Coronavirus: In Layman Terms

This post puts the coronavirus in Layman Terms and helped me to understand better. Maybe it will help you too.

From Immunologist At Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins UniversityFeeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this is helpful.

It has to do with RNA sequencing…i.e. genetics.

Seasonal Flu

Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year, you get immunity two ways…through exposure to virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel Viruses

Novel viruses, come from animals…the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transferred from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans…then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity, the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.Corona Virus-U.S versus Canada

Now…sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human…once that happens, we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, that’s what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be…


Virus was deadly…but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish Flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast Forward

Wuhan China
Wuhan China

Now here comes this Coronavirus, it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long…but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person…but here is the scary part, in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”.

This Coronavirus

This coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, humans have no known immunity, doctors have no known medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way, the way that it causes great damage to human lungs.

CoronavirusThat’s why coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1, or any other type of influenza…this one is slippery! And it’s a lung eater. And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain S, and strain L, which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the U. S during the Spanish Flu.

In Conclusion

Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in bis room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed…(honestly, I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation.

And let me end by saying, right now it’s hitting older folks harder, but this genome is so slippery…if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say, what it will do next.

Be SMART…acting like you’re unafraid is so not okay, be aware of your surroundings, because anyone can be a carrier of Coronavirus, do the right thing and social distance whenever possible.

Flatten The Curve-Stay home folks…and share this to those that just are not catching on.

All The Best,



14 thoughts on “Coronavirus: In Layman Terms”

  1. So many people are confused about how deadly this virus is. If it continues to mutate we won’t be able to keep up with it. We need to take this seriously and protect our baby boomers. This article was very informative. Please continue to get the word out. This will get worse before it gets better. Thanks!

    1. Thank you Cheryl for your comment, and I do agree with you that it will get worse before it gets better, if and when I don’t know, but I will definitely let you know or you can check back at Thanks again and keep you and yours safe. We are all in this together, and our political leaders need to work together for all of us, not just the elite, such it has been in the past 3 1/2 years. 

  2. This is the frightening aspect about the coronavirus – its ability to mutate quickly and as you said, within two weeks and now we’re seeing two strains, which of course just makes this chess game far harder. This definitely isn’t the flu nor is it H1N1 – but with that said, how quickly do you think humans can become immune to such a virus? Or at least build an immunity?

    1. I have no idea, I am not a doctor, scientist, or immunologist (who wrote this post) but I am listening and looking for the experts on this one, and not the politicians for my information. If I find any new news about the virus and some treatment for the virus, I will definitely let you know. Thanks Todd for your comment. Check back and I will let you know of any new info.

      1. Could this be as simple as having a solar and battery operated fan strapped around your head? If you could project the virus away from being able to breathe it in,I’d definitely be a fan of that idea…be well, and thx for the info!

        1. Thank you Dave, I wish that were true, however it is a good idea, and could help when in a group of people. You are thinking out of the box and that is what we need right now and I like that, just don’t touch surfaces and if you do, wash your hands immediately. Thanks again for the comment, and you also stay safe and healthy.

  3. The corona virus has come a long long way globally and people have unfortunately taken this lightly. Unless t hey are hit by it, then they take it seriously. “Oh, but China is far from me” many people thought in the US.  Yet, look at them now. This is a plauge and it is written in t he bible. 

    1. Thank you Linda for your comment, and yes it is in the bible, but if we do not work together, I mean everyone in the world, than the virus will win in the long run, be safe and kind to others, quit hoarding, not okay in my book, selfishness is never okay.

  4. I studied biology at University and I think that you gave an understandable explanation of the difference between seasonal flu and the novel virus. We have no immunological function in our body to fight that novel virus yet, which makes it quite dangerous. And no one of us should take no attention to protecting himself from this novel virus. There is also a misunderstanding about buying toilet paper to fight against Covid-19. Actually, they are irrelevant, this new virus won’t cause diarrhea. So be aware of the danger and take the right action to protect yourself.

    1. Thank you Yalgun and I agree with you, and please shop as you normally would during these difficult times. It does not cause Diarrhea, so please be a good friend, neighbor, and person, don’t take from others who also need toilet paper, hand sanitizer, etc. Be kind and we will make it through these tough times.

  5. finding a good article does not come by easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and bringing up an article to help others with good information like this. the self isolation is just a measure to check the spread of the virus. the major concern now is getting the cure.

    1. Thank you Benny for your comment, and I agree, self isolation or social distancing in some cases is a good start to stabilize the curve of the virus, but we all are hoping for a cure, or at least some form of treatment for those who are dying from this virus. Thanks again, and come back soon for more great political books and information.

  6. The fact that i have come to learn something tangible from this post is satisfying. The make of your website is nice and the simplicity of the color selection makes it beautiful. at first i must say it never felt like a layman explanation but it became easy to understand for anyone. thank you very much

    1. Thank you Smoochi for your comment, it was written by an immunologist from Johns Hopkins University, so it is probably as layman as he could be, so sorry about that, thanks for the nice words about my website, much appreciated. I am glad that you go tangible information from my post, and stay in touch.

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