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Until the vaccine arrives, a worrying road



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On Sunday, the United States reported its 10 millionth coronavirus case, and the last one million cases have increased in the past 10 days. The hospitalization rate in Covid-19 hospitals hit a new high this week, with new daily cases exceeding 160,000 for the first time on Thursday. Throughout the pandemic, science and health journalist Donald G. McNeil Jr. has been at the forefront of New York Times reporting, and was recently awarded the 2020 John by the Columbia Institute of News · Shansel Award for Excellence in Journalism. In this editor̵

7;s interview, he talked about a new wave of infections.

There is a lot of optimism around Pfizer announced on Monday, Which indicates that its mRNA-based vaccine may be more than 90% effective. What should we do? Is it too early?

No, I want to say a little joy. The FDA has stated that it will accept vaccines that are only 50% effective, which is worse than the one-year flu vaccine, so everyone’s expectations are lowered. Great. Also, we are pretty sure that the mRNA vaccine will be harmless. With this vaccine, you only need to inject a small part of the viral genome into tiny fat globules with a gentle charge. On the contrary, some vaccines use a complete virus, this virus will be killed or weakened, more likely to cause adverse reactions.

Pfizer actually said its vaccine is at least 90% effective. We need to be cautious: this is a press release, not actual data that scientists want to check. But I have read the previous press releases of large pharmaceutical companies and compared them with the data released later. They are very honest.

Some scientists worry Viruses in animals, such as mink, May mutate and be more dangerous to humans. Does this affect the prospects of vaccines?

At least so far, it may not work. Pfizer said its vaccine can resist all strains spread by humans. One worrying mutation in mink is mainly in mink. There is no need to worry immediately that it will become the main pressure for mankind.

Lockdown has reappeared in many parts of the world, Met with strong backlash What is your opinion on the efficiency of lock-in in a place like Italy? What is the appropriate balance in terms of the economic sustainability of the virus, mental and emotional health, and health?

We need to stop thinking about locks as if they were an end in themselves. The really harsh blockade-actually ordering people to stay at home-suspends transmissions long enough for you to activate the real tools: fast and accurate testing, fast contact tracking, isolation of infected persons from their families, etc. China did it. New Zealand did it. But we have never been here. Our “national blockade” in the spring was a joke.

China refused to reopen the city until there were no cases in 14 days. We have never been below an average of 20,000 cases per day. We are unable to conduct contact tracking because a) many Americans will not cooperate, and b) outside the blockade, there are approximately 50 contacts in each case- 20,000×50 is one million new contacts every day. Who can do it? impossible. Therefore, we basically wear masks and do not eat or meet indoors until the vaccine arrives. If people don’t do this, their hospital will be at a loss. When this happens, viruses that kill less than 1% of victims will suddenly kill 2% or 3% or 4% or 5% because people cannot get ventilators, ambulances, or even oxygen. The “gentle curve” is to slow down so that your hospital will not collapse.

Some companies Provide allowances such as free lunch, Let the workers return to the office. Other companies, including The New York Times, have extended family work until the summer of 2021. When can you personally return to the office to feel comfortable?

When I was vaccinated, everyone around me was there.

The holidays are coming. What advice do you have for families eager to celebrate with their loved ones?

It is done by zooming. Don’t let Junior kill grandmother. Just like World War II, our soldiers did not go home and fly to eat turkey. My father is in Normandy. My mother worked for the Red Cross in occupied Austria. They missed the holiday. Life goes on. A few years later I will be happier.


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