Louis Pasteur

by Andrada Costoiu

About 150 years ago, in 1881, Louis Pasteur was probably seating at his desk, writing this hopeful letter about the development of a vaccine for anthrax.

For the ones who never heard of Pasteur (December 27, 1822 – September 28, 1895), he is the one that developed the overall principle of vaccination and contributed to the foundation of immunology, microbiology and pathology. He developed vaccines against swine flu and rabies. 

His name, Pasteur sounds like a familiar word, right? It is, pasteurization comes from Pasteur. He invented pasteurization, the process that kills microorganisms in certain foods and beverages so these would last more. He originally intended this to help the French wine industry to combat spillage.

Back to his letter, I can only hope that maybe someone in this world, is now seating at his desk writing a letter or an email about a hopeful trial and the development of a Covid19 vaccine. A vaccine that would serve all people that would need it!

Are we heading for the better: media and their agendas

by Andrada Costoiu

Photo:George Hodan, “Newspapers And Glasses”

In light of the current events, I would think that human kind and each and every individual has been facing, in a way or another, thoughts that didn’t make part of their regular thinking. Such thoughts might include: our mortality (what if you die of this virus?), the mortality of the ones you love (what is someone you love would die of this virus?), the world as we know it( how would things change after the pandemic is over, will it change?) and you can add to this list …..

I think confronting what is happening should be a transformative experience and should teach us some lessons. But, apparently, is not like that. Right now, I am frustrated with the media. So here are some thoughts on this subject.

Media’s bias and manipulation has remained. Instead of painting the picture of what is happening and talk about real facts, they keep up with their agendas.

Take Yahoo.  What is the fascination with the royals? If you tune on yahoo, many news are about the English royal family. What do they wear (why is this important?), how they came out of quarantine (I wish them luck, but I wish the same for all the regular people out there), appearances and events they participated and so on. Well, personally, I don’t feel like singing in the chorus. I don’t feel like applauding these and having these constantly in the front page. What I would like to see is real stories, of people in front line, who are truly fighting to save human lives. What I would really like to see is doctors, nurses, and human beings that try to do something good. I am not implying that the royal family is not doing good. It is and I am sure they are wonderful people. However, they are not part of the masses. They are privileged people, in privileged situations. So, what is the purpose of keep putting these news into our eyes and brains? Perpetuating the actual social order? Where is the real life, the life of the majority of people?  Same things I said about the news on the English royal family apply to the all the celebrities they keep reporting on. Yahoo news is lousy. Too bad that they have such large audience and they’re not doing the right thing.

Take FOX. For the ones of you that are not American, FOX is an American news channel. They are biased because they favor conservatives in the US. I guess that is FOX’s agenda and in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with it, because that’s what they believe in. But I do find it wrong when they disseminate false information to follow their agenda.   Fox has been a source of misinformation for coronavirus pandemic and now they are at the verge of a lawsuit. 

I am sorry FOX, I don’t understand is why you don’t give your audience decent health information.

Take CNN. Let’s move to another media outlet. CNN is believed to be neutral, to abide by the rules of journalistic neutrality. You would think so…..until you watch the  2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries debate moderated by CNN. Here CNN was so consistently aligned against Bernie Sanders, and intended to depict him as misogynist. I don’t personally know Bernie Sanders, and I don’t know if he is prejudiced or not, but the purpose of the debate should have been to show the constituency any substantive disagreements between the candidates or problems with their policy positions. However, CNN agenda was followed…..

So, what are we to think? Should we let our mind be manipulated and skewed by the news they feed us?!  What news are actual news that do not follow well crafted agendas?

The qualities of any journalist and media reporter (anchor, producer….e.g.) should be integrity, morals and high standards.  Where are these people? I am sure that many of them are at CNN, BBC and other media outlets. But people, show yourself and show integrity. Show it for the sake of us all, for the sake of humanity. Maybe if you do, we will live in a better, a more truthful  and honest world. 

And for us all, we should think twice before we take what media says at the face value. Everything should go through the filter of our minds. Before we listen, know what’s their agenda. Not everything is as they say. 

What is covid-19 and how do you get infected?

by Andrada Costoiu

I wondered how does this virus infect our body, what makes it so strong and why is it so contagious. SO, below is some information I gathered about it……

TOOOOO bad we will never know the origin of this virus, because it’s just seems so well designed. It enters our body through a a backdoor. A protein called angiotensin that functions as a receptor for coronavirus.

Types of viruses by the way they are built and their infection mechanisms

Viruses can be either RNA or DNA viruses. The difference between DNA viruses and RNA viruses is that DNA viruses contain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as the genetic material where as RNA viruses have ribonucleic acid (RNA) as the genetic material.

source: https://diffzi.com/dna-viruses-vs-rna-viruses/

The infection mechanisms for DNA and RNA are different. I wont get into that, but scientific evidence says that RNA transformation rate is higher than DNA change rate.

