It started as a rumour. Rumour travels very fast. Like wildfire. At times, faster than lightening or sound. The rumour became a reality by early March 2020 – the emergence of coronavirus. A tiny unseen virus that has humbled man and humanity, crippled great nations, sent nearly the entire human race into self-quarantine, and completely grounded commerce, industry, law, science, technology, medicine, arts, culture, leisure, etc. Only life remains for those who still have it. One writer with a dangerous sense of humour puts it most graphically thus: “How the world has suddenly changed in just one month: February 14 – Valentine; March 14 – Quarantine.”
Another writer, viewing the plague from a spiritual angle, he reminded us of Isaiah 26:20: “Go home, my people, and lock your doors! Hide yourself for a little while until the Lord’s anger has passed”. “Quarantine is Godly”.
One writer predicts that the plague now termed pandemic by World Health Organisation (WHO) would lead to depletion of membership in churches and mosques by the time it is all over. Hear him: “Lessons & predictions from the coronavirus pandemic”
1. If mosques, churches & religious worship close their doors.
2. If scientific and practical solutions and guides are the viable options.
3. It means personal spiritual growth & awareness of the divinity of (wo)man can occur without mosques, churches and religious worship places.
4. So mosques, churches and religious worship places will lose some members after this pandemic!
*Watch out for institutions that will be “endangered species” around the corner”.
Earlier predictions of the Covid-19
Recall that Michel de Nostradamus, usually latinised as Nostradamus, a French astrologer, physician and reputed seer, had written in his book, “Les Propheties” (1503 – 1556), where he predicted the world. He wrote in the year 1551, thus:
“There will be a twin year (2020) from which will arise a queen (corona) who will come from the east (China) and who will spread a plague (virus) in the darkness of night, on a country with 7 hills (Italy) and will transform the twilight of men into dust (death), to destroy and ruin the world. It will be the end of the world economy as you know it”.
Dean Koontz, in his book, “The Eyes of Darkness” a New York Times bestseller), wrote at page 312 of the book, as follows:
“In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments. Almost more baffling than the illness itself will be the fact that it will suddenly vanish as quickly as it arrived, attack again 10 years later, and then disappear completely”.
Even trillionaire, Bill Gates, had warned as far back as 2015 about the need for the world to develop vaccines and other preventive aids that would tackle a global epidemic of the proportion of coronavirus.
Humour merchants at work
Trust Nigerians to turn situations, no matter how grave and critical, to humour merchandise.
One satirist said the coronavirus has merged both question and answer together for the first time in one statement, “WHO declared coronavirus as a pandemic”. This could be a statement “WHO declared coronavirus as a Pandemic”. It could also be a question, as in, “Who declared coronavirus as a pandemic?”
Another Nigerian wrote
84% of Nigerians say they are aware of #COVID-19, 26% believe they are immune and their reasons are:
• “I am a child of God” (40%),
• “I have strong genes” (30%)
• “The country’s hot weather is slowing the spread” (17%).
Yet, another humour merchant wrote:
“Anyone who is single, be careful who you take home this weekend. You might end up with them for a fortnight”.
One Mayor of Ikotun wrote:
“Quarantine in abroad is not the same as quarantine in Nigeria o, government fit just keep only you for one uncompleted building, dey throw you fufu and palm oil stew once in a while”.
USA: Releases $ 1 trillion emergency stimulus; to pay each citizen $1,000.
UK: Releases £330 billion Business Loan Package
Germany: Releases $600 billion stimulus.
Canada: Releases C$20 billion Economic Relief Package. Stops payment of rents.
Italy: Releases €26 billion. They will pay the rent, pay babysitter €600.
Nigeria: Removed N20.00 from fuel.
Who swear for Nigeria like this?
So much for fun and trivialization of a global pandemic that is threatening to wipe out mankind. Let us look at the serious side.
What is a virus?
According to Wikipedia, a virus is a biological agent that reproduces inside the cells of living hosts. When infected by a virus, a host cell is forced to quickly produce thousands of identical copies of the original virus. Unlike most living things, viruses do not have cells that divide; new viruses are assembled in the infected host cell. But unlike still simpler infectious agents like prions, viruses contain genes, which gives them the ability to mutate and evolve. Over 4,800 species of viruses have been discovered.
