Why have the coronaviruses that cause COVID-19 been able to spread around so easily and infecting so many people along the way? It's because, like many viruses, they are not even alive, and the new coronavirus can stay "un-alive" for a long time.

coronavirus not alive
The coronavirus looks like a cell but it's not even alive

Viruses have always been able to survive without living for billions of years, and in our current world, they are able to infect many people incredibly quickly with this survival strategy. The new coronavirus, in particular, has brought most of the world's activities to a complete stop.

How does the coronavirus spread without being alive?

Usually, a virus without a host is dormant. It does not have metabolism, it does not move, and it cannot reproduce, which makes it not a biological organism or a living being by our definition at all. It is closer to chemistry than it is to biology. And the new coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 can be this way for a very long time.

coronavirus pandemic
Scientists have even "revived" a virus frozen for 40,000 years

While the SARS-CoV-2 would degrade over time without a host, particles of the virus can remain infectious on cardboard up to 24 hours and stainless steel up to 3 three days. Scientists were even able to "revive" a virus frozen for 30,000 years and use it to infect an amoeba.

When viruses invade a cell, they take over the cell's molecules to make more proteins to make viruses. By the time humans can develop symptoms, the virus has already infected and spread more viruses everywhere, ready to infect another victim. The new virus seems to be very good at being "sneaky" like this.

coronavirus not alive pandemic
The unscrupulous nature of the virus means a lot of people got sick in a very short period of time

But scientists believe that the way viruses work also helps us. Virologist Karla Kirkegaard of Stanford University said that "the virus doesn’t really want to kill us. It’s good for them, good for their population if you’re walking around being perfectly healthy.”

Which means that for the new virus to really survive, it must not be so lethal that the hosts die before the virus can infect others. Over time, we can expect the virus to be less lethal to people like other coronavirus diseases, but that will take quite a while.

coronavirus lab research
Although the virus will stop being more dangerous over time if it wants to survive

In the meantime, stay tuned and check out our coronavirus section on GuruGamer.com for more news and updates on the complex developments of the dangerous new coronavirus, COVID-19.