I’m a big believer that viruses are smarter than human beings. We haven’t been able to do anything about the common cold (nearly 1 billion cases per year in the U.S.), despite the enormous economic rewards waiting for anyone who can come up with a real therapy. We have no treatment for SARS or MERS despite recognizing the terrifying potential of these diseases. Tamiflu doesn’t stop the flu from killing people.
A smart numbers-oriented friend points out, however, that we have a lot more clinical data regarding COVID-19 than we did for SARS (8,000 cases) and MERS (a handful). He believes that we’ll therefore be able to emerge from our suburban bunkers relatively soon and actually be treated for COVID-19 (as opposed to being parked on a ventilator so that we can die with 86% probability at a slightly later date).
Keeping in mind that it took months for coronavirus tests to be invented, approved, and manufactured (still not in sufficient quantities except for those who are hospitalized), what’s your best guess as to when you can go into the hospital ED, have the nurse shout out “COVID-19” and then an assistant comes in with some pills or a shot that will keep the symptoms down to some reasonable level of misery?
My guess: between July 2020 and March 2021, with October 2020 as the best single month guess.
- “Why the coronavirus and most other viruses have no cure” (Philadelpia Inquirer)