We're going to beat this disease. We just aren't going to beat it with the timeframe or weapons we would like to beat it with.
First, where we follow rules about social distancing and we wear masks we are able to tamp down the disease. But as soon as we lose discipline or we take the masks off and crowd in to bars and restaurants the disease comes right back. It is so intractable it's extraordinary.
Now, of course, when it comes back, those who want to minimize the whole pandemic immediately report that we have figured out how to keep people from dying. I have no idea why that's the standard because, one, it applies to mostly younger people who contract it not people with co-morbidities or are older. We are not a country that typically lets people die if they have certain pre-existing conditions. So we wear our masks and we try to stay away from each other when we can.
Now I know masks have many uncomfortable characteristics which is why we started xprize.org/mask to get the best community mask that can be made. It's a long shot way to get the people in the areas that don't wear masks to be a little more compliant because we can't wipe it out by wishing it away or, the new thing, betting you get it and you will be asymptomatic like so many of the NFL players who have contracted it seem to be.
But let's talk about the good, about what is happening right now to get this thing under control and what it will look like not that long from now. First, things have gotten very easy to get tested. Sure you can find some outfit to give you a test and you can get an appointment maybe and wait in line. But I think you should just go to Pixel.labcorp.com where you get a test the next day after you order one. You do it at home - lower nostrils, not painful, FedEx (FDX) it and you can get the results the next day. Do it during the week. That way you never have to be with other people and you are getting a PCR test which is the best you can get. It's not an at-home instant test but it's not something given at a scary place where there are other people who may have covid. Visby, an outfit we profiled last week, has an in-home PCR test, but there is so much demand you will not get one. At least the Lab Corp (LH) procedure is covered by insurance.
Now if you get covid you have to quarantine and there's a good chance you get better on your own. If not you go to the hospital and they are getting better and better and figuring out how to get you out of the hospital fast. But to help yourself take Vitamin C and Vitamin D, and you could have more strength to fight the scourge.
The good news is that in a few short months most hospitals should have the Regeneron (REGN) cocktail or Eli Lilly (LLY) drip that will, hopefully, reverse the viral load that makes you so sick. That's what happened to President Trump. These are both hard to make but we are more likely than not getting 1.5 million doses of these which we can give to people who just tested positive and are in the best shape to get better fast.
Ultimately these are all stop gap. The real hope is the vaccine. I have said from the beginning that until we got a vaccine, things would not return to normal. But vaccines are tough. Witness today when Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) had to pause its test on more than 100,000, some people got ill. The company reported a terrific quarter and yet the stock got hit even as JNJ will make no money from the vaccine. That's a pledge. Still it is a reminder of how fragile the whole situation is. JNJ does not know what the illness is. They don't even know if the person has the placebo. But I actually feel good about this because I don't want our drug companies to be bullied by a president who wants these companies to heel. They aren't.
I mothballed Bar San Miguel today until March. I am confident right now that we will have something by then. Until then I will try social distancing and wear a mask.
I hope you will, too.