Making Sense of COVID-19 #2: The Basics of Viruses
A blog series on SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and how spread is eliminated.
This blog series was inspired by the many questions people ask on this topic (see our FAQ links for more)
Are all viruses bad? No...
We normally think of a virus as something that causes disease. Some viruses destroy infectious agents (like bad bacteria, cancer cells and bad viruses) and some destroy healthy and good cells. Unless taught otherwise, how would we know we are infected with good viruses (after all, we are not aware that they are at work inside us)? We all need and make good use of these viruses. Learn more: Not All Viruses Are Bad for You.
“Unless taught otherwise, how would we know we are infected with good viruses (after all, we are not aware that they are at work inside us)?”
You are infected with good viruses, and you're not aware of it. But what if you become infected with a disease-causing virus without knowing it because you don’t always develop any noticeable symptoms? Common sense would say that an infection with a disease-causing virus that does not develop symptoms for you is not a problem … but that’s not the whole story.
Some people are killed when infected with the same virus. So, if they share the virus with someone else, and they die as a result, they may have killed them. Common sense says learn how to protect yourself and others when a virus is spreading in your area.
NOTE: It’s not against the law in California, unless done intentionally. If it was done intentionally, the Department of Justice says criminal charges could be filed, but as of the date of this post, none have been filed. Update: on 10/10/2020 still, a Goggle search reveals no charges have been filed.
California Penal Code 195 –…Homicide is excusable in the following cases: 1. When committed by accident and misfortune, or in doing any other lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent.
With the Coronavirus (called Covid-10, SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV), people can have it and not know it. For some days during their infection they can spread it to others (called viral shedding) and not know they are doing it because they have not, or maybe never will have symptoms. No-one can know for sure they are not spreading the virus or look at someone and know if they are spreading the virus around them. That’s the main reason it’s called a hidden enemy, and not illegal to accidentally share the virus.
How Does Coronavirus Spread to Attack Your Body?
Understanding how a virus spreads and attacks your body will allow common sense to guide you on how to minimize your risk of infection.
The pathway of infection starts with bodily fluids from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath being sent on a journey. The route it takes could be directly through breathing contaminated air or be transferred from a contaminated surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. This gives the virus passage to your bodily fluids where the virus begins to breed.
Upon contact with healthy cells, some are breached and once inside, the virus makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body. Within 2 to 14 days, your immune system may respond with symptoms. During this time (symptoms or not), you begin shedding live virus and are capable of infecting others.
Any bodily fluids coming out of a shedding person’s nose and mouth are likely to be highly infectious. The virus spreads unless bodily fluids are contained, and the virus is killed or disposed of properly. It’s possible that one person can infect may people without anyone knowing it.
Disclaimer: We make no claim that these teachings are up-to-date. Researched by a scientist, they are current understanding, to the best of our knowledge. Consult medical professionals before making medical decisions for yourself or others, just to be sure. Be safe, be careful. SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is a serious enemy that can kill.
The next blog discusses: The Risks of SARS-CoV-2 Infection.