Look, we’ve all been inundated with the news, no matter how hard we do try to stay away from the (rightful) fear-mongering and the moment by moment coverage of this year’s current enemy COVID-19.
I’m deliberately not adding stats and numbers and infection and mortality rates because that’s not what we’re doing here. For the latest briefings, you can go here to the WHO, who are providing the most up-to-date statistics. If you’re looking for the daily situation reports for CoVID-19, please click here.
The information I am gathering is primarily from the WHO and the CDC, at this particular moment, but should the information below become obsolete, you must let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the reasons I write these resource pages so religiously and with as much information as I can find is because I truly believe that knowledge is power, and the more you know about your disease/mental illness/physical illness/feelings/loss, the better you can feel in control. Is this page going to be a binkie? Will it make it all okay?
But it’s a start, it’s not going to be alarmist, and I’m imagining that you’ll not see the same version twice as this is a relatively new virus and information is consistently changing. I’m asking you to please email me (don’t bother DMing me – I suck at it – ask anyone) if you see something incorrect or something to be changed: email@example.com
Let’s start at the beginning:
What In The Hell *IS* The Corona Virus?
First and foremost, let me assure the thousands of people who actually dumped out perfectly good beer that this virus is not, in fact, related to Corona Beer.
And while Coronavirus (CoV) sounds kicky enough, it turns out that it’s not really it’s real name (LIAR). The virus we’re dealing with is from the FAMILY of coronaviruses, and all of these viruses are kinda assholes. This family of asshole viruses can cause anything from the normal boring cold to much more severe disease, such as the particularly kickily named SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory System)(REMEMBER ME!?! – sorry, the virus was talking.) the very highly specifically named MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
May I just, *ahem* say that if there’s an opening for naming viruses, call me the fuck up, because these are LAME NAMES.
Alas, I digress.
What we do know so far is that these coronaviruses are passed from people and animals – MERS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats, which I’d be wrong not to mention are the same cats that crap out some zillion dollar coffee bean. No seriously. They’re also a-freaking-dorable, and I’m gonna show you a picture that is NOT mine and I will be happy to credit when I know who took it:
While SARS-CoV came from adorable adorable million-dollar cat pooping coffee bean machines, the MERS-CoV has been passed from dromedary camels – which are decidedly NOT cute – to humans.
There are a couple of known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. Ugly animals, keep your stinking coronaviruses away from us!
Where Did Its Exceedingly Stupid Name Come About?
Okay, so the international committee who names viruses (of which I should be chairman of the board), has actually named the new coronavirus “SARS-CoV-2” due to its genetic ties to the SARS-CoV disease. This is where it gets kinda confusing because people are calling ALL of the the things either coronavirus or CoVID-19. I can make you a comparison that should make it slightly less confusing.
People who get infected with the virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) do not have AIDS, but HIV infection CAN lead an infected person to develop Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
People who are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 CAN develop full-blown CoVID-19; but they may not.
Why Are People Blaming Other People?
Because the first reported (notice I said REPORTED) cases of CoVid-19 were identified at the tail end of 2019 in Wuhan, the capital city of China’s Hubei province, as hospitals filled up with people who had severe bilateral pneumonia. CoVID-19 is thought to have come from bats, but the mode of transmission (bat bites, bat feces, eating undercooked bat meat) from bats to humans is currently unknown.
Many other types of pathogens do travel through an intermediary animal reservoir -> bats infect other animals -> humans make some type of contact with the animal infected by the bat and -> go on to infect other people.
At this time, we know little about how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted, where along the food (or outside) chain the virus mutated to be transmissible to humans, or even how the virus is currently being transmitted from person to person.
In the wake of the news that this virus (probably – remember, we do NOT know the whole story) may have originated from the Wuhan, the capital of Hubei in China, there has been an uptick in violence against people who come from China. Because THAT’S gonna help anything.
Working at the Band for nearly 10 (10!) years, I’ve seen a lot of stigma I’d assumed would take eons to change, do so overnight. But when people are scared and feel helpless? Some of us turn our anger outward. It’s not fair and it’s not right so let’s just stop being angry at people on public trans.
If you’re mad at someone? Take a look around to see who’s actually “managing” (or not) the cases in the US and abroad and see what kind of job they’re doing. See who’s lying to you about basic information: Despite the head pats and there-there’s of the current president of my country, you know as well as I do that things are simply NOT OKAY right now. They will be. When? I’m not psychic.
/steps off soapbox
Okay, So Get Down And Dirty With Me: How Does These Asshole Coronaviruses Work?
I did mention above that knowledge is power and I know about 98% of you tuned me out just now, but this is important. Knowing our enemy is the only way we can learn to defeat it.
Time to get all eye of the motherfucking tiger on this shit.
Coronaviruses have 4 categories (told you scientists need a bit more pizzaz!):
Alpha & Beta coronaviruses generally infect and reside in mammals, while Gamma & Delta are pretty much into infecting birds.
First isolated in the 1960s in humans, coronaviruses were considered pretty mild – generally, were you to get infected, you’d end up with a cold. No biggie. That is, until the really nasty coronaviruses mutated to allow for infection from animals to humans. Whoopee!
