Shedding Light on the Coronavirus Pandemic

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As more and more folks wisely observe self-isolation and social distancing during this time, we wanted to take a moment to call out some new developments around COVID-19 that are helping us see the light at the end of the tunnel.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the uncertainty of the moment, there are some things we do know for sure—and we’re hoping it helps to take a “pause,” re-center your mind, and give you a fresh perspective as we navigate this new terrain. It’s been a tough time, and we’re all trying to figure out what’s next. In the meantime, we’re here to offer some positive news you may have missed.

New Cases in China Are Quickly Plummeting

All eyes have been on China; where this whole thing began in late December. Some good news here is that new cases of coronavirus are plummeting in this part of the world—so much so that the country has officially shut down its very last COVID-19 pop-up hospital and reopened its 42 Apple retail stores. As of yesterday, China reported only one new case. South Korea has also seen a dramatic drop in new cases.

Many Are Recovering Well from the Virus

As we’ve all heard by now, coronavirus is most dangerous for the elderly, along with those who have immune system issues and/or preexisting lung problems. Now for a bright spot: the majority of those who become infected go on to recover from the illness. In fact, over 82,000 people have recovered. This includes one 103-year-old Chinese woman who’s now the oldest patient to have successfully kicked COVID-19.

We’re Seeing Breakthroughs in Vaccine Development

There have been some major advancements in the vaccine department:

  • A clinical trial is underway in Seattle. Now in its first stage, the trial began earlier this week and is currently testing the vaccine on 45 healthy adults. The objective is to first determine if it’s safe, at which point future studies will be carried out to clarify its efficacy. If all goes well, a vaccine could be available a year from now.
  • Another team of scientists in Israel is hard at work on a vaccine and antibody—and they’re making real progress in terms of unlocking the mysteries of the virus.
  • A group of Canadian scientists have succeeded in isolating COVID-19; meaning the virus can now be replicated to conduct further testing.
  • A San Diego biotech company is also working with Duke University and National University of Singapore to create an effective vaccine.

Treatment Is Getting More Sophisticated

While the international medical community has yet to find a hard-and-fast treatment, they are stumbling upon approaches that appear successful in treating coronavirus. This includes a combination of malaria, HIV, and swine flu drugs used to treat patients in India, and a Japanese anti-viral drug used in clinical trials in China. Here in the U.S., medications such as remdesivir, kevzara, and chloroquine are being tested as a possible treatment to combat COVID-19.

Testing Is Coming Along

While the United States has been under fire for its inadequate testing, the news isn’t all bad. MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland is now able to rapidly test COVID-19 samples and get results in just two hours. (Update 3/21: U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first rapid coronavirus diagnostic test by Cepheid, with a detection time of about 45 minutes.)

Mortality Rates May Not Be as High as We Think

The true mortality rate for coronavirus is still a question mark. In Italy, for example, many experts attribute the high fatality rate to the fact that the country’s population skews much older—60 percent are over the age of 40. Many also had preexisting health conditions prior to infection. Numbers like these suggest that the mortality rate may be inflated.

The thing to remember most during these stressful times is that we’re not alone. Letting go of what we cannot control and leaning into what we can—like our mindset and mental outlook—can make a huge difference in how we weather this pandemic. JJ Burns & Company is here for our clients, helping them protect their financial well-being today, tomorrow and beyond.

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