Defence against coronavirus

Disclaimer: I do not have medical education; I came up with the following thoughts by researching and by applying logic.

I consider it important to understand the topic of coronavirus in order to protect oneself and the loved ones better. If there's no life, there's nothing.

The information on the nature and the function of the coronavirus is not well shared in media. I considered it necessary to contribute to the fight against the virus and I'm doing it with this article.

The government encourages people to behave according to a certain pattern, but as long as people do not understand what a virus is and how it "works", it is difficult for them to accept the recommendations. A wise person needs to understand the meaning of an action. Let's start with the terms: virus, bacteria, disease.

Virus is not bacteria

Talking about the coronavirus, from 2019-2020 we are talking about the so-called new coronavirus or coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2).

It is not embarrassing to repeat that a virus is not bacteria. A virus particle is lifeless, a bacterium is a living organism. If a bacterium can be thought of as a small animal, then a virus could be thought of as a substance. A virus particle (virion) is a "programmed" combination of thousands of molecules. The virus is created by a living organism, but virus itself is inanimate. The bacteria can be defeated with an antibiotic, but it is harder to get rid of the virus because it is not alive. The virus can even kill bacteria.

A virion is much smaller than a bacterium. The coronavirus particle has a diameter of about 0.1 micrometers. By comparison, the bacterium that causes whooping cough is about 0.7 micrometers in size. For comparison, human hair is 100 times thicker than the length of the bacterium causing the pertussis. 10,000 coronavirus particles fit side by side at 1 millimeter.

In order to stay correct in terms, it must also be emphasized that viruses are not diseases.

COVID-19 is a disease, not a virus

COVID-19 is an abbreviation for "COronaVIrus Disease 2019". It is a disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Virus and disease are not synonyms, although the media has left such an impression.

How virus spreads?

When a coronavirus particle enters the lung, the lung cell considers it a nutrient and absorbs it in about ten minutes. What now happens is what we fear - our own lung cells start to multiply SARS-CoV-2 particles. A lung cell creates around thousand new coronavirus particles. This takes at least ten hours, maybe a few days. A person now exhales the new coronavirus particles he/she has created and infects bystanders. Leaving aside the destruction caused by the virus, the mechanism by which the virus spreads is quite amazing. I recall the social media term "viral". Given how complex a virion is, it is amazing that a lung cell can copy it. One coronavirus particle is made up of thousands of macromolecules (proteins), which in turn are made up of thousands of atoms - so, a coronavirus particle is made up of millions of atoms.

If we would not have modern methods of notification and protection, COVID-19 would kill enormous number of people. Thanks to the coronavirus, we now also understand the virus that spread in 1918-1920, infecting a third of the world's population with its four waves.

How to protect ourselves?

When coronavirus 2 began to spread in early 2020, the fear was very high and therefore the idea of the need to clean surfaces and disinfect hands spread as the number one measure in fight against the virus. We have now learned that there is no real need to be afraid of getting coronavirus from surfaces. From the surfaces, the virus could get through the hands into the mouth and from there into the digestive tract, but that does not cause problems. We must prevent coronavirus particles from entering the lungs.

Washing your hands is of course very important. It gave the best impact to the protection of lives in the history of mankind. As surprising as it sounds, regular hand washing as a health care measure did not come until the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, rather at the beginning of the twentieth century. Partly because of washing the hands the mortality numbers fell and the enormous growth of the world population began.

Speaking of washing hands in the context of COVID-19, I think the point is to keep other diseases away - so that even if you get COVID-19, no other disease would make the situation worse. In my opinion, there is a marginal risk that a virus particle could enter the lungs from unwashed hands compared to what happens when the virus-contaminated air is inhaled. How much and for how long you inhale the contaminated air also plays a role.

Speaking of masks - when its material is tight enough to catch small particles, then the air passes through it also poorly. This means that the air moves greatly also between the skin and the mask, not exactly through the mask. You can test it this way: take a pharmacy mask, press its material tightly against the open mouth, press your nose shut and try to breath through the material. You are surprised by the tight material of the cheap pharmacy mask and stricken how slowly the air passes thorugh it.

I cut a pharmacy mask to see its different layers

How can a visor protect? If you don't move, you are a bit more in your "airspace", but that's about it. A scarf? Placed in front of the face it reduces the speed at which air travels away from the exhaler, but it cannot filter the inhaled air in any way. A multi-layer fabric mask is significantly better than a scarf, but the fabric is always woven and therefore it cannot catch small particles. A coronavirus particle is as small as 1/10000 mm, but it luckily moves partly together with the moisture in the exhaled air and is therefore "larger". It is definitely a good idea to use a mask, as it reduces the speed at which the air moves and thus minimizes the spread of the virus particles. Whichever mask you use, you should ensure that as much air as possible passes through the mask and as little as possible between the mask and the face. Even if the wire at the top of the mask is bent at nose, a lot of air moves between the mask and not through the mask. In public indoor places it's awful to see people who use the mask without the wire bent or the ones who have their noses completely sticking out over the masks. It is also bad if a person puts on the mask too early - for example, when going from home to a store -, because at the arrival the mask is already partially clogged with moisture from the breath and the air begins to move even more between the mask and the face.

Wearing a mask shows that you are a caring (=good) person. People take you how you present yourself. People who go into public indoor areas without their noses covered increase the deaths caused by the coronavirus. So, it is not only shameful to be careless, but it results in loss of lives.

In order to save lives, coming and being together must be avoided. In fact, nothing would happen if even the school buildings would be closed for a whole year. It wouldn't kill anyone. Keeping schools open contributes to the death of the grandparents of the students. Children can study at home - they have always done it - and in a crisis, it doesn't really matter how fast the school year is completed. Even if it takes two years, it doesn't matter. There can't be more important things than keeping lives. The desire not to bear difficulties and inconveniences carries the cost of someone's life.

As long as we can make a contribution to the fight against the virus, we will save someone's life. Striving is not easy, but it makes a human.

To summarize:
In order to not get (and then spread) the coronavirus, avoid inhaling air that contains virus particles.