I have read countless articles and listened to many newscasts. I think we now can draw some pretty sound conclusions.
- It has been well established that the problem with COVID 19 is overwhelmingly an attack on the old and those with co-morbidities. The statistics are stunning. It is from 90-96%.
- We did not know this in the beginning. We should not be harsh in judgment on those who shut down the economy since the information they had was limited. If the virus was more lethal to younger and healthier people we could have been looking at millions of deaths. Leaders had to act on that possibility.
- Now that we know the truth, the key is to isolate the vulnerable and to allow the healthy to work. The isolation of the vulnerable can be loosened in areas where there is little to no virus cases, which is many places. For example, there is no virus in our town in Israel. All ages can go to the gym and not wear masks. No out of towners are allowed in the gym.
- The Florida model of protecting the old and those with co-morbidities with great effort and intensity but opening up the rest of the economy is the model for the future.
- Randomized testing sufficient to show where the virus is not a problem will be a key to greater loosening for the vulnerable.
I am losing patience for the vitriol in attacks. Those who want to work are called selfish when if they have no salary they cannot eat. Losing a job is an existential threat and destroying the economy has the potential to lead to many deaths. I am tired of credible minority views among scientists eliciting vilification and dismissal. I am also tired of news people who believe in the prevailing view being vilified by news people who are convinced by the minority. Where is the place of healthy debate? That is how science progresses.
I am a bit puzzled by the idea of a vaccine being the ultimate answer. I am not on the anti-vaccine side. I do my annual flu shot. However, I know that the shot is only 40-50% effective. I think we have to look at other treatments. Today in the Israeli press there were reports of three anti-body anti-viral drugs that may be close to a cure. Three companies are developing these. One is Pluristan Therapeutics in Haifa. The second is Israel Biological Research Institute. The last is Sorento Therapeutics in California. These drugs sound like potential game-changers. They prevent the virus from taking hold in the body. Let’s hope so.
Let’s be thankful that in most countries the curve is now been flattened and is going dow.
The debate on hydroxychloroquine continues. Detractors say that it has been tried and does not show good results. The proponents say that the studies are invalid since it has to be given in high doses early in the infection. There are dramatic stories of turn arounds, anecdotal evidence. We still await a study where all can agree that the parameters were solid. Why is this so hard to accomplish? Some thin, It is the drug companies and their profit motive. Let’s hope not.