Glimmers of Hope on Covid-19

The scope of the Covid-19 epidemic in parts of the United States is becoming more and more clear. Studies have shown roughly 15% of pregnant women admitted to New York City hospitals tested positive for infection. When you account for missed tests and assuming that sample group is representative of the wider population, this means between 2.7 to 3.6 million of the 18.8 million people who live in the greater New York City area are infected. This lines up with the numbers New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced days after I published my original piece.
Also becoming clearer is our understanding of who is most at risk of infection. Sadly for all of us, it’s our healthcare workers. Nearly twenty percent of all those infected with Covid-19 in the US are healthcare professionals, and three quarters of them are winning. We are also learning that survival rates for the most critical cases varies widely between hospitals, something we should be cognoscente of even in normal times.
Fortunately, as the scope of our problem becomes increasingly defined, so does our response. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut now follow Massachusetts in launching a massive testing and contact tracing effort which is critical for us to go beyond a flattening of the curve, to crushing it entirely. Yet even the most ardent advocates of testing and contact tracing have been willing to commit to the necessary third step required to end our collective suffering: controlled quarantine.
Despite not having these critical public health measures in place, many states are already discussing the possibility of reopening and many Americans may soon be putting their health at risk as they return to work. For them, I published a list of practical tips to help guide their return to work. I also published a complementary piece for business leaders to help them flourish in their new and perhaps unwelcome, role as guardians of our health as businesses reopen.
As the week comes to a close, I want to share perhaps the most significant, positive news to date for the treatment and prevention of Covid-19— scientists in China have reported the isolation of two human monoclonal antibodies with the potential to treat and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. This is an important discovery and I encourage each of you to pay close attention to how these efforts evolve.

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.