by Mol Smith. UK

March. UK. 2020

The world is in a state of alarm and panic. Stocks and shares are falling, meetings are being banned, cities are going into lock-down. Welcome to a world where viruses and bacterial infections have always run amok but now we live in a time of heightened panic, sensationalism of news, and greater ignorance, this start of the year 2020, where an outbreak of a new virus globally has become equal to the threat of Global Warming, Nuclear War, or a Meteor Strike. What has caused this issue? How dangerous is the threat? Will you die?


First of all, unless you are old, weak, or already ill...
You'll just feel rough for a few days!


Let's look at reason and rationale first.
(Please note: I have no medical qualifications. My advice here is through self-learning).

Who wants to be ill with anything? No-one, right?
If you bumped into someone sniffing, coughing, and sneezing in the past, you probably steered a slight path around them, but as they seemed to still be alive and kicking, you probably thought they had a cold or flu. Both viral infections, although bacterial infection can manifest cold-like illnesses as well. By and large, you did not fly into blind panic, right?

Every year, a spate of viral infections take hold and make a lot of people ill. Normally, most fit people survive and in fact their immune systems are prepared for when that virus or bacteria or a mutated version of either infects them again. When people get older, or have underlying health issues, there exists already an issue of weakness in their biological make-up. This is the real threat. An age distinction PLAGUE?


Why is this virus causing concern?

Will a lot of people die?

What defence can you take?

Mostly, due to its 14 day 'no-sign' period. This one trait is the one which ensures an extraordinary number of people will become affected with 1 person likely infecting at least 3 others before realising they are ill themselves.

Probably not. That is, if it doesn't rapidly mutate to a severely aggressive form. As we have seen already, people with underlying health problems are most at risk, especially if they have lung or heart problems. Possibly 1 to 2% of infected people. More when medical resources are overwhelmed.

The advise of washing your hands is good! More people are likely to contact the virus on door handles, super-market trolley handles, or where-ever another human's warm moist hand has left a residue to aid the virus in staying active for a few hours, or 3 days at best.




If you practise microscopy, you can make your own anti-viral hand cleanser.

Per half Litre
Isopropyl - 70%
(Ethanol is more effective! - METHYLATED SPIRITS is ETHANOL.)

Tree-tea oil - A teaspoon- (to scent) or Thymol -A teaspoon (to scent)

Glycerin - 20% (Skin moisturising)
The rest is water plus a small amount of liquid soap/washing up liquid.


There is anecdotal evidence that sucking Zinc lozenges will kill viruses in your mouth and throat. Might be worth trying if you can obtain them. Zinc tablets may help boost a person's immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells made. Almost, if not everything else you see saying this or that supplement will help is wrong, and no evidence exists supporting the claims.

Most face masks you see people wearing on News broadcasts will not be effective. Many of them are simply dust masks. A virus is much, much smaller than a dust particle. The mask must be able to filter out things within the size of 0.03 to 0.150 micrometres. These are sold as Nano-fibre masks, but you'll probably discover they are now sold out everywhere.

You are more likely to contact the virus through 'touching'. Disposable gloves, would help more than masksas they also remind you not to bite your (infected?)  nals or rub your eyes. wear them when out and about and dispose of them when you return home.


In one word: pneumonia!
The entire lung system, especially  with people with underlying lung issues: COPD, or silmilar, becomes overwhelmed (inflammation) leading to a deadly depletion of oxygen. The heart pumps faster and harder trying to distribute limited and restricted Oxygen. Weak heart? It gives up. [DETAIL].



Avoid contact with lots of people, especially if you are over 60, or have any underlying constant health issues.

Wash your hands whenever you come in and turn off the tap with a tissue. You could keep a cloth moistened with disinfectant near the sink to turn off/on or wipe the taps. Use soap and warm water. Rinse thoroughly.

Wear gloves outside. Disposable gloves are best. Don't put your hands near your mouth, nose, or eyes. Got an itch on your face? Scratch it with a tissue instead.

