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Cure for COVID, Current Events

CURE FOR COVID

Hospitals Around the World Need Your Help to Save Lives

As many of you know, there’s a common treatment we’ve been using successfully since the 1800s against viruses like SARS, MERS, H1N1, and others: convalescent plasma. Convalescent is a word used to describe people who are recovering from an illness. Plasma extracted from the blood of post-convalescent COVID-19 patients has been used in experimental treatments around the world with shockingly positive results. This means if you recovered from the virus, we can take your blood and use it to save people who are fighting for their lives.

Before we dive in, here are a few notes to help you through the content:

DPOI = Days post-onset of illness

COVID-19 = The illness that’s killing people

SARS-CoV-2 = The virus that causes COVID-19

CP = Convalescent plasma

Results from the Study

(Scroll Down to Find Out How You Can Save Lives)

The Cases

In a recent study, 20 severe COVID-19 cases were monitored before and after 10 of the patients received CP treatment. Symptoms present at the outset of the trial included severe fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and dangerously low oxygenation. Prior to treatment, three of the test group patients were receiving mechanical ventilation, three were receiving high-flow cannula oxygenation, and three were receiving low-flow nasal oxygenation. Simply put, these were patients in need of rescue.

Patient One

Patient One was a particularly impressive case supporting the use of CP treatment. At 10 DPOI, he was receiving mechanical ventilation in a critical care unit. He received the CP treatment at 11 DPOI. The next day, 12 DPOI, he tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The day after that, he was weaned from the ventilator. Immunological and liver function was observed to be improved at 15 DPOI.

The Rest of the Test Group

In the test group, all symptoms in all patients either disappeared completely or were largely improved within one to three days of treatment. SARS-CoV-2 was undetectable in seven patients by day six. Three test group patients were discharged and seven were ready to be discharged. Seven out of the ten test patients showed increased lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell used to measure immune response.

The Control Group

In the control group, the group that did not receive the treatment, three patients died, six were stable, and one had improved. These patients were still receiving all of the antiviral and supportive care available and all available action was taken to save their lives, except CP.

Optimistic Results from the Test Group

  • Clinical symptoms and paraclinical criteria rapidly improved within three days (Chen, 2020)
  • Radiological exam showed varying degrees of absorption of lung lesions within seven days (Chen, 2020)
  • Results showed that one dose (200ml) of CP was well-tolerated and could significantly increase or maintain the neutralizing antibodies at a high level, leading to disappearance of viremia in seven days (Chen, 2020)

The CP treatment was used in addition to any supportive care and antiviral agents deemed necessary. The first priority of the study was to determine whether the treatment was safe. The second priority was to determine if the treatment was effective. Under ideal conditions, studies would be performed on a larger scale and would be repeated several times.

These are not ideal conditions, but the data we have is extremely promising. There are currently no approved specific antiviral agents for COVID-19. The safety and efficacy of remdesivir and corticosteroid treatments are still being evaluated. Results indicate that CP is a viable rescue option for severe COVID-19 cases.

We Need Your Blood!!!

The FDA has approved the use of convalescent plasma, or CP, in life-threatening cases of COVID-19. By actively recruiting former patients and previously SARS-CoV-2-positive community members, hospitals around the world are doing their best to stock up on this life-saving treatment, but many hospitals don’t have the resources to take the same action.

There is not enough CP to save all the lives that need saving. If the following applies to you, you are a potential donor and your community NEEDS you to register with your local blood bank. If you’ve had SARS-CoV-2, but you don’t fit these criteria, please contact your local blood bank to find out if you’re still a potential donor.

  • Normal temperature for more than three days
  • Resolution of respiratory tract symptoms
  • At least three weeks post-onset of illness and four days post-discharge
  • OR two consecutively negative SARS-CoV-2 tests

Check for a Vitalant Blood Bank in Your Area

Vitalant is seeking donations of CP. If there’s not a Vitalant Blood Bank in your area, please take two seconds to do a Google search and find out where you can donate. If you can’t donate or if you haven’t had SARS-CoV-2, spread the word.


References

Chen, Z. (2020, March 18). Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/02/2004168117

Copywriting, Current Events, How to Protect Yourself from Covid-19, Website Optimization

How to Protect Yourself from Covid-19

A Survival Guide for eCommerce Businesses in 2020

It’s pretty clear at this point that a recession is on its way. Businesses are being forced to close and a lot of them won’t survive the downtime. Layoffs are well underway. There’s not a single market in the United States or around the world that isn’t being affected by this heinous new strand of the coronavirus. If you haven’t prepared your business for this type of emergency, now is the time. Fortunately for eCommerce businesses, we’re uniquely positioned to not only avoid a lot of the devastation but possibly even thrive throughout this ordeal.

What is Covid-19?

This might seem like a silly question, but if we consider that the general public response has been to stockpile toilet paper, I think you can humor me while I address some of the idiocy we’ve been witnessing.

