World War 3 is here.
In the form of man vs microbe, the human race is under siege, with no-one fully understanding this deadly enemy. With little facts and excesses of fake news, we turn to government websites, only to discover how little we currently know about the viral lifecycle, transmission, and treatment.
As we try to get to understand this microscopic enemy, the world still goes round, and for most of us, we face an uncertain future, without awareness of exactly what will happen in just about every aspect of our lives. With enough struggles in life, people cannot suddenly become expert virologists, and getting to understand the invisible
This World War, goes far beyond fighting the invisible enemy. Once we know more about how the virus works, we can take better steps to test for it, isolate it, & eliminate it, and at that point, fully turn our attention towards global recovery.
In this strange time when we spend so much attention on social media, the ability to mis-inform, through fake news, poor interpretations of posts, and prominent skewed horror stories, it is easy to be carried away by emotion, and ignore the cold hard facts.
It's Life, But Not As We Know It:
Firstly, life is currently known to exist in 5 main forms; plants, animals, fungi, bacteria & viruses. The first 4 have very similar origins, each consisting of living cells. Viruses, on the other hand are a completely different life form, in a near static form outside of invading cellular organisms.
Comparing The Two Main Types of Microbes:
The vast majority of infections are as a result of bacteria and viruses.
Bacteria are invaders, eating whatever nutrients they can to mass produce, and only competing in a duel with our body's cells when they are encountered. In short, bacteria are an army that use us as vessels to grow, with the vast majority causing little or no harm in small quantities, and even some (the proboitics, for example), offering advantages of co-existing.
Viruses, on the other hand, can't function outside of a host organism. There are viruses that live in all types of living tissue, from plants, animals, fungi, and even bacteria, nut without them, they literally are little more than genetic material in a 'space craft' called a capsid.
Simply put, viruses are parasites that invade our cells, go camping in them, multiply, and then destroy them as they leave. A bit like after Glastonbury, but far more hostile.
Without our cells to inhabit, they have nowhere to stay. Our bodies can learn to fight these bacteria by identifying which 'tents' have been occupied, and by destroying them, 'tent' and all, to avoid them spreading.
Viruses come in lots of shapes, sizes, and with that, vary in their hardiness, and in their impact. There are single or double strand viruses, DNA viruses, RNA viruses, all allocated into a range of other categories. Some types can live in the vacuum of space, while others are far more fussy, and die if the surrounding conditions aren't quite right, such as with a temperature change of a few degrees, or exposure to chemicals. The thing to note here, is that each strain of virus is different.

Because of their relative hardiness, they can survive outside of a host cell for hours or days, depending on the surface they are on, and how this impacts their outer shell, a protein coat called a capsid. This is perhaps due to the electric current or chemical reaction on this capsid.



SARS, MERS, and Covid19 all belong to a category called Coronaviruses.

Inside a compatible body, they invade each our cells, until the host dies or becomes incompatible, moving on to the next cell, for a brief camp and multiply, before the large volume of offspring viruses move on.

For a body to be compatible, it needs to not only be easy to hijack the cells of, but the body must be at the right temperature and right nutrient composition and availability, along other essential living conditions.

Understanding the lifecycle of a virus, is THE answer to being able to deal with it, and breaking this cycle is the only way to defeat this tiny enemy.



The body's natural immune system is often the first, and last step in the defence of invaders. Our immune systems (alos known as the lymphatic system) produced antibodies, or uses white blood cells to engulf foreign objects, such as invading organisms & defunct cells.

The artificial treatment for viruses and bacteria are radically different. Bacteria are treated with anti-biotics, which have no effect on viruses.

Treatment of viruses is usually through developed vaccines. Vaccines contain viruses that have been treated, in order to educate the immune system, and allow it to prepare for a viral invasion. Depending on effectiveness, the viruses injected are either live, and partially paralysed, or are dead.

Live vaccines contain partially disabled (attenuated) viruses, sometimes resulting in a mild case of temporary illness, while the inactivated vaccines contain viruses that are dead, and therefore unable to cause an infection. Vaccines take time to develop, and are not suited for someone already infected.

Other treatments revolve around trying to make the environment as hostile to the virus as possible, to slow down it's infection, giving the body an opportunity to catch up and produce adequate antibodies, or to make it so hostile that the virus cannot survive. These treatments do not provide immunity, but simply reduce the 'power balance' out of favour of the virus. This is also one of the ways in which chemotherapy treatments work, and clearly creating a hostile environment for the virus may also have a severe impact on making the body toxic during this exposure duration.

