Are We Getting Better at Treating COVID-19?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

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.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.