This is an email from Your Coronavirus Update, a newsletter by Medium Coronavirus Blog.

The Latest: 5-minute tests, *another* symptom, and some good news

Dear Reader,

This morning I went for a run and there was barely anyone around. I was thrilled. While social distancing measures are tough, they work. Seattle is optimistically reporting that the spread of the virus appears to be slowing.

Without a drug or vaccine, staying away from each other is the only option available to tamp down the pandemic. It also causes heart-breaking consequences, like widespread job loss. Long-term projections are hopeful, however.

Economists at the Federal Reserve and MIT recently analyzed trends from the 1918 flu pandemic and reported that while the outbreak caused a drop in manufacturing output of 18%, cities that intervene earlier and more aggressively to pandemics “do not perform worse and, if anything, grow faster after the pandemic is over.”

What’s New:

  • Social distancing extended: President Trump says the government’s guidelines for social distancing will last at least until April 30. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a stay-at-home order for the state until June 10.
  • Yet another symptom: Doctors are reporting that some people with Covid-19 are developing heart damage. Read all about it here.
  • A 5-minute coronavirus test: On Friday, Abbott Laboratories received emergency use authorization for a new Covid-19 test that can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates.

We’ve curated some essential stories below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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A Quick Q&A:

What’s the latest on possible therapies for the coronavirus?
Last week the WHO announced the launch of a multidrug clinical trial that will enroll thousands of people from dozens of countries. Here are the three most promising drugs or drug combinations included in the trial:

  • Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine: The anti-malaria pills have shown promise against Covid-19 in small studies, but some researchers think the enthusiasm is premature. The first study of hydroxychloroquine in the U.S. was launched on March 16.
  • Remdesivir: This antiviral drug interferes with a virus’s ability to replicate. A study from 2017 showed that remdesivir was able to treat sister coronaviruses to the new strain. There are multiple clinical trials of the drug, so far with mixed results.
  • Lopinavir and ritonavir: The HIV drugs have helped treat SARS in humans when taken in combination. So far the effects are uncertain for Covid-19.

Read the full story here.

Essential How-Tos and Explainers:

So You Tested Positive for Covid-19. Now What?

Why Coronavirus Spares Children

Nobody Has a Clue How Many People Have Covid-19

Lessons from the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Germany Has Relatively Few Deaths From Coronavirus. Why? (New York Times)

The Quarantine Diaries:

‘A Calm Heart Is Valuable’: Life in Italy Under Coronavirus Lockdown

The Home Health Aide Who’s Scared Their Elderly Clients Won’t Survive

My Mother Is a Nurse on the Front Line, and Every Day Terrifies Me

My Husband and I Survived Covid-19. Here’s Our Story

6 Smart Reads

Tom Colicchio Spent 19 Years Building a Restaurant Empire. Coronavirus Gutted It in a Month.

Doctors Find Online Fame During the Coronavirus

YouTube’s Independent Creators Are Mad That They Can’t Say “Coronavirus”

Thinking You Had the Virus Is Going Viral

Watch: The Italian Doctor Couple Fighting Coronavirus Together (TIME)

Dr. Fauci Was a Basketball Captain. Now He’s America’s Point Guard. (WSJ)



A blog from Medium for Covid-19 news, advice, and commentary.

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Alexandra Sifferlin

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that