Kung Flu vs. Zombie

Posted On: Tuesday - April 21st 2020 1:25PM MST
In Topics: 
  Humor  Science  Kung Flu Stupidity

Fight to the death, ... wait.

Some of these new wives' tales of late seem to have been dropped from the Kung Flu Infotainment Panic-Fest viewing schedule lately, one being that this virus can live for days all over the place. Metal table tops, door knobs, microwave ovens, dash boards beer cans, beer cans on top of dash boards, hell itself, and even the proverbial toilet seats are fair game. It seems like the eminent experts on this epidemic have backed off, or changed their stories, lately on some of these new wives' tales.

I don't think it's a simple matter to get data on this by just taking swabs over periods of time and getting counts. I remember one very interesting thing from Biology class: A virus is not really a true living thing. Yes, it can reproduce itself, and that's the usual definition, but I just remember the teacher saying this is a gray area (don't mind that they look green and other pretty colors in electron microscope images - fake news). I took a gander at a simple Q/A on this as a reply to a 9th grader here:
Many scientists argue that even though viruses can use other cells to reproduce itself, viruses are still not considered alive under this category. This is because viruses do not have the tools to replicate their genetic material themselves.
More, as the "respond to their environment" part of the definition of life is not one I recalled:
Living things respond to their environment. Whether or not viruses really respond to the environment is a subject of debate. They interact with the cells they infect, but most of this is simply based on virus anatomy. For example, they bind to receptors on cells, inject their genetic material into the cell, and can evolve over time (within an organism).

Living cells and organisms also usually have these interactions. Cells bind to other cells, organisms pass genetic material, and they evolve over time, but these actions are much more active in most organisms. In viruses, none of these are active processes, they simply occur based on the virus's chemical make-up and the environment in which it ends up.

What's the final answer?

When scientists apply this list of criteria to determine if a virus is alive, the answer remains unclear. Because of this, the debate of whether viruses are living or non-living continues. As the understanding of viruses continues to develop, scientists may eventually reach a final decision on this question.
That answered (NOT), a virus exists in a nether land between the dead and the living, pretty much like a zombie, but without the drama and most of the unnecessary bloodshed.

You've got to figure that, if a virus individual, or particle (we don't want to be life-ist here!) is not inside a living thing as a parasite, he (we do use the proper gender still, per Skunk & White) is dead. I mean, at least, as with Socialist-parasite pundit Paul Craig Roberts, he's dead to me. So, you got a couple a dozen .. million .. of these creatures on a door knob still, what does that mean? Would they stay there forever, till you wash it, ready to rumble? What's the difference between them and other virae in this respect, such as the common cold? I can see them living in a 1/4" snotball that has been deposited after a sneeze until that dries up and the money's no good, but where to after that?

If everyone would stay separated and let antibodies beat up on these bastards for weeks, while we wiped off every inanimate object there is, can it not still come back from humans and other living creatures? Are we gonna have to learn to live and let live, or do it Wings and James Bond style and Live and Let Die? It think it's a little of both.

The question of the day is, who would win if it were Virus vs. Zombie? It seems like a fair match-up, and questions remain. Would a virus be able to live parasitically off the un-dead? If both of you can be considered dead anyway, what does winning even mean?

These are big questions to ponder, folks, as this post has migrated from what I was going to write about (coming next), to some philosophical nonsense that may just be stupid enough to go viral.

Wednesday - April 22nd 2020 12:51PM MST
PS: Indeed, Mr. Blanc. Zombies are the new Velociraptors ... or something ..
Wednesday - April 22nd 2020 8:58AM MST
PS It’s 2020. Sooner or later, zombies were going to be introduced to the discussion.
Wednesday - April 22nd 2020 5:48AM MST
PS: Yeah, Robert, prions are weird. No, you can't kill em, really. I know farmers have burned the carcasses of the mad cows and their unfortunate associates. I guess the combustion process is what it takes to break those molecules. Like little Trayvons, prions are just molecules involved in chemical reactions gone wrong.

Whose brains, exactly, were in those sesos tacos, BTW, and where did they serve them?

"another weird exception to the 'i before e' rule" Spell check can occasionally pay for itself.
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 9:50PM MST
PS: It's been twenty years of so, since I researched any of this, but Prions are even more un-dead than virii --- individual proteins* that are folded 'wrongly', they can corrupt other similar, but correctly folded, proteins into going bad. One in particular --- Mad Cow Disease --- lives in your brain and eats it (well, refolds its proteins). This sounds very zombie like, but would probably lose to any real zombies, since it can take years to kill a human.

P.S. My original interest in prions was in the late eighties or early nineties (during the original Mad Cow Disease scare in the US) because a grocery store near where I worked had sesos (brain) tacos on the weekends. They were quite yummy, if you got them while they were still nice and warm.

* another weird exception to the 'i before e' rule.
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 5:50PM MST
PS: I forgot to address your 2nd comment, Hail. I'm not getting into Ron Unz's latest big theory post. Life's too short for BS.

I did read some about the Tienanmen Square Massacre from him. From what I read and from his pretty civil and thoughtful comment to me about it at the time, he was just saying the American press had made too big a deal out of it. Well, and then he went on to saying it was the working Chinaman who did not like the protesters and ... so forth. He may know more than I do about it, but Mr. Derbyshire would be the go-to guy, if you ask me.

I wrote 3 posts on my thoughts from 30 years later on this blog:




Tuesday - April 21st 2020 4:44PM MST
PS: Excellent job, Hail to you! I'll link to it in a short post tomorrow likely. I've got so many posts in my head now, and yes, some are anecdotes. We have a different way of expressing things than on your site, but it's very good to have some collaboration and support.
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 4:19PM MST
PS: Hold on, Mr. Hail. I'm rightin the middle of reading your GREAT corona-panic (III) summary essay! (Point 3, but already read (9) through the ending). I'll link to this one in a separate post, and, having read the 9 comments (at the time) on your site, I will be sure to chime in - you gotta know that.
Tuesday - April 21st 2020 4:11PM MST
PS --

Speaking of things "stupid enough to go viral," Ron Unz now claims the Tienanmen Square Massacre was a hoax (his word).

Tuesday - April 21st 2020 4:11PM MST
PS -- "who would win if it were Virus vs. Zombie?"

Asking the hard-hitting questions others won't touch, I see.

Idea: Settle the matter by locking a team of viruses and a team of zombies in a greenhouse for a week to see what happens.
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