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August 9, 2020

How the Virus Works, part II

This handy-dandy Q&A sheet should answer all of your questions about the coronavirus.

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen.  Oxygen is a necessary component of human life, as it is involved in every organ and nearly every metabolic process. When organs have insufficient oxygen, they shut down and can cause all sorts of horrible - sometimes long-lasting - symptoms.

This is a novel virus.  

Every virus is a novel virus. Every single virus in you is different from every other virus in you, right now.  At any moment, any of those, even non-deadly ones, could turn into very deadly forms and spread. Viruses are present in every breath that you breathe - and all of those are "novel" in some way, both to your body and to existence. You may even catch a disease from a single virus that kills you. You cannot get rid of viruses no matter what you do because they are a part of all nature - whether bats, cats, pigs, cows, plants, the ocean, the air, and you yourself. Viruses, as well as germs, exist as part of living.

Luckily, our immune systems protect against these sorts of things, mostly. Within our lungs are alveoli that are built to repair themselves because they are ultra-sensitive and break down with many things, including viruses, but even oxygen itself (which sounds strange, but is true).  Lungs, and the alveoli within them, can tolerate a certain level of damage. Coronaviruses will prevent the alveoli from working properly so that blood cannot take up oxygen as easily. If sufficient virii come into the lungs, then it can cause alveoli to collapse, which is very difficult (but not impossible) to repair. If enough oxygen is prevented from getting to any of your organs, they will work improperly, shut down, and cause all sorts of second order effects.

No one knows how this virus works.  How can you claim to know how this virus works?

The virus causes hypoxia.

It should be obvious. If you start with this, then you can actually understand what's going on. If you don't, then I can't imagine how confused - and terrified - you might be.  Hypoxia is dangerous if caught in time.

The virus has been found in the intestines.  It must spread through excrement.

While there are many viruses that do, this one does not spread through excrement.  This virus does not survive long within the human body.

The presence of virus is not the same as the presence of active virus. Excrement will have higher viral loads present because the body tries to clear itself of it, and that's the dominant method.

If the virus dies, then why do I have a headache?

It's hypoxia.  

There is a lack of oxygen in your brain - literally.  Hopefully you have enough oxygen to keep your brain alive.

Does the virus spread by coughing?

Mostly no.

It depends on where the majority of your virus is.  If you have a fever, it might be everywhere.  If you do not have a fever, then you may have the virus entirely located in the lungs.

When the virus replicates at the edges of alveoli in your lungs, this portion of the virus will be exhaled in the last 20% of your air.  This has to overcome the dead space in your lungs, which a cough does not do. Singing overcomes this dead space, but who stands in front of a singer?  Also, who sings in a small room?  I'd rather be coughed on than breathed on by a coronavirus sufferer.

I've been using a mask.  Does that protect people?

Your mask disperses virus more in the air.  Breathing out through your nose would have been much better because it's pointed downwards. If you can smell Febreeze or marijuana at great distances with a mask on, then your mask is insufficient.  Most masks will not do - even an N95 limits 95% of 0.3 micron diameter particles. You need to be 9x more effective to limit a similar number of 0.1 micron particles (aka coronavirus).

By wearing a mask, you limit droplet spread, which, arguably, you may want so that you have symptoms and can limit the spread. Without droplets catching in your eppiglottus / throat

I've been washing my hands. Why did I still get sick?

The virus does not spread through unwashed hands, mostly. While washing your hands will remove 99.99%+ of viruses and bacteria, there are also a lot of good "viruses" and bacteria already on your hands that prevent new ones from taking hold in your personal ecosystem.  It's worth washing your hands because there are a lot of diseases out there that are not coronavirus.  The virus spreads through the air.

A baby was found with inflammation when the mother had coronavirus.  Can it spread to the placenta?

No, active coronavirus will not spread to the placenta.

However, that does not mean there is no danger.  Hypoxia is dangerous.

What is occuring is that the mother isn't getting enough oxygen to provide to the baby.  Most of the damage that occurs to unborn children occurs during the third trimester.  This is when the oxygen and other metabolic demands on the mother are at the highest due to the presence of an increasingly large baby.  This is the riskiest time for miscarriage.  Expectant mothers in the third trimester should shield themselves, especially if they expect their children in winter.

People who have had the virus have long term effects.  Will they ever recover?

Hypoxia can be very dangerous and kill tissues in the worst cases. While the majority of younger people will barely notice the effects of this virus, sadly, not everyone will recover.  

However, in this hysteria we have somehow forgotten traditional treatments for these sorts of things, mostly because we are misdiagnosing many of the characteristics of the disease as "virus" instead of "hypoxia".  

When a portion of the alveoli collapses, which can occur due to oxygen misbalance because some have been infected by virus, they may not reopen without help. People who have not recovered and still feel drained after a month need oxygen treatment to help these alveoli reopen.

There will be a portion of people who have not had oxygen for a longer period of time.  These require more specific treatments, depending on the organs affected. Their lungs may not recover.

The ICUs are overwhelmed.  Should we worry?

