Last week the news bulletins featured two utterly discordant messages to the public about the fight to contain Covid. The first was a series of anguished appeals from Ronan Glynn and other public health officials to cut back on socialising. The spike in cases is serious and their concern was palpable. The R number must be brought back below one and this can only be achieved if people voluntarily rein in their social contacts with friends, neighbours, and strangers.
A Swedish model used to mean Tiger Woods's wife, or Helena Christensen, for people who don't know one Nordic country from another. But in recent times, we've become obsessed with the Swedish model. Depending on the vagaries of Covid, the Swedes are either a salutary tale for all of us, or else a people to be envied. Just as the Swinging Swedes were traditionally felt to have a liberal attitude to sex and nudity, the general gist of the current stereotype is that they have a fairly liberal attitude to the old Covid, letting it rip to build up immunity, and sure, if a few extra people died, well it would all work out in the long run.
In the midst of unrelenting Covid-19, I had some good news last week. A company that spun out of my laboratory at TCD in 2016 - Inflazome - was bought by the Swiss company Roche, the world's number one pharmaceutical company. We have new medicines that have the potential to treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases where the need is great. Diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
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