COVID19 update, April 9, 2020: Passover quick takes

Happy Passover to my Jewish readers! Some quick takes on the holiday:

(1) Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn is looking at reopening the country, reports DIE WELT (in German). He sees two main preconditions: (a) numbers keep evolving in the right direction; (b) businesses will be compliant with hygiene and distance requirements 

Spahn on video: “The Easter Weekend will be a fork in the road.” Paraphrasing: If we remain compliant, we may soon be on the road to renormalization. If we become lax and complacent, we may be stuck with this for a long time.

DIE WELT also reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel is reluctant to open early, as she is afraid that a flare-up following a hasty reopening will instead lead to a much longer shutdown

(2) A European Union think tank is drafting a “European roadmap for an exit from the COVID-19 epidemic” , and Die Welt obtained a copy. Their recommendations echo some of what the German decision makers are mulling, but urge a coordinated response of all European countries. At the same time, they recommend that specific lockdown relaxation decisions be taken at a local (district or province, not national) level — such that if a flare-up does occur, the affected district can be separately placed in renewed lockdown, rather than the entire country.

Also, enough time should be left between relaxation steps to assess their impact. 

Fundamentally, blanket “one size fits all” measures should give way to targeted measures

(3) De Standaard (in Dutch) reports hopeful signs from Belgium where total COVID19 hospitalization keeps dropping. 

(4) Via Instapundit, a peculiar result from a French cancer research team, where of a group of 2,500 high-risk cancer patients that were administered the antioxidant methylene blue as part of their therapy (for reasons unrelated to COVID19), allegedly not a single patient got infected by COVID19. The researchers hypothesize that the changes in cellular pH induced by methylene blue impede the replication of the virus, in the same manner as they hypothesize (hydroxy)chloroquine work

This particular institute seems to be exploring the controversial theory of Otto Warburg (Nobel Prize in Medicine 1931 for “discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme”)  that cancer is primarily a metabolic disease. (Mainstream oncology considers the metabolic peculiarities of cancer cells an effect, rather than a cause.)

(5) Some New York physicians, who look at the terrifying death rate among adults placed on “ventilators” (read: lung intubation), now favor keeping patients off invasive respiration as long as possible, as they suspect that long-term intubation is itself a stressor.

(6) CDC director Robert Redfield says actual mortality will be much lower than models predicted.

(7) As Zoom has become so popular during this epidemic, and contains a number of cyber vulnerabilities, here are some cyber security recommendations from CheckPoint Software 

(8) Roger Seheult MD, host of the YouTube channel MedCram, has an update on ivermectin and COVID-19 that makes its possible mechanism quite clear to people other than molecular biologists.

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