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4.1 What Exactly is a Virus?

Viruses are the most abundant biological entity on the planet. There are not only millions of them in the air around us – there are millions of them inside of us – even when we feel well.

Viruses are extremely small organisms – about 100 times smaller than a small bacteria. Bacteria in turn are small primitive one celled organisms that do not even have a nucleus. Here is a picture of a colony of bacteria:

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Viruses are very hard to study because they are much smaller than bacteria. Viruses are a very small piece of genetic material covered by a coat of protein molecules. Here is a picture of the corona virus:

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The crown around the shell is why this is called the corona virus.

There are at least 7 strains of the corona virus including the 2002 SARS virus, the 2012 MERS virus and the 2019 COV-2 virus we are currently dealing with. So the claim that the corona virus is something new that humans have never seen before is simply not true. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html

What is the Corona virus?
The Corona virus is a single molecule with a single strand of RiboNucleic Acid (RNA). The Corona virus RNA strand has about 30,000 bases containing 15 genes, including the S gene which codes for a protein located on the surface of the viral envelope. The human genome by comparison is in the form of a double helix of DNA consisting of about 3 billion bases and containing about 30,000 genes. https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/20/covid-19-genome-analysis-suggests-2-viruses-may-have-combined/

Viruses are Everywhere. We can not avoid them. This is one reason social distancing does not help.
One of the first studies that was able to measure air-born concentrations of viruses was published in 2015. Here is the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4515362/

An innate antiviral pathway acting before interferons at epithelial surfacesNature Immunology.

Here are some quotes from this study: “Studies examining airborne virus concentrations have been limited due to technical challenges and underappreciated importance…. The specific objectives of this study were to determine concentrations of virus-like particles (VLPs) and bacteria-like particle (BLPs) in both indoor and outdoor air. We collected samples in a classroom, a daycare center, a dining facility, a health center, three houses, an office, and outdoors. Using fluorescent microscopy, we quantified the number of VLPs and BLPs collected and calculated particle concentrations in the air. We collected air samples during September and October of 2014 at nine locations in Blacksburg, Virginia, United States. We found an average of 500,000 viruses per cubic meter… Based on the VLP concentrations measured in this study, we estimate that the total number of VLPs inhaled daily by humans is approximately 6 million. Pneumococcus bacteria and influenza virus have been shown to interact with each other.”

The study also concluded that humans inhale about 6 million bacteria per day and that there is a complex relationship between bacteria and viruses that requires further study. In short, every time you inhale, you inhale some viruses and bacteria – even if you wash your hands 100 times a day and even if you never go near another person! In short, we humans are literally swimming in an ocean of viruses and bacteria that are in the air as well as on nearly every surface we touch. Viruses can even “piggy back” on bacteria!

Next is a 2014 study confirming that viruses can spread rapidly in buildings – even when people are 6 feet apart. Here is the link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282219

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"Our study fundamentally alters our understanding of how the body begins its defense against viruses. This can help to explain how we can be constantly exposed to the viruses and bacteria that always surround us, without activating the entire immune system every time, something that would lead to more frequent influenza-like symptoms," says Soren Riis Paludan, professor at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University.

So how long does the corona virus survive in the air? Here is a link to a recent NPR report on a new study by researchers at UCLA and Princeton confirming that the corona virus can live three hours in the air. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/preliminary-research-suggests-new-virus-may-live-on-some-surfaces-for-up-to-3-days

There is also emerging research showing that many people who are infected with the corona virus have no systems at all. Here is one of these studies:

In a COVID-19 outbreak on a cruise ship where nearly all passengers and staff were screened for SARS-CoV-2, approximately 17 percent of the population on board tested positive as of February 20; about half of the 619 confirmed COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/en/2019-ncov-e/9417-covid-dp-fe-02.html

It therefore does no good to isolate people with symptoms and leave thousands of other people walking around the streets with symptom-less corona virus. Social distancing is just a terribly ill-informed and ridiculous policy. Given the ability of viruses to hide inside of apparently normal people and then migrate through the air for up to three hours, the real question is why aren’t we all dead by now? The answer is our immune system. So let’s take a look at that next.