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Hope in the Cracks: The Virus Mutates Slowly, and More Vaccines Are Being Tested on Humans

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 25, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Celebrity | March 25, 2020 |


Every morning, I wake up, rollover, and the first thing I do is check the NYTimes on my phone. It’s like taking a bath in dread. Do they have to use the word “dire” so much? Immersing oneself in the news cycle right now is like turning yourself into an emotional punching bag, and for some dumb reason, I keep doing it. All. Day. Long. By the end of the day, I feel depressed and defeated. Last week, I found this amazing Twitter lists of epidemiologists, and they share all the latest info, talk about what needs to be done, and what isn’t being done, and last night, I had to delete Twitter from my phone because it was too much. It doesn’t help, either, that we all look for stable voices in times like these, and the least stable man on the planet is leading us. If he actually tries to reopen the economy on Easter, can we 25th Amendment the guy?

Anyway, this morning post is designed to bring good news and some hope, and I’m not going to skirt my duty here. Things are not going well for most of America — and for most of you — as we wrestle with our children, or loneliness, or the loss of major events in our lives, or the loss of jobs or businesses. It’s hard to put all that into perspective, but a reader, Jim, emailed me yesterday and let me know that his 33-year-old wife was taken off of a ventilator yesterday after being on it a week, and transferred to the ICU, where she is now recovering. Jim was elated, and while I’m sure he’s also worried about the state of the economy and his own finances, I am guessing that the only thing he really cares about right now is the fact that he’s going to be with his wife again. Jim: I am so overjoyed for you, and I appreciate you putting our own grievances into perspective. You rock, sir, and we wish your wife the speediest of recoveries.

Here’s some other good news I want to tell you folks about today. Scientists say that the virus mutates slowly, which is weirdly amazing news, because it means that once we do come up with a vaccine, that vaccine will be a lifelong one, like with measles, instead of a seasonal one, like with the flu. It means if we can get through this, we can stamp this out for good with a vaccine.

Speaking of vaccines, this one won’t be widely available for at least a year, but “Moderna, a biotech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is already injecting healthy participants with an experimental vaccine.”

The company skipped animal trials and is fast-tracking this vaccine. It’s one of many, many vaccines that are being tested, with the hope — again — of rolling out in a year to 18 months. And these companies are not starting from scratch.

Dr. Nathan Erdmann, an infectious disease physician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says the decision is warranted amid a public health crisis. “Fortunately, we had a head start on this,” he tells OneZero. “Because of our experience with SARS and MERS, there’s been work toward developing ways of having an immune response to a coronavirus vaccine for some time.”

Finally, I know that we’re not supposed to get super excited about hydroxychloroquine. I know that the President is irresponsibly touting it as a cure-all. I know that, so far as Dr. Fauci says, all we really have is anecdotal evidence of its effectiveness. But here’s one more piece of anecdotal evidence from Daniel Dae Kim, who attributes his speedy recovery to hydroxychloroquine (taken under a doctor’s supervision).

Please do not take any medications without a doctor’s supervision, and for God’s sake, do not ingest fish-tank cleaner.

Header Image Source: Getty Images