and Tufts universities for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also addressed as service organizations and local meetings. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

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