A practical analysis of COVID-19 and America’s future
This brief analysis was prepared, by request, for a group of CEOs. The question that was posed was, “How might COVID-19 affect our society and economy in the long run?” This report contains a description of similar viral illnesses ranging from the common cold up to COVID-19. The analysis section envisions a likely future in the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Based on recent and advanced research on COVID-19, it is reasonable to assume that COVID infections will be a part of everyday life for the foreseeable future, much like the common cold and flu, with seasonal peaks.
Due to the increasingly omnipresent nature of COVID-19, and barring the advent of any vaccine, it is likely that the U.S. and other nations will eventually be forced to come to terms with COVID-19’s existence and continue daily routines while accepting known risk. The only other current alternative is unacceptable -- to permanently isolate and shut down respective nations’ societies and economies.
MOSTLY ANNOYING - THE COMMON COLD
The cold is the most common illness known, bringing the sneezing, scratchy throat, and runny nose that we are all familiar with. People in the United States have an estimated 1 billion colds each year.
Rhinoviruses are a major cause of the common. An estimated 30-35% of all adult colds are caused by rhinoviruses. Researchers have now completed sequencing the genomes of all the known rhinovirus types, setting the stage for the development of medications and vaccines to combat the viruses.
More than 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold. Scientists had previously identified 99 distinct rhinovirus types. Recently, however, several unknown types were detected in patients with severe flu-like illnesses (April 2009).
A research team led by Dr. Stephen B. Liggett at the University of Maryland School of Medicine reasoned that strategies for combating rhinoviruses will depend on a better understanding of rhinovirus diversity and evolution. The results appeared in the journal Science on April 3, 2009.
The scientists sequenced the complete genomes of 70 known human rhinoviruses and 10 others from nasal-wash samples of patients with rhinovirus upper respiratory tract infections. The final collection, including the previously published sequences, consisted of 138 full-length human rhinoviruses genomes.
The researchers compared all the sequences to determine how they are related. Based on these relationships, they discovered that there may be up to 4 different species of rhinovirus.
IMMUNITY, OR LACK OF, FROM RHINOVIRUS
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