This is a different kind of post.
I've always been fascinated by good science writing. Writers like Jared Diamond and Bill Bryson have explained complex concepts using simple language and evocative metaphors.
After more than a year of being with Covid-19, I thought there should be some good writing about this devastating disease. But I couldn't really find a resource that really explained what this disease was. Basic, fundamental questions.
- What is this virus?
- What does it actually do in our body?
- Why do the stated remedies work?
And so on.
So I decided to attempt writing a post on the same.
Unsurprisingly, that project took a life of its own.
Here's my attempt at explaining - really explaining - Covid-19.
[Do note: this is written by a CA-MBA-Consultant turned storyteller. In other words, I am no medico.
Having said that, I have run this past 3 doctors - all of whom have confirmed that the facts are accurate. Please talk to your physician though, before you take any action based on what is written here!]
I've been fortunate to get some inputs from some generous doctors. One of them in particular who's taken time from her busy schedule to read this and point out a lot of specific corrections is Dr Karishma Kaushik of Pune. Her inputs were clear, specific and polite. For instance:
- "You could say viruses 'hijack' the host cells copying machines (instead of access)."
- "I would change 'loopholes' to 'gates' or 'entry points'"
Finally, here's the PDF File of the e-book - (I find the PDF much easier to read, than on a blog post): Covid-19. Explained.
If you'd prefer to read it as a post, you can continue reading below:
I will add more chapters to this in the coming weeks. Please do share any good material you get!
While I’ve tried to be comprehensive in my list of sources, I may have missed some out – sincere apologies for the same:
Size of the Coronavirus: The Size of SARS-CoV-2 and its Implications: https://www.news-medical.net/health/The-Size-of-SARS-CoV-2-Compared-to-Other-Things.aspx
How Covid-19 attacks your lungs: https://www.indiaspend.com/how-covid-19-affects-your-lungs/
Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPSQOi2B8AU by The Print
Size of Alveolus: The Alveoli in Your Lungs: https://www.healthline.com/health/alveoli-function
The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson
Cleveland Clinic: Respiratory system: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21205-respiratory-system.
All about Alveolar macrophages: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/full/10.1164/rccm.2210007
How Coronavirus attacks the cell: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/11/science/how-coronavirus-hijacks-your-cells.html
Bad news in a protein: Inside the Coronavirus genome: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/03/science/coronavirus-genome-bad-news-wrapped-in-protein.html.