If you were to determine all of your views based on the ICUs, you would think that everyone in the world was having trampoline accidents and devote a large amount of resouces to that.  It's important to consider what is happening in the ICUs, and how this compares normally. ICUs are normally overwhelmed, even before the coronavirus. At the moment, 10% of ICU visits in Texas are coronavirus, while the rest are other accidents and diseases.  

When considering a system, it's important to consider all parts of the system - ICUs, virologists, doctors, biologists, epidimiologists, statisticians, medical physicists, and other types of groups and their thoughts and views should be considered and taken in as a whole, otherwise you might miss something.

I had the virus, can I get it again?

Yes, but it depends on where you get it, how much you encounter, and your previous exposure.  

If you are exposed to the virus, it always has the possibility of entering into you and replicating.  It probably will if it can make it to your tissues. One hopes that your immune system will have a sufficient response to stop it.

There is no perfect treatment against any virus.

Viruses are small, and so there is extracellular protection (antibodies), but antibodies do not protect against viruses inside of cells. Antibodies also do not protect against viruses at your anti

What's more is that alveoli are not exposed to the same antibodies because this is dangerous for them. Alveoli have an ability to recover under low limits, especially in younger people who have better recovery abilities generally and who are rapidly developing new alveoli. Young people are not immune, but they have better recovery.

A corrollary can be made with asbestos, which can have particulates the same diameter as this virus, and cause very similar symptoms, both short and long term - including thrombosis and headaches.  The coronavirus can partially be thought of as self-replicating "air asbestos", which is sort of scary, unless you realize that your body has the ability to handle some of these things to a certain limit, and that the virus will tend to break down quickly when exposed to literally anything except moist dark caves and lungs.

If you have never encountered this sort of virus, then you will likely have a fever.  You will probably notice a larger number of fevers in children who also fail the PCR tests.  This is because this is the first encounter of their body with the virus, so it has to fight hard to develop the necessary antibodies or other resistance.  It's a delicate balance - and it is a balance.  This is not a single sided game.  If you develop too strong of a resistance, your immune system will attack yourself.  This is what has happened in nearly every Spike Protein Vaccine – autoimmune system overload causing too strong of an effect so that the body begins attacking the virus, and alveoli.  You have a choice between immunities - you can be immune to one thing and sensitive to another, but not always both.  Autoimmune responses come in different flavors. This is why dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, and other drugs work - they suppress your immune system.

Limiting exposure will help - which is why fresh air that removes virus is important.  A little bit of distance decreases the amount of virus by significant amounts.

Does the virus spread with or without symptoms?

Both - it depends.

Did you wear a mask?  

Then you may not have symptoms if you have the virus.

By not catching droplets in your throat, you are not only not stopping the virus from entering your lungs, but preventing yourself from developing symptoms that can warn others and yourself that you have the virus.

If you are a normal human, you will not be able to feel damage within your lungs as directly as if you encounter virus in your throat. Your lungs have been "designed" this way because there are a large amount of pollutants in the air that constantly damage your alveoli. It would hurt if you felt every single thing, so you don't.

Why did I lose my sense of smell?

The virus affects the binding of anything, really, to your cells by upsetting the normal balances (like ionic charge).  This makes it more difficult for chemicals to bind to your chemoreceptors.  This seems to be more prevalent with people who have a fever, as it seems they did not have previous immunities to this.  

Will there be a second spike?

Yes, there will be a winter spike because the worst form of the virus that spreads is via aerosols. In the summer, the weather is warmer and sunnier, which both kills the virus and – non-intuitively – increases its spread.  

The warm weather results in higher humidity, and with it, air diffusion.  This is important because it drastically reduces the amount of virus present in any single location.  A mask may be 10-90% effective, if that, but by doubling the distance between yourself and a source, you may have that same effect of a 10-90% decrease of virus (depending on the model).  Double your distance from a centimeter to two centimeters, and you have the same effect as a mask.  Now do that five more times, and you have decreased the amount of virus by much more - at least in areas where there is proper ventilation.

However, the virus lingers and people don't open their windows as much in the winter, so this doubling reduction may be ineffective.

You should prepare for the winter because there is a high change that there will be attempted lockdowns and economic crashes much worse than this spring.  There will be a lot more deaths, especially because people who normally would have gotten the virus over spring and summer months where less spread would have occurred will get it with higher degrees of spread.  

Have you heard of Ptolemy?

Yes.  I'm having a hard time thinking about how that's relevant. Is that something to do with building up a world view based on inaccurate principles?  If you have an inaccurate view of the world, then you might come up with policies that are considered helpful but actually can cause harm.  Because we, as humans, don't understand everything, and there are literal existential threats to us all - from diseases to other worldly things (like comets) - it is important for us to be honest, open, and have a discourse because truth will always win over the long term.  People who peddle lies don't live forever, and others eventually realize that when their theories are inadaquate – but lies still can cause pain until truth is realized.  

There's a secret message here too? What? Are there secret messages everywhere? Nooooooooo. Maybe. This is Josh Kaggie that you are talking about.