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Hypothesis, testing, fire, and comedy

March 24, 2020

There is speculation that a history of taking ACE inhibitors and ARBs causes the lungs to express more ACE2 receptors, which increases the risk of more severe disease from infection by Covid-19, since that virus binds to those receptors. It makes sense and fits certain patterns of how the disease behaves. Don’t stop taking your prescribed medicine! 1) So far, this is just speculation. Speculation usually is wrong. 2) Even if it pans out, stopping your medicine won’t undo your history or change your risk. 3) You should never play your own doctor. With that caveat, were I on any of those medicines, I would up the rigor with which I protect myself from this infection.

WHO is coordinating rapid testing of four promising drug combinations for patients hospitalized from coronavirus. Let’s hope one or more turn out to be golden.

In 1665, London had a large outbreak of the plague, killing hundreds of thousands. The following year, London burned to the ground. Historic calamities can make modern ones seem tame.

Things that make your eyes roll: 1) This interview with Anthony Fauci is almost surreal, yet perfectly fitted to the circumstance under which he works. 2) The CDC had a doctor inside China whose role was to monitor the outbreak of new diseases there. Just months before the Covid-19 outbreak, the Trump administration eliminated that office. 3) Defending its elimination of the epidemic response team in 2018, one of Trump’s guys says no worry, its function was moved to my directorate. That defense is full of holes and misdirection.

Update: Lepore on plague novels.

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