Corona, Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2

Do not read this page as any authoritative essay. I do not know even about the basic Biology. Even if you are a medical practitioner you may find some useful information!

Corona-viruses are a family of viruses that range from the common cold to MERS. COVID-19 is the name given by WHO to the disease that is caused by a novel (new) corona-virus. This novel corona-virus (now called SARS-CoV-2) is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets do not float in the air for long, and eventually fall on floors, tabletops or surfaces. Infected person may transfer viruses to objects (like knobs, utensils) and other surfaces s/he touches if his/her hand has traces of saliva, nasal discharge etc.

One can get infected by breathing in the virus if s/he is near to someone who either has COVID-19 or is a carrier of this virus. One can also get infected by touching a contaminated object or surface (where the droplets containing viruses have landed) and then touching his/her eyes, nose or mouth. This virus can live on surfaces like plastic and metal for 2 to 3 days. So keep cleaning and disinfecting all counters, handles, knobs, and other surfaces others might have touched.

Since the beginning of this millennium, the world has seen outbreaks like SARS, MERS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Zika, Ebola, etc.

There may be many reasons for these outbreaks:

  • The pathogens causing these outbreaks are novel and deadly!
  • Lack of effective vaccines and medicines!
  • The world is well connected so the chances of (quick) spread is greater.
  • May be lifestyle and immunity is now an issue?

Because of better communication no such information escapes our attention!

In the recent past, there were outbreaks of Zika, resurgent Ebola, etc. I used to think India being not so resourceful and careful will suffer if a deadly virus spreads. Luckily India avoided major outbreaks of these diseases. So I wasn't alarmed when news from Wuhan started appearing!

Since March 2020, we understood that COVID-19 is a very dangerous pandemic. I never agreed with people who said it is going to be over by the month of June 2020.

Whether this novel Corona virus is mutating faster than ordinary FLU virus? By the end of first week of April 2020, there were 8 identified strains of this Corona virus. Because of favorable conditions (mainly temperature) generally we have more FLU cases in winter. I think, from the month of October 2020, i.e. start of winter season, we may see spread of some strain of the SARS-CoV-2 :-(. Whether this virus is about to stay for years like FLU? But I don't agree with projections of some US university that by February 2021, India may have more than 2 lakh new patients daily. Because by that time metros in India may have well passed their peaks.

Whether we will have a vaccine that will work against all the mutations of the SARS-CoV-2? Whether we will have to keep finding newer vaccines for newer strains?

Some strain of this novel Corona Virus may be more dangerous than other strains of it!

To console some one who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, we can say to him/her: It is likely that most of us are going to get infected sooner or later like common cold. So fight it out.

Two months back, I saw a news regarding some COVID-19 survivors in Wuhan again turning positive. Whether it is because of some faulty testing kits? Whether immunity is specific to a strain only?

Now the authorities in India are saying that most of those who tested positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic. What percentage of them will become patients of COVID-19 (i.e. show symptoms) and what percentage of them will become carriers?

Is COVID-19 going to eliminate sizable (say 0.5%) population worldwide in 2-3 years? I do not wish to become a negative person? Whether we will have timely and effective vaccination and treatment from all the present as well as future strains of SARS-CoV-2? Time will tell.

Now and then we hear about trials of various vaccines, drugs and treatment methods. The Ebola drug called Remdesivir, Flu drug called Favipiravir and Dexamethasone are currently used in various parts of the World. Lopinavir/Ritonavir combination and HCQ were also used. Delhi Government started a Plasma Bank. Is Plasma Therapy effective in lots of cases? ICMR with a private lab is in overdrive mode to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine!

We all may personally (not just financially) get the brunt of this virus in time to come.

Governments should start funding the production of those vaccines that have been gone through successful trials in good hope that those vaccines get approvals. Even if out of three vaccines currently ahead in human trials one gets approval, that company behind that vaccine won't be able to fulfill demands quickly. So for governments it may be a good strategy.

Low Temperature helps viruses live longer on surfaces (outside hosts) and low humidity decreases our immune response against viruses. So do not sleep in temperature below 25 degree Celsius and do not use dehumidifying functions of AirConditioners. If possible do not use the AC at all.

Whether the patients in ICUs should have a small humidifier and a heater near their bed to compensate for cooler temperature around them!

If you have been inhaling steam coming from hot water in the past to fight common cold, you may do that if you feel similar symptoms. If you have never inhaled steam it is better to take medical advice or start with inhaling vapors from worm water. The hot steam from boiling water may be harmful to your lungs. Also it is not easy to handle boiling water. As humidity helps so warm vapors from warm water may help some.

Masks are better than simple cloths like handkerchiefs, scarf etc. Because if side of the cloth get reversed it will undo the purpose. As hand wash with soap does the purpose of removing the protective lipid layer of the virus, we should put washable masks in water containing detergent after using and before washing it. Sunlight have rays like ultra violet which are harmful to viruses. If chances of air transmission in your area can be considered rare, than it is better to dry masks and your cloths in sunlight.

Don't remain in crowd and leave the crowded places as soon as possible to avoid infection. Two meter distance is compulsory to maintain.

There is no drug, vaccine or medicine acting directly on this virus. One has to improve immunity. Immunity can be increased by doing exercises and taking supplements like Vitamin C. It also helps in maintaining positive thinking. Sleeping for about 8 hours is mandatory.

If you have to go to work in the early morning, you may avoid taking bath before going out. It may be better to bathe after coming home than to bathe before going out. Do not bathe frequently as good bacteria help your skin.

It's better to wash our newly bought food stock in salt water before cooking/using them. Use some cheap unbranded salt. Put lots of salts in a tub full of water, first wash those vegetables (like coriander leaves) and fruits (like grape) that are consumed without peeling. In the end wash roots which contains soil traces. Instead of ordinary salt some people use baking soda.

If any thing is delivered to your home, ask the person who brought it to put the item in a corner. If it is not urgent please do not touch or open it for a day or two.

What to do with Cash?
If you are running a shop where cash cannot be avoided, keep two cash boxes, mark them as 'Even' and 'Odd'. On the day with even date ask your customers to put cash in box marked 'Even', and give the change from the box marked 'Odd'. Next day (odd date) when you open your counter, transfer the remaining cash from the box marked 'Odd' to the box marked 'Even'. Now accept the cash in the box 'Odd' and give change from the box 'Even'.
If you are out shopping, take a pouch or small carry-bag with you. Ask the shop-keeper to put change s/he returns in that pouch. Next day you can use that change.

If your mask breaths with you it has a perfect fit.

Regularly Updated; InitiallyPublished: 13 Apr 2020;

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