Information regarding the SAR-COV-2 pandemic. A Call for Understanding.
I’m concerned about my friends, family and community being misinformed about SARS-COV-2, the legislation and mandates coming from our civil agencies and governments and the lack of rigor and thoughtfulness media outlets have expressed in their communications.
I hope that this document can be as a common-sense starting point for making decisions regarding this pandemic. Concerns about health and safety from illness should always be made considering your doctors’ advice and up to date information.
Social media can be a jumping ground for moral posturing and provides a high horse for hypocrites that do not genuinely care for you or have your best interests in mind. Facebook can be a source of great ideas and inspiration but frequently it is just a battleground of ideologies. It can be overwhelming.
News and media outlets have a story to tell. In most cases the stories you read and videos you watch are there to manipulate you into an emotional state, confirm an ideology or make you feel good about yourself. None of those are useful to you. Given this, they are a poor resource for understanding.
Civil agencies and our governments act in the interest of law, their policies and procedures and the self interest of those elected or employed by them. It is very important to understand that in most cases, the individuals who work for and in them are just like you. They don’t want to rock the boat. They have bills to pay and ambitions to serve. They are interested in the 9 to 5, beyond that is expecting too much.
In addition, individuals, businesses and organizations lobby for their own interests. Content that may appear as a simple advertisement or public announcement can have a very specific purpose and be a part of a larger campaign that is not immediately obvious. We used to have protections in place that prevented the government from using propaganda within our borders without being disclosed as such. That protection was removed in 2012.
Because of these varied competing interests, it can be difficult to catch the truth. Based on what I see in my community, there is the expectation that the truth will find you. This is not the case. It must be searched for. You have to want it. It’s not often revealed in a headline or a series of five minute reads.
It starts with learning how to ask questions, how to listen carefully and how to methodically record notes. Carefully examine what people tell you. Think about why they tell you things and why you want to listen. Maybe you need encouragement, in that case it’s best to seek scripture or a friend. Maybe there is an emptiness, scripture is there for that too.
Often we find ourselves receiving bad information when we are vulnerable and not ready to process it. You might be exhausted, the TV is there in the background, subconsciously you let the announcer fill in the gaps for you. Later that information becomes a base for a larger idea. An idea which you never tested and never realized you had. Only that now it drives you for better or for worse and you aren’t even aware of it.
Call for prayer, worship, thanksgiving and to abide in Christ
I want to help you be prepared for perilous times ahead. Already there is mass confusion and a spirit of lawlessness. You need discernment and an even temperament. You need the foundation of scripture so that you are not deceived and destroyed when judgement is upon us. Christ is our living water. You are responsible for understanding the truth and the true Doctrine of Christ.
Useful evidence in regard to SARS-COV-2 which produces COVID-19 disease
Transmission occurs in the air for up to 3 hours and through ventilation distribution systems. It can survive on surfaces up to 3 -5 days depending on the surface. This has been known since February 2020.
In hospitals and other facilities which already practice heightened protection processes in light of this new virus, experience in some case numerous infected staff and fatalities. In Italy they found points of transmission occurring in breakrooms and bathrooms. The only respite they found was when they treated the whole facility and all persons within as infected.
Through incompetence, ignorance, hubris, logistics, politics and other factors, testing has remained inconclusive. RT-PCR and Antibody tests have not been shown to work reliably. Therefore, the only cases we can be sure of are the ones which have symptoms associated with the disease. The truth is, we don’t know for sure how many people, actually have or have had this disease. We only know it exists.
The R0 for this disease started off at R3 but more recently is thought to be at R7. The R number is the number of people one person could infect in ideal conditions for transmission. Based on comparisons with similar outbreaks, based on reports and case studies it is more likely to be more contagious than measles. That would indicate R18 or higher. Possibly even as high as R25. The practice of epidemic control focuses on lowering the R0 via infection control methods. With functioning and reliable testing for a disease, we can determine the effectiveness of our control efforts. The catch phrase you have heard, “slow the spread” is in connection with this practice. Of course, unless you are treating this disease as the worst possible contagion and you have detailed data on its mechanisms, you have no way of knowing if it’s your measures or some other transmission factors that are altering the R0. In other words, we don’t know if we are being effective.
The virus is on average 120 nm (nanometers) in size. That is at the limit for an N95 mask to be effective. The smallest particles it can reliably filter are 120 nm. That assumes the mask is being worn correctly and it is not used for more than 1 hour. The virus does have particles much less than 120 nm, down to 20 nm. The N95 offers no protection against those.
Eye protection is required to prevent infection from this virus. In hospital environments, staff that have available PPE wear full protection. Some even layer masks. This means, N95 masks, eye protection, a face shield, gown, gloves and foot protection.
It is still not known how high the viral load is from individuals which are shedding the virus at any phase of infection. Viral load and the threshold of exposure that you need to be infected is an important factor in determining what procedures are absolutely required to prevent transmission. We do not know this.
Preventing Unnecessary Exposure
Any closed space with any amount of people is a risk and you could become infected. This includes cafeterias, fast food, buses, post offices, manufacturers and factories. Virtually anywhere people congregate together. Since we do not know the R0 and we do not understand the transmission, anyone telling you a certain threshold of people is safe, is either incompetent, lying to you or ignorant. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 10 or it’s 100 the virus doesn’t check to see how many people are in the building.
Properly worn and maintained N95 masks are the minimum needed to reduce your chances of exposure to high viral load. Bandannas, fashion masks, ski masks, handkerchiefs and any other cloth barriers most likely would not prevent transmission. Most likely they would increase transmission, since they do not filter out the virus particles and they are not sealed against your face. Also, as they become saturated with moisture the virus has a point of concentration, therefore increasing your initial viral load.
The media has been busy posting highly questionable infographics and online flyers that are obviously based either based in ignorance, incompetence or willful intent to deceive. The latest of which describes “at risk” activities based on lowest and highest risk. Amazingly, the items correspond proportionally to how essential an activity is. Information that you use to protect yourself and your family should not be taken from media outlets. Just turn those off. Call your doctor for advice.
Flow of Information for Decision Making
In our country, the governments agencies institute planning based on guidance from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). If you want to understand the reason for some policies that are in place a good start would be to check the CDC’s website.
The best place to find information regarding this latest health crisis is in the scientific research and medical communities. Firsthand accounts from hospital personnel and staff. Counsel from scientific researchers and doctors. Many of these professionals post online journals. JAMA and The Lancet offer email alerts of the latest news, articles and developments in research. Most scientific publications agreed in March 2020, to offer all information related to Covid-19, free.