Drastic times need drastic measures: COVID-19 and widening access to medicine

In response to COVID-19, schools, colleges and universities across the world have closed or shifted to online/remote or blended teaching, learning and assessment. These changed ways of working pose challenges to students and will likely exacerbate existing educational attainment gaps between different societal groups. Our focus is the potential impact of COVID-19 on widening access to medicine. We provide an account of the process, in the form of comparative cases, of applying for medical school for two applicants from differing backgrounds.

Emerging pharmacotherapy for COVID-19

Broadly speaking, pharmacological treatments for COVID-19 can be divided into those acting on upstream pathways early on in the disease process via suppression of viral replication or by inhibiting cell entry, and those acting on downstream pathways later on via selective attenuation of the adaptive immune cytokine-mediated inflammatory response. The antiviral drug remdesivir has been shown to shorten duration of disease while interferon beta-1b may speed up viral clearance. The results with hydroxychloroquine have thus far been rather disappointing.