@Calcifer while our flu seasons can have a high mortality rate, covid19 is highly contagious with no vaccine and can cause patients to decline very quickly which is what makes it so dangerous. It doesn’t act like a ‘typical’ virus and can remain dormant on surfaces for hours. There are so many unknowns as well - it’s not known if it can be caught more than once and to make it worse there has already been two other strains isolated (mutations of the original), in different parts of the world.
I’ve added a little info on how it behaves for anyone interested. I’m not going to get in to a slinging match over what’s right/wrong, I just wanted to make people aware how important social distancing is because it is the only prevention we have at this stage.
How does this coronavirus cause infection?
The virus is spread through droplets transmitted into the air from coughing or sneezing, which people nearby can take in through their nose, mouth or eyes. The viral particles in these droplets travel quickly to the back of your nasal passages and to the mucous membranes in the back of your throat, attaching to a particular receptor in cells, beginning there.
Coronavirus particles have spiked proteins sticking out from their surfaces, and these spikes hook onto cell membranes, allowing the virus’s genetic material to enter the human cell.
How does that process cause respiratory problems?
As copies of the virus multiply, they burst out and infect neighboring cells. The symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a sore throat and a dry cough.
The virus then crawls progressively down the bronchial tubes. When the virus reaches the lungs, their mucous membranes become inflamed. That can damage the alveoli or lung sacs and they have to work harder to carry out their function of supplying oxygen to the blood that circulates throughout our body and removing carbon dioxide from the blood so that it can be exhaled.