How to Respond to COVID-19?
My COVID-19 test was negative even though I had symptoms--fever, dry cough, lethargy, and GI distress so I still went into isolation. Some of the tests are not that sensitive. We need an antibody test that is rapid, easy to deliver and accurate. This will help us to mobilize the workforce and create a potential reservoir of plasma donors for antibodies if it works by providing passive immunity. The current antigen test sensitivity depends on what phase of the infection you are in--too early or late and it may not pick up the antigen, and it also depends on the quality of the specimen.
I've repurposed my nonprofit, iGIANT®, to help foster alliances to make PPE and vents within the aerospace and 3-D sectors which I have connections. Sex and gender impacts outcomes to COVID-19 exposures. We know that PPE, especially N95 respirators, don't fit women well even if it's available, although men have higher mortality rates once infected. Perhaps, women may need less vaccine or therapeutics due to their immune systems which are more robust than men. Women tend to be more resistant to infections, but once infected, may mount vigorous response. Women tend to not smoke and drink as much as men and are more willing to go to doctors when ill which may also contribute to this finding.
Now that I'm out of isolation, I've volunteered for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and would even volunteer to be tested for antibodies. If I don't have them, I would be willing to be inoculated with the virus to see if I could mount responses in a controlled setting. I know it sounds absurd, but we did this during the Revolutionary War with smallpox. George Washington was not only the father of this country, but also for the public health service. The MRC wants me to be on the front line to assess and test patients--with minimal PPE--so what do I have to lose?