Some modern treatments are investigating the intake of targetted virus specific tailored gene sequences, designed to identify cells which have been infected with the viral DNA. At present this CRISPR technology is in very early stages, with any treatments being generally more experimental, and not ready for human trials.


Clearly, the point to note is that prevention is better than cure, and creating an vaccine can be a long and costly process.


With this in mind, let us turn to the facts, by asking the very relevant questions about the lifecycle, which are far from easy to find on social media.

The popular media does not generally focus on conveying the important information about the lifecycle of viruses, giving us a better insight into knowing how to avoid contamination, what to do about it if we do succumb.

In short, the many answers to these key questions are not known. As they come to light, these answers will be added and categorised below:


The virus behind the 2020 pandemic, was first described under the generic name Coronavirus. It then became known as Covid19, or CV19. Despite this being adopted by the media, which my continue, it has now officially been renamed as SARS-CoV2, after being recognised as a variant of SARS-CoV, a coronavirus that resulted in a pandemic in the Far East, with its deadly respiratory pneumonia condition that infected at least 8,000 people, & was directly attributed to claiming the lives of 774 people between 2002-2004.

(SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)


How big is it - The Coronavirus capsid is small with a diameter of 9–11 nm. Putting this into context, most face masks have a filter size of over a 100nm, meaning that fask masks offer little benefit in prevention of catching the virus, athough do offer some protextion in 'slowing down' projected viruses being breathed or sneezed out, and staying airbourne.

Survival Outside the body:

Q. What conditions does it need to survive outside the body? What we appear to know is still somewhat basic and limited.

Outside of a host, viruses exist in a temporary sense of 'stasis', between hosts. This can be likened to a space-craft, transiting between one host and another. For the virus to survive outside a host cell, it must remain whole, with the genetic material coiled up within the capsid. These microscopic protein crafts, are the only protection of the coiled genetic RNA material outside of a host cell.

According to New England Research, Covid19 is an aerosol virus, meaning it spreads between hosts like colds and flu. Their analysis indicates (although does not specify how temperature mositure levels, or air density affects these values) that the virus can remain viable (i.e. in a static form, able to cause infection if returned to a host) in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours, & on plastic & stainless steel for up to 72 hours. With this recognised 3 day life on plastic & stainless steel, avoiding cross-contamination becomes incredibly difficult without implementing a large number of hygiene related steps. Just washing hands effectively, without contracting from or contaminating taps, requires conscious effort.

It is not yet known (but will be updated with more information when known) on what surfaces or in what conditions the virus will not survive on or in, or any special measure to damage the integrity of the capsid so that it cannot function.

Clearly, the best way to eradicate the virus is to destroy it's ability to function while outside of the body. Given it's hardiness, and ability to remain dormant on surfaces for a considerable time, the best way to destroy it is to make sure that it never has the opportunity to come into contact with a host while it is still viable, or to kill it while it is dormant.

This is the main reason why isolation, & remaining at home will ensure that the virus has limited opportunities to cross-infect, leaving anyone already contaminated to develop symptoms, & hopefully recover at home, without putting others at risk, or to seek medical intervention if symptoms worsen.


Understanding how infections take place is covered on the next page.

Once the virus is inside the body, it still has to be able to attach to and invade the host cells


Viruses need contact with their host, in order for their lifecycle to re-ignite, coming out of stasis. Covid19 relies on being taken into the body through the mouth, ears, eyes, or open wounds. Very little information has been communicated on exactly how a person can contract the virus. As more information is released, the blog will be updated.


Inside the body:

Q. What environmental conditions does it thrive on inside the body?

A. Covid19 is a respiratory tract virus, which creates pneumonia like symptoms. Our bodies are relatively uniform, at around 37 degrees (unless we 'fire up' our temperature to activate our immune system into action). However, apart from thriving in the lungs, the virus is also known to attack the organs. It is unclear whether these organs are being damaged by the virus, or as a consequence of the virus being in the host. 


Q. What does the actual virus do to a generic cell? Given that each cell type behaves differently, based on where it is in the body, its function, & the nutrient concentrations & other types of cells that surround it, we cannot treat evey cells as the same. Also cell age will have an impact, as will the person's health.

A. At present, little information is yet known on the behaviour of the virus, which will be updated when more information is known.


