2021-11-05 General

Treatment Fantastic news! Pfizer has a pill which, if you take it in the first three days after symptoms appear, cuts hospitalization by NINETY F PERCENT!!! If taken within the first five days, it’s ~85% effective. The pill, called Paxlovid, is a protease inhibitor, which ought to be easy to make and have low side… Continue reading 2021-11-05 General

2021-11-04 General

Genetics This preprint talks about using virus-like particles to study viruses. It looks enough like SARS-CoV-2 that it can get into cells, but then it can’t replicate. Essentially, it’s shooting blanks. This study identified a specific gene variant (which comes from Neanderthals!) which gives a 2x risk of respiratory failure. About 60% of people of… Continue reading 2021-11-04 General

2021-11-03 General

Deaths/Demographics In addition to just “numbers of deaths”, you can also estimate “years of life lost” to describe how bad an epidemic is. For example, HIV had a huuuuge number of years of life lost because the people who died from it were unusually young. This article looked at years of life lost to COVID-19… Continue reading 2021-11-03 General

2021-10-28 General

Treatment This paper says that a single infusion of a new-to-me polyclonal antibody — sotrovimab — is 85% effective at preventing hospitalization when given early to high-risk COVID-19 patients. The FDA already gave an EUA to sotrovimab on 26 May; Canada gave interim approval on 30 July (and bought 10,000 doses on 4 October), so… Continue reading 2021-10-28 General

2021-10-26 General

Pathology/Treatment A really puzzling and important question has been: why do some people get really really sick from COVID-19 while others breeze through? This preprint reports on measuring the hell out of three groups of people — healthy, hospitalized, and ICE — to figure out what was different between them. They found: At least 10%… Continue reading 2021-10-26 General

2021-10-21 General

Mitigation Measures This article talks about $7.4B in relief spending that the Government of Canada has announced. All three of these programs will go until 7 May 2022. Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) will be replaced by the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit and will provide $300 a week to eligible people. The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery… Continue reading 2021-10-21 General

2021-10-14 General

Vaccines Someone is live-tweeting the La Jolla Immunology Conference, and during a panel about an important paper from May that I’ve already talked about, they said something which I missed: that inter-individual variations in antibody responses are larger than the variations between responses to different variants. I’ve talked about the two-proline (2P) and six-proline (6P)… Continue reading 2021-10-14 General