The COVID-19 panic-demic continues, with about 7,000 fatalities globally and 85 in America. There is plenty of good news in the midst of the COVID-19 panic-demic,
* COVID-19 is still a small thing compared to influenza, which has infected 36 to 51 million, hospitalized about one-half million and killed 22,000 and 55,000 in America alone since October (“Influenza Preliminary In-Season 2019-2020,” Centers for Disease Control).
* The Wuhan district of China, ground zero for COVID-19, is getting back to work, temporary hospitals are closing, and travel restrictions are being lifted. All of China had only four new (non-imported) infections on March 15.
* The fatality rate for COVID-19 is much smaller than WHO reports are showing. Large numbers of those who have contracted the respiratory virus are not part of the statistics because the symptoms are often so mild. Even Time magazine says, “That means the total number of reported cases is very likely an underestimate—and by not counting many mild or asymptomatic cases, we’re likely overestimating the disease’s overall mortality rate. … COVID-19 LOOKS A LOT CLOSER TO THE SEASONAL FLU THAN TO PREVIOUS CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS. A more complete—and, hopefully, less severe—picture of COVID-19 will likely emerge as the outbreak continues, testing capacity increases and data are refined” (“The WHO estimated COVID-19 Mortality,” Time, Mar. 9, 2020).
* In a study of 72,000 COVID-19 cases in China, 81% were of the mild variety, while 5% were critical. The overall reported fatality rate was 2.3%, but again that doesn’t take into account the fact that a great many cases are undiagnosed. The fatality rate for those 80 years old and older was 14.8%, which means that 85% of even the oldest people who contract COVID-19 survive. There were 5 deaths among health workers (for 1700 cases), and no deaths for ages 9 and younger (“Summary of a Report of 72,314 Cases,” JAMA Network, Feb. 24, 2020).
* Contrary to the World Health Organization’s demands, the United Kingdom has not taken the drastic measures that many countries have taken, such as banning large gatherings and forcing school closures. Mark Woolhouse of the University of Edinburgh, says he supports the UK plan “because it is more sustainable over time than that of WHO” (“Why is the UK approach to coronavirus so different?” New Scientist, Mar. 13, 2020). Sustainability is a common sense type of thing that WHO-driven panic-mongers aren’t talking about.
* Iran has scaled back its terrorist activity across the Middle East because of the coronavirus (“IDF indicates Iran scaling back,” The Times of Israel, Mar. 17, 2020).
* The first COVID-19 vaccine (by the company Moderna) has begun human testing in Washington state (“Biotech company ships first batches of vaccine,” Fox News, Mar. 16, 2020).
* Israel’s Ministry of Science and Technology branch at Galilee (MIGAL) has a vaccine that it hopes will achieve safety approval in a short time through expedited trials and fast-track approvals (“Israeli breakthrough in coronavirus vaccine imminent,” Israel Today, Mar. 16, 2020). MIGAL’s vaccine is a by-product of the development of a vaccine against Avian coronavirus.
* Other companies have vaccines ready for testing. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is backing a vaccine developed by Oxford University and one by the US company Inovio, which had a vaccine ready three hours after the gene sequence was published in January. “It plans clinical trials in April and to have a million doses by December, if the approach works” (“The race to test coronavirus antiviral drugs and vaccines,” New Scientist, Mar. 11, 2020).
* The French company Sanofi Pasteur is hybridizing the COVID-19 virus with a baculovirus already approved for its flu vaccine as a possible fast track to a vaccine that could be quickly mass produced.
* Remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug that holds out hope as a COVID-19 blocker, is undergoing large human trials in China and the US.
* Kaletra, a combination of anti-HIV drugs that stops viral replication, has also shown some effectiveness in trials in China.
* The best news is that any individual infected by the deadly virus of sin can be healed through saving faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and escape certain eternal death. Sin has a 100% mortality rate, but Dr. Jesus has a 100% success rate for those who come to Him by the door of saving faith. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
(Friday Church News Notes, March 20, 2020, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)