This article appears as a Full Page Special in the Sunday, March 29, 2020 issue of Daily World newspaper, India’s largest English language international newspaper.

While the world continues to reel from the Coronavirus’ global death toll, this crisis is not even close to being over, and it certainly has not peaked. As of this reporting there are nearly 600,000 known cases and almost 27500 known deaths.

With nearly half the world’s population now in lockdown or severely curtailed, the writer separates fact from fiction where it concerns the deadly Coronavirus.

Kal K Korff

Whenever one is especially faced with the outbreak of a deadly virus pandemic, it is always important to tell the truth, to never mince words. Not only is this a universal moral obligation to any victims, it is also vital for the safety and survival of the world community so that it can plan and act accordingly. For it is only through global cooperation, which means the sharing of factual data and resources, that one has any chance of rapidly containing and then defeating the lethal, social, economic and security impacts in a crisis of this nature.

It has been almost four months now since the Communist Party of China officially announced to the world on New Year’s Eve 2019/2020 that there was a deadly outbreak of a newly mutated virus, a species jumper from animals to humans (a zoonotic organism) that the World Health Organization now calls the Coronavirus, or COVID19. In scientific circles it is also known as the 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2, since it is a direct mutation from the original SARS virus which was a global pandemic in 2002–3 when it broke out.

While the world continues to reel from the Coronavirus’ global death toll, this crisis is not even close to being over, and it certainly has not peaked. As of this reporting there are nearly 600,000 known cases and almost 27500 known deaths. The key qualifying word and caveat here is ‘known,’ because it is beyond dispute that the Communist Party of China not only covered-up the initial outbreak and sheer scale of this epidemic, even today no single entity knows the real numbers of people who have been either infected or killed. Instead, all current figures reported globally are minimums.

With roughly half the world’s population now in lockdown or being severely curtailed, the country of India is presently on a 21 day shut down while the United States is the current epicenter of this pandemic, here are some important facts everyone should know.

Virus Lifespan

According to the New England Journal of Medicine in a paper called “Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1,” which tested the new Coronavirus on various surfaces versus its original genetic cousin, it turns out that there are a few key differences between these two pathogens. This delta if you will, is evidence of both the origins and evolution of this deadly organism.

“Our data consisted of 10 experimental conditions involving two viruses (SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1) in five environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard). All experimental measurements are reported as means across three replicates.”

This scientific paper claims that the Coronavirus was “more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces, although the virus titer was greatly reduced after 72 hours on plastic and after 48 hours on stainless steel. The stability kinetics of SARS-CoV-1 were similar after 72 hours on plastic and after 48 hours on stainless steel. On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours.” Put another way, COVID19 doesn’t like the metal copper, unlike its genetic cousin after it mutated into its new form.

“On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours.” Translation: this new mutant Coronavirus today lasts about three times longer on cardboard than its ancestor via which it mutated from. To quantify the potential to still harm people after it has existed for days, scientists tested ships which had victims on it, after they were evacuated. The Coronavirus was found to still be alive for as long as 17 days, which is three days longer than the two week or 14 day cycle that is widely touted. However, this is not to say that this virus after living on such common surfaces made of plastics or metals, would have the strength necessary to either successfully attach itself to a potential victim, let alone infect one to the level that it would kill a human being. Scientists were also unable to determine, due to the nature of their experiments, whether any of the live Coronaviruses found were directly responsible for infecting the now evacuated victims.

Coronavirus Origins

While there is widespread belief around the world, fueled mostly by countless false claims on the Internet that the Coronavirus is some sort of “secret Chinese weapon” or that it was “engineered in a lab” by the Communist Party, there is no credible evidence this is true. Indeed, as reported earlier in Daily World, both the origins and source of the Coronavirus are essentially understood and can be found in internal documents not widely available to the public, or outright ignored by the mainstream media. Here’s the evidence:

In a preprint paper jointly written by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao from the Joint International Research Laboratory of Synthetic Biology and Medicine, School of Biology and Biological Engineering in Guangzhou, China, and School of Physics, in Wuhan; and Tian You Hospital, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, quietly circulated for academic review on February 6, 2020, this key research document has been largely missed by nearly everyone, despite its breakthrough conclusions.

As these two scientists note in their paper, “Two descriptions of the virus published in Nature [magazine] this week indicated that the genome sequences from patients were 96% or 89% identical to the Bat CoV Zc45 Coronavirus originally found in Rhinolophus affines. It was critical to study where the pathogen came from and how it passed onto human.

“An article published on The Lancet reported that 41 people in Wuhan were found to have the acute respiratory syndrome and 27 of them had contact with Huanan Seafood Market. The 2019-nCoV was found in 33 out of 585 samples collected in the market after the outbreak. The market was suspicious to be the origin of the epidemic, and was shut down according to the rule of quarantine the source during an epidemic.”