Covid-19 is a new strain of the coronavirus. It is not the common cold. I know some genius found out the common cold is also a type of coronavirus and decided to tell everyone the government is trying to steal your chickens or whatever… but this is not the same thing. Covid-19 is more infectious than the flu, is a novel virus with no vaccine, has a long incubation period, and causes severe respiratory symptoms that can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

The symptoms of Covid-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Not everyone who has it is going to show symptoms and not everyone showing symptoms will show these symptoms. Many confirmed cases don’t involve fever at all. Some have been experiencing chills, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. For everyone under 40, it’s a lot like a cold or flu and has a comparable fatality rate.

For those over 40, the death rate starts to climb from around .2% to more than 20%. The elderly are at high risk, which is why countries around the world are closing businesses, banning events and gatherings, and enforcing quarantines. These precautions, though necessary, are going to have a huge impact on the economy and we should all be getting ready yesterday.

Panic at the Costco

As recently as November 2019, USA Today was predicting a non-stop stock market climb up to election day, but on March 9th, 12th, and 16th, we experienced the three worst point drops in US history. The imminent recession, the looming plague, and the oil war that’s driving crude prices down to their lowest point since the early 2000s are triggering everyone’s flight response.

In preparation for martial law, quarantine, and job loss, many families are “panic-shopping” (hence the toilet paper shortage). The CDC recommends maintaining a one-month supply of food and essentials, but it seems to be human nature to lose your ever-loving mind and sell off all your stocks to buy enough hand sanitizer to last several years because we’re all still touching our faces.

The CDC has also recommended that we avoid crowds of more than 50 persons, which is getting mixed responses. While we shut down events, worship, and even school, we’re still flocking to the grocery store in droves. The psychological element of Covid-19 is so unpredictable and severe at this point, I’m hesitant to dismiss any fearful predictions about the coming months, no matter how unlikely.

Covid-19’s Effect on Your Business

Due to the international nature of eCommerce and the large reliance on China, we were one of the first industries to take a hit from Covid-19. The impact so far has been a bit scary, if I’m honest. At least once a day I think, “Will I still have a job in this recession?” But it looks like eCommerce might come out ahead in the end just by being the incredible network of convenience it always has been.

The most obvious issue for online retailers right now is restocking inventory. A lot of us have been cut off from our suppliers completely. Manufacturing plants have been sitting idle due to worker illness or quarantine in major epicenters of trade. Now that China is coming back online and Europe has become the focal point of the corona outbreak, the issue in reestablishing supplies is in transportation from factories to Chinese ports, which is expected to continue being an issue for the next several months.

But don’t fret, eCommerce entrepreneur. While your inventory may be shriveled, your audience is certainly growing. Quarantine, martial law, fear, and the shutting down of local businesses means people are staying home. Even 27% of the panic shoppers reported they would be avoiding shopping centers, and that figure climbs to more than 70% when the outbreak hits the respondents’ areas. That means you’re going to have an entire planet of consumers sitting at home glued to their electronic devices.

How to Take Advantage of Other People’s Misfortune

This year is going to be one for the record books, but you can keep yourself and your family afloat if you have -or can make- a decent online storefront.

1.    Diversify Your Suppliers

Step one is your inventory. There’s never been a better time to diversify your manufacturers and distributors. Have a backup, even if you don’t need it right now. If your products or materials don’t allow for such diversification, stockpile enough to get you through if something happens to your facilities or supply lines.

2.    Diversify Your Top Sellers

Make sure your revenue isn’t dependent on too few products. Take a look at your top three sellers. If those products were suddenly unavailable for several months, would your business survive? If not, you need to introduce new products or promote some existing products that are acquired through different suppliers, preferably in a different country if you purchase internationally. Not only will this protect you in case of an emergency, but it can significantly improve your bottom line in the meantime.

3.    Optimize Your Storefront

The competition is about to get pretty tough. Existing online retailers are going to buckle down and get serious for this recession and a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers are going to be forced to open up shop in your domain. Get your storefront looking good and converting well. Usability, clarity, and good copy are going to be your best friends here.

4.    Maintain Fair Pricing

For the love of dog, do not price-gouge. It might make you a quick buck during the panic phase, but it makes you look like a total POS and any customer you gain will not stick with you because you suck. Maintain fair pricing for what you’re selling. If you catch a break on shipping prices because of oil being so low, pass the savings on to your customer base. It’s a recession. You’re not the only one hurting. Be a decent person and your business will be rewarded. (Shoutout to HEB for donating $3 million to community support during this crisis.)

5.    Record Your Processes

If you’re the only one who can do your job, what happens if you can no longer do it? Anything you do repeatedly needs to be written down in the event you fall ill. Write it as if you’re writing instructions for a stranger to stand in for you. Write down each process separately and make the instructions as easy to follow as possible.

6.    Keep Your Employees

As much as is possible, avoid losing employees to layoffs and illness. Modify your policies to allow valued employees to stay home when they’re ill without being punished. Discuss pay cuts, scheduling, and other alternatives to corporate downsizing. This will allow you to bounce back faster and will save your employees from being jobless in the coming economy.

Live Happily Ever After

Okay, let’s be real. This year is going to be hard for everyone. If the effects are still lingering when the holiday season comes around, we’re in for a rough 2021, too. You can help your business survive by getting online or by optimizing your existing online presence. Take a break from social media and check the CDC’s recommendations for staying healthy, while you’re at it. And for f*ck’s sake, stop buying toilet paper. Good luck, everyone.