“This is not a permanent state, this is a moment in time. We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together. We will all look back at these decisions as pivotal. We will triumph over fear, anxiety and this disease. We are in this together.” Governor Newsom of California
Good Monday to you all. I hope you had a good weekend, albeit it wasn’t our usual relaxing weekend I still hope you got to go out for a walk and take care of any essentials needed for our second week of “Shelter in place” mandate. Hard to believe week one of “stay at home” is over. We are already on week 2. We have to believe that our shelter in place will only help to curtail the spread of the coronavirus which is our shared goal at this time. There will be a positive outcome from all our efforts – I positively believe in that! This too will pass folks, and we will all be more kind and empathetic towards each other and the environment at the end of it.
On that same positive note here are a few articles on the successes of other countries in controlling the COVID-19 virus and a possible vaccines being tested in Seattle and around the world to combat it. Of course there are many other articles that show how we could be battling this virus for 18 months or more, and even other articles that show how some countries are just letting the virus run its course, or have yet to get it under control (like in Italy and Spain) but I wanted to share with you here more hopeful articles that showcase whats working.
US Volunteers in Seattle test first vaccine for Coronavirus
“The vaccine cannot cause Covid-19 but contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease. Experts say it will still take many months to know if this vaccine, or others also in research, will work. The first person to get the jab on Monday was a 43-year-old mother-of-two from Seattle who aid “This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something,” Jennifer Haller told AP.
Scientists around the world are fast-tracking research. And this first human trial, funded by the National Institutes of Health, sidesteps a check that would normally be conducted – making sure the vaccine can trigger an immune response in animals. But the biotechnology company behind the work, Moderna Therapeutics, says the vaccine has been made using a tried and tested process.
Dr John Tregoning, an expert in infectious diseases at Imperial College London, UK, said: “This vaccine uses pre-existing technology. It’s been made to a very high standard, using things that we know are safe to use in people and those taking part in the trial will be very closely monitored. Yes, this is very fast – but it is a race against the virus, not against each other as scientists, and it’s being done for the benefit of humanity.”
Rajasthan, India: Doctors Cure Three Coronavirus Patients With Combination Of Drugs Used To Treat Swine Flu, Malaria, HIV.
“Doctors at the hospital stated that their experience in treating patients affected by swine flu which had spread widely in Rajasthan two years ago came in handy in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak situation.
Three out of the four COVID-19 patients have been cured with a novel combination of medicines used for the treatment of swine flu, malaria and HIV in Rajasthan’s biggest government hospital, the Sawai Mansingh Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur.
NDTV reported that doctors at the hospital said that they have noted the progress in treating an Italian couple, admitted on February 28, with a combination of the anti-viral drugs and “is now on the road to recovery”. “First they used malaria drug chloroquine and swine flu medicines and then HIV drugs which are part of the protocol for restricted health use, it’s a published paper. It seems to be working,” Rohit Singh, Rajasthan Health Secretary was quoted as saying.
Andrey Carly, 69, and his wife visited Jaipur with 23 other tourists from Italy. Officials reported that Carly has “responded very well” to the treatment by the team of doctors despite a history of lung diseases, while his wife has already tested negative for coronavirus after over two weeks of treatment.”
The world’s fastest supercomputer identified chemicals that could stop coronavirus from spreading, a crucial step toward a vaccine.
Summit, IBM’s supercomputer equipped with the “brain of AI,” ran thousands of simulations to analyze which drug compounds might effectively stop the virus from infecting host cells.
Summit was commissioned by the US Department of Energy in 2014 for the purpose it’s serving now — solving the world’s problems. Viruses infect host cells by injecting them with a “spike” of genetic material. Summit’s job is to find drug compounds that could bind to that spike and potentially stop the spread.
The supercomputer ran simulations of over 8,000 compounds that could bind to the spike protein of the virus, which could limit its ability to spread to host cells. Summit identified 77 of them and ranked them based on how likely they were to bind to the spike.
The team will run the simulations on Summit again, using a more accurate model of the coronavirus’ spike that was published this month. For all its power, though, Summit can only do so much. It provided the first step in analysis: identifying promising compounds. Experimental studies are required next to prove which chemicals work best. “Our results don’t mean that we have found a cure or treatment for the coronavirus,” said Jeremy Smith, director of the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Molecular Biophysics.
Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success?
