covid 19

Covid-19; a resource

As our world is falling apart, and most people are spatially distancing themselves, social media and electronic communications are stronger than ever. The problem, of course, is that social media threads and emails tend to disappear after a few days. As such, here at NeMe, we decided to compile a resource of information that we think that it will be useful to our community. We will be updating this page as more factual information becomes available. If we violate any copyrights with this action, we apologise.

No longer were there individual destinies; only a collective destiny, made of plague and the emotions shared by all. (Albert Camus. The Plague)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, fatigue, body aches, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. Symptoms may also include vomiting, diarrhoea, and/or anosmia.

In order to see the changes to this page, please visit GitHub.

To start here is a tweet by Brent Toderian:

Attention World:
We don’t need #SocialDistancing. We need #SpatialDistancing, & #SocialBridging. Keep physical distance from others, but do all you can to stay socially connected to friends, family & your communities.
Spread the word. Language matters. #COVID-19 #coronavirus

symptoms of Covid-19, flu and cold


This list is still under audit. If you are a scientist with knowledge on the subject do let us know of any corrections we need to do, using the form at the bottom. Many thanks to Dr Dan Pinkel for the corrections so far.

  • The virus is an RNA molecule covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, replicates itself within the cells, and it is believed that eventually kills those cells and disperses the new virus particles to infect other cells in a chain reaction.
  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and, if/when one is developed, it is not expected to be produced for mass vaccination before September 2021.
  • Most susceptible to serious complications of COVID-19 include people who:
    • Are over 60 years old, although deaths of people in their 20s have been recorded.
    • Have cancer.
    • Have hypertension.
    • Have lung disease.
    • Have diabetes.
    • Have heart disease.
    • Have another condition that compromises the immune system.
    • Are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
  • The disintegration time of the virus depends on the temperature, humidity, and type of material where it lies.
  • The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. Soap destroys the lipid layer and that is why you have to rub for 20 seconds.
  • Antibacterial agents do not kill viruses because they are not bacteria, and so the things antibiotics target, the viruses do not have.
  • Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C or more the duration of persistence is shorter.
  • If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus. The active ingredient in bleach – sodium hypochlorite – is very effective at killing the virus. Make sure you leave the bleach to work for 10-15 minutes then give the surface a wipe with a clean cloth.
  • Antiseptic surface wipes, although they kill gems, appear to make no difference to the spread of Covid-19.
  • It is believed that the virus cannot go through healthy skin.
  • Vinegar is not useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
  • Alcoholic drinks do not help.
  • Naturally ventilate your homes as much as possible.
  • You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc.
  • Avoid hand dryers as they increase the air circulation of the viruses.
  • Excess washing dries hands. Moisturisers can help remedy this.
  • Masks are not made for more than one use. WHO advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks. Before using a mask, consider if you actually need one. If you have an N95 mask and you are a healthy person not taking care of an infected individual, you could donate that unused mask to health care providers who need it more than you.
  • Although there is one reported case of a dog and a number of cats contracting Covid-19, there is no evidence that pets, can transmit COVID-19 to humans.

Protect Yourself (and Others)

  • Stay home as much as possible and reduce visitors.
  • Practice spatial distancing:
    • Stay at least 2 metres away from others in public places.
    • Call friends and family or meet using online video services such as Skype, Viber, etc.
  • If you are not working in a sector which is vital to your community, such as health, social work, food sales and distribution, etc, persuade your employer that it is possible to work from home.
  • Avoid public transport. Walk instead.
  • Avoid people who appear sick.
  • Remember that people who appear well, might be infected by the virus and they can transmit it.
  • Go grocery shopping and run errands during off-peak times.
  • Practice good hygiene wherever you are.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, especially:
      • After being in public places and touching any metal or plastic surfaces such as door handles, shopping carts, elevator buttons, etc.
      • After using the bathroom
      • Before preparing food
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
    • If you cough or sneeze, do so in the bend of your elbow. If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately.


Useful links

Image credit

Tumisou. Free for commercial use. No attribution required.

Last modified: 16 August 2020; 03:39:06 AM+2

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