odysseus2000 wrote:It is not clear to me if the arguments that it is only old people who are in danger is correct.
True, but the vast majority of deaths are elderly people. Those with underlying health conditions (particularly those which affect respiration or have had organ transplants) dominate the statistics and those who aren't elderly yet died had similar underlying health conditions. There have been extremely few deaths of people who do not match this profile, such as the young Chinese health workers who died having been exposed to a huge "viral load" (massive exposure to the virus).
Although my biology education is weak (at least until a few weeks ago when I started reading up on virology), drawing on my statistics background I reckon that the relatively few people who have died and do not fit the above profile are due to genetic mutations (or undiagnosed conditions).
An example is the five year old girl who suffered life threatening infections from the common cold (rhinoviruses). It turned out that the girl's MDA5 proteins didn't detect rhinoviruses because of a genetic mutation so her immune system couldn't fight the cold. This is a rare condition.https://www.livescience.com/59460-cold-susceptibility-genes.html
Back to investment. A huge amount of scientific research is going on to defeat the coronavirus. A biologist friend of mine calls it "This generation's Manhattan Project". Vaccines to protect those who aren't infected will take many months, if not a year, to come to market due to the need to test them. However, it's quite possible that researchers and regulators will compress the required time due to the global impact of the coronavirus.
There is a lot of research going on into antivirals which aim to reduce or eliminate the infection in those already infected. Some of these can quickly come to market because they have already been used on humans for other things, so doctors are able to prescribe them for use against the Coronavirus (e.g. Gilead Sciences' "Remdesivir"). If one of these antiviral treatments shows great promise after clinical trials, the markets will rocket even if there's been no major developments in vaccines. The use of these antivirals will stop health systems from collapsing under too many serious cases, which is the reason behind the self-isolation and social distancing strategy, freeing up much of the economy.
Better testing will help; identifying those who've recovered from it will let them move back into normal economic activity. Today's announcement of 3.5 million testing kits for the UK is a very good sign.
One treatment is using antibodies from those who have been infected and recovered. These can be turned into monoclonal antibodies which can be mass produced. Regeneron and Moderna are big players here. Earlier this month Moderna started trials of a vaccine which it hopes could come into experimental use on patients within six months.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-06/moderna-s-coronavirus-vaccine-trial-set-to-begin-this-monthhttps://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/03/23/business/moderna-might-seek-emergency-approval-this-fall-coronavirus-vaccine-health-care-workers/