“Amid the dire trends around the world, South Korea has emerged as a sign of hope and a model to emulate. The country of 50 million appears to have greatly slowed its epidemic; it reported only 74 new cases today, down from 909 at its peak on 29 February.
Behind its success so far has been the most expansive and well-organized testing program in the world, combined with extensive efforts to isolate infected people and trace and quarantine their contacts. South Korea has tested more than 270,000 people, which amounts to more than 5200 tests per million inhabitants—more than any other country except tiny Bahrain, according to the Worldometer website.
South Korea’s experience shows that “diagnostic capacity at scale is key to epidemic control,” says Raina MacIntyre, an emerging infectious disease scholar at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. “Contact tracing is also very influential in epidemic control, as is case isolation,” she says.”
How Taiwan Successfully Contained the Epidemic
“As new coronavirus sweeps across much of the world and cases exceed 160,000, there is one country that seems to have things under control, despite being only 110 miles from China and having experienced its first case on Jan. 21. Taiwan has only 67 cases (as of March 16), which is admirable in itself, especially when compared to its larger East Asian neighbors.
Taiwan’s anti-coronavirus strategy utilizes a combination of early vigilance, proactive measures, and information sharing with the public, as well as applying technology in the form of analyzing big data and online platforms. All this is done with an impressive level of public transparency and engagement. Educating the public on the risks of the illness and precautions to take through television notices and posters is also a big part of anti-coronavirus efforts.
When the first news about a mysterious illness in Wuhan started emerging in December 2019, Taiwan treated the news with utmost urgency.
There are many hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese working in China, which means there is a high frequency of flights and travelers between the country and Taiwan — they took measures early on, including inspecting plane passengers coming from Wuhan starting Dec. 31, banning Wuhan residents on Jan. 23, suspending tours to China on Jan. 25, and eventually banning all Chinese visitors on Feb. 6. While travel bans might seem a little controversial, the main priority for any country must be the safety of its own citizens.
Recognizing that it had to ensure an adequate supply of medical equipment, including face masks, for health professionals and the public, Taiwan’s government stopped exports of surgical face masks on January 24 while requesting local companies to step up production. Daily production is set to reach 10 million soon, divided between the public, medical, and industrial sectors.
The government also took control of face mask distribution from the private sector on Jan. 31, ensuring there would be no hoarding of supplies or exploitative pricing.
To ensure coordination, Taiwan set up a unified command center, led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which manages resources, holds daily briefings, and is in control of public messaging. The authorities have also moved quickly to track down infected persons and map the cases to show the sources of infection.
Taiwan’s health insurance and immigration agencies integrated local and foreign residents’ 14-day travel history with their health insurance card data, allowing hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies to access that information when dealing with patients. People undergoing self-quarantine were called frequently by officials and had their phones tracked to make sure they didn’t leave their residence.”
The coronavirus pandemic began in China. Today, it reported no new local infections for the first time. March 19th. 2020
“China has reported no new locally transmitted coronavirus cases for the first time since the pandemic began, marking a major turning point in the global battle to contain Covid-19. In the weeks following the early spread of the virus, the government enacted draconian quarantine measures and strict travel restrictions affecting hundreds of millions of citizens. In some hard-hit cities, residents have been unable to leave their apartments for more than a month, while transport between major population hubs has been limited or halted altogether. The unprecedented nature of the measures has exacted a steep toll, however, both on the many millions of ordinary Chinese forced to endure life under lockdown and the country’s economy, which has seen a steep decline in recent weeks.”
How Does the coronavirus compare to the flu. Facts and statistics.
“Despite the morbidity and mortality with influenza, there’s a certainty … of seasonal flu,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a White House press conference on Jan. 31. “I can tell you all, guaranteed, that as we get into March and April, the flu cases are going to go down. You could predict pretty accurately what the range of the mortality is and the hospitalizations [will be],” Fauci said. “The issue now with [COVID-19] is that there’s a lot of unknowns.” That’s why looking at the statistics of COVID-19 is important to understand how it is spreading and how fast.”
Stay safe and healthy, and well hydrated. Let’s stay on course for another week of Shelter in Place. See you tomorrow with a fun recipe.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the healthcare professionals who are in the front lines taking care of everyone in need. Doctors, nurses, lab technicians, first responders to you all THANK YOU!!
Thank you too to all the scientists all over the world who are working towards a vaccine and a cure.
And let’s not forget the grocery store managers, clerks, delivery personnel and drivers who are continuing to work as we shelter in place.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL! 🙏🏻🙏🏻