We can only glimpse viruses with advanced microscopes.
But to really fathom the minuscule size of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), mathematician Christian Yates, a senior lecturer in mathematical biology at the University of Bath in the UK, crunched the numbers.
His conclusion? All the active coronavirus particles in the world (assuming 3 million currently infected people) would take up a volume of about 160 milliliters, meaning they would easily fit inside a soda can (335 milliliters). His methods are artistically shown in the video above.
“It’s astonishing to think that all the trouble, the disruption, the hardship and the loss of life that has resulted over the last year could constitute just a few mouthfuls of what would undoubtedly be the worst beverage in history,” Yates wrote in The Conversation.
Importantly, the coronavirus — a parasite with no legs, wings, or the ability to multiply on its own — can be controlled if humans (its primary hosts) stop efficiently spreading the tiny microbe.
“If we could get everyone in the world to wear masks for four weeks, the virus would have nowhere to go,” Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious disease at the University of Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, told Mashable in early February.