Smokey skies from forest fires in the USA on our penultimate day in Canada. A change in the wind has pushed all the smoke north of the border to choke the air and turn the skies a dusky pink first thing. The smell is still outdoors, but mid morning the skies are clearing as I begin the final packing of my suitcase and hand baggage.
Forms requested by authorities and airlines have been imperfectly filled in, my excuse is that I did it on my wife’s iPad, so we’re pretty much good to go tomorrow. No-one has been back to us demanding that we resubmit, so I suppose there’s no obvious problem. We’ll see when we hit dirtside. The family are concerned that we’re going to be detained in some concentration camp for daring to get on a flight, but honestly, we have all the right forms filled in and have cash for contingencies, so let the cards fall as they may.
Right; this SARS/COV-2 malarkey. There seems to be a fundamental lack of knowledge about how viruses and bacteria cause the various collections of symptoms that we call diseases. Disease 101, aka the simple version goes like this;
Viruses use your own body cells as a nursery to breed. A particular virus will bind to a receptor on a cell and inject a part of itself into that blood cell which will replicate inside until the cell literally bursts and spreads a lot of baby viruses around to infect your other cells. They literally hijack your own cells. Different viruses use different host cells to breed. But that’s it in the proverbial nutshell. All your symptoms are caused either by the virus’ replication interfering with your bodily particles and organs, or by your bodies immune system trying to make life difficult for a given bacterium or virus.
Symptoms can be loosely grouped as follows. Remember that for the sake of brevity this is a very broad brushstroke we’re using here and more informed reading is required from proper medical textbooks to get a more precise picture.
A pyrexia or fever is the body trying to raise it’s temperature to a point where it interferes with virus replication.
A cough or sneeze is the bodies attempt to get rid of excess catarrh to keep your airways clear. Your body produces catarrh as part of your immune response to a viral or bacterial infection.
A cyst is where the white cells have ganged up on all the viruses or germs and taken mass casualties. The yellowness of pus for example is mainly dead white cells that have done a kamikaze attack on a given infection.
Diarrhea is the body purging the gut of an infection that is irritating your intestines.
And so on. The cast and script change, but it’s all the same theatre.
SARS/COV-2 is primarily a respiratory virus, ergo it tries to use your airways as a breeding ground. Hence the cough and excess snot which end up blocking the air / blood interfaces in your lungs called alveoli. If too many of these get blocked there’s not enough oxygen from the air into the bloodstream, oxygen is needed for cells to function. No oxygen. No life. Simple.
However, immune function varies greatly from person to person and environment governs transmissibility. Airborne respiratory viruses spread less in warmer climes than in cooler. Those with a healthy immune system can shrug off a given infection with alacrity. Those under extreme stress or otherwise immunocompromised will catch just about everything going. The SARS/COV-2 (COVID-19) figures indicate that about 20% or a fifth of the population is liable to catch a dose. 80% will shrug it off with barely a sniffle. Three or four percent of the infected will need hospital treatment. A fraction of a percent who catch it may die without proper treatment.
So tell me again; why this silly bloody lockdown? It’s too extreme a response.
Oh by the way. When I say that the numbers do not lie? Watch the video below.