On 16 March Australian researchers announced the "successful" trial of an anti viral drug and Chloroquine mixture to treat hospitalised Coronavirus patients.
Latest advice this morning (Fri 2200 UTC) is that trials will start in 50 Australian hospitals next week. I would imagine that these are effectively telescoped phase two or phase three trials. I understand that China and the USA may also be conducting, or about to conduct, similar trials, the science is moving too fast to tell at the moment. If they are successful, providing certain conditions are met, then we may have the first weapon against Coronavirus apart from social distancing.
Those "certain conditions" are clinical, commercial and political. I don't know much about the clinical except to say I would hope such a treatment, if successful, might at least take pressure off ICUs.
I am more concerned about commercial temptations, particularly if big Pharma scents there is money to be made. A treatment would probably be the subject of a Use Patent. Then there is the question of manufacture supply and distribution. I am also concerned about political pressure; it would be a tragedy if such a drug, if it ever exists, were used as a geopolitical weapon.
I apologise in advance if this is old news. I commenters will avoid the temptation to "go nationalistic"; yes, your country may have done this three weeks ago, but it's news to me and I hope its good news to you.
As far as Australia is concerned, borders are closed to non residents. Outward travel is discouraged. Social distancing is encouraged, arrivals are quarantined for two weeks and major gatherings prohibited. Cafes, restaurants, theatres, sports, etc. are dead. There will no doubt be more restrictions announced next week.
From my perspective as a retired person of advanced years, the Government has moved too slowly. However if I was a young newly unemployed hospitality worker I would be forgiven for thinking the government is overreacting. The political task of navigating the pandemic is daunting. The policy seems to be one of gradualism so as not to cause general panic.
Indications are however that the police and defence forces are preparing for the possibility of social disorder, at least in the cities. It would be a brave and foolhardy criminal who ventured into our rural neighborhood.
We are confining our selves to our lovely 40 acres. I have a tennis court sized vegetable garden to tend. We have plenty of food and with our neighbors, we have access to plenty of meat if required.
I hope you are similarly prepared.