Please wash your hands.
Please wash your hands. NickyLloyd/Getty Images

Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread

Here’s a transcript of the episode.

It’s impossible to miss the news about coronavirus, but you probably still have lots of questions. What exactly is it? How does it spread? Can I protect myself? In this episode we’ll breakdown what we know about this new virus and tell you how to stay safe.

Plus, we’ll listen to a podcast hosted by two chatty viruses to learn how these germs spread (and how our bodies fight back). We’ve also got a special message from some super tough hand washers.

Plus a Mystery Sound and a Moment of Um that looks at why shoelaces come untied.

Please note that this episode was released on March 10, 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please head to trusted sources like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more on how our immune system fights viruses, check out our episode How do flu vaccines work?

Our friends at NPR made a really excellent comic about the new coronavirus, and you can read it here.

For more on how to know which sources of information are trustworthy, you can check out our four-part series Prove It:

Part one: A brief history of facts
Part two: Science under the microscope
Part three: The scoop on journalism
Part four: How to find the facts