The origins of viruses are unclear: some may have evolved from plasmids—pieces of DNA that can move between cells—while others may have evolved from bacteria. A virus consists of two or three parts: genes, made from either DNA or RNA, long molecules that carry genetic information; a protein coat that protects the genes; and in some viruses, an envelope of fat that surrounds the protein coat (which makes them vulnerable to soap) and is used, in combination with specific receptors, to enter a new host cell. Viruses vary in shape from the simple helical and icosahedral to more complex structures. Viruses range in size from 20 to 300 nanometres; it would take 33,000 to 500,000 of them, side by side, to stretch to 1 centimetre (0.39 in).
Viruses spread in many ways. Just as many viruses are very specific as to which host species or tissue they attack, each species of virus relies on a particular method for propagation. Plant viruses are often spread from plant to plant by insects and other organisms, known as vectors. Some viruses of humans and other animals are spread by exposure to infected bodily fluids. Viruses such as influenza are spread through the air by droplets of moisture when people cough or sneeze. Viruses such as norovirus are transmitted by the faecal–oral route, which involves the contamination of hands, food and water. Rotavirus is often spread by direct contact with infected children. The human immunodeficiency virus, HIV, is transmitted by bodily fluids transferred during sex. Others, such as the dengue virus, are spread by blood-sucking insects.
Viruses co-exist with life wherever it occurs. They have probably existed since living cells first evolved. The origin of viruses remains unclear because they do not form fossils, so molecular techniques have been the most useful means of hypothesising how they arose. These techniques rely on the availability of ancient viral DNA or RNA but most of the viruses that have been preserved and stored in laboratories are less than 90 years old. Molecular methods have only been successful in tracing the ancestry of viruses that evolved in the 20th Century. New groups of viruses might have repeatedly emerged at all stages of the evolution of life.
What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are named for the spikes that protrude from their surfaces, resembling a crown or the sun’s corona. They can infect both animals and people, and can cause illnesses of the respiratory tract.
Corona is a respiratory virus that originated in China and has infected thousands people globally.
It is a novel respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan, China. It already has spread to over 100 countries in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Nearly half a million people have been infected, leaving over 11,500 dead, globally.
The coronavirus is large in size with a cell diameter of 400-500 micro, any mask prevents its entry. So, there is no need to exploit pharmacists to trade with muzzles.
The virus does not settle in the air, but on the ground, so it is not transmitted by the air.
The coronavirus, when it falls on a metal surface, will live for 12 hours, so washing hands with soap and water well will do the trick.
Coronavirus when it falls on fabrics, stays for nine hours, so washing clothes or exposing them to the sun for two hours is enough for the purpose of killing it.
The virus lives on the hands for 10 minutes, so putting the alcohol sanitizer in the pocket is enough for the purpose of prevention.
If the virus is exposed to a temperature of 26-27°C, it will be killed, it does not live in hot areas. Also drinking hot water and exposure to the sun is good enough.
Staying away from ice cream and cold food is important.
Gargling with warm water and salt prevents them from leaking into the lungs.
Adhering to these instructions, says UNICEF, is sufficient to prevent the virus.
Coronavirus life span: Another view
Coronavirus on Aerosol (airborne) = 3 hours; On Cardboard = 24 hours; on plastic or steel = 2 to 3 days.
When someone who is infected with the CORONAVIRUS starts sharing it, when he or she coughs or sneezes, the virus is airborne for up to three hours.
When the virus lands on a cardboard, it remains alive for up to 24 hours.
When the virus lands on a plastic or steel metal, it remains alive for 2 to 3 days!
One of the cleaning agents that kills the virus is Clorox or bleach. Lysol also kills it. Rubbing alcohol (not the type to drink) also kills it. Soap easily washes it away but does not kill it effectively as rubbing alcohol or bleach does.
Laila Ahmadi from China’s Faculty of Medical Sciences, Zanjan University predicts that coronavirus will arrive any country sooner or later and that there is no doubt that many countries do not have any diagnostic kits or equipment. She recommends the use of as much as possible natural vitamin C, to strengthen your immune system. Chloroquine, the long rejected stone, is suddenly being exhumed from its near extinction.
According to Professor Chen Horin, CEO of the Beijing Military Hospital, “Lemon slices in a cup of lukewarm water can save your life.”
The lemon is cut into three parts and put in a cup, then pour hot water and turn it into (alkaline water), drink it every day. It will certainly be beneficial to everyone.
(To be continued next week)
Thought for the week
The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” (John C. Maxwell)