Now viruses cannot live forever without a host, which is why they must mutate if they want to survive, and it’s important to remember that the length of time that a virus can stay virulent (sorta like a robot) can last from moments to days, to months. As we’re not really sure what’s going on with Covid-19, we are currently unsure about how long it can survive on… say a doorknob.
So what can I tell you about the coronavirus that’ll help you understand it more completely.?
Coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that are encapsulated in a studded (ha) protein membrane.
Think of these viral as the asshole biker gang that goes into the bar and beats up everyone for… breathing? So these studded asshole biker gang viruses get into your body, they bastards attach their proteins to our own host cells, who are doing nothing but listening to bad music at the bar, and out of nowhere – because they’re greedy fuckers – they dump their OWN viral RNA into your own cell’s nucleus, which turns it into a zombie, churning out more and more of these bastard biker dude viral cells. Shitty bar music stops, your own cells join the nasty virus biker gang and set out to kick some innocent ass.
This is how the infection begins.
So how bad can it get? What factors determine how many bastard biker viral cells are made into our body and how sick will they make us? This depends upon a few things.
Less serious types of coronaviruses – such as the ones who cause the boring common cold – often attach their viral biker genes in higher places in your respiratory tract; like your throat or your nose. But the fucking bad asshole biker viruses ride on down deep into your lungs and bronchial tubes, overwhelming your poor innocent cells and leading to increasingly serious infections.
Another factor that can lead to different symptoms and severity is the genes involved. Different proteins mean different genes and scientists believe that the virulent (bad-ass biker fuckheads) viruses might have better and more efficient ways of attaching themselves to our host cells. Some of these SARS-CoV-2 strains have developed mutated proteins that can attack your immune system – so when your immune system goes on the attack, you actually become sicker.
Here’s the down and dirty: we don’t yet know a lot about the mutated strains of SARS-CoV-2.
I will update this as I locate more credible information. As always, email me if/when you find more (credible) information: firstname.lastname@example.org
What Are The Five Phases Of Infections?
Sounds boring, but I promise you, as we learn more about CoVAD-19, you’ll need to know this information, so bear with me:
- The incubation period happens after a person is infected with a disease – and the pathogen (in this case, a virus) begins to multiply inside of us. During the incubation period, there aren’t enough viruses or infected cells to cause any symptoms in you, so you don’t know that you’re actually ill. These incubation periods can vary from hours, to days, to months, to years based on the pathogen. In this case, the incubation period of CoVAD-19 is unknown and whomever has the disease is completely unaware. Per the WHO, most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, but most are commonly seen around five days. These estimates will, obviously, updated as we learn more.
- During the next stage of infections, called the prodromal period, the pathogen, in our case CoVAD-19, keeps on doing it’s multiplying thing, your immune system kicks in, and you start to feel kinda sick. The symptoms you’re feeling though, they’re not major and you can easily write them off as a cold or allergies. Some people report a high fever, malaise (sleepiness), and a dry cough. Others have reported aches and pains, head congestion, sore throat, and a runny nose, but the onset is gradual.
- The next stage of infectious diseases is followed by a period of illness, in which symptoms become increasingly severe. This is likely when someone who has CoVAD-19 would seek hospital treatment
- Following the period of illness, is a period of decline. It is during this period that people who have infectious diseases, such as CoVAD may experience secondary infections due to their weakened immune system. Their weakened immune system may make it harder and harder to fight off the CoVAD-19 virus, and some people will die during this period.
- The final period of an infectious illness is called the period of convalescence, in which the person will very, very slowly (generally) returns to normal, although some studies have indicated that certain types of CoVAD-19 may inflict permanent damage that the body cannot fully repair.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Coronavirus?
At the time of this writing, this is more nebulous territory, but I will go on with what I’ve learned from the WHO, because it’s what I have right now.
Since we are mostly unaware of the stages of infectious diseases as shown above as this is a relatively new virus, this is what I’ve pieced together from the WHO website.
The most common symptoms that appear in those infected may include:
- A dry cough
- A fever,
Other people have reported symptoms like:
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches and pains
Generally, these symptoms come about gradually and get worse. Current estimates are that about 1 in 6 people who becomes infected by CoVID-19 becomes seriously ill enough to need medical help to remain breathing. According to most recent estimates, 80% of people who are infected recover from the CoVid
Some of those who are infected by CoVID-19 don’t always develop symptoms.
Okay, So How Do I Get Coronavirus? Like, How Does It Spread?
This is the part I wanted to avoid discussing, but here we are so here we go.
While initially thought to be transmitted through a fecal-oral mode of transmission (maybe THAT’s the reason for the TP shortage?), that’s simply too easy to combat and wouldn’t account for the ever-mounting death toll. It is now thought highly unlikely that anyone could catch CoVID-19 through the fecal-oral route.
