Virus Facts 2020
Information on the 2020 coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, with special attention given to topics that have not received significant attention from the media.
This page has been created by, and will be maintained by, David Fiske.
A good starting point for information is "Don’t Panic: The Comprehensive Ars Technica Guide to the Coronavirus," from Ars Techin;ica. It is updated frequently, as new information about the virus is learned. It is divided into many subtopics about the virus.
Contagiousness of Coronavirus
Although novel coronavirus was originally reported by the Chinese as not being transmissible from human to human, it soon became clear that that was not the case. In fact, it was especially contagious.
- "Officials Just Confirmed China’s Mystery Virus Spreads by Human to Human Transmission" science alert (AFP), 20 January 2020 [Quote from article: "WHO said earlier that an animal source seemed to be ‘the most likely primary source’ with ‘some limited human-to-human transmission occurring between close contacts.’"]
- "WHO raises possibility of ‘sustained’ human-to-human transmission of new virus in China" STAT, 21 January 2020
Given the ease with which a person could become infected, a potential crisis was perceived if the virus was also very deadly. As time went on, it was learned that fatalities were mostly confined to people with pre-existing health conditions and the elderly. Though deadly to some, many individuals who contracted the virus had minimal, or even zero, symptoms. Given the readiness with which coronavirus spread, this was good news in so far as the pandemic would not be as severe as it might have been.
For examples of how easily coronavirus can be passed between people, read these articles:
In South Korea, most of the infections stemmed from adherents of a religious sect, who attended mass meetings. Slowness of the group’s leaders in working with authorities caused problems tracking down individuals who had exposure (who went on to spread the virus).
- "Why a Korean cult is at the centre of a huge coronavirus scare" Financial Times, 2 March 2020
- "South Korea’s coronavirus cases climb above 7,000, most cases traced to church" Reuters 6 March 2020
In a municipality near New York City, one patient quickly spread the contagion to family and acquaintances. A frequent commuter, his use of mass transit and presence in a transportation hub (Grand Central Terminal) may have led to virus in the city and its suburbs.
- "Coronavirus patient reportedly commuted on Metro-North" New York Post 3 March 2020
- "At least 28 coronavirus cases in New York are linked to one man - a 50-year-old attorney who works near Grand Central Terminal. Here’s what we know" Business Insider, 6 March 2020
- "New York officials traced more than 50 coronavirus cases back to one attorney" CNN, 11 March 2020
- [Added 17 April 2020] Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City Massachusetts Institute of Technology working paper. Get the full paper (PDF), 13 April 2020
Attendees at a religious conference in France spread the virus to some far-flung places.
- "Special Report: Five days of worship that set a virus time bomb in France" Reuters, 30 March 2020
- "French evangelical church conference blamed for surge in coronavirus infections" The Christian Post, 31 March 2020
Are Ventilators Advisable?There are several ways to get air into the lungs of a patient who is having difficulty breathing. Ventilaotrs ("invasive ventilators") are one treatment. But can they do more harm than good?
- "With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19" STAT, 8 April 2020 [Quote: Per critical care physicians, "putting coronavirus patients on ventilators could be of little benefit to many and even harmful to some."]
- Cell biologist Bruce Lipton suggests that ventilators are killing patients, by stressing their systems due to the invasiveness of the procedure. Fear and Immunity (audio) Coast to Coast AM radio show, 10 April 2020
- [Added 17 April 2020] Body Positioning May Affect Lung Recruitability in COVID-19-related ARDS Healio Pulmonology Critical Care, 30 March 2020
- [Added 17 April 2020] COVID-19: Fluids, Prone Position, and Your Emails HIPPO Education, April 2020
Privacy Notice: No personal information is collected by this web page.Page updated 17 April 2020