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Religious Tolerance logo


The worldwide Coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic:
Part 1

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The origin of the virus:

The Coronavirus was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China. It quickly spread throughout parts of China and then jumped to Japan. It later reached Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It has continued to spread across the entire world, except for Antarctica.

It is often referred to as the “coronavirus disease 2019,” with the abbreviation “COVID-19”).

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The symptoms of the virus:

The most common symptoms resemble those of the flu: dry cough, tiredness, and fever. In more serious cases, people have difficulty breathing.

Some victims have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and/or diarrhea.

At least 35 research programs around the world are attempting to develop a vaccine for the virus, including at least six universities in Canada. However this is expected to take about 18 months before one is developed, checked out, and becomes available for general use. 13

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The situation as of 2020-MAR-31:

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that worldwide there were:

  • 801,117 confirmed cases of people with a Coronavirus infection;

  • 38,540 confirmed deaths (4.3% of the confirmed cases);

  • 190 countries, areas, or territories had known cases. 1

The WHO has placed a regularly updated map of the world showing countries with known Coronavirus infections and a list of the number of known cases by country, area and territory. 2 However, 54 regions had fewer than 10 known cases.

Some researchers expect that the spread of COVID-19 will slow down during summertime.

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Many pastors suspend in-person services; some do not:

The Coronavirus spreads easily among gatherings of people, as in church meetings. Many churches are suspending meetings and hold on-line services over the Internet. Others hold small meetings; for example, Pastor Robert Jeffress, held services at his First Baptist megachurch in Dallas TX duing March, where gatherings of under 500 people were permitted at the time. Later, the church switched to online-only worship. 11

However, citing freedom of religon, some pastors have been charged by police for continuing to hold large meetings in their church that violate state regulations. These included Rodney Howad-Browne of Tampa FL, and Pastor Tony Spell in Baton Rouge, LA.

Spell said:

""We have a mandate from the word of the Lord to assemble together. The first amendment says that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the exercise of religion."

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Headline from the San Francisco Chronicle:

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Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Adults over 65 years of age are at higher risk, particularly if they have a serious underlying medical condition. The CDC recommend that they:

  • Stay home if possible, and Isolate themselves from others in the same house if they feel unwell.

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Do not touch any part of their face.

  • Avoid close contact (less than 2 meters or about 6 feet) with people who are sick. That distance is about two arm lengths.

  • Clean frequently touched surfaces with soap and water. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc. Disinfect them with diluted household bleach solutions. Wear disposable gloves when cleaning.

  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel. 3

  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition, or if you are sick.

Webmaster's comment:

These recommendations seem worthwhile for persons of all ages. To be save, it is best to stay at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from evryone not known to be free of the virus.

The World Health Organization has a great deal of information and videos on their web site at They provide daily situation reports, globally and by country.

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The 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed:

The XXXII Olympic and Paralympic games had been scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan during 2020-JUL-24 to AUG-09. However, the International Olympic Committee. the Japanese Government, and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee together decided to postpone the games until 2021 because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Many athletes have been impeded in their personal preparations for the games. Also, some governments have placed their nations in lock-down.

On 2020-MAR-24, the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee made the delay official. They issued a statement saying:

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organization today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community. ..."

"In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against Covid-19." 4

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This topic is continued 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. "Novel Coronavirus (COVID) Situation, " World Health Organization, updated on 2020-MAR-23, at: /emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  2. Cillian O'Brien, "Vaccine watch: These are the efforts being made around the world," CTV News, 2020-MAR-31, at:
  3. "Disinfecting your home if someone is sick," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, updated 2020-MAR-17, at: https:///
  4. Jack DE Menes, "Olympics: Tokyo 2020 postponed until 2021 over coronavirus outbreak," Independent, 2020-MAR-24, at: https://nonindependent/

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Copyright © 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-APR-16
Author: B.A. Robinson

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