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The worldwide Coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic.
Part 7.
2020-AUG-11 to AUG-31:

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This is a continuation of the previous article:

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2020-AUG-11: Two university studies show that use of E-cigarettes is linked to Covid-19 in two ways:

During 2019, over five million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes.

During 2020-JUL, a University of San Francisco study found that young adults who smoke e-cigarettes or regular cigarettes. and who become infected with Covid-19, have double the risk of getting seriously sick from the virus.

On 2020-AUG-11, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine published a study of 4,351 U.S. volunteers, aged 13 to 24, selected from all 50 states, DC, and three territories. They detected an unexpectedly strong link between vaping and being infected by Covid-19. They found that teens and young adults who used e-cigarettes were five to seven times more likely to be infected than non-users. Their data showed that:

  • Teens and young adults who used e-cigs were five times more likely to be diagnosed with the Coronavirus!

  • Those who used both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes within the previous 30 days were 6.8 times more likely to test positive for the virus!

Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, senior author for the study, said:

"We  were surprised. We expected to maybe see some relationship .... but certainly not at the odds ratios and the significance that we're seeing it here. ... This is yet another piece showing that e-cigarettes are harmful to our health, period."

"I think our findings have a very strong message to health care providers, parents, and teens. If you are vaping and smoking, this is yet another sign that these products are hurting your body and your lungs."

Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital for Children, said:

"Using e-cigs is sort of like the anti-mask. If we can control vaping in youth, we’ve gone part of the way in helping curb the pandemic. ... This is a dangerous convergence of two different crises — the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use combined with the pandemic of COVID-19."

The researchers speculate that w-cigarettes can damage a person's lungs and alter their immune system. This might make an infection more likely if the individual is exposed to the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are performing their own studies of the relationship between vaping and the pandemic. 1

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2020-AUG-11: Russia became the first country to approve a Coronavirus vaccine:

The total number of people who have been infected by the virus worldwide has exceed 20 million.

The Gamaleya Institute in Moscow has developed a new Coronavirus vaccine. Russia has approved it for general use, even though the virus has only been tested on dozens of people.

Mass vaccination in that country may begin as early as October.

Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund that supported the vaccine development financially, said:

"We expect tens of thousands of volunteers to be vaccinated within the next months."

President Vladimir Putin said:

"I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity. We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world."

However, Russia has released their vaccine before conducting a "Phase 3" trial. That type of test typically involves tens of thousands of people and typically takes months to complete.

In comparison, the U.S. has begun testing two vaccines in Phase 3 trials involving 30,000 people. Three other trials will be started there in the fall. 2

Elsewhere in the world, there are more than 200 different Coronavirus vaccines being developed. Two dozen are currently being tested in humans. Six are in Phase 3 trials. 3

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2020-AUG-20: Late stage vaccine trials planned for September:

To date, more than 22.4 million people worldwide have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, and at least 788,500 have died.

There are more than 160 vaccines currently under development worldwide!

Both Moderna and Pfizer started major late-stage trials in July. Each involves about 30,000 volunteers.

Johnson & Johnson will start a phase three trial in almost 180 locations in the U.S. and other countries. Spokesperson Jake Sargent said in a statement to CNBC:

"Our Phase 3 program is intended to be as robust as possible, could include up to 60,000 participants and will be conducted in places with high incidence rates. We are using
epidemiology and modeling data to predict and plan where our studies should take place and expect that to be finalized soon."

The company expects to have batches of their vaccine available for emergency early in 2021. 3

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2020-AUG-25: Two Christian congregations in California fined for meeting indoors and singing during the COVID-19 pandemic:

North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, CA was fined U.S. $10,000 by the county for two indoor worship services that involved singing. It also received a cease-and-desist order, which said:

"The county understands that singing is an intimate and meaningful component of religious worship. However, public health experts have also determined that singing together in close proximity and without face coverings transmits virus particles further in the air than breathing or speaking quietly. The county demands that North Valley Baptist immediately cease the activities listed above and fully comply with the Risk Reduction Order, the Gatherings Directive, the State July 13 Order and the State guidance. Failure to do so will result in enforcement action by the county."

Liberty Counsel's Founder and Chairman, Mat Staver, said:

"The same governor who encourages mass protests, bans all worship and is now fining churches for their right to assemble and worship. The same governor who says the church can meet for secular services, bans the church from having religious worship. This unconstitutional hostility against religious worship must end."

Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, CA was fined $3,000 for meeting indoors. The church and its pastor, Rob McCoy, in contempt of court. (The judge’s fine included $500 for each one of six services.)

Jack Trieber, pastor of North Valley Baptist Church, decried the county’s fine.

“I'm in charge of the spiritual health of the people who sit in this area,” he said in a video inside the church building. “... And although [physical] health is very important -- of utmost importance – spiritual health is supreme. And because we've been locked out … of churches, suicide is up, domestic violence is up, drug addiction is up, homelessness is up, alcoholism is up. We need to get back to worshiping God. I am commanded to worship God.”

Rev. Trieber said he is

"... willing to take a stand. If you arrest me this week -- and I know that's a possibility --– that's not my desire. My desire is to preach God's Word." 4

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2020-AUG-31: Today's snapshot of the Coronavirus:

  • 6,020,186 confirmed US cases (25,325,617 worldwide)
  • 183,355 confirmed US deaths (847,847 worldwide)
  • 77,068,493 tests conducted in the US (234,251 tests per million people or 23.4%). 5

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This topic continues in the next article

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The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyper links are not necessarily still active today:

  1. "Quartz Need To Know: Coronavirus," Quartz emailing, 2020-AUG-11.
  2. Kit Ramgopal, Cynthia McFadden & Conor Ferguson, "Teen vapers up to 7 times more likely to get COVID-19 than non-e-cig users, says new Stanford study," NBC News, 2020-AUG-11, at: https://www.nbcnews.com/
  3. Dylan Scott, "These Covid-19 vaccine candidates could change the way we make vaccines," VoxCare, 2020--AUG-14, via email subscription.
  4. Berkeley Lovelace Jr., "Johnson & Johnson to start late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial in September with up to 60,000 people," CNBC, 2020-AUG-20, at: https://www.cnbc.com/
  5. Michael Foust, " 'This Activity Is Unlawful': California Church Fined $10,000 for Singing, Meeting Indoors," Christian Headlines, 2020-AUG-25, at: https://www.christianheadlines.com

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Copyright © 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-SEP-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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