Why does SARS-CoV-2 damage appear in such different ways in different people?
You have probably all known the answer to that this whole time, and have been humouring me, but I just had that jaw drop coffee cup drop moment of the pieces fitting together.
If SARS-CoV-2 reproduces in and attacks every part of the body, why does the infection look so different from person to person?
Why does Gary get gastric damage while Sally gets lung damage?
Why does Helen get brain damage?
Why don't they all get all the damage?
If it's a systemic infection, why isn't the damage visible everywhere in your system?
(and I'm not talking about the basic temperature/swelling/fatigue/headache that is simply your body's defences working)
If it attacks everywhere, why only a damaged kidney, or a damaged heart, or a damaged brain?
**Because** it attacks everywhere.
The virus assaults every part of us that our blood can take it, which is everywhere.
And our body fights it everywhere.
If our body fights it off before it does noticeable damage, we think it hasn't done any damage.
But each one of our bodies is unique with different construction and different stories.
Different diets, different lifestyles, different genetics, different blood chemistry, different hormone levels, different immune function, different prior infections, different physical damage.
*You* are a unique combination of those factors, with, sadly, different weaknesses.
And if there's a part of your unique body that's weaker, or more easily attacked, or harder to defend, or harder to repair, then the virus that attacks everywhere will find that weakness *because* it attacks everywhere.
So if your body stops it, but not quite soon enough, the damage will be noticeable in the parts of your body that were most easily damaged.
If your body doesn't stop it quickly, the damage will probably still not appear everywhere, because the vital part of your body that is worst affected will fail first.
This also helps me understand why symptoms are so varied in Long Covid.
If your Long Covid is damage caused by the virus, that may be in the parts of your body that SARS-CoV-2 found it easiest to attack, or your body finds it hardest to repair.
If your Long Covid is caused by micro-clotting, it may be visible in the parts of your body that are least able to cope with micro-clotting.
If your Long Covid is caused by persistent infection, the virus may be hiding out in different parts of the body in different people.
If your immune system has been triggered to attack your body by the presence or damage of SARS-CoV-2, then that may be happening in different b parts of the body in different people.
Which is why I have a friend in London in hospital with kidney damage from Covid, a friend in hospital in Oxford with heart damage from Covid, and a friend in a grave in Coventry from lung damage from Covid.
Also, ACE2 receptors... as I understand it, and my understanding of this is pretty basic... different folk have different levels of this receptor in different tissues depending on their genetics, and that's the entry tool covid uses for cells.
And... different strains of SARS-CoV-2 will interact with us in different ways too.
But that's probably less of a factor than people's individual history and physiology and biochemistry.
Probably none of that is news to you.
But putting it together was news for me.
Live footage of me:
If the virus attacks a second time, the race is on again.
Can your body fight it off everywhere before it damages you anywhere?
The science is telling us that the more infections you have, the more there is a chance of the virus finding a part of you that is vulnerable.
**Because** it attacks everywhere.
Imagine a castle.
How did the swarm of attacking soldiers get in at one of the towers?
**Because** they attack everywhere.
They attack a different castle, and they get over a wall.
They attack another castle and get in through the damaged front gate.
**Because** they attack at every point simultaneously.
And every castle has a different weakness.
That illustration doesn't quite work, because we're not talking about how SARS-CoV-2 gets in, we're talking and the damage it does *after* it's in, but do you get the point?
Maybe the better illustration would be the team of saboteurs who infiltrate the enemy city.
Where do they do damage?
Wherever is vulnerable, because they look *everywhere* to see where is vulnerable.
And that's why the work of saboteurs looks different in one city to the next.
And can the citizens repair the damage to the city quick enough to keep up with multiple waves of saboteurs?
We've decided to find out the hard way.
Don't catch SARS-CoV-2.
So you don't spread SARS-CoV-2.