Can a Single Virus be Omnipotent?
I'm not a virologist. So, take my personal opinion below as worth of two cents at most.
In recent days I have been plodding through a historical and scientific facts based book written By John M. Barry titled "The Great Influenza", and learning a bit of detail about viruses and their attack processes and the ingenuity of humanity to counter it. If there are any specialists exist in my friend list, please clarify on this: Can one virus attack everything in human body, from head to toe that this Washington Post article seems to be reporting on? Or is this just a plain case of fear mongering from some news media that many are claiming? During the 1918 Influenza crisis, some groups in many nations were talking along the similar line that the Influenza crisis was just hyped up for political expediency in the middle of the raging First World War. Subsequent painful history, seems to me, disproved this claim.
Here are a few snippets from this terrifying article:
"Today, there is widespread recognition the novel coronavirus is far more unpredictable than a simple respiratory virus. Often it attacks the lungs, but it can also strike anywhere from the brain to the toes. Many doctors are focused on treating the inflammatory reactions it triggers and its capacity to cause blood clots, even as they struggle to help patients breathe."
"It attacks the heart, weakening its muscles and disrupting its critical rhythm. It savages kidneys so badly some hospitals have run short of dialysis equipment. It crawls along the nervous system, destroying taste and smell and occasionally reaching the brain. It creates blood clots that can kill with sudden efficiency and inflames blood vessels throughout the body.
It can begin with a few symptoms or none at all, then days later, squeeze the air out of the lungs without warning. It picks on the elderly, people weakened by previous disease, and, disproportionately, the obese. It harms men more than women, but there are also signs it complicates pregnancies."
"It mostly spares the young. Until it doesn’t: Last week, doctors warned of a rare inflammatory reaction with cardiac complications among children that may be connected to the virus. On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced 73 children had fallen severely ill in the state and a 5-year-old boy in New York City had become the first child to die of the syndrome. Two more children had succumbed as of Saturday."
Two reasons are given for the virus being so omnipotent when attacking human beings:
"many scientists have come to believe that much of the disease’s devastation comes from two intertwined causes.
The first is the harm the virus wreaks on blood vessels, leading to clots that can range from microscopic to sizable. Patients have suffered strokes and pulmonary emboli as clots break loose and travel to the brain and lungs. A study in the Lancet, a British medical journal, showed this may be because the virus directly targets the endothelial cells that line blood vessels.
The second is an exaggerated response from the body’s own immune system, a storm of killer “cytokines” that attack the body’s own cells along with the virus as it seeks to defend the body from an invader."
Only thing I can say is stay very careful everyone. I am all for staying very positive and calm in any dire situation, but also it's good trying as humanly possible for not being foolish either in the current evolving scenario. In my limited knowledge about viruses I have not read about such an unpredictable, super efficient and all attacking naturally caused viruses in the book I am currently reading, also during my various biology and microbiology courses I had taken many years ago I didn't come across anything such mentioned. Something is not adding up here and I am not sure what it is yet.
It is most likely since this is a very new virus, our best minds in scientific world are facing many uncertainties. And that's what science is all about. It takes rigorous studies, observations, experiments, before any new concepts get clear. When new information arises from experiments, older concepts gets updated or demolished. I still believe that the collective humanity will conquer this menace, but when that remains a big question.