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COVID maths: All the virus in the world would fit in a coke can

11 February 2021 01:58 am - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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All the COVID-causing virus circulating in the world right now could easily fit inside a single cola can, according to a calculation by a British mathematician whose sum exposes just how much devastation is caused by minuscule viral particles, Aljazeera reported.

Using global rates of new infections with the pandemic disease, coupled with estimations of viral load, Bath University maths expert Kit Yates worked out there are nearly two quintillion – or two billion billion – particles of the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV2, in the world at any one time.

Detailing the steps in his calculations in an article published on The Conversation news website, Yates said he used the diameter of SARS-CoV-2 – at an average of about 100 nanometers, or 100 billionths of a metre – and then figured out the volume of the spherical virus.

Even accounting for the coronavirus’s projecting spike proteins and the fact that the spherical particles will leave gaps when stacked together, the total is still less than in a single 330 millilitre (11.16 ounces) cola can, he said.

“It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls of what would undoubtedly be the worst beverage in history,” Yates said in his article.

More than 2.34 million people have died of COVID-19 so far, and there have been nearly 107 million confirmed cases worldwide, according to data collated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

  Comments - 3

  • Third World Would Always Remain The Third World Thursday, 11 February 2021 04:12 AM

    For most Sri Lankans this news wouldn’t make any sense at all as Sri Lanka, just like India and all other third world countries, DO NOT HAVE a Mathematical culture. For the third world there is no professional called a MATHEMATICIAN. But for the First World and the Second World Mathematicians and Scientists are more important than doctors or engineers.

    Selvakumar Thursday, 11 February 2021 06:43 AM

    It's someing real !!!

    Jeff Thursday, 11 February 2021 08:27 AM

    At last a sensible solution! Now, who is going to do that? Pity Trump has been dumped!!!


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