Covid-19 is a RNA respiratory virus.

Respiratory viruses

Respiratory viruses affect the lungs, nose, and throat. These viruses are most commonly spread by inhaling droplets containing virus particles. 

Here are some examples:

  • Seasonal influenza is an illness that affects about 5% to 20% of the population in the US every year. More than 200,000 people per year are hospitalized annually in the US due to complications of the flu. Flu symptoms are more severe than cold symptoms and often include body aches and severe fatigue. The flu also tends to come on more suddenly than a cold.
  • Swine Flu (H1N1)  is a respiratory illness caused by the Influenza-A virus. A virus’s genetics allow that particular virus to live inside a specific species, like a human, cat, dog, monkey, and others. Swine flu cannot be spread by eating cooked pork products
  • Coronavirus Infections. The seven known coronavirus infections that make people sick range from mild to severe, depending on the virus type. This virus family is known to infect various animals, and is also known to mutate easily. Three types—the ones that cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)–have the potential to be fatal, and each of these has led to a significant global outbreak.

How do you get infected with Covid-19?

I’ve heard and read many stories about the panic and scare of getting infected. How do you get it? Can you get it from the air? Should you spray your tomatoes after you buy them from the store? Should you spray your Amazon boxes? Well, there are million of question about this. Nobody has yet a clear answer, I think the best we can do is try respect social distancing rules, and keep what we bring into our homes clean, including our shoes and deliveries.

I have found a story that explains very smartly the way the virus gets into out body, how it evolves and multiplies. It’s almost like seeing a movie on how someone can get infected. Here is it:

You call a friend and arrange to meet for lunch. It’s unseasonably springlike, so you choose a place with outdoor seating, which seems like it should be safer. As usual, you take all reasonable precautions: You use hand sanitizer, sit a good distance from other customers, and try to avoid touching your face, though that last part is hard. A part of you suspects that this whole thing might be overblown.

What you don’t know is that ten days ago, your friend’s father was a guest of his business partner at the University Club, where he caught the novel coronavirus from the wife of a cryptocurrency speculator. Three days after that, he coughed into his hand before opening the door of his apartment to welcome his son home. The saliva of COVID-19 patients can harbor half a trillion virus particles per teaspoon, and a cough aerosolizes it into a diffuse mist. As your friend walked through the door he took a breath and 32,456 virus particles settled onto the lining of his mouth and throat.

Viruses have been multiplying inside his body ever since. And as he talks, the passage of his breath over the moist lining of his upper throat creates tiny droplets of virus-laden mucus that waft invisibly into the air over your table. Some settle on the as-yet-uneaten food on your plate, some drift onto your fingers, others are drawn into your nasal sinus or settle into your throat. By the time you extend your hand to shake good-bye, your body is carrying 43,654 virus particles. By the time you’re done shaking hands, that number is up to 312,405.

One of the droplets gets drawn into the branching passages of your lungs and settles on the warm, wet surface, depositing virus particles into the mucus coating the tissue. Each particle is round and very small; if you magnified a human hair so that it was as wide as a football field, the virus particle would be four inches across. The outer membrane of the virus consists of an oily layer embedded with jagged protein molecules called spike proteins. These stick out like the protrusions on a knobby ball chew toy. In the middle of the virus particle is a coiled strand of RNA, the virus’s genetic material. The payload.

As the virus drifts through the lung’s mucus, it bumps into one of the cells that line the surface. The cell is considerably larger than the virus; on the football-field scale, it’s 26 feet across. A billion years of evolution have equipped it to resist attackers. But it also has a vulnerability — a backdoor. Protruding from its surface is a chunk of protein called angiotensin converting enzyme 2, or ACE2 receptor. Normally, this molecule plays a role in modulating hormone activity within the body. Today, it’s going to serve as an anchor for the coronavirus.

This is part of an article by Jeff Wise, “How the Coronavirus Could Take Over Your Body (Before You Ever Feel It)”. It is a very interesting, explanatory article. To read it in full click here article in New York Magazine, Intelligencer. They have made the access free, for people to get more educated about this topic.

And then you get it and it gets multiplied in your body. And you may be one of the lucky ones to get over it quickly…..or you may not be so lucky. I guess you never know until you have to deal with it.

But, you should not get it. Nobody should. That’s why we have to follow the rules of social distancing and take care of ourselves, of our families and of the ones near us.

Stay safe everyone! Let’s just say this is a pandemic that we all will live through, and one day, we will tell our children or grandchildren stories about it.