Monday, March 30, 2020

The unpredictable yet predictable targets of SARS-CoV-2

I've tried to help myself and others discern SARS-CoV-2.

The best analogy I have come up with is as follows.

Imagine you have a less-than-mentally-stable-gun-carrying person passing through your town and possibly into your neighborhood. Let's call her Martha.

Imagine that Martha might walk down your street in the days that she was passing through your town.  Martha's presence would be unpredictable, she may be in your town for a few days or a few weeks, and she may be on your street 1x or 10x or 20x.  When Martha is present, with no pattern of frequency, with no predictable timeline, Martha shoots bullets in any direction, at random intervals.  And, Martha likes to remain in neighborhoods where people come out.

Let's imagine, for whatever reason, no one could stop Martha - though, for the sake of this imaginary exercise, let's imagine that if you never open your door to Martha, nor approach her, she could not fire at you (her ammunition would not, for example, go through your walls/windows.)  And, let's imagine that if Martha sees no person, she moves on to the next town.

In such an imaginary scenario, you would reasonably and practically never go anywhere in sight of nor in any proximate distance to Martha.  Ever. 

You would counsel everyone you know to stay away from Martha, too.  You would stay home until you had the "all clear" that Martha had left town.  And, if you went out for any reason, and saw Martha, you would steer clear of her on any street.

Martha doesn't intend to be mean or villainous, though, she does injure people.

Not all of her bullets hit live targets. 

Many of her bullets injure people. 

Some of her bullets kill people.

She shoots. She injures.  She kills.

SARS-CoV-2 is kind of like Martha.  It injures.  It kills.  It is unpredictable - while also being predictable. 

The only way to stay safe from SARS-CoV-2 is for you, and everyone you know, to stay away from "Martha"/SARS-CoV-2.

Of course, the problem with SARS-CoV-2 is that we don't know who "has it" and therefore, who, like Martha, is firing random penetrating "shots" at people.

And, of course, the greater problem with SARS-CoV-2 - and it is remarkably greater, is that in my imaginary scenario there is just Martha.  In the reality of SARS-CoV-2, every person that is infected, becomes a "new Martha" "shooting" at random intervals, at random frequency, in random directions, to anyone in their vicinity.

The only way to stop Martha from injuring or killing anyone, thereby, is to act, for a reasonable period of time over a few weeks - as if *every* person you meet is Martha - possibly, randomly, shooting you or anyone near her to injure or kill.

If left alone, Martha will go away.

If approached, Martha will maim, injure or kill more people.

More eery than Martha, SARS-CoV-2 multiples and replicates.

If left alone, Martha will go away.

If left alone, SARS-CoV-2 will go away. 

If we could get people to understand that SARS-CoV-2 is an "invisible" and nearly imperceptible "Martha" firing to injure some and kill others, perhaps we could better discern the need to be Safer At Home and to radically social distance - from anyone - as anyone could be "firing" lethal doses of SARS-CoV-2 into your body - injuring or killing you - or those that you love.

Be safe.

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