This year we will attend the ASA Annual Meeting online. Unfortunately, our usual in-person shindig ran headlong into an unprecedented RNA replication machine: SARS-CoV-2. I write with two specific suggestions:

Viruses are biological machines with exactly one purpose: replication. Viruses will evolve in any direction that meets their goal of replication. If there are 10,000 people on the planet, then replicating in humans isn't a big winner for the virus compared to, say, replicating in pangolins and bats. If there are 10 million people on the planet, then replicating in humans might be successful. If there are 10 billion people on the planet, then replicating in humans is a viral jackpot. Influenza hit this jackpot a long time ago.

The rules are the same after the virus jumps into humans. Anything that improves replication will be adopted. If the...

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