Let me answer right away:
There is only one way to stop a pandemic in its tracks – by stopping the virus’s spread.
No politics or beliefs or ignoring the virus can help defeat it. That is because the virus does not understand any of those or any of your attitudes towards it. It just needs another host to replicate inside.
Every life form fights for its survival. This survival is guaranteed by the size of the population of the species. Procreation is the way to ensure the lifespan of a species. It is a numbers game. The size of the life form does not matter.
The virus in a pandemic can survive by spreading its community members to as many hosts as possible. The sheer number and the size of these virus particles make it difficult to contain. While physics laws help the virus spread, they can also help us contain it. Understanding physics is the only way to stop the virus’s spread.
The virus itself is like a microscopic particle. It cannot walk or move on its own. It gets moved around by the movement of air or by touch. Like a tiny dust particle, a virus would also stay in the air as long as the air keeps supporting its weight and keeps blowing it around. Sooner or later, it would fall to the ground. If it does not get stuck to the ground, it may become afloat again. Fortunately, a virus cannot survive without being inside a host, and therefore it eventually dies if it is just floating in the air or falls to the ground. It can survive for several hours or even days without a host.
If you happen to inhale the air with the virus, you will provide the home to the virus inside your body. Luckily, the body is armed with its support system that kicks into the attack mode as soon as it notices a virus particle’s presence. The antibodies in the body are the defense mechanism that attacks the virus. If the number of antibodies is more than the number of viruses, the body wins to overcome the infection. If the number of viruses that get into the body is much larger, the body may not have enough antibodies to fight back with. It is this when one gets sick.
So how can we stop the spread of the virus?
- Stop inhaling it or coming into contact with the virus.
- Stop exhaling it back into the air.
- Disinfect the surfaces so that any viruses on those surfaces can be neutralized.
How does social distancing help?
A person carrying the virus can exhale it and circulate it in the air surrounding the person. If you are too close to that person, the likelihood of inhaling that virus is increased. Keeping an infected person’s distance reduces the chances of catching the virus because the breeze can take the virus far away from you. Even if you end up inhaling a few viruses, the body would be able to deal with that small number much more quickly.
How are masks useful?
A virus is microscopic. It can pass through the small gaps between the threads of a cloth mask. However, those threads can also act as a barrier. The virus that hit the mask’s threads gets stuck to them and cannot get out in the air.
If you are a carrier of the virus, a mask will prevent a large number of viruses from getting into the air you exhale. Therefore you would reduce the spread to a large extent.
If you are not carrying the virus, a mask can similarly stop the virus from getting inhaled. A simple cloth mask will not stop all the viruses from getting inhaled, but it will stop many from getting inside the body. Since your body would have to deal with a small number of viruses, it may stand up the defense and win.
Therefore, wearing a mask is a great way to break the chain of the viruses’ spread.
How are vaccines helpful?
Nature has made our bodies capable of fighting against many diseases by using our immune systems. The immune system consists of antibodies that act like the tiny soldiers who have learned the skills to fight a certain kind of enemy.
A vaccine mimics the attack of a virus in the body. This attack is staged by using a very weak or impotent virus. When the body notices this virus’s presence, it starts creating antibodies to fight with this virus. Since the virus in the vaccine is very weak, the antibodies produced can subdue it. The body gets to produce more of these antibodies that are now trained to fight this virus’s strain.
Therefore, after one has been vaccinated, the body’s immune system is strong enough to defeat the real virus’s attack. Since the viruses are killed, they cannot make the body sick. Exhaling the dead virus cannot make others sick as well.
Does disinfecting a surface help?
A surface that is often touched can be littered with a virus. Touching that surface can move the virus from the surface to the hand. If that infected hand comes into contact with the nose or the eyes, the virus can find a way into the body. Disinfecting the often touched surfaces and washing hands can stop the spread of the virus.
If you noticed, we did not see politics playing any role here. The virus does not recognize us as democrats or republicans or black or white. The only way to overcome this virus is by following the science.