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SARS-CoV-2 Animated Videos

April 18, 2020

Here are five videos I find useful, informative and even amusing. I learned from each of them, including exactly why it’s extremely useful to wash your hands: soap dissolves the fatty external coat of the virus and the genetic RNA inside dissipates harmlessly.   [Chuck Almdale]


The Science Behind the Coronavirus, Series I – 33 min 14 sec
I find these two videos by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times, extremely refreshing. In these days of tedious, seemingly endless and sometimes mind-bogglingly stupid, useless and excruciatingly annoying foam from the mouths of a few Washingtonian politicians, it is wonderful to remind oneself that there are still intelligent, well-spoken, informed, rational, science-based, non-narcissistic professionals willing to share their expertise with the public. Grab your favorite beverage, settle back, and prepare yourself to be treated like a rational human being for a change. Their description:

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, offers an overview of this special series, The Science Behind the Coronavirus. In this introduction, Soon-Shiong (MD, MBBCh, MSc, FRCS (C), FACS) proposes that understanding how the virus infects our bodies and strategies toward treatment can help us allay our anxiety about it. Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system to fight cancer and infectious diseases. He is also the chairman and CEO of NantWorks and the owner of or investor in a number of companies, including ImmunityBio and NantKwest which are currently researching immunotherapies for COVID-19.


The Science Behind the Coronavirus, Series II – 1 hr 24 min 53 sec
You’re not doing anything else as important as informing yourself. From their description:

In this second installment of our “The Science Behind the Coronavirus” series, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong continues his examination of the ways the scientific community is taking up the battle against COVID-19. Dr. Soon-Shiong begins his presentation with a warning: The virus is continuing to mutate and is here to stay. But, he adds, there is hope. Over an introduction and six parts, Soon-Shiong explains how scientists around the world are considering treating patients suffering from stages of COVID-19. Finally, he breaks down the medical concepts researchers are pondering as they search for a vaccine.


Our World In Data – 8 min 34 sec.
OWID teamed up with Kurzgesagt to make a video about the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s jam-packed with information. If you have not heard about “cytokine storm,” an immune system over-response which is probably the most lethal thing about COVID-19, you need to watch this. They write:

This video now was produced incredibly fast. Virologists and epidemiologists were very responsive and fast in their feedback so that we could ensure that the science is correct and the Kurzgesagt team then worked day and night to produce the video. It was published 3.5 days ago and already has now [March 23, 2020] more than 13 million views. We hope providing information in this form helps spread helpful information on how to address the latest coronavirus outbreak. And we hope you enjoy the video!

Watch it on their site or click the YouTube link below.


Global COVID-19 Prevention is a short 2:30 video from Stanford Medicine. Wordless and textless, it can get its message across to any non-blind person on this planet whatever their age or language. They say:

This short animated video from Stanford Medicine illustrates how the novel coronavirus — the virus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19 — is transmitted among people and how transmission can be prevented.


The Coronavirus Outbreak Explained Through 3D Medical Animation

This 6:09 long video has wonderful animation. I particularly liked the scene where the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus’ spike glycopretein hooks up to the target cell’s Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor, endocytosis then brings the virus into the cell, the virus’ single-stranded RNA then takes over the cell’s machinery including the endoplasmic reticulum to generate new complete viral bodies which the cell’s golgi bodies cooperatively carry back to the cell’s inner surface where exocytosis moves them out of the cell and on their way to infect the rest of your body.

This animation was used by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in his films above. We will probably be hearing much more about the ACE-2 receptor in coming weeks and months.

Scientific Animations has this to say about their video:

This 3D medical animation explains what a pandemic is, rates of infection and ways to protect against infections. It also delves into the biology and mechanism of action (MoA) that coronavirus uses to infect and destroy human cells. Though the exact MoA for this coronavirus is not known.


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