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A Few News and Other Stories

By May 2, 2020Commentary

Another column expressing some rationality about alternative approaches, particularly Sweden’s.   (WSJ Column)   The column also notes the hysteria surrounding coronavirus, contrasted to our more accepting attitude about flu’s annual toll.  And he suggests, it may be wiser to allow greater spread that builds population immunity.

A survey reflects how much damage the extreme shutdowns are doing to Americans.   (Survey)   49% say they are challenged by anxiety and stress and 32% feel financially stressed.  People are particularly challenged by not being able to do social activities.  People express concern about their diets, mental health and financial condition.

And then a story on innate immunity and old vaccines that may help against coronavirus.  (NYT Story)  Puzzlement has arisen over why some people don’t get infected, despite obvious exposure.  Some vaccines only use fragments of an infectious agent or inactivated ones to provoke the immune system to develop antibodies.  But some vaccines, like common ones for polio and tuberculosis, used weakened live viruses for that purpose.  It appears that those vaccines may generate a broader immunity than just against the specific disease they were aimed at.  The adaptive immune system develops antibodies to fight specific infectious agents, and other threats.  That repertoire of antibodies is each only effective against a specific target.  The innate immune system is more generalized.  More research is underway to identify whether these live vaccines would offer at least some protection against coronavirus.

An op-ed in my home paper offers a good perspective on how unnecessarily we have frightened the general population.  (Strib. Column)   The sub-headline says it all: “How do we get back to normal after terrorizing the population for months?”  He again takes a more common sense approach to how we might solve the virus problem while not destroying our lives.  And as he notes, as long as people have a very exaggerated notion of their risks, it will be hard to return to the quality of life we were all used to.

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