Making Sense of COVID-19 #3: The Risks of SARS-CoV-2 Infection
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)
A common-sense understanding about how to how to protect others comes from understanding the basics of a virus infection. Then it starts to become rather obvious. But that does not make it easy. A few more questions are worth asking:
What does the virus look like?
It’s too small to see. The virus comes out encased in saliva and mucus bodily fluids that range in size from large drops that fall quickly to the floor from sneezing and productive coughs, to microparticles that can travel 10s of feet and stay suspended in the air for hours.
Who is at risk?
This is something that threatens nearly everyone on the planet. The virus doesn’t care about borders. No-one is born with immunity. Anyone who acts irresponsibly can be recklessly spreading a virus and threaten the whole community. Education and social expectation to act responsibly are important to lower the risk of spread.
If the whole world went into total isolation, there would be no spread, and Covid-19 would completely die out in around three months. It takes social interaction or proximity to spread. You could call it an agent of social disease.
To stop the spread, we must gain and spread common sense as wide as the virus has spread. This means we must learn, practice, and teach behaviors that will protect our community. Since we don’t know who is spreading a virus, to be genuinely safe, we must act as though everyone may be shedding the virus, unless we know for sure that they are not (which requires immediate and reliable testing. Sports bubbles are an example of that practice.)
Common sense then says we must keep our bodily fluids to ourselves to avoid infecting others. This applies to any communicable disease.
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: Who is More Likely to Get a Bad Case?