the virus mess-up …

The UK Governments insistence on checking for antibodies is the wrong direction, it is actual viral infection (being an active carrier) that surely is what we need particularly for the NHS. Knowing carriers cuts down forward thrust, antibody presence is the slow baggage cart that follows, not the intrusive nature of the virus particles themselves at the spearhead so to speak. Right now press-speak / soundbites are rife with crazy often silly analogies, now we are getting ‘green shoots’,  theres at least one new one each day.  bbc r4 reveals this morning the UK Government is going for the wrong virus test, that hardly in reality any NHS staff have been tested for the the virus itself. And now we hear four frontline Doctors are dead.

I see after say a three week absence we are again hearing of ‘herd immunity’ which in crude low tech societies would be the eventual outcome, I thought we were capable of better than this.

The waffle and BS from no.10 is becomg a bit stale and ineffectual, I feel the best or capable advisors seem absent, even one top-flight UK university can perform more tests (was that a day or a week) that all the Government backed UK-wide tests performed so far. Apparently as of yesterday no-one has contacted all the small independent labs or University labs at taking up the workload.

Methinks Imperial College seems the Government principal contributor, front-line NHS staff Docs etc are basically ignored, the PPE is disastrous, contraryto the Government spin, woefully insufficient, unsuitable old or dirty, very little full face or of sufficient protection.  When Doctors ten days ago were using terms such as ‘lambs to the slaughter’ then we really are in a fix, Docs are not prone to over-exaggeration; after all, educationally (and their experience) is the best Britain has. China will have much that we need, after all they will have ramped up production massively.

So many things are quite not what they seem, a mask will not really save you from infection unless its full face and forced air ventilation. Virus are notoriously small, sub-microscopic unless you go to the electron microscope; their smallness hence means they are scattered as confetti everywhere. In my opinion conventional masks merely hinder outward breath and therefore particle projection. It was stated as ‘news’ this morning that coughs and sneezes have been found by a lab in the USA to project eight and nine feet respectively. Good God, how simplistic have we become?

I now have a disinfectant floor tray at my house entrance so I can help clean my footwear, I suspect supermarket floors are a source of coronavirus-19 infection and spread. I also suspect pet dogs, so hands off! Our carpets could become a reservoir. Likewise mobile phones will be reservoirs of infection.

Some people just don’t seem to ‘get it’ how social distancing is vital to knock the spread. I still see a neighbour every day have his buddies round for motorbike buddy talk; I’ve seen this elsewhere, biker guys seem so sad and lonely … HAVE to talk.

I feel so sorry for third world countries, for the poor, the displaced. At least we in the west are more able to create space and distance to thwart the spread.

Its a Thursday and we are informed its another Thursday evening front-step applause for the NHS and other vital workers, supermarket staff etc. I’m just wondering, increasingly sceptical of this move, after all realise the smallness of the virus itself, its probable it will stay in the air for days; therefore everyone out on their step collectively sharing their breath and exultation is a sure guarantee to destroy any effort at social distancing. Madness! 

Virus are measured in millionths of an inch, to open the engineers micrometer at one thousandth of an inch would mean we could fit in one hundred virus particles side by side … if they are as big as ten millionths of an inch. Difficult to find coronavirus-19 particle size online. Search term ‘morphology’ gets the results we need.

The second link below allows us a glimpse at the sophistication and knowledge employed by the scientists themselves. It always worthwhile to realise what others do for a living, their level of education and abilities .

We read from the above wiki, using the handy search term ‘morphology’  the virus particles are 120nm which of course is metric as is all lab and scientific work. Pasting from google search we find I quote …. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, 0.000000001 or 10-9 meters. The word nano comes from the Greek word for “dwarf.” unquote.

Heres an example of group stupithink… this is unwieldy, note how the 0’s are not kept in threes for ease of reading, nowhere in engineering do we use tiny dimensions as ‘parts of a metre’ in small component manufacture it is ALL in mm (millimetre) or hundredth part thereof. Therefore knock off three noughts to get part of a mm ie in mm = 1×10-6 ie 0.000001mm, hint the ‘6th bit’ being the position of the final number one.

As an engineer I naturally think in terms of ‘a thousandth of an inch’ I can visualise it, know where it matters, where to incorporate it and when to ignore and when to take account of it.

Now, I know 0.025 mm is roughly equiv to one thousandth of an inch ie 0.001in.

Therefore as we visualise a thousandth of a thousandth of an inch as in my initial micrometer example firstly above we add three more ‘0’ to the mix, ie 0.025mm     becomes  0.000 025mm (note I bunch up zeroes in groups of three for ease of reading).

Therefore 0.000,025mm = a millionth of an inch ie 0.000,0001in

As 0.000,001mm is 1nm (ie 10×10-6) the above value is 25nm.

Voila! We can now visualise in real terms what we are talking about.

Therefore the coronavirus-19 particles are five millionths of an inch. We can place not a thousand side by side in our micrometer opening of 0.001in as if they were a millionth of an inch but ‘merely’ but a fifth of this ie two hundred virus particles side by side.

This demonstrates the virus will behave more like a gas than a particle, you have only to see how hedgerow seed from common orchis floats dips and rises on the still air, never seeming to want to drop to earth and orchid seed is (to borrow a Boris word) hugely bigger.


Postscript: We are coming to one thousand deaths per day this weekend. Hold up your hands, form an ‘0’ with RH thumb and forefinger, this gives us eight little piggies to count with, each space representing three days ie a total span of 21 days. Count out from the left one thousand, two, four, eight, sixteen, thirty two, sixty four, one hundred and twenty eight thousand deaths in one day in three weeks time.  Well seeing social distancing is so vital, of the utmost importance. No wonder scientists talk of it ‘running through the herd’ this admits they have nothing else.

copyright 2020

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