2281: Coronavirus Research
Title text: "Also, reading 500 coronavirus papers in a row and not sleeping? Probably not great for you either, but I haven't found any studies confirming that yet. I'll keep looking."
Megan, disheveled and exhausted, has been researching COVID-19 nonstop and is now reporting her findings to Cueball. She claims to have read all available literature on the subject, but the best she can come up with is an extremely basic fact about viruses—namely that they infect cells and this is bad and should be prevented, which Cueball and just about everybody else already knew. She enthusiastically replies that she now knows this with error bars, which are graphical representations of the variability of data and are used on graphs to indicate the error or uncertainty in a reported measurement. Perhaps because of her sleep deprivation, she is unable to process the information that she has read, or is unable to properly phrase it in words. This is not the first time that Megan has exhaustively researched a topic to the detriment of her own health, see 1708: Dehydration.
In the title text, she has a hunch that staying awake long enough to read 500 scientific papers is probably not a good idea, but she hasn't found a study that specifically confirms that. She intends to further compound her exhaustion by continuing to do research rather than just getting some much-needed sleep. Assuming that Megan averages half an hour to find and read each paper, she has been continuously reading for 10.4 days, which is approaching the world record for not sleeping. In 1964, Randy Gardner, a student in San Diego, California set the then-world record of 11 days and 25 minutes (264.4 hours) without sleeping.
- [A very disheveled Megan, hair in disorder, walks up to Cueball.]
- Megan: Hi.
- Cueball: Hello. You look...fine.
- [In a frame-less panel Megan has stopped next to Cueball.]
- Megan: I have now read virtually every available scientific paper on COVID-19.
- Cueball: Cool, what'd you learn?
- [Megan has raised her palms towards Cueball.]
- Megan: Well it seems this virus wants to get inside your cells.
- Cueball: Mhmm...
- [Megan raises her left arm, with her index finger in the air in front of Cueball's face.]
- Megan: But it's a trap! You shouldn't let it.
- Cueball: I think we knew that.
- Megan: But now I know it with error bars!
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