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Daily Briefing Covid-19 [8th April 2020]

Kamusta (Hello in Filipino), - The greeting is in no way an endorsement of that lunatic Duerte that runs the shop there now. Models himself on Trump and Bolsanaro but tries to be nuttier still. Is it a contest? Do the deranged populist leaders meet occasionally in a secret lair underneath Mar-a-Lago and compete to see who is the maddest? I wonder how they measure it? In the UK we have a £60 fine and a jolly good wigging from the Rozzers if we break the rules. In the Philippines, Duerte has issued the police and military with simple instructions for enforcing the confinement: shoot on sight and shoot to kill. *Gulp* - Anyhow. It is the drugs making me mildly hallucinate over the nuances of craziness. I feel slightly rougher today but get by on the time-honoured combination of good black coffee, 400mg ibuprofen and 1000mg paracetamol every 4h tds. In all seriousness, it is likely I have the dreaded lurgy but a mild version. Am a bit hacked off as I have been so terribly careful. Barely going out, wearing a mask that makes me look like Bane from Batman, surgical gloses, hand sanitiser, distancing, etc etc. Still, it can be something v random out of my control altogether. The old adage, "When Jesus wants you for a sunbeam, you're off." holds true. - I have an interview to conduct at 1230h with a GP, Dr Nicky Osborne. Nic is a friend and neighbour so though we are nearby we will be doing it via Skype in our adjoining kitchens via the long-suffering @fiona_brown from Shift. Who'd work with volunteers (akin to Dogs and Children I suspect?) eh? - In addition to being a GP, Nic is also the Team Doctor for the GB Women's Hockey squad so I imagine she is gutted over missing the Olympics this year. Instead, she is doing much better and being interviewed for Shift. --------- MS News --------- I am a BBC Radio 4 addict. On the today program this morning (it is all Covid-19 all the time. A change from Brexit but is also wearing thin) there was a doc explaining that the respiratory issues caused by the lurgy are not a direct thing but as a result of it triggering a massively over enthusiastic immune response and the body hurting itself that way. Which is a nice segue to the separate article I posted yesterday. It seems to tie together. Worth another read: https://multiple-sclerosis-research.org/2020/04/does-immunosuppression-protect-you-from-severe-covid-19/# - An antipodean take on things. More advice from different neurologists on Covid-19 and MS. https://multiple-sclerosis-research.org/2020/04/covid-19-ms-update-from-neurologists/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=covid-19-ms-update-from-neurologists - It is all about the testing. More importantly, accurate testing. The Germans, though far ahead of us in testing quantity, have now conceded that the shotgun style approach needs refining. It turns out that the double edged swords of our mobile phones - great for Twitter and cat vids but tell Big Brother where we are all the time - may be an answer. The key to accurate testing is tracing the contact activity of the infected nodes of a network. People are the nodes the network is our social contact. This study is on an intitial design of a tool based on our loction data whilst anonymising the individual. Cool tech https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32240973 - Slightly convoluted warning - Is Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) the saviour drug? According to the Ginger Hitler it is. However, due to his cleverness he is fortunate to be unencumbered by the boring old regular scientific principle stuff. His support does drive unquestioning actions by some of his followers and this is where a problem lies. As obesity is such an issue in the US (we ain't far behind) there is a staggering rise in Type 2 diabetes (NIDDM for the nerds like me) which is obesity related. [Guess what, childhood obesity and exposure to second-hand smoke are coning out of the retroactive analysis search for trigger facts of MS (Epstein Barr virus as well) as things that influence the risk of getting MS] What I am getting at is that with NIDDM comes the inevitable prescription of Metformin. Metformin acts by mimicking fasting, something known to be good for the immune system which in turn means it is being studied in areas like MS, albeit at higher doses. There is a minor wrinkle though, it seems that Metformin and HCQ can be quite toxic. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.31.018556v1 - Mouse Doctor gives a far more thorough breakdown here. https://multiple-sclerosis-research.org/2020/04/is-this-covid-19-mouse-work-going-to-mess-up-your-ms-trials/ - Moral of the story is don't rush to do one thing without understanding the complex inter-relationships of all the other things you stick in your system. - It seems scientists are quite clever and that it may just be worth listening to experts rather than your mate who read in a Facebook post from Dave in Devises that X is good for Y! -------- Social stuff -------- 1 - look at me go. I am in peak-painkiller. It will wear of soon and my get up and go will in indeed get up and be gone. My second dose is timed at 1100h, with coffee, so I can fake it for the interview then off to bed. - 2 - Music. I have an eclectic taste from AC/DC to Billy Eilish (not really, just saying that to curry favour w. my daughter. The girl seems to riff on sounding like she is moments away from offing herself. Billie, not my daughter. Teenage angst I suppose) to my absolutely favourite piece of motivational music. Beethoven, Symphony no.9 in D Minor. Op 55 'Eroica'. It is the only piece of music I have ever played so loudly that a very annoyed neighbour hammered on my door. I had got rather carried away and was playing it on repeat and goose-stepping around my flat singing 'Freude Freude' at the top of my lungs. Try it - the music - and appreciate the most excellent and drawn-out 'drop'. Drop is a new term I have also learned from my daughter. It is the crashing inclusion of the main music after the slow and teasing build up. She was rather put off and squirmed appreciably when I made her sit through this for the 'worlds best ever drop'. If you need cheering up, this will do it. This is a great clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4N5-OALObk @nicholaschh is your man for classical music. He may have a different idea. - Take care. Stay safe. And stay away from other people.