All Covid-19 particles would fit in a can of coke


It’s been rotting our lives for over a year and yet, if we collected all the Covid-19 particles in the world, that would only fill six shot glasses, barely the whole of a can of cola, according to mathematician Christian Yates.

In an article published on le site The Conversation then taken over by the BBC, the lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath, England, explains his calculation. And you have to hang on.

To begin with, Christian Yates seeks to calculate the number of particles of Sars-CoV-2 in the world. For this, it is necessary to determine the total quantity of infected persons. According to the statistics site Our World in Data, half a million people test positive for Covid-19 every day. But that’s without counting asymptomatic people who do not get tested and countries that do not test on a large scale. In fact, the actual number of people infected each day is estimated to be 3 million according to the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation.

120 milliliters of particles in the world

The next step is to know the amount of virus that each of the currently infected people has, or the life load. The mathematician is thus based on a study, unpublished, who identified the number of viral particles on different infected tissues in monkeys, then proportionally increased their sizes to be representative of humans. The estimated viral load is therefore between 1 billion and 100 billion viral particles.

For the rest of his research, Christian Yates chooses to work with the maximum part of the estimates in order to obtain an overestimate of the total volume of Covid-19. If you add up the viral loads of the 3 million people infected per day, that makes a total of about 200 quadrillion, or 200 million billion viral particles in the world at any given time. For comparison, there are just as many grains of sand on the planet.

Now that the amount of Covid-19 is calculated, it must be possible to measure it. The particles of the virus are extremely small, explains the mathematician. He estimates their diameter between 80 and 120 nanometers. Starting from a radius of 50 nanometers, the volume of a single particle is therefore 523,000 cubic nanometers. Multiplied by the total number of particles and converted to a more speaking unit, that makes about 120 milliliters.

120 milliliters of Covid-19 particles circulating in the world, largely encasable in any classic soda can (33cl), even using the maximum diameter. However, the mathematician specifies that these are simply approximations.


Source: Slate.fr by www.slate.fr.

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