Q. Does the virus only attack specific types of cells (e.g. lung cells, or well oxygenated organs?)

A. Not yet known.


Q. Are people developing immunity?

A. If someone contracts the virus, and makes a recovery, it is assumed that they have an immunity. There does appear to be some reports of people re-infecting, but this could be becuase they have not fully got over the virus, or it could be that the 2 infections were actually from different viruses.



To help understand Covid 19, it is useful to understand similar Coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS (MERS = Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome)

Q. What we know about SARS-CoV1

A. Quite often, as viruses are tony, with very short genetic sequences, a virus can be so specific to a host type that it can only infect a single or a small group of genetically related species, such as just humans, or just a small branch of mammals.

SARS originated in China in 2002, and is believed to have been a mutation of a virus passing amoing small mammals. Once mutated, the SARS virus was no longer able to survive without a human host, and could not infect these small mammals again.

Mortality rate for SARS was around 10%. Given that SARS and Covid19 are realtively similar coronaviruses in their form, and genetic material, the behaviour of SARS is a good indicator of what to expect with Covid19.


Q. What we know about MERS

A. More information to be added soon.


Questions and Answers - Differentiating the facts from the fiction:

Q. Can Antibiotics offer any benefit?

A. No. To dispell a common myth, bacteria l infections can be treated with antibiotics, but these have no effect on viruses.


Q. Are Viruses not a form of life.

A. Outside of a host, viruses show no sign of life, but the genetic material, RNA, has the power to self-replicate once inside a host cell, hijacking the cell as a 'slave' to prioritising the reproduction of the virus's RNA and corresponding capsids in which to be released.


Q. Are viruses man made.

A. Viruses are known to have been around for centuries, and were finally discovered in the late 1800's, when they were able to be detected. This was over 200 years after discovering bacteria which were able to be grown (cultured), it was recognised how they behave very differently.


Q. Was Covid man made?

A. All life forms can mutate. Mututions, a a consequence of errors during replication can actually 'spell out' potential advantages in the right circumstances. Sometimes, genetic material from other organisms may be incorporated, which may change the properties of the recipient. It is unknown whether Covid is a natural mutation of an existing virus, or was man made, and whether it was released accidentally or deliberately. Whatever the reality, Covid has the ability to survive, using humans as hosts, so its origins are less important than dealing with the pandemic.


Q. Could Covid19 mutate?

A. All organisms can mutate. The more prolific the organism, the greater the probability of a genetic error arising that may lead to a mutuation. The concern is that any mutation may impact the body's ability to fight the virus, and create a second wave of virus where the properties of the virus make increase the severity of the pandemic.


Q. Why are elderly people more vulnerable?

A. The elderly appear to have a higher infection and mortality rate, but the exact reasons remain unclear. There are many theories. Some focus on the fact that the elderly are more likely to have pre-existing conditions, or have a lower immunity. This does not appear to be conclusive, as very young children have the least evolved immunity, and appear to have a better recovery probability.

As a biologist, my own experience is that our liver stores B12, which is slowly released during our lifetime, with limited ability for our bodies to replenish it. Ingesting B12 is very inefficient. B12 deficit is one of the contributing factors for causing the signs of ageing, and has a major role in balancing our immune system. Given that most people 'run out' of B12 stores in their 50's, it means that elderly people's immunity is compromised once B12 reserves are consumed. it is likely that B12 levels may be a contributing factor in the abilty to fight Covid19. Please be aware that this is not a proven theory but one that may have an impact.


Q. Why do Italians have a far higher mortality rate than the German population?

A. Given that the population profiles are relatively on parity, this is very much unclear, and could be related to lifestyle, such as diet, environmental factors, such as humidity, temperature, or even building materials or other factors that might affect the virus's ability to settle in places where cross-contamination may occur


Significant questions, as yet unanswered:

Most of the questions, as yet, have not been reliably answered.

Q. How long after exposure is someone able to transmit the virus to others

Q. How long after exposure is it before symptoms show

Q. What are the common symptoms for all those testing postive, and at what stage in the infection process are these exhibited


As there is too much speculation on these, the above questions re not actually answered with accuracy.

Numerous Information Sources were used to collect information, which include:

It is important to look beyond the Corona Crisis, and what will change once the pandemic is over, and a vaccine is developed.

The impact of Corona goes far beyond 

For those trapped at home, made redundant, self employed, or otherwise without income, wondering what will happen after months of isolation, maybe now is the time to start looking at recovery, and preparing as early as possible for how we will get out of this situation.


More information on the impacts of COVID will be updated at a later date.