“We are ready”: inside the Paris hospitals bracing for coronavirus

WITH the number of cases of Covid-19 doubling every three days in France, the capital is preparing for the worst. In the northern sector of Paris, all 26 beds in the intensive care unit of the Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital are full, and the wards that have been turned over to Covid-19 patients are filling up rapidly. The Paris hospital system works by overflow, and the next in line is the Lariboisière, near the Gare du Nord train station…

A man wearing a surgical mask walks by a medical tent set up outside Henri-Mondor hospital as a screening centre for suspected coronavirus patients, in Creteil, outside Paris.
Photograph: Ian Langsdon/EPA

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 17 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?

Even at their most effective – and draconian – containment strategies have only slowed the spread of the respiratory disease Covid-19. With the World Health Organization finally declaring a pandemic, all eyes have turned to the prospect of a vaccine, because only a vaccine can prevent people from getting sick…

Illustration by James Melaugh

This article first appeared in The Observer on 15 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

 

Closed borders and black weddings

PLAGUES – or, to use a more modern term, epidemics of infectious disease – pluck at our most primal fears. We have lived with them for at least 10,000 years, ever since our ancestors took up farming and built the first semi-permanent settlements. And they have always had the upper hand. They know us intimately, preying on our strengths – our sociability, our love of gossip – and turning them into weaknesses. They are always a step ahead, and once they are out, like the genie, we can’t get them back in. All we can do is limit the damage. So here we are again…

Poor advice

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 11 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

 

Epidemics expert Jonathan Quick: ‘The worst-case scenario for coronavirus is likely’

IN 2018 global health expert Jonathan D Quick, of Duke University in North Carolina, published a book titled The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It. In it he prescribed measures by which the world could protect itself against devastating disease outbreaks of the likes of the 1918 flu, which killed millions and set humanity back decades. He is the former chair of the Global Health Council and a long-term collaborator of the World Health Organization (WHO)…

Jonathan Quick

This article first appeared in The Guardian on 1 March 2020. To continue reading, click here.

writer & journalist