by Ron Cook

In the Bible some version of the words, “Fear not,” or “Do not be afraid,” occur 365 times. There might be a message for us today in these words. We are living in a scary world. That is the truth, but we do not need to be afraid. Fear is truly optional. We do not need to give into the fears of others, or the fears that come from embroidering the unknown, or speculation about things yet to be seen or experienced. I am writing this in Mid-March. The Coronavirus has been percolating since the first week of December, 2019. It has landed on our shores. I have been gathering information about this apparent pandemic for a month. May I share with you: 1) the facts as I see them, 2) the perceived as well as the real threat, 3) and the good news for treatment and recovery? I will highlight each section so that you may read or skip to the parts you feel able to hear at this time. We are all in this together. I understand that the first case in Rapides Parish was documented today (March 19).

The facts as I see them.

First of all…this is a type A virus, which is the only one (of the A,B,C influenza viruses) that can become a global infection known as a pandemic. The flu is basically known as the common cold getting out of control. The first recorded incidence of the flu occurred in 1580 in Russia. It spread to Italy and Spain. Eight thousand people perished wiping out some small Spanish villages. Over the years and centuries the flu has become a seasonal reoccurrence throughout the world. The recovery rate has remained at around 99.5% for the average yearly flu. Pandemics (global flu) have occurred infrequently, yet persist. The flu virus keeps evolving so that it may survive and overcome the vaccines that also need to be improved each year. The Pandemic flu (such as the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, the Asian flu of 1957-58, the Hong Kong flu of 1968-1969, the Russian flu of 1977-78, the Swine flu of 2009, and the current Coronavirus of 2019-2020) normally decreases the recovery rate from 99.5% to as low as 96%. This means that the normal flu claims .5% (or 1 person out of every 200 who get sick). The pandemics claim as many as 2-4% as fatal victims (which are up to 4 people per hundred). The current flu has claimed up to 8% in Italy. (There is a reason for that, which we may talk about later.) Your cat or dog can catch the flu, but they will not give it to you.

The perceived, as well as the real, threat.

Because this virus was not taken seriously enough at first in China, the United States, and some other developed countries, it was able to get a good and pervasive hold on many hosts. In the Wuhan area, where this influenza was believed to start, information about the severity of the virus was withheld for three weeks. As you may recall, the first reaction in Wuhan was to leave the city. That probably helped to spread the virus more than contain it. The Pandemic Response Team in the United States was disbanded in 2018 leaving a preventative element unavailable. The current administration and congress now, however, have mobilized to promise to create testing kits, medical emergency supplies, and economic support for our citizens. The real threat is that this virus could spread exponentially potentially affecting far more people than some other pandemics (however, the Spanish flu infected 500 million people world wide killing some 50 million people or 5% of the world’s population). The perceived threat seems much larger as many people have not experienced such a world-wide effect in their lifetimes. There also seems to be a growing fear based on a lack of adequate, correct knowledge of what is really going on from day to day. The real threat comes from the current rate-of-spread of this virus. The inaccurate perceived threat comes from the unknown length of this virus’s lifespan before it diminishes. The flu persists in colder weather where people stay indoors in dry heated air. The virus thrives and sticks to dry throats. Drink water often (every 15 minutes). The virus should wane when the weather warms, and people go outdoors more. The real threat continues, as always, for the elderly, folks in poor health, and children. Another real difference between the normal flu and this Coronavirus is the incubation period. Normal flu incubation is only one or two days before symptoms begin. Coronavirus incubation may take as long as 14 days before symptoms begin. You become contagious as soon as you are in the incubation period. That makes one a host to pass on the virus long before you come down with the symptoms. The symptoms are a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms that are common, also with the flu, are body aches and diarrhea. In Italy there is a cultural great love for the elderly by the youth. Unfortunately, this has led to the elderly being exposed to all that the youth were exposed to traveling to work and back, socializing, and then visiting their treasured elders. Everything is a little backwards now. Leviticus 11 points out foods that are clean, and foods that are unclean to eat. Many animals have a purpose that does not include being food for humans. The open market, where the virus started in China, sold many if not all of these types of animals. Bats are often the original host for flu viruses. Snakes eat bats, other animals eat snakes, and soon and so forth. The original host then passes the virus to humans indirectly.

The good news for treatment and recovery.

There is much that can be done to prevent or recover from this virus. Practicing common, good personal hygiene is numerous uno. Wash your hands with soap frequently. Your skin is a natural seal against disease, but the virus can stay on your skin for up to 20 minutes, yet it’s only contagious for about 5 minutes. So…that means keeping your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth is absolutely essential. The virus needs help getting into your body. Stay away from sneezing, coughing people. Stop shaking hands for a while, and just give a big smile and a virtual hug to your loved ones and friends. Cover your mouth with a hanky sprayed with thieves oil, or other essential oil. Olive leaf tea is perhaps one of the best natural antiviral products. Two or three cups per day as a preventative, and up to 5 cups if you become sick. Vitamin C is another natural preventative as well as recovery product. It is best absorbed in a Lipo-C formula. Thoroughly cook meat and eggs. Hard surfaces retain the virus for up to 24 hours. Porous materials and surfaces retain the virus up to 4 hours. Stay home if you are sick. Drink viney daily…(1 cup honey, 1 cup of vinegar – with the “mother,” one gallon of water). Say your prayers, and keep a good conscience. Be thoughtful of others. Respect authority. Be self-disciplined in your life, with yourself, and your children.

Man is God’s highest creation. Be wise in what you do, say, where you go, who you are around. Be conscious and careful with your precious life. Be mindful of those around you, and those you love. We will come through this to a new day. This too will pass…

Read 1 Corinthians 13…Read the whole chapter. Here are my favorite parts:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

3 John 2 : 2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Sources and references:

1- WebMD
2- CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
3- WHO (World Health Organization)
4- March Communicator (Twelve Tribes Intertribal News, Parchment Press)
5- Washington Post article (March 14, 2020 – “Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to ‘flatten the curve.”)
6- Common Sense

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