Tuesday, March 31, 2020

A tiny bug that halted the world

It did not take a nuclear war. The doomsday preppers need not hunker down in their bunkers as yet but I wonder if, even they are sufficiently stocked with hand sanitisers and masks.

Covid-19 is a bug so tiny, you can’t see it through a microscope, you will need an electron microscope to catch a glimpse. You can’t even grow it on a culture like its less fastidious associate, the bacteria.

Covid-19 needs living cells to grow in, and that means WE are its perfect host. When We die, the virus has no more living cells to attack and reproduce in, it will eventually die. So this brings us to today’s scenario “Social Distancing.”


The world population stands at 7.79 billion and since 29 March, 43% (3.38 billion) in at least 78 countries has been asked to STAY HOME. “Flatten the curve” is the current tag phrase. So we stay home to keep infected numbers lower over a longer period. This means we get a chance for better treatment as our health care facilities are less burdened.

Image from Google

I am a scientist and micro-organisms are my work colleagues. I interact with them every day in the lab. I “grow” them and study them. I have the greatest respect for my colleagues but I “exterminate” my colleagues when there is a need to.

E. coli - left; Salmonella - right grown in MacConkey agar

# Direct translation: 
Top      : Temporarily do not come to my home
 Centre: Love me, Love you
 Left     : You come to my home, I get flustered
 Right  : I come to your home, you get nervous

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