Viruses require genetic material to exist. When a plant grows from a seed, it knows how to grow because of little pockets of information inside the cells.  These little pockets are like tiny, microscopic libraries. They have tons of information, like a cloud based Wikipedia, stored in a very small space. The pockets of information teach the plant cell what to do.  These microscopic libraries are actually genetic material and it is the genetic material that allows the cells to talk to each other so they can develop and mature. The plant can grow up and live a happy life because of the information it passes on from one cell to another.

Everything alive grows up based on these pockets of microscopic libraries that tell the cells what to do.  Everything living is living because of these microscopic, biologic pockets and processes of genetic material.

Oysters, ants, mushrooms, humans, turtles, kittens, bacteria, and viruses require genetic material to live.  Inside every cell, these little pockets of library books actually look like a tiny twirling staircase.  Picture a staircase that is circular with a handrail on each side.  Each stair and step aligns perfectly with each individual handrail, twisting upward like red licorice. 

This perfectly patterned and precise twisting microscopic staircase is known as DNA.  It is a very stable structure because it is built carefully one step at a time.  When a DNA molecule forms, it ensures that each stair step and handrail is perfectly matched. There are very strict rules and patterns to the stairs and its handrails. It takes time and care, to match them perfectly. That is why DNA is so stable. It has a system in place that double checks every step and every handrail. Corrections are made before continuing its growth.

Bacteria and viruses also have little pockets of information, but some have different types of libraries. Rather than cells with double-staircase DNA, they have cells with single-step and no handrail RNA. RNA is like DNA except it has no added handrail and the steps are not matched or orderly. Viruses made with RNA are very unstable. Covid-19 is an RNA virus. That’s why we need to take Covid-19 so seriously.

The problem is, viruses like Covid-19 grab all kinds of other library books and information that it is not meant to grab. It is so unstable that it changes all the time. In Shasta County, I’m told by experts one mutates every ten days.

The problem it makes for us is dependent on what microscopic library books (or genetic material) it grabs. It adapts (or mutates) and can act differently in different situations. RNA with its broken, rickety staircase formation is why Covid-19 is so adaptable and easily spread from host to host. Humans are the host for this virus. It’s a little different in each of us. For some people who catch Covid-19 they sneeze and cough. Other people get headaches, others feel weak, some have trouble breathing or feel pain. Some people break out in weird rashes.

COVID-19 is a virus with RNA genetic material. It can mutate and live a long time unless we stop it, now. We can stop the spread of COVID-19 if we stay 6 feet apart, wear masks, wash our hands and avoid touching our mouth, eyes and nose.

The genetic material in the virus is RNA. It is unstable and, therefore, mutates easily. It also fails easily. If it runs out of hosts it stops thriving and goes away. Masks. Six feet distancing. Wash our hands. Avoid touching the face. The vaccine is a very important solution.

All in all: Covid-19 we’ve got this!

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