An Unlikely Nation Is Kicking This Pandemic. Guess Which. Then Why.

An Unlikely Nation Is Kicking This Pandemic. Guess Which. Then Why.

By Mary Beth Pfeiffer

She is a gynecologist. He is a surgeon. They are married and both 77 years old. 

In mid-November, they were diagnosed with COVID-19, first her, then him. Their paths diverge at this point, but not to worry. 

She took the drug hydroxychloroquine. He took ivermectin. They are both well now – walking, golfing, doing yoga -- seven weeks later.

The couple’s brush with COVID might have ended very differently. In the United States, patients 75 to 84 years old die at 220 times the rate of adults under 30. But these two elderly, otherwise healthy physicians live in India. They were able to get early home treatment that is virtually, and unconscionably, unheard of in many western countries.

“Without any treatment, we know that the virus enters the cells and replicates there,” Dr. Makarand Paranjpe told me by phone from his home in Pune, where he had quarantined through a fever and other symptoms. “They can create disease that gets much more severe.” Which, of course, is the point of treating early. Stop the progression. ASAP.

From the outset, India, a nation of both economic vigor and poverty, knew it had to act decisively. It did. India locked down e...

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