My thirty one year old son convinced me that his generation would accept personal isolation better if they understood the reasons behind it.
Personal isolation: keeping at least six feet away from other humans eventually eliminates the virus from all of us because:
-All viruses must infect humans for their very existence, they can not exist very long outside our bodies. They use our body’s cells for processes they can not perform themselves.
-By denying the virus entrance into our body’s and never getting infected, we play our part to decrease the transmission of it to all other humans. By decreasing the transmission of the virus to others we deny it a place to exist, and since it takes about two weeks to become symptomatic after infection, the virus would be considered gone if no one got sick or tested positive from that point onward.
The better all of us self isolate the closer to the minimum of two weeks it takes to eliminate the virus from our country, the less successful we self isolate the longer because some viral spread continues.
-Two things happen to those who get infected:
The vast majority will survive and by doing so their own body eliminate the virus. This is what happens when we get over the “common cold” virus. Our body rids the virus and it can no longer spread to others.
For the unfortunate individuals who succumb to the disease the virus also ceases to exist because it looses the human source it needs to survive.
-There are currently no preventives or treatments against this virus, so the best option is to never get it.
-The virus is highly communicable meaning it spreads easily from person to person, but keeping a six foot distance from others provides safety because the virus is unable to spread across that distance. It is estimated that one third to one half of us will get the infection. This explains the rapidly increasing number of infected cases being reported now that we have more testing available.
-The virus is heat labile meaning it does not like heat. That’s why washing hands in hot water and soap kills it, rendering it non communicable.
-This virus is “novel” because it is “new” to humans, and as such we have previously formed no “natural” defensive immunity to it. This differs from seasonal influenza that has been around for centuries, which allowed our immune systems to form protection against them. Otherwise influenza would be even more deadly than it is.
-The current Corona virus has an “incubation period” of up to two weeks. That means you can be without symptoms for up to two weeks after getting infected. The disease could then begin as a respiratory illness akin to the common cold or influenza (flu).
-The incubation period explains the two to four week delay seen after the enactment of isolation strategies. Longer periods are required with less successful isolation behavior.
-The virus tends to produce more severe disease and death in the “elderly”, and those with chronic underlying diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, liver, lung, kidney, cancer, conditions with abnormal immune systems, and many others. Hopefully many of these individuals for one reason or another self isolated early on in the pandemic and avoided contracting the virus. If they did it is theoretically possible that the death rate may not reach the feared projected levels.
-For the young and healthy it appears the virus is still lethal, and they obviously can serve to spread the disease, and keep the process going.
-It does appear that once the individual gets over their illness, their immune system will protect them from reinfection and they should not get the infection back.
Finally we need to accept that China, Russia, and many other countries are not our friend. They are our adversaries. However, calling the Corona virus the “China virus” is not only divisive against the Chinese people, it serves to obscure our president’s own behavior and actions. The Chinese government’s actions do not appear to have been responsible nor ethical, but to blame the Chinese people for the actions of their government is not appropriate, nor helpful. On the other hand, our government, and our Chief Executive have taken an oath to protect us. It appears that our federal government reacted and planned too slowly even when they knew the gravity of the situation. Local and state governments have provided appropriate guidance in the absence of Federal input. Retrospective analysis is always easy, but enough information was available to the president when he appropriately denied entrance of individuals into the U.S. from China on February 4th. An appropriate move which limited potentially infected individuals coming into the country. Italy apparently did not limit people entering their country and currently their death rate continues to increase.
Since the virus started in Italy about ten days before the U.S., we are about that amount of time behind them as to what the virus might do here. So far our death rate is low, let’s hope it stays the way. We should know in the next week or so.
-Finally, what should we do with our public officials if it were proven that they used classified information for personal financial advantage if they did not try to warn their own constituents of the impending danger of the pandemic?
Remember China, Russia, and many other countries are not our ally, but our elected officials are there to protect us. But maybe we do not expect anything better from them because we permitted our own President to flagrantly violate the Constitution without any repercussions.
-And, finally there is no evidence for bioterrorism at play here, rather there is evidence that viruses have become more of a factor in human infection and disease over the past thirty years. Some experts wonder that global weather change may play a role. Food for thought.