We Should Have Known So Much About Covid From the Start

[NYT’s David Wallace-Wells]: [..] The way most people think about a virus like, say, RSV, or chickenpox, is that a single exposure, while potentially worrisome, does deliver lifelong protection. Is it really the case that, as babies, we are fighting off those viruses hundreds of times? [Immunologist and epidemiologist Michael Mina]:The short answer is yeah. We start seeing viruses when we’re 2 months old, when we’re a month old. And a lot of these viruses we’ve seen literally tens, if not hundreds of times for some people by the time we’re adults. People tend to think that immunity is binary … Read More

13 Lessons From the Covid Pandemic

“Many countries and organizations are taking stock of what can be learned from the Covid experience. In Singapore, the office of the prime minister recently issued an assessment of that country’s response to determine what worked and what didn’t. Such honest reflection is essential to ensure that the response to the next pandemic is better. Unfortunately, efforts stalled in Congress to create a national commission to render a nonpartisan assessment of how the country responded to a contagion that so far has killed some 1.1 million people. [..] we offer 13 lessons, many of which are not yet fully appreciated or integrated … Read More

Toward Comprehensive Care for Long Covid

“Three years into the Covid pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 is still with us. As the virus evolves, it continues to pose a health threat in terms of both acute infections (or reinfections) and postacute sequelae. In regard to the former, there is evidence that several pharmacologic interventions reduce the severity of infections, lessen morbidity, and lower mortality. Prevention programs have also been successful in reducing overall infection rates. These efforts can be traced in part to colossal federal support for work ranging from vaccine development to clinical trials to nationwide educational endeavors. Such impressive support is all the more striking in contrast … Read More

Only the Emergency Has Ended

The pandemic and the need to respond remain. “ending the emergency doesn’t mean that the world has fully addressed the problems that made this an emergency. Global vaccine distribution remains wildly inequitable, leaving many people susceptible to the virus’s worst effects; deaths are still concentrated among those most vulnerable; the virus’s evolutionary and transmission patterns are far from predictable or seasonal. Now, ending the emergency is less an epidemiological decision than a political one: Our tolerance for these dangers has grown to the extent that most people are doing their best to look away from the remaining risk, and will … Read More

Dr. Fauci Looks Back: ‘Something Clearly Went Wrong:’ In his most extensive interview yet, Anthony Fauci wrestles with the hard lessons of the pandemic — and the decisions that will define his legacy.

“Over several hours and multiple Zoom and phone calls in April, I spoke with Fauci about that: how he saw the full story of this historic public-health emergency and the role he played in it. At times, he was defensive, even combative, particularly when it came to episodes in which he felt that his own positions had been misconstrued and on the matter of gain-of-function research and the origins of the pandemic. But on the whole, he was reflective, even humble, especially about the way that Covid-19 exposed the limits of public health and, in his telling, kept surprising him … Read More

Q&A: Chronicling the failures of the U.S. response to Covid

Excerpt – “Lessons From the Covid War: An Investigative Report,” which will be published Tuesday, was written by a consortium of scientific and public health experts, many intimately involved in the pandemic response. The group’s members originally came together to do the spade work for what they thought would be an eventual independent commission tasked with investigating the response to Covid. That inquiry, which they thought would mirror the well-regarded 9/11 Commission, never came into being. So the Covid Crisis Group, as they call themselves, have published their analysis of what went wrong and what needs to be done to … Read More

The Pandemic’s Surprising Effect on Suicide Rates: Suicide rates typically go down in times of crisis. Why?

“I have attempted suicide more than 10 times in my life, and the desire to kill myself is among my earliest memories. My adult life has been an ongoing struggle with addiction, depression, anxiety, chronic suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. And yet in Bir [a small village in the Himalayan foothills], despite the fretful uncertainty of our time there, I never thought seriously about suicide. I was scared, but I was not depressed. I was panicking about the outside world, but my inside world—so often a source of misery—was relatively calm. My next serious bout of depression didn’t come until … Read More


The New England Journal of Medicine’s Lisa Rosenbaum speaks with University of Pennsylvania’s internal medicine physicians Paula Chatterjee (also a health services researcher) and Atheen Venkataramani (also a health economist and founder of Penn’s Opportunity for Health lab) about the role of values in health care, social determinants of health and what physicians can do to improve U.S. health care. An excerpt of the audio interview: [Rosenbaum] Atheen, I know that you also had a formative experience, I think when you were a resident at MGH. Can you talk a little bit about that and how that experience informed your … Read More

Anthony Fauci wants to put Covid’s politicization behind him

“After more than five decades of federal service under seven presidents, Anthony Fauci says he’s leaving by the end of President Joe Biden’s term. [..] his assessment, that we’ll live with Covid-19 for many years to come, is a startling admission from the longtime infectious disease expert who said the country could flatten the curve and achieve herd immunity, first through social distancing and then vaccination. [..] If called to testify [to Congress], Fauci will stress the importance of vaccines and boosters, but acknowledge there may never be a definitive moment when the country can claim victory over an evolving … Read More

Smartphone apps promised to help combat the pandemic. How well did they work?

“A new review paper, published Monday in Nature Biotechnology, explores the wide range of apps rolled out to combat the pandemic [..]. Here are four questions that still need to be answered about how apps can combat Covid. [1] How do you get broad swaths of the public to adopt an app? “Contact tracing had a lot of problems,” said [physician and Director of Digital Medicine at Scripps Research Translational Institute and a co-author of the new paper Jay] Pandit. [..] The initial goal for the U.K. National Health Service’s Covid-19 app was to reach a 60% adoption rate. [..] … Read More