Will April 29, 2020 go down as the day that we turned a corner? Or a temporary blip on a long timeline of misery?
As I write this, there is reason to feel some optimism after a couple of months of bleak headlines about death and economic collapse. Like those first rays of warm sunshine after a cold and wet winter, I crave a true, real springtime with the social component it brings.
A New Hope
There’s a drug called Remdesivir made by Gilead Sciences Inc. that has shown some effectiveness in treating the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Gilead said Covid-19 patients taking its drug Remdesivir had a speedier recovery than patients taking placebo in a large U.S. government-funded study. The company didn’t release detailed data showing the magnitude of the benefit, saying federal researchers would do so later.
Remdesivir, by the way, is a nucleotide analog, specifically an adenosine analogue, which inserts into viral RNA chains, causing their premature termination. In 2015, the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) announced preclinical results that Remdesivir had blocked the Ebola virus in Rhesus monkeys. The drug was rapidly pushed through clinical trials due to the West African Ebola virus epidemic of 2013–2016, eventually being used in people with the disease.
Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was so impressed by the study results that he touted the effectiveness of the drug.