If there is one thing we can all agree on about this virus, this may be it. We just don’t understand CoVid-19.
Even with my background as a biochemist, I have trouble knowing what to believe about CoVid-19. In spite of all the hard work and the progress our scientific community has made, there are still more questions than answers. This virus is not like any we’ve seen before. CoVid 19 just doesn’t play by the rules; in fact, we don’t know what the rules are.
We tend to think of infectious disease as following a linear, or deterministic pattern. In other words, if I have the virus and I infect three people, then those three people infect three more, etc. But there have been instances in which many more people contracted the disease than the model would predict. The most well known example is that of the 61 member choir practice in Mt. Vernon, Washington on March 10 in which 53 contracted the virus and two died. Conversely, other gatherings of similar numbers, venues, climates, and age groups did not produce this high rate of infection. https://bit.ly/3cQcwgJ
It now appears that the virus can spread in clusters, some think by “super-spreaders” who are especially efficient at spreading the virus. But there is no way to know what makes someone a “super spreader.” There may be some as-yet undetermined characteristic that makes an individual especially infectious. Or, it could be that there are not “super spreader individuals”, but “super-spreader events” where people are singing, coughing, exercising, etc, especially in close, poorly ventilated spaces. https://bit.ly/33BnnYF
Think of the virus as second hand smoke. The closer you are, the more you inhale. So there’s no guarantee that you won’t inhale the smoke if you are 6 feet away, especially if you are in a poorly ventilated space and/or the smoker is coughing, talking loudly, etc. Similarly, even if you are outside, fresh air won’t protect you from the spray of virus from the shouting fan next to you in the bleachers. We can easily distance ourselves from the offending smoker. However, unlike the smoker, the infected person may be asymptomatic, have tested negative a week ago and is now positive, or be in the first few days of the incubation period. The CoVid positive person can look and feel perfectly healthy.
It is true that the death rate is low and some groups are more likely that others to have a serious infection. But recovered patients are experiencing long-term damage to heart, liver and lung as well as damage to hearing and cognitive function. Some of it appears to be non-reversible. https://mayocl.in/3nqPTUL
And there are so many unanswered questions. Can you get the virus more than once? Are there in utero effects? When will a vaccine be available and how effective will it be? What will be the effect of seasonal flu on the virus?
No one knows. But I do know what to do. Sadly, just as there’s no magic diet, my only way forward is the one I know so well; masks, social distancing and hand washing.
I am SO tired of this whole CoVid scene; the masks, the social distancing, the confinement. But the virus is not interested in my opinion. This is not a well-behaved virus.
It breaks my heart to think about the holidays this year. But like the Fauci’s we’ll be joining our family on Zoom. https://bit.ly/3nGPEVP