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Coronavirus: Why Its So Dangerous And How To Stay Safe

Coronavirus

The recent pandemic has spread in almost all countries with cases doubling within days. This virus is the severe acute respiratory syndrome which causes the disease called COVID-19 that everyone simply calls coronavirus.

What actually happens when it infects a human and what should we all do?


The virus is really just a shell around genetic material and a few proteins arguably not even a living thing. It could only make more of itself by entering a living cell. Coronavirus may spread via surfaces, but it's still uncertain how long it can survive on them. Its main way of spreading seems to be droplet infection when people cough or if you touch someone who's ill and then your face or rubbing your eyes or nose. As the virus enters deeper into the body, it's destinations are the intestines the spleen or the lungs where it can have the most dramatic effect.

The lungs are lined with billions of epithelial cells. These are the border cells of your body running your organs and mucous membranes. Coronavirus connects to a specific receptor on these cell membranes to inject its genetic material the cell. Ignorant of what's happening the cells executes the new instructions, which are pretty simple - copy and reassemble. It fills up with more and more copies of the original virus until it reaches a critical point and causes the cell to die. This releases new Coronavirus ready to attack more cells. The number of infected cells grows exponentially after about 10 days. Millions of body cells are infected and billions of viruses swarm the lungs and targets the immune system.

Immune System, while there to protect you can actually be pretty dangerous to yourself and needs tight regulation and as immune cells pour into the lungs to fight the virus, it infects some of them and creates confusion. Cells communicate mostly via tiny information proteins called Cytokines. Nearly every important immune reaction is controlled by them. Coronavirus causes infected immune cells to overreact. It puts the immune system into a fighting frenzy, wasting its resources and causing damage. There are two kinds of cells in particular that overreact:

Neutrophils, which are great at killing bad cells. As they arrive in their thousands. They start popping out enzymes that destroy good cells as bad ones.
The other important type of cells are Killer T cells which usually order infected cells to commit controlled suicide. As they are confused by virus, they start ordering healthy cells to kill themselves. The more healthy lung tissues gets kill and this might get so bad that it can cause permanent irreversible damage that leads to lifelong disabilities in most cases.

The immune system slowly regains control. It kills the infected cells and intercepts the virus that is trying to infect new ones and cleans up.

The majority of people infected by Coronavirus will get through it with relatively. Sometimes many cases become severe or even critical. But it's safe to say that there is a lot more than with the flu in more severe cases where billions of epithelial cells have died. And with them the lungs protective lining is gone. That means that the Alveoli - tiny air sacs are irritated and can be infected by bacteria that aren't usually a big problem. Patients get Pneumonia, respiration becomes hard or even fails and patients need ventilators to survive. The immune system has fought at full capacity for weeks and made millions of antiviral weapons. And as thousands of bacteria rapidly multiply. It is overwhelmed. They enter the blood and overrun the body and if this happens Death is very likely.

The Corona virus is actually much more dangerous. We know for sure that it's much more contagious and spreads faster than the flu. There are two futures for a pandemic like Coronavirus - fast and slow. Which future we will see depends on how we all react to it in the early days of the outbreak. A fast pandemic will be horrible and cost many lives and a slow pandemic won't have large scale impact.

The worst case scenario for a fast pandemic begins with a very rapid rate of infection because there aren't though counter measures in place to slow it down. Many people get sick. At the same time if the numbers get too large, healthcare systems is unable to handle it. There aren't enough resources like medical staff or equipment like ventilators left to help. People will die untreated and as more healthcare workers get sick themselves, the capacity of health care Systems falls.
Even further if this becomes the case, then horrible decisions will have to be made about who gets to live and who doesn't. The number of deaths rises significantly. To avoid this, all of us needs to do what we can to turn this into a slow pandemic. A pandemic is slowed down a by the right responses, especially in the early phase so that everyone who gets sick can get treatment and there's no crunch point. Since, we don't have a vaccine for Coronavirus we have to have to take certain steps. This simply means two things. No getting infected and not infecting others.

What we can do to avoid getting infected?

The best thing we can do is to wash our hands with soap. The Coronavirus is encased in a layer of fat. Soap breaks that that apart and leaves it unable to infect. It also makes hands slippery and with the mechanical motions of washing viruses are ripped away. To do it properly we should wash our hands properly for at least 20-30 Seconds.

Wash hands


The next thing is social distancing,  If you can stay at home, stay at home to protect those who need to be out for society to function. From doctors to police officers. We depend on all of them. They all depend on us to not get sick on a larger level.

There are quarantines which can mean different things from travel restrictions. All orders to stay at home quarantines are not great to experience and certainly not popular but they buy us, and especially the researchers working on medication and vaccination, crucial time. So, if you are put under quarantine, you should understand why and respect it.


The more we are serious about defeating the virus, it will be good for the humanity. We should take all necessary steps to stop it in it's chain of infecting people. It really is in all of our hands to see our future with better prospects.




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