If you are older, you still need exercise. Go for a walk in the park, where there are less people crowding together.

Insist visitors to your home wash their hands first. Do not kiss people on the mouth. If you shake hands, both wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Wear gloves if bringing in delivered milk, newspapers, groceries. For extra caution, wipe the surface of packaging with diluted bleach, or disinfectant, leave it for 10 minutes. 


When shopping, come home, wipe all the packaging down with a solution of alcohol: METHYLATED SPIRITS, White spirit, Turps. ALCOHOL! Let it evaporate away. Watch out for naked flames. No Alcohol? Acetic acid-white vinager-might do it! Not clinically proven, but a good bet, as acidic solutions and alcohol disrupt and break-down a viruses outer coating (protective shell).

Viruses - Twilight Life?
Viruses are not generally considered to be living entities. They are large molecular units made up of RNA or DNA contained within a protein shell. Unlike living cells, they lack organelles, ribosomes, cytoplasm, respiratory systems, gas exchange, and a source of energy creation. They are effectively parasites, capable of reproduction only by hijacking living cells and taking over control of their reproduction systems, and forcing them to produce more viruses through DNA replication and protein synthesis.

Viruses for Light Microscopists
microscopists will never see a virus directly using their microscopes, but it is possible to see cells damaged by viruses in stained sections of tissue. This means most enthusiast microscopists are limited in what they see for themselves using their instruments. This is a shame because undoubtedly, most enthusiasts are driven by curiosity and an innate passion to explore the reality they find themselves in. But we can still explore these twilight entities through 3D modeling and by using existing data weaned from SEM microscopists and professional study. I suspect we will not be too interested in the deep workings of the viruses' biochemical processes, or the pathology of the diseases that many of these viruses cause in plants, animals and humans, so I have kept the content of this article to a style which I hope will excite your curiosity, and give everyone a 'SEM*1:-less' vision of the sub-light-microscopical world.


How effective is disinfectant, alcohol, and bleach at killing viruses?

If you like detail,
look here!

And if you are interested in viruses, understand that you are never able to see them with an optical microscope. They are just so very small. Even bacteria are quite difficult to see until you use high power magnifications, high quality microscopes and advanced techniques (normally outside the range of non-professionals) to study in any kind of detailed way.

Note: the new virus is a Coronavirus. There are capsulated and non-capsulated (naked) viruses. [Link]. Ethanol is more effective as a 70% alcohol-based hand cleanser than other alcohols!

Ethanol is sold as Methylated Spirit. It is mixed with methanol, a poison, plus dye and a scent to make a strong smell to promote non-drinking of is as it is mainly ethanol, and therefore could be used erratically and destructively as a mind drug.

It is, like most alcohols, highly inflammable.

But as an anti-viral ingredient in hand cleansers (home-made) would be very effective.

How many viruses are there that we know about which affect and cause illnesses in humans?

There are 219 virus species that are known to be able to infect humans. [DETAIL]


The Herpes Virus
This is a good 3D model of the Herpes Simplex Virus. one of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, that infect humans. There is no known cure for HSV infection. All Animal herpes viruses share these properties: a large double-stranded, linear DNA genome, encased within an icosahedral protein cage called the capsid. The envelope encapsulating the virus particle and DNA, when bonded to specific receptors on the cell's surface, will weld with the host cell membrane and then create a tiny opening through which the virus DNA contents can be introduced (invade) the host cell.


More on viruses here!

Microscopy UK Front Page
Micscape Magazine
Article Library

© Microscopy UK or their contributors.

Published in the March 2020 edition of Micscape Magazine.

Please report any Web problems or offer general comments to the Micscape Editor .

Micscape is the on-line monthly magazine of the Microscopy UK website at Microscopy-UK .

© Ltd, Microscopy-UK, and all contributors 1995 onwards. All rights reserved.
Main site is at .