It appears the modern world was not really that well prepared for a new pandemic. It's now almost certain that this new covid-19 virus will spread to most places on the planet and cause a lot of problems. It also seems like the virus is starting to mutate into a couple of different strains the S and L types as they are currently defined. Though it's still very early days and I think a lot of people don't really understand that we are still in the early stages of this virus. So what do we know so far? Firstly it spreads really fast. In biological teams this is measured in Basic reproduction number or R0. https://wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_reproduction_number While we don't know the real number for this at the moment it appears to be anywhere between 2 to 7 for this virus which is fairly high. Next is that it seems to have a long incubation period before and after people show symptoms. This means people are spreading it for up to a month even if they only seem ill for a few weeks. This is called the asymptomatic period. So with the large R0 and asymptomatic people it's spreading really fast. Next up in it's arsenal is that it's very good at surviving outside the body. The typical flu only lasts a few hours on most surfaces whereas this one can last up to 9 days on some surfaces. Once again helping accelerate the spread. Then there is the fatality rate and complication rate of this virus. While about 80% of the infected seem to cope OK, there are about 20% that may need medical support to survive. Of that there seems a few percent that are unlikely to survive even with help. The problem here is that it's spreading so fast that the hospitals could get overwhelmed by that 20% and more of them could die that unusual. Finally it's happening in a very connected world and one that seems to be putting the economy ahead of sensible controls to tackle the virus. Ideally we would have grounded all planes, stopped all transport and got most of the world self isolating about a month ago. That could have stopped a lot of the spread. Now it seems like we have moved well beyond that and into the stage of trying to slow down the inevitable spread. Finally there seems to be the possibility of catching it a second time or maybe it becoming dormant then springing back to life later. It's too early to tell yet but in similar virus' the second time round it could be even more lethal.