SARS-CoV-2 and the lessons we have to learn from it.
At this moment the media is covering SARS-CoV-2 in breathless tones- and somehow, key points about this discussion are being missed. If you are looking at this pandemic and thinking that the possibility of you or someone you love getting SARS-CoV-2 itself is the biggest threat- you are egregiously mistaken. I am afraid the reality is not nearly so simple.
SARS-CoV-2: An Overview
First I can offer some good news: if by some stroke of misfortune you get this disease, you are not very likely to die. Case-fatality ratios for the novel coronavirus at this time are hovering at about 1-2% (and make no mistake- that’s not a small number, but it is considerably better than the initially reported values which went as high as 33%)- which means that 98–99% of people who get it survive. It also tends to be more serious in those who are older and in those who have significant comorbidities, especially respiratory ones. At this time, the vast majority of cases appear to be mild. To be clear, this isn’t license to treat the disease as something trivial because even from the very virology of the disease, that is not the case. And furthermore, when you think about dismissing this as minor, I want you to remember this:
There are people for whom getting SARS-CoV-2 will represent a very serious health threat- and they have to get it from someone.
SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus, which is a group of viruses- something that evidently many people fail to realize given the conspiracies of various disinfectants claiming well in advance of the pandemic that they kill coronaviruses- specifically in the Betacoronavirus genus, like its namesake SARS. The viruses are characterized by their spiky projections which give them a crownlike…