This is a brief summary of the falsehoods about human coronavirus 2019, also known as SARS-CoV-2, and COVID-19. Here I call it covfefe. :-) There are also some truths in this article.

However, as of May 15, 2020, I have decided that the information is too unreliable, and the politics are absurd under the circumstances, and I will make no more attempts to stay current.

First, here's a diagram of what the virus looks like, outside and in.


1. False information about cures

Common sense will tell you all this is useless. Most importantly, drinking bleach can kill you.


2. False information about prevention

None of this works to prevent you from getting covfefe. You should pay no attention whatsoever to what you read on Facebook. This sounds paranoid, but assume you are infected and so is everyone around you. Practice keeping your distance in public and isolate yourself as much as possible.

A summary of some good advice is here. Unfortunately this is on twitter, which is generally as unreliable as Facebook, but the person posting is reliable. Click on the graphic.


3. About the origin and extent of covfefe

No, it is not. And it is not the same as a "bad cold" either. There are many kinds of viruses. covfefe is a new virus in the coronavirus "family." The fact that it is new means that most people have poor resistance to it. Although it seems to infect everyone, some people show few symptoms. Coronaviruses are called that becauses they have little "crowns" (Latin: corona) sticking up all over them, visible under an electron microscope.

The flu is caused by viruses in the influenza virus family. Most colds are caused by rhinoviruses, although some are caused by other coronaviruses.

So, you actually pay attention to what Chinese civil servants post on Twitter?

Not proven. China does have a once-secret biological laboratory in the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated.

The fact that the virus is more deadly to old people and barely affects young ones perhaps gives a conspiracy theorist some ideas. An ideal biological weapon might wipe out the adults (and leaders) and leave the children to be used as slaves. The theory is that the virus escaped from the lab 1) before it was perfected, and 2) before there was a vaccine against it. In this scenario, 1 must precede 2. Once you have perfected the virus, you develop the vaccine and inoculate your leaders and necessary personnel before releasing the disease upon the world MUHWAHAHAHA. Get real, it didn't happen that way.

The most probable origin of covfefe is that it was a virus that infected bats and it "jumped" to the human species. A pangolin species was perhaps also involved, according to the "proximal origin" article below. This most likely happened in a "wet market" in Wuhan, China, where all sorts of animals, including bats and pangolins, are sold for food, and may be butchered on the spot.


References (warning, real science):

No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2

Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor

HIV-1 did not contribute to the 2019-nCoV genome

The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2

However, it is not inconceivable that covfefe is a natural virus that was being studied in the Wuhan lab, and that is where it jumped to a human host. Accidents happen even in the most secure lab facilities, and escapes of viruses and other pathogens have happened before. A summary, with multiple references, is here.

And here is a review article presenting and evaluating the three main theories of the origin of the virus.

This is true. It is what has happened many times throughout history, before medical science and vaccines existed. It results in a lot of deaths. Apparently, the UK thought about this and they changed their mind.

To control the spread of the virus, quarantines, isolation strategies and banning large gatherings of people are essential. Slowing the spread of the virus until a vaccine is available is the best policy, with many fewer deaths.

Another difficulty with "herd immunity" is that there may be no immunity. On April 25, 2020, the World Health Organization released a scientific brief saying that there is no evidence that people who have contracted the virus and recovered are immune to reinfection. This may be a result of the virus having mutated into 30 strains or more. Many experts, however, say there must be some degree of immunity because that would be the normal behavior of a person's immune system. The same policies of isolation, social distancing and wearing personal protective equipment, to slow the spread of the virus, nevertheless still apply.

This is probably possible but would be extremely rare. A one-in-a-billion chance. It is unlikely to cause any significant spread of covfefe.

This is a map with statistics from Johns Hopkins University. It is frequently updated.


4. The different steps that governments are taking around the world to deal with it. First, let's look at the lies about the US government.

When the virus first began to spread outside of China, the ever-ready news media proclaimed that the president was doing nothing about it. President Trump said that was a hoax. The ever-ready news media then said that Trump had said that the virus was a hoax.

The Office of Global Affairs, Office of Pandemics and Emerging Threats “(PET)" still exists.

This claim is based on the fact that President Obama had appointed a pandemic representative to the National Security Council, when Ebola (which, as you can see from the web page, still seems to be the chief concern of the PET) looked like it might spread globally. Ebola is still a problem in West Africa but it has not become a pandemic, and is not likely to, due to the way it spreads by direct contact with body fluids. Therefore, when John Bolton was the head of the NSC, he eliminated the position. The pandemic issue was arguably inappropriate on the NSC, which deals with political and military threats from other nations; certainly the pandemic representative had little or nothing to contribute to most discussions. A woman employed by the White House pandemic team lost her job and published a rant in the Washington Post.

Congress's funding of the CDC has increased every year that Trump has been in office, and Trump has signed it into law.

This claim is based on the fact that Trump asked to reduce the funding, but Congress funded it fully, anyway, and Trump has gone along with it. One of Trump's policies is reducing aid to other countries. The CDC, as soon as the virus became known on or about February 6, 2020, made test kits but they did not work well. Some say that the problem was that the "negative test" sometimes tested positive, rendering the test worthless. According to the news media, this is Trump's fault; after all, if he reduced funding (which he didn't), he should have been working overtime himself in the CDC lab to make sure things were done right. Or something. Again, get real.