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Dr.Walt Fair, PE19-Mar-20 10:21
subeditorDr.Walt Fair, PE19-Mar-20 10:21 
GeneralPropagation Perspective Pin
W Balboos, GHB18-Mar-20 9:55
mveW Balboos, GHB18-Mar-20 9:55 
In real life, before I become a programmer, I was doing chemical kinetics measurement. On a walk around the block form which I just returned (just short of no one to even say "hi") I began to think of our current predicament in terms of reactants and products. In this case, the virus (actually, the carriers) and the previously uninfected.

First it occurred to me that this in not a simple 'binuclear' reaction but much more akin to catalyisis with, initially, a positive feedback loop as the product is also of the catalyst type. A mitigating factor is that the catalyst is only active for a limited amount of time and then becomes inert. That is, a carrier infects any number of uninfected individuals for a while and then ceases to infect (Typhoid Mary was an interesting and frightening alternate scenario).

Start fresh - a huge number of molecules in the unreacted state (unexposed). Introduce into this one enzyme (the first carrier). Virtually everyone with whom they are in contact will be a potential reactant - catch the virus and start to spread it. At first appearance, this state wherein we have a large 'bath' of the uninfected and small bath of the infected increase (I'll use the word!) exponentially. We can pretend this value is (only) 2. This doubling continues until the bath has finally been populated by a sufficient number of infected (and inert 'cured' person) that the power of the the number of those newly infected drops to the level of those newly cured. This is the steady state. Eventually, the number being infected is insufficient to account for those who are now inactive (immune) and the number infected drops off until what we could call completion - or in this case, "herd immunity". The reaction is over - the epidemic has ended.

If those currently immune can be carriers, it only serves to speed up the rate of approach to the final state. This would be better fitted to enzyme kinetics where the product of the reaction is more of the enzyme.

For individuals, the mechanism is
reacted     -> activated complex -> final product, or rephrased,
unexposed   -> infected/carrier  -> immune

For this to end to occur, some mechanism of immunity must exist in the susceptible reactants. If a vaccine is developed, one can effectively skip that middle step. That would be nice. If no immunity develops (war-grade Ebola) then extinction will also stop the process.
Ravings en masse^
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein
"If you are searching for perfection in others, then you seek disappointment. If you seek perfection in yourself, then you will find failure." - Balboos HaGadol Mar 2010

GeneralRe: Propagation Perspective Pin
BillWoodruff18-Mar-20 11:46
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W Balboos, GHB19-Mar-20 1:09
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W Balboos, GHB19-Mar-20 2:53
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Dr.Walt Fair, PE19-Mar-20 10:25
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W Balboos, GHB20-Mar-20 1:57
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