One dividend we are gaining by practicing social distancing is that our health practitioners are developing an improved understanding of this illness. We already know that the novel coronavirus doesn’t have a known outcome for someone who becomes infected with it. There’s more than one possibility. Some won’t have any symptoms; that is to say there is some part of 80% of infected people that don’t become seriously ill. Some will experience a level of illness that is unpleasant but manageable with homecare much like with any seasonal flu; these people are the other part of the 80% group that have milder illness. Some will become significantly challenged by atypical pneumonia and reduced lung function; these people may require hospital care and they are believed to represent about 15% of people who will catch this novel coronavirus. The last group, or 5%, are people who will become critically ill and some of the people in this group will die of the novel coronavirus, though some number of them will survive.
As the virus continues to impact populations around the world, the second dividend we all gain from having experience with COVID-19 is that we are learning how to better treat the 5% and the 15% groups of people who are more seriously impacted by COVID-19. Antivirals, antimalarials and antibiotics all are under study as a treatment and some of these lessen the bad effects of COVID-19 either when used alone or in combination. Antivirals interrupt amplification of the virus as it tries to multiply in a person’s body and they are most useful early in an infection. They slow the virus down while a person’s immune system ramps up. Antimalarials like chloroquine and an antibiotic called azithromycin have been used together with cautious dosing and found to eliminate COVID-19 in a sick person after 1 week. Also, gamma globulin antibodies, the miracle cure from the 20th century, taken from a person who has recently recovered from the novel coronavirus and given to a person who needs more immune support can help a sick person to fight off the virus.
Although it is true having more options for treatment is different from training for new treatments and implementing them, we are gaining new insights and new practices that will soon aid us in this fight against COVID-19. Right now, some people are dying of or are experiencing illness caused by COVID-19, but the tide has now turned in our favor. All of these treatments can aid us as we battle against COVID-19. Our confidence will grow over time as more people get over the virus. Soon, doctors will have an antibody test to see how many have already recovered from nC0V 2019. Eventually, a lot of people will be over the illness. We will continue improving our support and care of those who are in the more seriously affected groups. And when we have enough people who have recovered, and a good treatment plan for people who are sick, life will resume much as it did before. Restaurants will open. Movies theaters will open. The Symphony will play music. Broadway will reopen. Schools will open. Traffic will pick back up. People will return to work.
In the neoliberal era, much attention is paid to the short-term. Business trends in the short-term seem all-important among people who want to ride the risk-pony and bet on outcomes. Financial gambles are evaluated in the short-term. But life for most of us happens in the long-term. That’s where most of us plan and enjoy our life. If you want to learn more about today’s neoliberal era, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries at Amazon.com.