Some Positives from a World of Chaos
Yes, on paper (and in press conferences) most things seem pretty bad, but something positive is needed to lighten the mood for everyone. Here are three huge positives, and then my take on them:
1. Oxford scientists have found a breakthrough vaccine that has successfully worked on monkeys. They announced that 6,000 people will be tested over the course of the next month, and that if it is safe, they will be able to make several million by September - not a lot, but far better than any previous estimates.
2. The WHO is running a massive testing project where antivirals used to treat SARS, MERS, and Malaria will be tested on people, with scientists saying they could be effective in fighting coronavirus. They are also re purposing HIV drugs that could be used to help medical workers stay safe from the virus.
3. The lock down is working. What was once an exponential curve has now been flattened so that the rate of infection has slowed to a manageable level. The coronavirus projection models have actually started to be proven repeatedly wrong as people have been far more willing to socially distance, wear masks, apply (though not inject) disinfectant, and keep a safe distance from others in public.
The Take: While the vaccine is still far off, the Oxford lab breakthrough is certainly notable and we need any breakthrough we can. More importantly though, is the WHO trials of other viral treatments which, if proven effective, could relieve our economies and societies of lock down and stress, as well as lower the death rate and increase hospital's abilities to treat the virus. The flattened curve is important, though we need to see that low infection rates can persist if the lock down is loosened up.
Most importantly, the incredible is being done by all people, young and old, who have shown an incredible sense of social solidarity in this tough time. The general willingness to accept the crisis and do what we can to prevent it is crucial, from doctors coming out of retirement, to the clapping for carers all around the world. Stay safe!