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When you love science as much Anna Blakney does, you want to share it with the world.
In Blakney’s case, she dispenses information on COVID-19 to a large audience on the social media platform TikTok.
“I have over 200,000 followers now, which is pretty mind-blowing,” she said.
B.C. professor using social media to address vaccine rumours – 5:10
“I think it’s actually a really great platform to be able to show people what we do in the lab.”
Blakney researches COVID-19 vaccines, a topic a lot of people want to better understand.
What sort of COVID-19 questions does she get?
With the change of seasons, she’s often asked if warmer temperatures slow the spread of COVID-19.
“There’s actually nothing that’s been shown for COVID specifically that shows that the transmission has anything to do with the temperature outside,” she said.
Can you catch COVID-19 from water in swimming pools?
No, says Blakney, because chlorine kills the virus, and “it’s an upper respiratory virus, so that water is going to have to be getting into your lungs.”
“If you have pool water in your lungs, I think you have bigger issues,” she adds.
Do mosquitoes, ticks and fleas transmit COVID-19?
“From what I have seen, there has been no data showing that you can contract COVID-19 from any of those,” she said. That’s probably because COVID-19 is not a blood-borne illness.
If you already had COVID-19 and have some level of immunity as a result, do you still need to get vaccinated?
“It’s been shown that [a vaccine] boosts your immunity specifically to COVID a lot more,” she said. “So it’s recommended now that even if you’ve had it, you continue to boost it.”
Blakney’s science crusade was inspired by COVID-19, but she has no plans to stop once the pandemic ends.
“I want my TikTok to be a really open place for anybody that has even what they might think is the stupidest question about science,” she said.
“I think all the questions are good and they’re all welcome. I’ll give you all the data.”