Published On: Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

The Truth About Randomness of Outcomes in Modern Times

By Contributing Author

The Jewish Business News recently ran an op-ed about how the coronavirus takes over the human body. While the medical world continues to toil away, studying the origins, progression, and transmission mechanisms of this virus, we are all left scratching our heads. A myriad of questions abounds, such as: How does the virus choose its hosts? What can I do to protect myself from this virus? and the dreaded question – Will I be next?

It would seem that the virus, much like any obnoxious parasite, attaches itself to any human organism within close proximity, once the transmission mechanism pathway has been established. The professor and vice-chairman of internal medicine at McGovern Medical School in Texas, Dr Luis Ostrosky, believes that the coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19 travels in droplets. However, it is possible for airborne transmission of this virus and the particles can stay alive for up to 3 hours post aerosolization. This paints a grim picture for every one of us who breathes air in close proximity to infected persons.

It is generally accepted that the randomness of outcomes with respect to this virus may not be quite as random as one might expect. There is an unambiguous trajectory from the inception point to the current pathways of infection. The CDC, the WHO, and other government health bodies are pouring tremendous resources into containment, testing, and ultimately a panacea for this rampant pandemic.

Before coronavirus, the world was ravaged by other highly infectious diseases in the form of SARS, MERS, and Ebola. The flu virus is equally devastating, yet it doesn’t quite gain nearly as much traction as this current pandemic. For every one of us wondering if we will be next, the best we can do is to take the necessary precautions to guard against this virus. Hand washing for 20 seconds, sterilization of countertops, door handles, tables, faucets, and the like are highly recommended. In the event of infection, self-quarantine is advised, even mandatory in certain countries.

Are We Playing Russian Roulette Every Time We Take a Breath?

It’s the fear of contracting the virus that has so many people scrambling to buy cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and food. What if the means of production shut down? Given the severity of the virus, this pandemic can wreak havoc on the global economy beyond anything we have ever seen before. The human cost will likely rise exponentially in the coming weeks and months, given that an antivirus does not appear to be in sight any time soon. We like to think that we have a better shot at protecting against what seems to be a game of Russian roulette with the virus.

Some feel that anything less than 100 % ‘oxygen tent isolation’ will result in a guaranteed infection. Yet, we cannot live in fear, because just as surely as there will be a cure, we can also change the rules of this game – our mindset. We should actively seek alternative solutions to this question of ‘random selection’ by the virus; we have to take control back in our own hands. The issue is hypothetically similar to the anecdotal concept of ‘If you don’t like the rules of random outcomes‘ mentally switch to a new set of constructs.

Hope on the Horizon?

The literature on this topic is still in its infancy. There are reports that the virus is capable of surviving on surfaces for several hours, and there are fears that it is capable of surviving in warmer weather too. If the preliminary studies are correct, coronavirus can live for up to 9 days in moist areas like bathrooms and kitchens – a troubling reality that we have to contend with. It is worth remembering that the safe zone is outside of the 6-foot radius of an infected person. This is generally considered to be true for general viral transmission. It is clear that we are dealing with something extremely pathogenic, and we are only in the infancy stages of what could be a terrifying new normal for the foreseeable future. But we have the best and brightest minds of the medical world toiling away for a cure; we must place our faith in them.

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