Winter break had arrived in Stockholm in late February, and Soo Aleman watched as her fellow Swedes departed the capital city for ski vacations across Europe. Aleman’s colleagues at the Karolinska University Hospital, where she works as a researcher and physician, returned relaxed and invigorated, with stories to tell about their days on the slopes. But a few of the city’s residents also brought back a most unwelcome souvenir: the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Like much of the rest of the world, Sweden soon found itself in the grips of an outbreak. As Aleman pivoted from her work on the hepatitis B and C viruses to study COVID-19, she began screening patients for the novel infection and for signs of the body’s