San Francisco, New Zealand, and 29 Measly Proteins

Four stories we’re reading about Covid-19 today

Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog
1 min readApr 9, 2020

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  • Thanks to early and aggressive distancing measures, San Francisco has successfully flattened its curve, but it’s still seeing hundreds of new cases daily. MIT Technology Review reports that the city is now rolling out a plan to interview and trace every single person who tests positive for Covid-19 in hopes of protecting those who haven’t yet been exposed.
  • Another part of the world that enacted early and strict distancing rules is New Zealand, which now has nearly eliminated Covid-19 after only two weeks of lockdown. An analysis by Axios highlights the severity of the restrictions, calling them some of the toughest in the world. (New Zealand’s sales of sex toys have tripled in response, reports The Guardian.)
  • At The Atlantic, Sarah Zhang smartly points out that the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the pandemic is made up of only 29 proteins while the human body has tens of thousands. If we’re going to design a drug to beat it, targeting that handful of proteins is the best strategy we’ve got.
  • While scientists figure out how to beat Covid-19 with drugs, physicians are struggling to figure out how best to care for patients already in critical care. As STAT reports, some doctors are beginning to question the guidance to put people with Covid-19 on ventilators. “I think we have to be more nuanced about who we intubate,” said one physician.

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Yasmin Tayag
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.