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COVID-19 Update 8, April 28

A paper published by The Lancet on March 21 considered “country-based mitigation measures” and concluded that: “Individual behaviour will be crucial to control the spread of COVID-19. Personal, rather than government action, in western democracies might be the most important issue.”

That is what I said in the first update on March 26 – we the people of Canada are doing it together and so far we are doing it well – let’s keep it up. And we have kept it up and, as the numbers show, have done comparatively well. Our civil society is up to the challenge.

In serious cases the virus attacks the lungs and air quality is an important factor in determining the severity of outcome. A study of 66 administrative regions in Italy, Spain, France and Germany revealed that out of 4443 fatalities 3487 (78%) occurred in 5 regions in Northern Italy and Central Spain with the highest rates of nitrogen dioxide, a toxic component created mainly through carbon combustion.

A study in the US showed that a small increase in long-term exposure to fine particulate matter pollution leads to a large increase in COVID-19 death rate.

The destruction of our natural habitat and loss of diversity contributes to the emergence of new diseases like COVID-19. The species that thrive after biodiversity declines are also the most likely to give use new diseases.

Scientists are discovering two to four new viruses are created every year as a result of human infringement on the natural world, and any one of those could turn into a pandemic.

According to Thomas Lovejoy, often referred to as the godfather of biodiversity:

This pandemic is the consequence of our persistent and excessive intrusion in nature and the vast illegal wildlife trade, and in particular, the wildlife markets, the wet markets, of south Asia and bush meat markets of Africa… It’s pretty obvious, it was just a matter of time before something like this was going to happen.

A group of 20 world leaders including Merkel, Macron and Bill Gates met on line with the WHO to work collectively on the vaccine against the virus. Trump chose not to attend.

On April 24 the state of Georgia allowed the reopening of gyms, barbershops, tattoo parlours, and bowling alleys. The median incubation period for the virus is 5.1 days, as is the mean.

On March 22 Virginia Bishop Gerald Green said “I firmly believe that God is larger than the dreaded virus” and that he was not afraid to die. And die he did, on April 14. Cause of death – COVID-19. What was he thinking in his last moments?

Henri Kichka, 94, a survivor of Auschwitz, has died in Brussels of COVID-19. At 612/1M Belgium’s mortality rate is the highest in Europe.

Brazil has become a hot spot for the virus, with hospital officials in Rio de Janeiro and other cities warning of overload and collapse. The president’s son Carlos Bolsonaro is being investigated by the police for involvement in “a criminal fake news racket engaged in threatening and defaming Brazilian authorities.”

”Ultra-conservative communities have emerged as virus-spreading clusters in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.” – , April 6.

More than 200 Cuban doctors have gone to South Africa to help fight COVID-19.

The pandemic is winding down in Germany, more slowly in France and Spain, and there are plans for gradual reopening. For Canada, the daily % of new cases continues to drop slowly. Our citizens did well, but those responsible for protecting residents in long term care homes failed miserably. Had they done their job properly, our mortality rate would be half or less and hundreds of lives would have been saved.

AP, Toronto, April 28, 7:00 AM


Andrew Pakula is a long time peace activist and has been a member of Science for Peace from the very beginning. He is a retired social research and management consultant with a background in social psychology.


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