E Corona

The extraordinary Renaissance man Henri Guéron has died of the coronavirus. A physicist like his father Jules Guéron, he married a Radcliffe friend, Judy Mitchell. But Henri jumped ship and retrained as an immigration lawyer. Judy funded him on his career change just as she had forced Radcliffe to allow her to become the first every woman to major in economics. They were pioneers. Judy became a professor of economics focusing on worker rights.

My husband's first foreign posting with the Financial Times was in Brussels and we wound up living in the same apartment building as Jules Guéron, Henri's father, then secretary-general of Euratom, a part of the European Union. Our neighbor became a mentor.

When our son became Bar-Mitzvah at the ULI reform synagogue in Paris, Jules Guéron attended the party and gave him a set of Anatole France novels to encourage him to kick off the Jewish traces.

In New York Henri worked often pro bono while Judy joined corporate boards. Despite Jules' secularism I wrote to Judy with the traditional Jewish wish: “may you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Harvard was pretty sexist in the 1960s, not just over economics majors. As the college magazine reported this month, the head of the astronomy department, Cecilia Payne-Gaposhkin, was not given a Harvard full professorship and salary, but only a Radcliffe professorship with a lower pay grade. Lloyd and Susan Rudolph were both senior fellows in Indian government. Lloyd got tenure and Susan got pregnant. The Harvard Club of Paris refused to allow Radcliffe women to join it, barring Maria Livanos who might have boosted its funding.

*Gilead (GILD) will donate its entire stockpile of Remdesivir to the cities with the most vulnerability to coronavirus early next week, too late for Henri. Its CEO made the promise on CBS's Face the Nation. More than half the patients treated with the GILD drug recovered within 11 days, 4 days faster than those who didn't get it.

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Angry Old Lady 1 year ago Member's comment

Very impressed that #Gilead will donate it's stockpile of #Remdesivir. It's wonderful how some companies have really stepped up. Alas, it only seems to possibly short the length of time people are sick by a few days, but has no affect on mortality rates. So it will ease people's duration of suffering but nothing more.

Dick Kaplan 1 year ago Member's comment

True, but that does help prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. The faster we can get people out of hospitals the better. I don't know how much longer our health professionals can handle the frantic pace they've been undergoing, especially as more and more fall ill.

Many other countries have nearly beaten back COVID-19 with aggressive social distancing and stay at home orders. It's a shame America took so long to follow suit and are now abandoning that strategy before the job is done.

Vivian Lewis 1 year ago Author's comment

this is not a cure but it will lower the number of bed-days that hospitals need to provide. Every bit helps. I agree with you that we were slow to react and I am chagrined that the two people whom I knew best who died from corona virus were both foreigners who had chosen to live in New York, Henri Gueron who was French by birth and Colin Fergus, a neighbor of ours who was born British. We let them down as a country by being slow to get people to try social distancing.

Alexa Graham 1 year ago Member's comment

It's quite tragic. America had plenty of notice and yet #Trump did nothing for months. Now the morgues can't even handle all the dead.