No, the latest evidence that the WHO has is that the COVID-19 is transmitted through the air. Meaning that if you’re in contact with someone who has COVID-19, this virus can be spread one of two ways:
- From the passage of droplets of mucous from the nose and/or mouth spread by the person who has COVAD-19 coughing or sneezing near you. You snort those droplets up and BOOM – infection. TLDR: Stay 3-6 feet AWAY from the a person who is sick.
- Since the virus (as of yet) doesn’t have tiny drones flying these droplets into your nose and mouth, so the cough or sneeze from an infected person lands on surfaces around them. When someone goes to touch these droplets (we don’t yet know how long the virus is able to live on inanimate surfaces), then touches their mouth, eyes, or nose can pick up this nasty bug. TLDR: Wash your damn hands, DRY THEM PROPERLY TOO, and stop touching your face.
Okay, so how long can it live on surfaces? The WHO (like the rest of us) isn’t quite sure, but based upon what they know about similar coronaviruses, CoVID-19 may last from a few hours to several days – all depending upon environmental circumstances. Again, this is going to need to be updated. OH, and in the meanwhile, wipe-down anywhere you expect that someone might have coughed or sneezed with a disinfectant and wash your damn hands.
Can I Catch CoVID-19 From Someone Who Is Asymptomatic?
Good question and one the health experts (NO, NOT ME, ACTUAL SMART PEOPLE), aren’t quite sure of as of this writing.
As the virus is thought to have spread through respiratory (nose, mouth) droplets from someone who has symptoms to someone who does not, is thought of AS OF RIGHT THIS SECOND AS I AM TYPING THIS to be low.
If you have have to go to work, ignore the rest of what I’m saying.
Before you go all YOLO-ing around in big drunken groups, assuming that you’re invincible, like a bunch of fucking assholes, listen carefully:
In the early stages of the disease CoVAD-19, your symptoms may match that of a common cold or allergies. So you DO NOT KNOW if you have the disease, and if you do? You’re coughing and sneezing all over other people (even if you’re feeling YOLO) and you may infect them.
(again, if you’ve gotta work, you’ve gotta work.)
Yeah. Way to be a fucking asshole, asshole.
(if you can) STAY HOME.
You SAID This Was Probably Caused By An Animal That Transferred It To A Human. Is That A Lie?
Okay, this I did say, because this is typically how Coronaviruses work and it’s VERY likely that our very own CoVID-19 was transmitted by an animal to a human.
But does that mean FIDO or PUSS n BOOTS is okay?
There’s a suspected case in China where a dog got sick from CoVID-19 (MAYBE), but have yet to see this anywhere else.
Let’s Do Some Busting Of Myths:
Every time a new disease pops up, there are a zillion million myths that spring up to help symptoms and/or prevent us from getting the disease. Sometimes, desperate people even buy into them. From the WHO, here are some common CoVID-19 myths debunked:
|Myth Says:||Science Says:|
|You can't catch CoVID-19 in really hot and humid places.||False: Science Says that CoVID-19 doesn't care about the climate.|
|You can't catch CoVID-19 in cold, freezing temps.||Science Says: yet again, CoVID-19 doesn't seem to give a crap about the temperature of its enviornment|
|Mosquitoes transmit CoVID-19||Science Says: Nope. This new virus is spread by respiratory droplets from human to human and does not (at the time of this publish) transmit through blood.|
|CoVID-19||Aunt Becky LOVES garlic, but science says that while garlic might have some anti-microbial properties, we have no evidence that it can prevent transmission of CoVID-19.|
|Taking a REALLY hot bath kills CoVID-19.||Science woefully admits that not only does taking a really hot bath not protect you whatsoever from the coronavirus, it also can burn you.|
|Those UV disinfectant lamps can be used to kill CoVID-19 on my skin.||Science says? Not only will it not kill the virus on your skin, it will also irritate your skin, leaving you open to other infections.|
|Surely, spraying my whole body with alcohol, chlorine, or bleach should kill CoVID-19... right?||Science Says: alcohol, chlorine, and/or bleach will not help you once the virus has entered your body. These supplies are used to disinfect surfaces, not people.|
|Okay: are there specific meds that I can take to prevent infection by CoVID-19?||Science Says: currently, no, but scientists are working around the clock trying to create a vaccine or other medicines that may help prevent infection of CoVID-19.|
|Should I stockpile old antibiotics?||Science Says: No. Antibiotics work for bacterial infections only; they do not work for viruses, such as CoVID-19.|
|I'm young, healthy, strong, and I've got no medical issues. YOLO, RIGHT?||Science Says: STOP RIGHT THERE. While it appears that older people and people who are already ill are more susceptible to CoVID-19, no one is immune to this virus. Stay home. Don't infect other people.|
|Okay, should I rinse out my nose with saline several times a day to prevent infection with CoVID-19?||Science Says: There's currently no evidence that this would help prevent infection by CoVID-19.|
|This year I got my flu shot AND my pneumonia vaccine. I'm in the clear, right?||Science Says: We wish. We really, really do. The vaccinations you have received should protect you from some types of viruses, but as of this publishing, no vaccines for CoVID-19 have been developed.|
I added a few graphics because the illustrations tickled me – not because any one is any more important than the other.
And my personal favorite: