This is a hypothesis that I have never seen put forward. An idea that just seems beyond peoples understanding. It has to deal with the origin of COVID19.
In Februarry of 2020, before I even knew what COVID was, I got hit with the worst respiratory cold I ever had. I’ve had the flu before, with the ague and the sneezing and whatnot, but this was worse in that it made me short of breath. Me, being me, and my background in molecular biology, and now the charge nurse of an ICU, I thought “wow, this cold hit me HARD”. I thought, “well, what are the most likely suspects?” Could be a rhinovirus, RSV maybe?, a corona? It’s that last one that makes me think.
I did not have COVID, antibody tests since then point to that. ( I assume I have antibodies now because, well, first dose of Moderna was Christmas Eve 2020). But the experience pointed out something to me I already I already knew. Viruses mutate. They change. The flu changes every year. Some “common cold” virus hit me far more than anything in the past.
My hypothesis that everybody hates is this: COVID19 didn’t come from bats, or civets, or some Chinese lab. IT MUTATED IN HUMANS. People are resistant to the concept that there is NOT an outside source. With the amount of hairless armed monkeys on the planet, of course there are going to be microbes that mutate and use our species as their primary reservoir. With a population of nearly eight fucking billion, how do we still seem to deny that?
The problem with that hypothesis is that when you look at the virus at a molecular level it doesn’t look very much like a cold or flu or SARs virus which are going around in the human population. Instead it looks very similar to the bat virus that are in the local area.
Scientists know what they are doing. If the Covid virus was a mutated form of something traveling around in humans we would have seen its near relatives in humans before it became pandemic. THis would be like discovering a new kind of beetle with blue wings in the amazon and concluding that rather than being a mutated variant of another sort of beetle that had red wings it was actually an off shoot of butterfly.
That isn’t to say that what you suggest couldn’t happen. As far as I understand it the Spanish flu (or more likely the Kansas flu) was just a extremely dangerous variant of the traditional flu going around.
The danger of Covid isn’t it’s strength, it’s that our bodies have a very difficult time understanding that it’s a disease, because it’s so foreign and that it has a fairly long gestation period during which it’s transmittable.
It’s deadly because it can easily be passed to people who are immunocompromised or who might go into cytokine storm if they encounter the common cold, not because it makes you cough your lungs out into your hands. (The latter can happen but it doesn’t seem to be the normal experience, from the data.)
It would be unlikely that a traditional coronavirus would become Covid because it’s so foreign compared to them all.
I’ll also add that while labs like Wuhan are probably still in the early stages of cataloging animal diseases, we do still have a pretty good library of what all is out there besides just human coronavirus. We can say with some certainty that it comes from an animal strain based on genetic comparison.
Sage_Rat, please remember that the way the flu kills people is not the virus itself, but ARDS. The immune system has seen an influenza virus before, and then it sees a novel one, overreacts and causes massive inflammation, and well… ARDS.
How about - hear me out here- if it’s not actually a virus at all? Maybe it’s not from bats, it is bats, just really really tiny ones that have changed in every single way from the ones we normally think of as bats. We’ve just never noticed them before because they’re so tiny.
I’ve not seen any research on this at all. Freaking revolutionary. It’ll turn biology on its head.
It looks to me like you came up with an idea, and rather than looking into what research has already been conducted on that idea, went straight to the idea that “people” are “resistant” to studying it.
This is peak maverick. No, you’ve not come up with an idea that epidemiologists the world over are too frightened to study.
It’s not a virus; it’s actually tiny North Korean jets!
Speaking as someone who has been hit by particularly hard colds in the past few years (although not since lockdown), I can understand the OP’s train of thought - most colds involve a few days of minor misery, so when one comes along that knocks you on your ass for a week you start to wonder if it’s really just a cold.
But as noted, the science doesn’t back up a connection between even a nasty cold and COVID-19.
This just happened to me. As of today I am still recovering; I only got 5 hours of sleep last night since I couldn’t get my cough under control until about 1 AM. But this weekend I was so sick, and was so out of it that I almost passed out trying to fold laundry that I got a rapid test (my wife went to grab it, I didn’t feel like walking into Walgreens coughing and sneezing to ask someone where the Covid tests are, I’m sure they wouldn’t have liked that). It was negative, fortunately. But I looked up my symptoms and they were very much in alignment with what a vaccinated person with the Delta variant would experience.
As it is, it seems like it was just a really bad cold. Those still happen.
Here is a general pro tip for amateur scientists. If you have come up with a novel simple explanation for a phenomena that has been perplexing scientists, (e.g. maybe dark energy is just a new 5th force, or maybe global warming is caused by changes in the sun) it is guaranteed that they have considered it and rejected it long before you came up with your brilliant insight.