Dare we hope?

A short passage from Seamus Heaney’s verse play The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles’ Philoctetes has been much quoted recently. It even ended the RTÉ News last night:

The passage begins

History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave.

Well, there’s an additional reason for hope this morning, in the announcement of good progress in the search for a vaccine against Covid-19. The two pharmaceutical companies involved are Pfizer (USA) and BioNTech SE (Germany). The reported efficacy of the vaccine tested so far is over 90%, which is far higher than experts have predicted. Now these are preliminary results, not yet properly reviewed, based on a sample of only 94 subjects, and I’m not sure what motivated the press release so early in the process. I’m given to understand that the type of vaccine concerned here would also be challenging to manufacture and distribute, but we’re due for some good news on the Coronavirus front so let’s be (cautiously) optimistic.

On top of that it seems that Ireland at least is turning the tide against the second wave, with new cases falling every day for over a week:

Dare we hope?

4 Responses to “Dare we hope?”

  1. Also in the Netherlands significantly fewer cases.

    • Jonivar Skullerud Says:

      The test positivity rate in the Netherlands is 35%, so i am not sure you can trust any figures coming out of there.

      • The point is that there has been a significant decline.

      • Jonivar Skullerud Says:

        The point is that with a positivity rate at the level of Afghanistan it is hard to say if the decline is real. If positivity also has declined, then and only then can we say with some confidence that the decline is significant.

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