How To Think of The Covid-19 Virus

When I was a kid someone asked me what job would I take.  Each job would require me to work every day for two months. The first job paid me a penny for the first two days, then it doubled two days later to two cents a day, then on the  fifth and sixth day I’d get four cents a day,  on the seventh and eight I’d get eight  cents, and after ten days of work I’d be paid sixteen cents. The other job would pay me two thousand dollars a day.  It didn’t take me too long to figure out that after ten days I’d have earned less than a dollar on one job but in  the other I’d have $20,000.

I picked the second job. I’d have worked every day. I would have earned $120,000 for my two month’s work.  Not a bad haul, I thought.

My friend Roger took the other job. I didn’t understand it but figured he liked working outside rather than inside as I was doing so wouldn’t mind taking the lesser amount. After the ten days I called Roger and invited him out for a beer. This was in the days before the Trump virus when we could go to bars. I offered to treat  him knowing he had less than a buck for his work done to that time.

I asked him if he liked the job. He said, “not so much.” I said “why did you take it?” He replied, “for the money.” I laughed and  said: “you’re only making pennies.” He took out his pencil, turned over the paper place mat, and started to write down numbers saying, “Here’s how much I will make over 60 days with the numbers doubling every second day – 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, $1.32, $2.64, $5.28,$10.56, $21,12, $42.24, $84.48, $168.96 would be the daily rate at the end of the first month. Then $337.92; $675.84; $1,351,68; $2703.36; $5,406.72; $10,813,44; $21,626.88; $43,253.76; $86,507,$173,015.04.”

Roger then stopped. “There’s still 5 days left but you get the idea. On my last two pay days I’d be making $5,536,481,28”

If something doubles every two days then the numbers can become astronomical. Some say, “What are you worried about. We only have a hundred deaths. The flu causes tens of thousands of deaths a year.”  Yes, all that’s true but the flu doesn’t double like coronavirus.

There are other things to know. The virus spreads through droplets that come when an infected person sneezes or coughs. These droplets survive in the air for up to three hours. They also survive on the counters, door knobs, and other surfaces for 24 hours to three days or even more.

This means you can walk into a store an hour after a person coughed and end up  being infected by one of the droplets still in the air; you can fill your car with gas a day after an infected person sneezed while filling his gas tank and become infected. The idea that it lasted so long on surfaces was a surprise to the scientists. It was not similar to what happened during the flu.

Jeremy Jim sent me a letter a group of prominent doctors in Boston sent out. The line above their signature read: “7) Please avoid disseminating social media claims that the situation is not serious or is being exaggerated. This is a national crisis and conveying misinformation to your friends and family may put their lives in danger.”

i was going to end there but figured I should give their first six suggestions:

1) No playdates, not even 1:1.
2) No small gatherings, no meetings between a couple families, even for birthday parties.
3) Avoid trampoline parks, climbing gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, anything in an enclosed area. Many of these places are advertising increased cleaning and hygiene. This is not sufficient! Do not go.
4) Cancel planned vacations for the next month. Avoid airline travel that is not an emergency. Many airlines and rental agencies are offering penalty free cancellations.
5) Stay at home as much as possible. Work from home if you possibly can. You may have to go buy groceries and medicine, of course, but make the trips quick and purposeful.
6) Wash your hands thoroughly after you have been in public places, for a full 20 seconds, soaping up thoroughly and being sure to get between the fingers

Stay safe everyone. Keep our kids safe for they too can be infected with serious illness to follow unlike what you may have read. Thanks to Jeremy Jim for his input.

PS  I’m the one in the glasses and Roger is on right wearing the gloves in the above photo.


16 thoughts on “How To Think of The Covid-19 Virus

  1. If the elites divvy-up the dough by buying company stock back (increasing the value of their portfolio) and award generous bonuses to the insiders, I’m sure everyone will be happy. Happy days are here again! Thank you Mitch.

    1. Hutch:

      Republican plan is to give the Treasury Secretary Munchkin a half of trillion dollars without any conditions. What could you do with a half of trillion dollars? I understand the first fifty billion will go to hotel owners.

    1. It is, Bill. We have a situation on our hands. The optimism that Trump puts fourth may be good for some but we called it cockeyed back in my day. He should be briefed on the real aspects of the virus and someone should insist his comments stay grounded in the hard reality. This is big, its going nowhere soon and may get worse on a supremely complicated level to deal with.

      People may get into a hissy fit because they can’t hang with buddies down at the gym or trade sports stories down the pub, but any psychological damage it may do to people’s fragile personas will be far outweighed when the capillaries in their lungs can no longer transfer oxygen into their blood stream.

  2. Try this one on for size.

    Short and sweet and very clearly explained in layman’s language.
    A excellent explanation of the Coronavirus. Please read and good luck.

    Here is a little more information on the virus that may help explain a few things that people don’t understand. This is from an immunologist at Johns Hopkins University.

    Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand…

    It has to do with RNA sequencing…. I.e. genetics.

    Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year… you get immunity two ways…through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

    Novel viruses, come from animals…. the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans… then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.

