Bleats

A Positive Update On The Coronavirus Vaccine We Could All Use Right Now

Silver linings.

With the world currently in lockdown due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and patiently awaiting for a vaccine to drop so that normal life can resume, we could all do with some positive news.

Luckily for those going stir-crazy and are in desperate need of a pick-me-up, researchers working on the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine have got an update that’ll give us some hope that we could all use right now.

Since we’re all under coronavirus lockdown, the GOAT team talk about ways to keep yourself creatively engaged on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

According to The Washington Post, researchers have found that the coronavirus COVID-19 isn’t mutating significantly as it moves its way across the globe, which is surprising given the number of people it’s infected so far.

Since the disease broke out in late 2019, researchers discovered that the coronavirus looks basically the same everywhere it has spread, with only four to 10 genetic differences between the original strain that originated in Wuhan and the strains wrecking havoc in the U.S. at the moment, which is very little, and there’s no evidence suggesting that one strain is deadlier than another.

This incredibly low mutation rate bodes very for that coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine we’re hoping for as it means we’ll likely only need a single vaccine rather than a new one annually like the flu vaccine.

Here’s why this is such good news. Viruses mutate over time as they spread and these changes forces scientists to continually come up with new vaccines to fight them. It’s why we need a flu shot every year.

But coronavirus COVID-19 is barely changing at all even as it makes its way through the human population, meaning that scientists will only have to make a single vaccine and it’ll be a long-lasting one. Just one jab in the arm and you’re set, hopefully.

That all being said, we still need to be cautious. As great as this news is for the development of the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine, it is still at least 18 months or so away depending on the amount of resources being allocated to its research.

There’s also the possibility that coronavirus COVID-19 could mutate the longer it is around, with virologist Benjamin Neuman of Texas A&M University at Texarkana saying that we “might have some diversity” if the disease is “still around in a year,” so staying vigilant in containing the spread of the disease through self-isolating, lockdowns, and social distancing is important.

But let’s not dwell on the negative possibilities here and instead focus on the positives. Researchers are doing all they can to fight the coronavirus COVID-19, the disease isn’t mutating, and this means there are some good signs for that vaccine the world is patiently waiting for.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

We Did The Grim Maths On How Much Rice You Need To Survive A Year Of The Apocalypse

No one needs to hoard this much rice.

It’s been weeks since people went bonkers over the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and started hoarding up all the toilet paper, hand sanitiser, rice and pasta they can get their hands on. It’s all ridiculous quite frankly. We simply don’t need to hoard anything, let alone a supermarket’s worth of rice. This in turn made me wonder just how much rice does one would need to survive a year of the coronavirus pandemic or just any apocalypse, so I decided to apply some Grim Maths to it.

Speaking of coronavirus self-isolation, the GOAT team talk about creative quarantine on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

First lets stick with using long grain white rice only as that stuff is more likely to be sold in bulk, cheaper, and is relatively easier to get your hands on. Well, pre-coronavirus hoarding frenzy anyway.

Now as much as people love rice, you simply can’t sustain solely off it since it doesn’t contain a bunch of important vitamins, minerals and proteins you need for a healthy diet. Using the average daily intake of 2,000 calories for an adult, let’s have rice make up 1,500 of those calories based on the assumption that most hoarders will be mainly eating all the rice they’ve stored up in preparation for the coronavirus pandemic/zombie apocalypse.

Since the amount of calories per gram of rice ranges between 1 to 1.5 depending on the source, let’s just average it out and say there’s 1.3 calories per gram of white rice. At 1,500 calories of rice a day, that works out to be 1,154 grams, meaning you’ll need to eat nearly 1.2 kgs of rice a day.

Over the course of a year, that means you’ll need at least 422 kgs of rice in your pantry. That’s a LOT of rice.

Gonna need more rice.

And then there’s the cost of all that rice you’re hoarding. Rice costs anywhere between 15 cents to $1 per 100 grams depending on the brand. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just take the average price of rice to be the middle of those two values, which gives is about 60 cents (rounded up) per 100 grams of rice. At 422 kgs of rice a year, you’re going to need to set aside $2,532 for your coronavirus/apocalypse rice fund.

You might think “that’s not that bad” and “it’ll be worth it,” but keep in mind that eating 1,500 calories a day in rice is just unrealistic as not only will you need other foods to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, but you’re going to get sick of rice very quickly and regret the 400kg or so of rice you’ve bought.

Is this math about how much rice a person may need for a year of the coronavirus/apocalypse/whatever accurate? Definitely not as people’s daily intake and nutrition needs vary, the differing price and nutrition values for the various rice types available, and the amount of water and electricity/gas needed to cook all this rice not being factored into the calculations.

So what is the point of this? Call it my way of working through some frustration over all the unnecessary hoarding that’s happening while attempting to show how hoarders are overreacting. Yes the coronavirus pandemic is a scary thing, but there’s just no reason to hoard anything.

Hoarders are preventing people (like the elderly and disabled) who actually need food and supplies from receiving any due to their own selfishness. You’re not stocking up a bunker, you’re simply staying at home for longer periods than usual.

Here’s hoping all this coronavirus panic buying stops soon as it’s not helping anyone, especially those sensible people who simply want a small 1 kg bag of rice that’ll last them for a few days.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Dating And Sex Is Harder Yet Also Much Funnier Thanks To Social Distancing

At least we can all have a laugh about it.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to practice social distancing for the foreseeable future and so far it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, especially for those who have had their dating and sex lives dramatically diminished to to this enforced quarantine.

Speaking of social distancing, the GOAT team talk about creative quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

With health officials and organisations recommending everyone to practice social distancing as a way to slow the spread of coronavirus, the number of single folk actively dating new people or looking casual (safe) sex will almost certainly take a hit for the foreseeable future since meeting randoms isn’t exactly the best method of containing the disease.

That being said, when there’s a will there’s a way and people have managed to get around the whole social distancing thing when it comes to dating. Thanks to the power of technology, apps like Tinder and Bumble (which have made it easier than ever to connect with others around the world thanks to features like the former’s new Passport feature) have now become the go-to method of romancing potential new partners while also quarantining from the coronavirus.

Hey, beggars can’t be choosers at this point.

As for the casual sex part, well, health experts (via The Guardian) would prefer that you don’t go around hooking up with new partners since exchanging bodily fluids with a random person is a coronavirus minefield and it’s been scientifically proven that having sex while practicing social distancing is next-to-impossible.

Those who are in relationships and living with sexual partners are free to bone all they want though (safely of course) since there’s far less risk of exposure (that is if you don’t have any symptoms or been exposed to the disease) and it’ll be a great way to break up your Netflix binge seshes.

Everyone else though, you’re going to have to make do with solo performances, do something unrelated to sex to occupy your time. or do something akin to this (which we still definitely wouldn’t recommend):

Having said all that, this lull in dating and sex due to the coronavirus has had an unexpected side-effect in the form of some great comedy.

Since the internet is incredibly bored these days and with dating and casual sex off the table, people have had to channel their pent-up energy somewhere and this gave birth to some glorious “social distancing pick up lines.”

Sure you couldn’t say these to someone ever since we’re all supposed to be in self-isolation, as well as the fact that pick up lines don’t really work in the real world, but they’re all good for a laugh and that’s exactly what we need right now.

We’re going to get through this coronavirus pandemic together and soon everyone’s dating and sex lives will be back to normal. In the meantime, we’re going to have to make do with video calls through dating apps or keep ourselves entertained with some great social distancing pick up lines.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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