Sunday, February 21, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Saturday, December 19, 2020
COVID ('CO' for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus,' and 'D' for disease) started in 2019 and spread globally as a pandemic in 2020. It is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Genomic analysis reveals that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically associated with SARS viruses. The transmission of the virus mainly occurs through person-to-person via direct contact or droplets produced by coughing, sneezing and talking. COVID-19 has claimed close to 75 million infected and over 1.6 million deaths worldwide. Wow what a year it has been! Lockdown for 11-12 weeks and then careful opening of businesses with standard protocols including temperature measurements, mask on faces and constant reminder to wash hands. Pandemic or not, washing hands when entering your house and wiping the handles of shopping carts has always been the norm for my house.
Scientific studies (Guojun et al 2020) indicate that the pandemic situation has significantly improved air quality in different cities across the world, by reducing GHGs emission, reduction of water pollution and noise. On the other hand our Earth must deal with increased medical waste, haphazard use and disposal of disinfectants, PPE like masks, and gloves; and burden of untreated wastes continuously endanger the environment. Only time will tell the long term consequences.
The lockdown was a good time for families to spend time together like never before. It would be interesting to compile a list detailing how this year effected us. For me I mostly missed the travel. It was amazingly difficult to cancel trips and none of them refunded the expense. I do have credit, but travel might not resume very quickly- I can only hope my credit will be good when I AM ready to use it again.
Other than that I have been fortunate enough to work from home all year. Anything I needed was delivered to my doorstep thanks to on line shopping. However, it has been a lonely year. In an attempt to stay safe and save lives, our usual ways of seeing family, friends or just familiar faces have been put on pause. Even after the lockdown was over and we started meeting friends and family; we have been sadly avoiding hugs and handshakes. It is not over yet, but with the vaccine in place we do see a light at the end of the tunnel. This too shall pass!
So I made a cake that looks like COVID virus and this was a symbolic stabbing and devouring of the virus to mark the end of this pandemic. The cake was a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The receptors were made of fondant. It is not a perfect icosehedral
Best healing Prayer--- "Remove the harm, O Lord of mankind and heal him/her, for You are the Healer and there is no healing except Your healing, with a cure which does not leave any disease behind. (Sahih al-Bukhari 5675)
Viruses are a tiny beings consisting of genetic material covered with protein. They infect cells by injecting the genetic materials inside the host cells and using the host machinery to replicate. Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) belonging to the β coronavirus family is a single-stranded RNA-enveloped virus. A large number of glycosylated S proteins cover the surface of SARS-CoV-2 and bind to the host cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), mediating viral cell entry. Once the virus enters the cell, the viral RNA is released, polyproteins are translated from the RNA genome, and replication and transcription of the viral RNA genome occur. Viral RNA is replicated, and structural proteins are synthesized, assembled, and packaged in the host cell, after which viral particles are released (Fig) (Huang et al 2020)
• Huang et al, Structural and functional properties of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein: potential antivirus drug development for COVID-19, Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, 2020, 41:1141–1149.
• Guojun et al. The short-term impacts of COVID-19 lockdown on urban air pollution in China. Nature Sustainability volume, 2020, 3:1005–1011.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
This is a cute looking squid from some video game for a 14 year old’s birthday. I made the cake from a picture and this is how it turned out. It was a coconut cake with whip cream filling.
So COVID-19 is on the surge. As the pandemic drags on, it is becoming harder and harder to follow the prevention guidelines. Distancing efforts have increased feelings of social isolation and loneliness for many people. Human beings are social animals, so social isolation can be particularly unpleasant and can lead to very negative impact on physical and mental health.
Complacence is dangerous at this time, but it appears like nothing can keep us from celebrating Thanksgiving and getting together with friends and family. We are experiencing pandemic fatigue. In-spite of news of vaccines I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel just yet. This sounds pessimistic but this strange year has imbued a rather toxic uncertainty in us.
This too shall pass-----