When will we be able to go to school again, play with friends, visit grandparents?
This is what children all over the world are asking. And politicians reply: We don’t know.
Much depends on when scientists discover a vaccine for the new coronavirus. Then there will be no danger that those who are less harmed by the virus will infect their grandparents, who are much more endangered by the virus.
When an outbreak of SARS broke out in China in 2002, he became interested in the coronavirus family.
Some members of the coronavirus family cause only a mild cold, others deadly diseases such as SARS and MERS.
Ho has already been researching coronaviruses since the outbreaks of SARS and MERS. But these were so short that interest in them soon fell and scientists abandoned the search for a cure.
From the very beginning, Ho closely monitored the outbreak of a new coronavirus epidemic. Soon, a friend, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, offered him money to develop a vaccine against the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
In a lab at Columbia University in New York, he and colleagues are thinking not just about a vaccine for the new coronavirus, but about a penicillin for viruses: one drug (or at least a handful of them) for all diseases.
Experts say that our health is most endangered by viruses. We have already developed more or less effective drugs for bacteria, fungi, parasites and prions, or they are less threatening to us.
However, certain viruses, especially influenza viruses and coronaviruses, can once again endanger humanity. Without a lasting solution, epidemics like the current one will recur, David Ho warns.
Points to Consider
- Who else works hard to overcome the pandemics?
- What can children do?
- What do you miss most?
The original version of this article was published on May 7th.