Since the beginning of last year, more than 100 million people have been infected by Covid19 (novel coronavirus disease, Covid19). British mathematicians have calculated the total number of novel coronavirus particles scattered around the world, which is more than enough to hold in a 330-milliliter can of Coke.
According to Reuters, October 10, Kit Yates, a mathematician at the University of Bath, used the global rate of new infections and estimated viral loads to calculate that there are about 2 quintillion, or 2 billion, 1 billion viral particles scattered around the world.
1quintillion is equal to 10 to the 18th power.
The average diameter of a Novel Coronavirus particle is about 100 nanometers, he says, and even taking into account the protruding protein on the surface of the virus and the voids that form when the particles come together because of their roundness, all the virions still wouldn’t fill a 330-milliliter can of Coke.
The calculated numbers underscore the destructive power of particles too small to be seen by the naked eye, Yates said. “It’s amazing when you think about all the trouble, the destruction, the hardship and the lives lost over the past year, just a few mouthfuls.”