Are We Getting Better at Treating COVID-19?

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I received this email earlier today from reader BL:

Just read your article about what’s going on with deaths vs. case rates. My wife, a nurse of 35 years, adds that there are a couple other contributing factors causing deaths to drop while cases increase.

First is, healthcare doctors and nurses are much better at treating Covid patients. In the beginning, it was shooting from the hip. Now, they’ve developed and shared strategies to help patients live through this and even recover much faster, including med combos, turning patients on the stomachs and other such things. Secondly, the public is much more aware so we recognize a potential symptom, get tested and treated much faster than we did a few months ago.

There’s been info floating around also from doctors around the world that the virus is weakening. Although not confirmed medically yet, doctors in Italy and, I think, India are swearing that it’s not as potent. Viruses can and do often mutate into something else, and if it makes itself weaker, it can’t “fix” itself, so it’s stuck being less deadly. Again, not proven, but there are doctors convinced of it.

Better treatment probably doesn’t explain 100 percent of the divergence between cases rising and deaths falling, but it might explain a lot (and the younger age profile of recent cases might explain the rest). This is anecdotal, of course, but I thought it was an interesting observation, and one that was worth passing along since I haven’t seen it widely reported. I would be interested to hear more about this.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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