While the global public now knows that the Communist Party shut down the Huanan Seafood Market, China made a very public showing of shuddering it, including releasing imagery of feces, garbage and other unsanitary elements around the food stalls which are frequented by people, as is often the case with China, things are not as simple as they seem.

As the two researchers noted in their commendable work, “The bats carrying CoV Zc45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang Province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan of roughly 15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never the food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market. There was possible natural recombination or intermediate host of the Coronavirus, yet little proof has been reported.

“We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on Bat Coronavirus. Within roughly 280 meters (306 yards) from the market, there was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (WHCDC). WHCDC hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes, one of which was specialized in pathogens collection and identification.”

This scientific report states that, “Surgery was performed on the caged animals and the tissue samples were collected for DNA and RNA extraction and sequencing. The tissue samples and contaminated trash were the source of the pathogens. They were only roughly 280 meters (306 yards) from the seafood market. The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic. It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study.

“The second laboratory was about 12 kilometers from the seafood market and belonged to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This laboratory reported that the Chinese Horseshoe Bats were natural reservoirs for the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) which caused the 2002–3 pandemic. A direct speculation was that SARS-CoV or its derivative might leak from the laboratory.”

What the authors are referring to is a warning that appeared in the publication Nature Medicine in 2015 by several scientists in an article titled “A SARS-like cluster of circulating Bat Coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence.”

Both Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao conclude that, “In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer Coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety levels may need to be reinforced in high risk biohazardous [sic!] Laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from city center and other densely populated places.”

As reported by the media earlier in response to this conclusion, “Duh!,” it is beyond obvious that not putting high risk facilities near populated areas is the only logical, responsible and morally ethical thing to do. Yet here they exist, Level 4 labs, which means they house deadly pathogens that could easily be used in biological or chemical warfare, surrounded by some 15 million Chinese citizens.

Botao and Lei’s analyses also help explain exactly how the virus initially spread, before it would then reach epidemic proportions precisely because the Communist Party of China refused to not only face the grim reality of this emergency, they outright covered it up. Being a dictatorship, Communist China proceeded with its annual public events and displays, where at the beginning of each new year, the Party rolls out a list of its supposed “achievements,” while exalting its leaders. Everything is perfect, nothing can go wrong. Everything that does go wrong is because of either the “Imperial West,” (aka the United States) or it’s somehow a conspiracy.

In what can only be called a dangerous, inexcusable and deadly move, Communist Party officials, while the Mayor of Wuhan was busy complaining to higher ups that there was a crisis unfolding that was out of control and wasn’t being taken seriously enough, proceeded with their community potluck. This was a public gathering of some 60,000 Chinese citizens who gleefully stuffed themselves for free. By the time the Communists started to lock down Wuhan, some five million citizens had left this area, many not knowing they were infected, within weeks every province in China had outbreaks.

How It Mutated

Experts have also now identified precisely how the newly mutated Coronavirus managed to do what researchers warned the world about back in 2015. This concerns how it could possibly jump from animals to humans. The answer is due to its spike protein.

At Scripps Research, Kristian Andersen, who is an Associate Professor of Immunology and Microbiology, directed a team who discovered that the ‘hook’ part of its spike protein latches onto people’s ACE2 receptors. Why is this important? Not only is this modus operandi now identified, ACE2 receptors regulate blood pressure. Blood pressure levels, when either too high, wildly erratic or too weak, kill many people around the world each year. By analyzing the specific pair of genetic sequences that ‘drive’ this hook spike protein, researchers can easily prove that this was not an artificially made nor “weaponized” virus, that its mutation in fact, albeit deadly to humans and even Apes and Chimpanzees now, is entirely natural in origin.

How To Kill It

Here are some helpful instructions from the USA’s Center for Disease Control. Please follow them, they can save not only your life, but other people as well, especially your loved ones. “Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks). In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated for an ill person: consider reducing cleaning frequency to as-needed (soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.

“As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home. The caregiver can provide personal cleaning supplies for an ill person’s room and bathroom, unless the room is occupied by child or another person for whom such supplies would not be appropriate. These supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners and certified disinfectants. If a separate bathroom is not available, it should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces.

“Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards. If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air. Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable or can be laundered.

“Household members should wash hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water. Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. Additional key times to clean hands include: after blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing; after using the restroom; before eating or preparing food; after contact with animals or pets; before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance.”

Defer to science and realty, not superstitions.

END

Author, Columnist, Inv. Journalist, Host syndicated Kal’s Korner radio show. Bureau Chief: Asia, Europe, Middle East, USA at XZBN.net, DailyWorld.in newspaper.

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