J Intern Med - (-) - [2021-05-28; online 2021-05-28]
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic represents the most severe public health crisis of the last 100 years both in terms of societal impact and illness. As of May 10 th more than 155 million individuals have contracted COVID-19 and more than 3,3 million have died from the disease. Even though the underlying pathogen, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a member of the coronavirus family that has been studied extensively for many decades, the world was ill-prepared to deal with its high degree of contagion combined with its broad spectrum of virulence. Regretfully, knowledge gained about the physical underpinnings of respiratory viral transmission after the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was largely ignored by the public health community at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.