I’ve become aware of some interesting information relating to asymptomatic coronavirus infections. This occurred shortly after a heated conversation about why the virus continues to be so persistent in certain places like New York City.
I asked a friend why people were continuing to get sick and die from the virus at a high rate. Why wasn’t the disease running its course more rapidly? A lot has been written about the fact that the virus spreads through the air and by physical contact.
I appreciate that a person can pick up the bug if someone sneezes or coughs on them, or near them. The virus travels in the air we breathe, so an uncontrolled expulsion of air and spittle could be deadly.
But what happens to the virus after the sneeze and/or the cough ends and the spittle carrying the virus falls to the ground? Does it continue to seek out victims and be a threat? If so, for how long? It’s clear that dense crowds in which infected people are coughing, sneezing, talking and screaming are dangerous places. But if the virus expended doesn’t find a target, does it cease to exist without any further consequences, or does it pose a threat for the future?
I learned that asymptomatic individuals are a prime source of the illness and greatly responsible for many new cases and deaths. There are no statistics showing how many people in, say, New York City, are carriers without symptoms, a 2020 version of Typhoid Marys. Any contact with these people could be deadly. If a person has no symptoms, it would not be unusual for them to be more “touchy-feely” and want to shake hands, or even, heaven forbid, hug a friend. What could possibly go wrong? The answer is they could be highly infectious and make others sick.
This information, which may have been known by others more informed than I, is critical to the time it will take for the pandemic to end. It suggests that masks are really important, and all physical contact is extremely dangerous.
And just as important is testing for everyone. How the hell can we be sure this plague is ebbing without knowing who is actually sick? If there are 100,000 or a million asymptomatic people in New York City, the disease will likely persevere for much longer. Coughing and fever are not the only reasons why we should avoid contact and keep our distance. Perfectly normal acting people are propagating the virus.
Things to do. If you have not been sick from coronavirus get tested. You may be a Corona carrier even if you have no symptoms. If you had the disease, get checked for antibodies. It will foretell whether you are immune going forward to some extent. If you have a high level of antibodies without symptoms, you either have the disease now, or you had it. If you have a high level of antibodies, you should donate plasma to help others.
Avoid crowds. Wear masks. Wash your hands. And, once again, get tested for the disease and for the for antibodies. Don’t inadvertently make someone ill and kill them!