The Invisible Enemy Strikes Canada 

 

COVID-19 is a new disease and global phenomenon caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization (WHO) issued concern over the new virus on December 31, 2019, after a cluster of 'viral pneumonia' appeared in Wuhan China. The People's Republic of China reported that a local illness likened to a "mysterious pneumonia" had surfaced among its population. [1]

 

The most recognizable symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:

  • High Fever

  • Dry cough

  • Unusual Fatigue

Minor symptoms affecting some patients include:

  1. Loss of taste or smell,

  2. Nasal congestion,

  3. Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)

  4. Sore throat,

  5. Headache,

  6. Muscle or joint pain

  7. Different types of skin rash,

  8. Nausea or vomiting,

  9. Diarrhea,

  10. Chills or dizziness.

 Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:

  1. Shortness of breath,

  2. Loss of appetite,

  3. Confusion,

  4. Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,

  5. High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:

  1. Irritability,

  2. Confusion,

  3. Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),

  4. Anxiety,

  5. Depression,

  6. Sleep disorders,

  7. More severe and rare neurological complications, such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium, and nerve damage.

People experiencing fever and/or cough along with difficult breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain, pressure, loss of speech or movement ought to seek medical care immediately. Where possible, health care providers deliver treatment in secure and proper self-protective equipment. Among the patients who develop COVID-19 symptoms, most (about 80%) recover without needing hospitalization. However, about 15% of infected people become seriously ill and require oxygen, and 5% require intensive care. Complications leading to COVID-19 deaths include, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multi-organ failure, including heart, liver, and kidney injury.[2] In rare instances, children develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after becoming infected. Generally, individuals over 60 years and with comorbidities, such as, high blood pressure, heart, lung problems, diabetes, obesity, or cancer, are at higher risk of developing  severe illness. However, anyone can become ill with COVID-19 and experience severe outcomes at any age.  Both youth and aged die alike, when the Creator deems it is time.

E. Ruska and M. Knoll are scientists who built the first electron microscope in 1931, partially fulfilling Ph.D. capstone requirements. With the invention of electron microscopes, it became possible for microbiologists to examine bacteria and viruses. The efforts from Ruska and Knoll's work, produced a quantitative instrument with capability to observe and collect data previously beyond natural observation. In 1986, E. Ruska, shared the Nobel Prize in physics with G. Binnig and H. Rohrer for their development of the tunneling electron microscope (STEM).  This instrument, however, is not a pure microscope in the sense that it amplifies an object's direct image. STEM operates on a principle that permits scanning a structure's surface through a stylus at a fixed distance. Vertical adjustments are controlled by the "tunnel effect" – hence the instrument's name.[3] A voltage differential between the tip of the stylus and the surface of an object causes an electric current to flow, without coming in physical contact.[4] The optical and electrical strength depends on the medium's resistance, making it possible to maintain a constant observational distance at approximately 10-7 cm (i.e., about two-atom diameters). STEM’s stylus is extremely precise, with the tip consisting of a single atom. This precision level enables the instrument to trace even the smallest surface details. Recording the stylus’ vertical movement allows scientists and researchers to study microscopic objects atom-by-atom.

“Imago Dei” is not technology but the belief in humanity’s visual resemblance to God.[5] The concept is sometimes distorted into levels that suppose unhindered governance and ownership of all creation.[6] Farrer (2015) in Beyond Augustinian Theodicy said, "Every level of God's creation is run by the creatures composing it, but only the intelligent know, (even in part), what they are running." (p.202) Proponents of Farrer's viewpoint point to a supreme God who welcomes partnership. God is not merely a "hands-off" engineer who designs and then leaves individuals to carry-on as they suppose. People disturbed by Farrer's assertion often obsess with measuring spirituality and secularism through a type of dualist paradigm. The human experience rarely anchors into such extreme paradigms. Ministry avoids inciting fear or reinforcing power imbalances that merely serve judgmental, or, "thirsty for revenge", gods. In Christian ministry, love and mercy always triumph over judgment, showing that both, instead of any either/or scenario, are possible. Collaboration is an important healing agent, and the church's sacraments extend their hand to secular society battling this pandemic.  

 

Viruses are among the smallest forms of independent and active life at between 20-300 nanometers. To give contrast, multimode fiber optic strands, used in telecommunication’s measure 50 -62.5 nanometers in diameter, with single-mode fiber approximately 8 nanometers in diameter.[7] Viruses, however, lack sufficient genetic blueprint to code enough protein required for reproduction. Viruses possess no ribosomes needed to synthesize these proteins. Ribosomes are a combination of proteins and ribonucleic acid (RNA) in almost equal amounts. Two sections, known as subunits, identify where these ribosomes bind and decode amino acids. Viruses attack permissive host cells mainly to reproduce in an intracellular parasitic fashion.[8]

Influenza is a common respiratory disease inflicted by viruses belonging to the Orthomyxoviridae family. [9] These viruses contain a lipid envelope, distinguishable from the common cold and result in more severe illnesses. Influenza symptoms include the sudden onset of headache, chills, cough, fever, appetite loss, muscle fatigue, and tiredness. An influenza bout generally lasts 10 to 14 days before the body excretes the parasite. The incubation period for the influenza virus ranges from between 24 to 72 hours. 

Microbiologists describe three influenza viruses, labeling them, influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. Influenza A and B are associated with seasonal flu and with most outbreaks and epidemics. Influenza C remains relatively rare and does not usually cause epidemics or outbreaks. Influenza B and C are pathogens.[10] Influenza A infects humans as well as birds, swine, and other animals. Canada’s Respiratory Virus Detection Surveillance System collects data from select laboratories across the country on the number of positive influenza tests and other respiratory viruses. Weekly collected data is forwarded to the Public Health Agency of Canada for analysis.

 

Viral infections are a very severe disease source, sometimes requiring hospitalization, for younger children, people beyond 65 years, or others with systemic illnesses (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory diseases).  People with known risk factors are encouraged to receive an immunization boost to protect against contracting some particular influenza strains. According to the World Health Organization, every year, seasonal influenza causes an estimated 1 billion infections and between 290,000 and 650,000 deaths. In Canada, influenza and pneumonia rank among the top 10 leading causes of death. Canadian Public Health estimates that influenza causes approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3 500 deaths annually.

[1]  Dr. Ai Fen posts on the Chinese social media platform WeChat that they are "fighting a mysterious pneumonia".

[2] See S Zaim, Jun Heng Chong, Vissagan  Sankaranarayanan, Amer Harky Curr Probl Cardiol. 2020 Apr 28 : 100618. doi: 10.1016/j.cpcardiol.2020.100618.

[3] The tunnel effect” builds upon Light Activated Stimulated Emitted Radiation, (LASER) technology.

[4] This is the principle of Ohm Law I=E/R. A lightening strike demonstrates this phenomenon naturally. 

[5] Imago Dei the image and likeness of God from Genesis creation accounts.

[6] Dominion over the earth does not mean ownership but rather stewardship.

[7] See Corning Optic for more details

[8] From the encyclopedia Britannica, Anatomy and physiology.

[9] A negative sense microscopic RNA virus.

[10] Pathogen are infectious biological agents that produce disease.

Covid350.jpg

source National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease