Some viruses are so strong, and they reproduce so rapidly in the human body, that just a little dose of virus will make you very sick. Then common seasonal flu is like that.
For others, the more virus you get, the sicker you get. You might just get a little dose of virus, and just get a little sick, or get a heavy dose, and die.
The amount of virus you’re exposed to is called the viral load.
The experts don’t know, yet, into which of these categories the Coronavirus falls, though some anecdotal evidence suggests that the viral load is a factor. The experts decided that it’s too dangerous and inhumane to experiment on human test subjects. If it’s the latter — if the amount of Coronavirus a person is exposed to, the sicker they get — then quarantine and social distancing are optimal to limit the viral load.
More exposure to the virus, from various sources, would increase the spread and lethality of the virus logarithmically.
So, to the people who say that the effects of the pandemic have been overblown, let me say that maybe the danger of the disease has been mitigated by the isolation policies we’ve put in place.
Maybe all the Open Texas advocates, and Governor Abbot and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, would like to volunteer as test subjects in Coronavirus viral load experiments, instead of volunteering the whole state.
Knowledge is power. This new bit of information “viral load” is one more tool to add to the arsenal of knowledge we need in preparation for whatever the new normal will be.