    Now…. sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human… once that happens..we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be..

    H1N1 was deadly….but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

    Fast forward.

    Now, here comes this Coronavirus… it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person… But here is the scary part…. in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”

    This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity…doctors have no known medicines for it.

    And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs..

    That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza…. this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater…And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain S, and strain L….which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

    We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.

    Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly…I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation…

    And let me end by saying….right now it’s hitting older folks harder… but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.

    Be smart folks… acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

    #flattenthecurve. Stay home folks… and share this to those that just are not catching on.

  3. 1. Yes, it’s true that since 9/11 several million have been killed in wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. (Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, for which America bears some responsibility.) One hundred million killed in the wars of the twentieth century. But AIDs itself claimed 35 million lives (over decades) and the 2009 Swine Flu worldwide caused about 500,000 deaths.

    2. DOUBLINGS: Scientists say CoVid-19 infections double every six days. So, in the U.S.A. If we had 100 cases on Feb 1, Feb 6 200 . . . by March 21, we’d have 24,800 cases (ABOUT WHAT WE GOT) . . .and by May 9, 3.2 million, . . .by July, all 330 million of us would be infected.

    So, now, how will America’s preventive measures eat into this predicted doubling? Let’s wait and see.

    3.. The transmission of Coronavirus is predominantly through Infected persons experiencing symptoms, who sneeze or cough within 6 feet of someone in an enclosed space. The RISK diminishes with time and distance. Even infected persons who are asymptomatic (incubation period) are less likely to transmit. While it is theoretically possible to get infected from droplets on surfaces (gas pumps), it is much less likely. So, take into account the RISKS, too. All human activities entail risks:, walking – – -you can trip and fall and break a hip and get an infection in the hospital and die. No reason to stop walking! No reason to stop pumping gas or stop going to the grocery store.

    5. THE GOOD NEWS: (1) I’ve read this morning that a 90-year-old woman in Italy on a respirator was treated with the anti-malarial Chloroquine and the antibiotic Azithromycin and walked out of the hospital healed and healthy two days later. Another Italian woman aged 95 was healed as was a Chinese woman aged 98 after being treated with “antivirals.” (2) As stated previously, China, after just two and one half months is seeing a dramatic drop in cases. South Korea also reported a steady decline in new cases. (3) Taiwan, Singapore, Russia and many other countries pro-actively responding to the Pandemic have very few cases.

    So while being exceptionally cautious and following informed Doctors’ recommendations, be optimistic too. Don’t worry. This too shall pass.

  4. We need a coordinated approach to the virus and the economy. As the virus begins to slow down, more and more money has to be pumped into the economy. Trump’s daily press briefing needs two components: The usual public health announcements and a briefing on the economy that tells us where the economy stands and a step-by-step explanation of what needs to be done to bring it back to full health.

    1. Dan:

      We can follow the economy by following the stock market which is a pretty good indicator of how things are going. The thing I don’t understand is what will be the value of a dollar after all this money is given out. Wish I knew more about economics.

  5. Wa-llahi! It’s an over-night transition to full socialism, amazing! The government prints money, gives it to the employers, and, they distribute it to the isolated workers, despite, no, actual, productive work being done. One’s job becomes recirculating the freshly printed loot in order to prime the retail economy. I’m all for it. Where do you sign up?

    1. Yes. it is a war-time (WWII) economy: all economic activity is subservient to the government’s goal of defeating the enemy (Co-Vid 19).

    2. Khalid:

      I’m beginning to think the money trail ends with the employers. Don’t see them giving it to the workers. Plus, the Republicans in the Senate are trying to decide whether to send money to them. Fortunately Rand Paul came down with the virus so he won’t be able to limit the federal hand out to the workers to $37.59 per familty.

  6. Stop the Putin propaganda by calling it the Trump virus. It is the Chinese virus. Tell it like it is. Be accurate. What are you more afraid of? The hole in the ozone layer, acid rain, three mile island, nuclear winter or climate change? All over hyped events. The wars that Obama, Biden, Bush and the foreign policy establishment have produced in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen have produced 100 times more death and suffering than this virus. Focus on real problems. NATO and Deep State wars. Some have suffered in America, Europe and Asia because of this disease. Millions in the Middle East have had to bear the consequences( death, injury and displacement) because of the ignorant creatures in DC.

    1. NC:

      Where’s the Deep State when you need it? I bet you miss it now.

      It is amazing you see through this nothing-to=worry-about pandemic and understand that the rest of the world is overreacting and this is being hyped. Funny thing to hype so that the economy goes into a deep hole and the country sinks into a recession and millions will unemployed. Why is all this being done? Just for the fun of it? Who is behind it. It’s not Trump, he’s not happy. Perhaps it is the Deep State which came back. The thing is I don’t see who is benefiting from over hyping this.

      Yes, perhaps we should focus on NATO. It maintained the peace in Europe for 70 years. That’s bad. Better we should have not formed that alliance and let Russia pick off those states one by one. And then there was that Marshall Plan. Never should have happened.

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