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It's easy to feel depressed and scared these days. News about the impact and death toll of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, is constant. Government responses have been chaotic, ranging from near-indifference to suddenly shutting down the economy, with politicians offering to pay for everything.
Yet we shouldn't lose sight of the exceptional vitality that the private sector is demonstrating during this mess. It will make a difference, so cheer up!
After what can only be described as a multilevel government failure that resulted in the United States having practically no coronavirus tests available for weeks after the onset of the pandemic, the private sector ramped up its production so much that we're now testing 65,000 people every day. This number is bound to grow. The tests are a crucial component of making it through this crisis, and they'll become even more accurate and deliver results faster as innovators do what they do best when they're unhindered by silly or contradictory government regulations.
Singapore's Veredus Laboratories, for example, said it will soon release "Lab-on-Chip" kits to test patients for three kinds of coronavirus within two hours. Four American startups had also launched at-home tests for COVID-19, until the Food and Drug Administration unwisely demanded they stop issuing or testing kits.
There are many other remarkable developments. For instance, only a few weeks after the beginning of this outbreak in the United States, many pharmaceutical firms worked at lightning speed to develop a vaccine. Last week, the first doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine were administered to a group of volunteers. Many companies are hard at work trying to come up with a cure. Whether it's testing old medications to figure out if they can mitigate the virus's effects or developing new drugs, the private sector is going full speed ahead to help.
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