Olivia Sunderlik ’21: With a fairly new and frightening disease, there comes many unsettling feelings and tough questions. Since March, researchers found much of the basic COVID-19 information, including symptoms, incubation period, preventative measures, and modes of transmission. Despite this, uncertainties still exist. Do effective treatments exist? Can someone get the disease more than once? Is a vaccine likely in the foreseeable future? New information comes out daily, so people easily miss new updates with these important details.
“With all the news coming, it’s really hard to keep up with all the coronavirus updates,” Angelle Gilbert ‘21 said.
While many questions remain unanswered, new information provides the world with some insight and new measures to better understand COVID-19.
As doctors and scientists explain, no cure for the coronavirus currently exists; however, the CDC provides some guidelines and new drugs for the treatment of coronavirus.
“[The guidelines] include recommendations for the use of remdesivir, an antiviral agent that targets severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation,” a statement from the National Institute of Health said.
The FDA approved these medications for emergency treatments due to their positive results in patients hospitalized by coronavirus. Treatments like these agents and additional drugs provide people with some hope for a safe recovery if they become severely infected. Remdesivir works to stop the spread of the virus, and dexamethasone helps with symptoms and discomfort caused by coronavirus. While scientists still search for the cure, there are ways to possibly treat the disease.
In addition to questions surrounding treatments, people hold questions around the ability or likeliness of getting COVID-19 a second time. Unfortunately, US News explains that multiple cases of getting coronavirus twice occurred in Hong Kong, the US, and other nations.
“I didn’t know you could get coronavirus twice, but knowing that is pretty scary,” Allison Hummel ‘21 said.
Although this finding may alarm some students like Hummel, these cases remain very rare because of the natural immunity a person receives from getting the disease a first time. Natural immunity refers to an resistancy your body develops from a disease after fighting it. US News states that scientists still need to learn more about the natural immunity provided by coronavirus. Because of this, researchers lack many answers on why people receive coronavirus twice; however, they know these cases exist. Although this concept still requires some research, scientists know these cases happen on unusual occasions.
Possibly, the most common interest and uncertainty surrounds the development of a vaccine against COVID-19. Currently, multiple companies race to find an effective vaccine to defeat the virus.
“Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are under development. As of October 13, 2020, four vaccines have begun large-scale (phase 3) clinical trials in the United States,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said.
No companies administer their vaccine to the general public yet, but they performed various clinical trials, receiving positive results. Because of this, they move forward to later phases of the vaccine trials. Due to the panicked state, these companies work fast and hard to produce a cure and effective vaccine. The CDC lacks answers on a certain date the vaccines will be available; however, companies continue to move in the right direction towards the cure.
So many uncertainties and questions exist when it comes to COVID-19. While many questions remain unresolved, the public gains more knowledge on these topics daily. Because of this, remaining educated on the various updates provides an essential component during the pandemic.