Ongoing updates on COVID-19 from our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Peter Attia

Last update 4/20/2020

At Zero, our mission is to help people live a longer, healthier life. That includes uncertain times like these. As part of that commitment, this page will be updated whenever we have more to share. Major updates will also be sent via a push notification in the Zero app. Check your notification settings to ensure that you are getting ‘Zero Updates’ (History > Settings > Notifications).

COVID-19: What’s wrong with the models?

The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving, but where we stand today looks a lot different than where we stood a month ago. The good news is that it doesn’t look nearly as catastrophic as it seemed in mid-March. The numbers of new cases and new deaths seem to be plateauing and even declining (slightly) in hotspots such as New York City. So now we are at a fork in the road. Do we continue the “lockdowns” in hard-hit parts of the country, to halt the further spread of the disease? Or do we begin to open up parts of the population (and economy), and inch back towards something resembling “normal?” Read more here.

Dr. Peter Attia, M.D. and John Barry: 1918 Spanish flu pandemic—historical account, parallels to today, and lessons

In this episode, John Barry, historian and author of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, describes what happened with the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, including where it likely originated, how and why it spread, and what may have accounted for the occurrence of three separate waves of the virus, each with different rates of infection and mortality. While the current coronavirus pandemic pales in comparison to the devastation of the Spanish flu, John highlights a number of parallels that can be drawn and lessons to be learned and applied going forward.

How to interpret screening tests: video, spreadsheet, and primer

Peter Attia, M.D. and Amesh Adalja, M.D.: Comparing COVID-19 to past pandemics, preparing for the future, and reasons for optimism

In this episode, infectious disease and pandemic preparedness expert, Amesh Adalja, M.D., puts the current pandemic into context against previous coronaviruses as well as past influenza pandemics. Amesh also provides his interpretation of the evolving metrics which have contributed to big variations in modeling predictions, whether this will be a seasonally recurring virus, and perhaps most importantly—how we can be better prepared for the inevitable future novel virus. Finally, Amesh explains where he sees positive trends which give him reasons for optimism. 

Peter Attia, M.D. and Paul Conti, M.D.: The psychological toll of a pandemic, and the societal problems it has highlighted

In this episode, psychiatrist Paul Conti, M.D. discusses the impact of the fear and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stress, anxiety, and trauma it may impart on the population. Paul examines how this situation has highlighted the challenges we face at the societal level as well as the individual level, and stresses the importance of seeking absolute truth above personal truth and taking action as individuals as a means to combat many of these pervasive problems.

Peter Attia, M.D. and Michael Osterholm, Ph.D.: COVID-19—Lessons learned, challenges ahead, and reasons for optimism and concern

In this episode, Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and author of Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, provides an overview on the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to what has happened to date, what we’ve learned about how the disease spreads, and his optimism and pessimism about what potentially lies ahead. Michael gives his take on the true case fatality rate, why it differs around the world, and which underlying conditions, such as obesity, impact risk of severe illness and death. We also discuss the outlook regarding vaccines, repurposed drugs/antivirals for treatment, and Michael’s growing concern about supply chain limitations with respect to drugs, vaccines, n95 masks, and testing kits.

Peter Attia, M.D. and Sam Harris, Ph.D.: COVID-19—Comprehending the crisis and managing our emotions

In this episode, Sam Harris, neuroscientist, author, and host of the Waking Up Podcast, joins Peter to discuss this unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The discussion includes the important distinction between COVID-19 and influenza, the impact on the economy, the dire situation in New York, and the challenge of creating a safe and effective vaccine. Additionally, Sam brings insights from his extensive meditation practice to help those struggling with stress, anxiety, and fear in this extraordinary situation.

COVID-19 Update: 3/23/2020

Zero Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Peter Attia shares the latest thinking from his team. When we stop thinking of the US as a homogenous entity, and think of each individual city as a car driving toward a cliff edge, which ones are stopping fast enough?

Peter Attia, M.D. and Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D.: Continuing the conversation on COVID-19

In this episode, Dr. Peter Hotez M.D., Ph.D., Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine Baylor College of Medicine, returns to continue the conversation on COVID-19. Dr. Hotez informs us on how we can gauge the number of infected people, behaviors to reduce the probability of becoming infected, and the inconsistency of hospitalizations among young adults between different countries. Dr. Hotez underscores the continued uncertainty in many virus-related developments, but ends with some points of optimism.
Disclaimer: This is information accurate as of March 19, 2020, when it was recorded.

Peter Attia, M.D. and Paul Grewal, M.D.: Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

In this episode, Dr. Paul Grewal, M.D. joins Peter to discuss what they have learned in the past week in the midst of the rapid changes surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Their conversation touches on both optimism and uncertainty: actionable steps we can take to improve the situation with the understanding that it is too late for viral containment. Specifically, Peter and Paul discuss some promising drug treatments, reasons for isolating-behavior adoption, and what they are personally instituting in their own lives.  
Disclaimer: This is information accurate as of March 13, 2020, when it was recorded.

Dr. Peter Attia interview on COVID-19: transmissibility, vaccines, risk reduction, and treatment

In this episode of The Drive, Dr. Peter Hotez M.D., Ph.D., Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine Baylor College of Medicine, shares his expertise on viral disease and how it applies specifically to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it (SARS-CoV-2). Listen HERE.

COVID-19 User Questions

Zero Chief Medical Officer Peter Attia answers questions about COVID-19 including the difference between COVID-19 and influenza, the “R naught” of the virus, the importance of self-isolation, why you can’t bio-hack your immunity, the variability of the COVID-19 death rate, and the current status of testing in the US.

Thursday 3/12/2020 Update

Zero Chief Medical Officer Peter Attia gives an update on  the COVID-19 growth rate and explains what we do and don’t yet know about the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Tuesday 3/10/2020 Update

Zero Chief Medical Officer Peter Attia explains who’s most at risk for COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself.

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