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Profile of the coronavirus — maybe some good news

Alan Burdick, a science editor interviewed some scientist on the virus. They described the virus as a microscopic photocopy machine, model SARS-CoV-2. Unlike previous SARS viruses which tended to settle in the respiratory system, this one tends to settle in the upper respiratory system — in your nose and throat. That means to spread with your voice, in addition to coughs and sneezes. And when you look at where a lot of the major super-spreader events occurred, it’s places like churches where folks are singing. It’s meat packing plants where people have to talk really loud. It’s sport arenas. It’s call centers. This is a virus that is ideally adapted to human conversation. All viruses make mistakes when they copy themselves, but this one doesn’t make as many mistakes, or mutations. Which is good for us because we are working to make vaccines and drugs that would target specific aspects of this virus. And we can be pretty confident that whatever we cook up won’t be outdated six months from now because the virus has mutated again and become resistant. So I guess I will continue to wear my mask although it may be hard to understand what I am saying — but then that may be a blessing.

Duane Vander Veen


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