I thought I'd post a few random thoughts and observations, to keep things alive here (Tom).
First, hockey. Bettman now doubts it will be possible to compete the regular season AND the playoffs. Truthfully, he has no idea if either will happen, so it's idle speculation. And if a second wave hits in the fall/winter (more below), what does that portend for next season?
There was actually talk they could assemble all the teams in a remote location, like North Dakota, and have the games without fans, at local arenas. There wasn't much follow-through, so I don't know if the economics works on that.
Oilers' prospect Colby Cave has brain surgery, everyone hoping for a quick recovery.
The Leafs signed some Russian midget this week. Yawn.
I'll start with the biggest revelation I've had recently. We've known for some time that the CoV receptor is ACE2, on the surface of lung cells. ACE stands for angiotensin-converting-enzyme. It is the target of the most used blood pressure medications, whose names end with "-opril". When you chronically inhibit something, cells are famous for adjusting to it, and compensating for the inhibition. It's why they advise quitting ACE inhibitors very slowly, and carefully. So wouldn't you know it, ACE inhibitors strongly increase the expression of ACE2. This explains why those most susceptible are older people with various forms of metabolic syndrome. They'll all have high blood pressure, and most of them will be on ACE inhibitors. Cardiologists are circling the wagons, and telling people not to stop their blood pressure meds, regardless that this factor may be what separates those who have an easy recovery, from those who become very sick. By the way, no blood pressure drug has ever shown survival benefit; only blood pressure reduction (and that was enough for approval). Blood pressure gets high in order to maintain adequate blood flow to key organs, when the vascular system is not healthy. The disease is the unhealthy vascular system, not the blood pressure, per se. Reduce blood pressure, and key organs are starved of blood flow.
The first thing you do when admitted to hospital is tell them all meds you're taking. So they know if this is a factor, but as usual, they'll decide whether to tell people only based on whether they think it's likely to make people behave the way they want. Truth is pretty far down the list of criteria, nowadays.
More doctors are embracing hydroxychloroquine in treating the sick. It's said combining it with zinc accentuates the effect, and one of the many effects of chloroquine is that it opens zinc channels on the cell surface, allowing zinc to flow in, and inhibit viral replication. Others have searched exhaustively for any sufferer of Lupus who has been hospitalized with CoV, and there are zero. Lupus is treated chronically with hydroxychloriquine. The addition of Z-pack to the treatment at this point is probably (but not certainly) only to prevent bacterial infections, secondary to the virus.
The good news is the estimates for total deaths are now down to 82,000 in the USA. That about equals the 2017 flu, but we mustn't compare this to flu.
The bad news is this: More and more microbiologists are criticizing this "flattening the curve" approach. It is slowing spread, not stopping it, which only delays things. We're all going to get it eventually, and my family might have had it in Feb, for all we know. So the economic shutdown will have to be extended, or repeated, in the fall, when the second wave hits the populace that has not been allowed to develop herd immunity. I've only seen one estimate, and I don't really trust it, that 18% of all tests are positive. I don't even know if this represents the general population, or is skewed to those sick or in contact with the sick. But the $64,000 question is how many people out there have it, or have already recovered, without being sick. If it's more than about 10% of the population, it might be best to let it run its course quickly, and get it behind us, while telling anyone taking an ACE inhibitor to hide for the next month.
I'm seeing people getting furloughed only now, although some have lost their incomes earlier. It will probably start hitting hard by the end of the month, as various companies run out of reserves to pay their employees. About 30% of rents are not being paid, which means anyone the landlord owes money to is not going to get their payment, and on down the line. This will only worsen as more people run out of money. I am much more afraid of the economic consequences than the virus itself. The first problem is likely to be the locust plague in east Africa, where they can't get delivery of pesticides, with everything shut down.