Give Me the Fences

A virus is not a living organism in the traditional sense of the word. To use the term ‘live” regarding viruses is inexact but probably the best word to use. A virus is an entity because of what it does rather than a description of its molecular integrity. Apart from their detrimental effect on humans and other living organisms, they don’t do anything. Viruses cannot “live” (maintain their molecular integrity) independently for very long, cannot reproduce, and have no energy requirements. In the traditional sense, “living organisms” require energy to maintain their molecular integrity and reproduce. Because viruses have no machinery to preserve their molecular integrity or survive the elements, they do not last long out there on their own.

Viruses are bits of genetic material. They are surrounded by protein. That’s it. When they “infect” us, they enter our bodies, get into our cells, and “use” our cellular machinery to create duplicates of themselves. They duplicate themselves in large numbers; some exit our bodies and disintegrate once exposed to UV light and air. Except for the few that enter the next body, and so on.

Our body responds to the virus by developing a fever. The elevation in body temperature is an outmoded and relatively ineffective attempt at making an inhospitable environment for the little buggars. We also mount in “immune response. In this response, we create antibodies to the proteins that coat the virus. Not the genetic material. That would be impossible. Your body would end up attacking your genetic material. Thank goodness that doesn’t happen. Once your body has an idea of the existence of this protein, it can now much more quickly mount a response to the virus. You will no longer get sick when exposed to this virus. We call this “immunity.”

Vaccination is when you introduce a protein to your body that is not associated with an infectious agent. Your body doesn’t know anything except to do what it does any time a foreign protein presents within your body. It creates an immune response. If exposed to an infectious agent with that same protein, your body can mount a much faster and more robust immune response, so you do not feel sick. This quick response does not preclude you from having the virus in your body and does not preclude you from passing the virus on to the next person. Although, it does reduce the duration of time for which you are ‘infectious.”

This reduced infectious time cuts down on the spread of the disease.

Masks are effective barriers to the spread of airborne viruses. Someone who was “anti-mask” compared surgical masks to shooting a .45 caliber bullet through chicken wire. Here’s what the chicken wire would look like; A standard .45 bullet is 11.5 mm in diameter, roughly. A pore in a surgical mask is 200 to 800 times larger than a virus (they vary). The fiber in a surgical mask is 260 times larger than the virus. So if we extrapolate that to a .45 bullet, the holes in the chicken wire are 4.6 meters in diameter, and the “wires” are 3 meters in diameter.

If you had your choice, would you instead face a random shooter behind two fences or no fences? I will take the fences.

But let’s extrapolate this to reality. The virus will not “live “long outside of a body and does not travel in a straight line. Also, it is surrounded by a droplet as it flies through the air. This makes it much larger than the size of the virus alone. Likewise, it has no “intentions” like a shooter might. Yes, you can still get a virus when you are both wearing a mask, but you reduce the risk just as you reduce the risk of being hit by a stray .45 bullet when behind two 3-meter diameter chicken wire fences.

To say, “You can still get COVID while wearing a mask,” is a true statement. There is no opposing argument to that in existence. The opposing view (you can never get COVID when wearing a mask) is implied by the propagandist. A scientist telling you the truth will tell you that you reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID when you wear a mask. The propagandist wants you not to wear masks and believe them ineffective. You only need to question, “What’s in it for them?” Who is behind it?

Three sources come to mind. One is when you follow the money trail; who profits when we don’t protect ourselves from COVID? For one, the vaccine manufacturers. Let’s face it, as long as we keep spreading COVID; they are not going out of business. Compare this to smallpox vaccine makers. They are out of business.

Another “trail” would be political. Our enemies would not mind if we all died, were too sick, or were mired in too much propaganda to fight.

How about just good old, “I want to be right at all costs?” The anti-vaxxers that have been around since before COVID don’t want to be proven wrong.

We “dumb” doctors wear masks to protect ourselves and our patients, and we have done so before COVID and will do so after COVID. We don’t fall prey to propagandists because we know what questions to ask. Nobody had to explain the pore size to me to understand how masks work. The “pore size” experts came out of the woodwork during COVID faster than the “how hot jet fuel burns and the melting properties of industrial steel” experts after 9/11.

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