Like Some Research Summaries With That Coffee?

By May 8, 2020 Commentary

A lot of concern has been expressed about whether people develop strong antibodies, or any antibodies at all, following coronavirus infection.  A new study in Nature Medicine gives a strong yes to that question.    (Nat. Med. Article)   The study was done in China on 285 patients with coronavirus disease.  100% of the patients developed antibodies within 17 to 22 days after development of symptoms.  In addition they tested 52 patients who had negative infection test results and found that four had antibodies, indicating that antibody testing could be a useful diagnostic adjunct in some cases.  And in another 164 individuals who were close contacts of confirmed patients, they found 7 people who had antibodies but who had tested negative on the infection test.  These individuals were asymptomatic.  The level of antibodies varied widely.

Next up, cheery article as people begin to focus more on the health consequences of the lockdowns.  This report is entitled Projected Deaths of Despair and was done by the Well Being Trust.    (WBT Article)   A death of despair is due to suicide and drug and alcohol abuse according to the authors.  These deaths have been rising in the US anyway, but they project a significant increase due to the extensive job loss accompanying coronavirus lockdowns.  They project from 27,600 to 154,000 additional deaths, with a middle range of 68,000; depending on how quickly we exit the lockdowns.  They draw on past research on the effect of job loss during recessions and on the effects of social isolation.  They suggest the obvious solutions: get people back to work and back together socializing.

Sweden’s top epidemiologist continues to defend the country’s approach to the epidemic (and why shouldn’t he) says that 40% of Swedes will have immunity by the end of May and that the virus will be around for a long time but Sweden will be in a good position.  (FT Interview)

And other professors also discuss the harms associated with the lockdowns.  (ZH Story)   They all say deaths from the lockdowns will exceed those from coronavirus.

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