We crawled to this man’s nostril and from there we entered inside his body. It was dark inside , as dark as night sky. For a tiny virus like me, this human body is like a size of an universe, and in this inner universe, all the organs are like alien planets to me . From a bunch of few hundred stem cells, all these organs and tissues had emerged, like a biological Big Bang . Stomach is a world of acid lake, bone marrow is like a planet of cliffs and canyons, Heart is a red Pulsar and the spleen is like a Blackhole for frailed RBCs. But undoubtedly the most fascinating world is brain with its amazing landscape . River of blood connects all these planets and all the corners of this inner cosmos. That is our highway to hop across these alien worlds, from one organ to another.
We were inside the air tube of this old man, inside his Lungs , which looked like oxygen rich Binary stars to me . I was with Dane, Dubin and dozens of my other Covid cousins .
It was quite cold and moist inside, it looked like a grass land with breeze of air inside these air tubes.
“What are these grass like things here?” I asked Dane.
“These are known as Cilia , these protect the lungs from dust. When dust particles are inhaled by humans, those get stuck in these cilia and can’t go deeper inside the lungs. ” he said.
But we , because of our tiny sizes, easily crossed this grass land, descended through several tubes, its like an inverted tree with several branches of air tubes, and finally we landed into open air spaces.
We were settling inside an air pocket, and planning for our next movement.
We were discussing how our HIV friend invades human organs.
Dane said, “We know HIV virus attacks in a different way. It first invades Lymph nodes, the immune forts inside human body, hijacks the brain of the cells there , that is Nucleus. Then takes control of its replicating machinery, and produces his own offspring in exponential speed by using that same machinery.”
He paused for a moment and then continued, “Soon all the human cells get infected by these new HIV viruses. When the host’s inner military, that is his immune system, responds to this viral invasion , it is too late, and the patient dies of multiple organ failure.”
Dane stopped for a while , looked at us and then said slowly, “But our invasion strategy is little different, we also cause multi-organ failure but we create a Storm.”
“A storm?...” my younger cousin Dubin, stared curiously.
“ Yes, a storm, but a different kind of storm, it’s a storm of chemicals – a Cytokine Storm .” Dane explained.
When we were discussing our possible course of action, suddenly I heard Dubin’s frightened voice,
“Watch out, What’s that ? ”
Surprised , we all turned back and abruptly my attention was arrested by something that was moving nearby ,a rattling noise from somewhere, not very far from us ….and suddenly ,a monstrous creature emerged like a bolt from the blue..
Startled and terrified, we quickly hid ourselves .
From the hideout, I carefully observed this giant beast, it didn’t have eyes but could see everything, it did not have ears but could hear everything, it did not have any limbs but could produce false limb from any side of its body. It looked like an Alien from the outer space. What was it?
“MACROPHAGE ” Dane had the answer. “They are the guards of these human Lungs ”.
I remembered my brother had told me once about these creatures, , these are the most ferocious fighters inside human body, they strangulate their enemies with their false hands. He had always cautioned me to keep a safe distance from these.
Once he mentioned about another monster similar to it, he called it POLYMORPH.
He gave me a hair- raising account of his encounter with that shape- shifting monster. He particularly cautioned me about these creature’s ability to produce false limb or pseudopodia to trap its enemies like us. That monster was trying to grab my brother with those scary appendages, but after few unsuccessful attempts, it threw a net like trap to catch him. Somehow my brother escaped from that death trap and hid himself out of the polymorph’s sight. He told me that net like trap was actually the polymorph’s own DNA , they do it as an extreme measure and die immediately – sacrifice their life to prove loyalty to human immune force.
“It has noticed us ! ” Dane cautioned pointing to the gargantuan monster, scary sentinel of human lungs, which was slowly approaching towards us with its terrible tentacles of pseudopodias.
Dane instructed , “ get ready boys, don’t be afraid. It’s time to prove ourselves. We together can defeat it.”
He is the commander in charge now.
He directed us silently to surround the monster from behind.
But which side is its back ?. From any side it can produce its deadly grasp of false limb.
Somehow , carefully ,with utmost silence ,we all covids managed to reach behind this monster while Dane, from the front , was diverting its attention towards him by making repeated movements.
As it started chasing Dane, we lost no time and plunged together on it from behind , and injected our lethal poison. This toxin reached to its brain which is its Nucleus , and paralysed it instantly.
The demon was dead .
We , the covid battalion , tasted our first victory against immune force of humanity.
Drops of chemicals oozed out from this dead devil’s body .
That chemical was cytokine –
and a storm started – the ‘Cytokine storm’.
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