Every statement in this blog came from a reasonable source. None of the information is unique. I hope it helpful.
Coronavirus is the disease. COVID-19 is the name of the virus.
Viruses are basically living chemicals. They are strips of RNA which get into our bodies and force our DNA to replicate the virus. This happens over and over building up more and more active viruses in your body.
The test for COVID-19 is nasal swab, like a flu test, and testing for the replication. It is only effective if you have enough of the virus in your system that they virus can infect a DNA sample and force replication which is the sign of the disease. Generally, you don’t have enough if you are NOT showing symptoms. There is NO antibody test to date which would show your body has been exposed and has some level of resistance.
COVID-19 is *NOT* an airborne virus. Yes, you can get it from mist of cough or sneeze, but it doesn’t live in the air. When it’s in that “mist”, it’s living on droplets, not the air. This is why it’s important to cover up (blocks the mist) and why sick people in public must wear a mask.
COVID-19 can live on surfaces. Smoother ones seem to let it live longer – up to 48 hours. Rough ones like paper and cardboard less so – a few hours. This is why it important to disinfect surfaces. If the surface is warmer, it they tend to die/denature dfaster.
COVID-19 can be killed with exposure to heat. Viruses are mostly proteins and especially the active part – RNA. Heat denatures (breaks the bonds and links) of the protein and effectively kills it. It is one of the reasons we cook our food – think pressure cooker.
Wash your hands. Washing your hands for 20 seconds or more in plain soap and water frequently can greatly reduce your chances of getting virus. The most common path is you pick up the virus on your hands and rub your face, eyes, mouth, nose, etc. and place the virus where it can enter your body. If you got to rub your face, wash first, then its ok, but still don’t pick your nose in public.
Will warmer weather will end Coronavirus. This is an extrapolation of the lab data. COVID-19 is related to cold viruses which don’t die back in summer. Viruses are remarkably resistant. Even if it dies back, it might come back even worse in the fall.
Optional medical procedures are being canceled. Hospitals are overwhelmed either with Coronavirus or preparing for it. If that hospital is treating Coronavirus, you are better off not being in the building being exposed while in a weakened state. Truly urgent patients are being treated. The other danger is medical treatments place us in close proximity to others (doctors, nurses, other patients) which is to be avoided, too.
Social distancing works by preventing the spread. The virus depends on humans spreading it via fluid contact (sneeze, cough, contaminated surface, etc.). If we don’t come in contact with each other, COVID-19 has no way to reproduce and spread. Coronavirus will be stopped if we don’t cheat.
Naming of the disease – 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease. There was an active effort by the WHO and others to avoid confusion by calling it SARS (accurate) or flu (inaccurate) or demonize a group of people (Chinese). The disease has been called Novel coronavirus pneumonia, Wuhan pneumonia, Wuhan coronavirus or just “Coronavirus”. The gene bank labeled it SARS-CoV-2. Calling in Chinese Flu is about as helpful as calling it “meat eaters pneumonia” or “wild game eaters disease”. This wouldn’t have happened if everyone was vegetarian or vegan so say my vegan and vegetarian friends. Let’s agree to keep racial prejudice and conspiracy theories out of medicine and science.
While I haven’t put a source with each entry, each came from reputable source and can be verified as of time of publication. Many of these are covered in World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) myth busters.
Why soap works courtesy of Alton Brown:
Good information and data analysis:
Informative presentation from Dr. Michael Lin.
Leveraging Wikipedia for general information: