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Religious Tolerance logo



About COVID-19: the pandemic
caused by a new Coronavirus:

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What are the Coronaviruses?

They are a family of diseases that cause illnesses that range from the common cold to bronchitis, pneumonia, or severe acute respiratory syndrom (SARS)

The World Health Organization described one of them -- the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) virus -- as follows:

"COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.  Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer, are more likely to develop serious illness.

The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently, and not touching your face. 1

Depending upon the quality and universality of the country's medical system, a few percentage of people infected with COVID-19 will die.

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Initial detection of COVID-19:

Dr. Li Wenliang, 33, was an opthamologist working at Wuhan Central Hospital in China. During 2019-DEC, he saw test data that showed seven patients had developed an unknown disease that resembled SARS -- the virus that killed 774 people in Asia during 2003. He tried to inform others. However,he -- along with seven other "rumormongers" -- were silenced by police for "making false comments on the Internet."

He continued working with COVID-19 patients, and contracted the disease from one of them. He was diagnosed on FEB-01, and died on FEB-07. Sadly, Li's wife, Fu Xuejie was pregnant with their second child at the time of his death.

A later official inquiry 2 exonerated him from any wrongdoing. The Communist Party of China offered a "solemn apology" to his family and terminated the charges against him.

Various Chinese governments at the state and federal levels ordered nonessential business to close, restricted travel into their country, required individuals to stay at home in isolation, etc. Their health organizations generally recommend that, where possible, people work from home, and isolate themselves from others. When they have to leave home to work, shop, etc., they are advised to remain two meters -- a little over six feet -- away from all others, and to not shake hands or otherwise touch other people.

The U.S., and some other countries have since taken similar actions.

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Phoney "cure" for COVID-19:

On 2020-FEB-12, Pastor Jim Bakker invited Sherill Sellman to be a guest on his TV show. She describes herself as a "naturopathic doctor" and allegedly claimed that a material called "silver solution" could cure at least some coronaviruses.

Bakker asked::

"“This influenza that is now circling the globe, you’re saying that silver solution would be effective?"

Sellman responded:

Well, let’s say it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it has been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours. Totally eliminate it, kills it. Deactivates it. And it boosts your immune system so then you can support the recovery, ‘cause when you kill the virus then the immune system comes into action to clear it out, so you want a vibrant immune system as well as an ability to deactivate these viruses." 3

The office of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Jim Bakker and Morningside Church Productions, Inc. for misrepresentations about the effectiveness of "Silver Solution."

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Spreading of COVID-19 -- and wideapread fear of the virus -- around the world:

By 2020-MAR-11, across the world, there were 118,000 known cases and more than 4,000 deaths from the virus. This was a fatality rate of 3.4%. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic. The WHO Director-General Frosted Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:

"If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of novel coronavirus cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission."

Zia H. Shah, writing for the Muslim Times said on 2020-MAR-20:

2017 saw 2,813,503 registered deaths in the U.S. (from all causes.)

To date, Covid 19 virus had caused 109 deaths.

Public fear is universal and in some cases unhealthy and extreme. Fear can reduce a person's immunity to disease and increase their risk of catching the COVID-19 virus.

Shah, a Muslim, chants a verse from the Quran: "Is not God the best of the Judges?" (Quran 95:8/9). He says:

"This calms me down and puts my thoughts and emotions into perspective. 4

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Reliability of the COID-19 tests:

Adam Miller, writing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. found that the most common COVID-19 test method can be unreliable. He wrote:

"In the first few days before symptoms typically show up, researchers found, the chance of getting a false negative result ranged from 100 per cent on Day 1 to 67 per cent on Day 4.

After symptoms began to show, false negative results fell to 38 per cent on Day 5 and to 20 per cent on Day 8 –- but rose again everyday after that. "

Lauren Kucirka, a resident physician at Johns Hopkins and a lead author of the study, said:

"The focus should really be on ruling in positive patients rather than ruling out patients on the basis of the negative tests." 

Dr. Anna Banerji, an infectious disease expert and faculty lead for Indigenous and refugee health at the University of Toronto, said:

"Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID should stay at home – period – even if their test is negative. It's not that you don't have COVID; it's just that the test is not that reliable." 5

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Up to date information on COVID-19:

The Washington Post publishes a daily Coronavirus Updates Newsletter. See:

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Topics included in this section include:

References used:

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

  1. "Coronavirus," World Health Organization, undated, downloaded on 2020-MAR-24, at:
  2. "Li Wenliang," Wikipedia, downloaded on 2020-APR-03, at:
  3. Eric Sykes, "Missouri sues televangelist Jim Bakker for selling fake coronavirus cure," 2020-MAR-12,, at:
  4. Zia H. Shah, "Corona Fear's Cure," Muslim Times, 2020-MAR-20 , at:
  5. Adam Miller, "Why testing negative for coronavirus isn't a guarantee you don't have COVID-19," CBC Health, 2020-JUN-13, at:

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Copyright © 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-JUN-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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