Nearly half of the Country believes we are experiencing a ‘wake-up call’ from God

Apr 2, 2020

OPINION (ETH) – A new National Survey is indicating that nearly half of the country now believes that the deadly coronavirus pandemic sweeping the Nation and the Globe is a “wake-up call” from God, and one-third see this as the “last days” foretold by the Bible.  This new key finding was revealed in the Joshua Fund’s survey.

According to the survey, Some 44% believed that the current pandemic is a “wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God” and “signs of coming judgment,” said the Joshua Fund, a charitable organization created to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.”

Bestselling author Joel Rosenberg who created the fund with his wife, Lynn Rosenberg, stated: “Americans in near full lockdown are anxious, and understandably so. Yet millions are turning to God, the Bible, and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time.

That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.”  One-third of respondents of this poll also said they fear the end really is near. The Joshua Fund said that “29% said they believe that this crisis indicates that ‘We are living in what the Bible calls the ‘last days.’” (Click to Source)

 

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5 Natural remedies that boost immunity for protection from the coronavirus

Monday, April 06, 2020 by: Divina Ramirez

(Natural News) The rapidly spreading coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory infection that causes flu-like symptoms. Despite the growing number of cases worldwide, the disease itself is not particularly fatal, especially given a functioning immune system and a lack of underlying conditions. Experts suggest that the disease can cause severe, life-threatening symptoms especially given immunocompromised individuals and preexisting respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.

Fortunately, it appears that recovery is possible. But it is largely dependent on the individual’s immune system and medical history. Ideally, the immune system should be able to identify and eliminate viruses and bacteria. However, the immune system can be compromised by factors like poor lifestyle and nutrition, thus rendering the body susceptible to infection and disease.

Natural remedies that reduce the risk of infection

Fortunately, natural remedies can strengthen immune functions and enhance immune responses to infection and disease.

Vitamin C

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is commonly linked to immunity enhancement due to its ability to stimulate the production of antibodies and white blood cells. It also has antibacterial properties that can inhibit the growth of bacteria given an infection. Moreover, vitamin C works alongside plant compounds that can also be found in vitamin C-rich foods, such as carotenoids and flavonoids. Together, these antioxidants enhance the body’s antiviral responses. Additionally, a recent study published in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine revealed that high doses of vitamin C are effective against the influenza virus. Common sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D also plays an important role in immunity enhancement. Technically speaking, vitamin D is a prohormone produced by the liver and pancreas upon the skin’s exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. That being said, its presence can significantly affect the body’s immune responses to disease-causing pathogens. In particular, vitamin D combats pathogens that cause respiratory conditions like asthma and pneumonia, according to a recent study published in The British Medical Journal. Foods that contain high levels of vitamin D include fish, eggs and mushrooms. Additionally, adequate sun exposure can boost vitamin D production.

Vitamin E

Like vitamin C, vitamin E is also a popular antioxidant that is linked to immunity. White blood cells are known to contain high concentrations of vitamin E. As a vital component of the immune system, vitamin E regulates the number of natural killer cells that combat pathogens. Additionally, adequate vitamin E intake is linked to enhanced immune responses to infection, improved muscle strength and a reduced risk of chronic and degenerative diseases. To enjoy the health benefits of vitamin E, eat plenty of nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Elderberry

The elderberry is an excellent source of antioxidants known as anthocyanins that enhance immune functions. As a natural remedy, the elderberry is commonly used to treat symptoms of the common cold due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Clinical trials suggest that the elderberry can also be used as a potent antiviral agent against the flu virus. Additionally, the elderberry contains high amounts of vitamin C that enhances its flu-fighting properties.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented beverage that contains yeast, milk proteins and bacteria. Like yogurt, kefir is also a great source of protein and probiotics that aid digestion and prevent gastrointestinal infections. But kefir also contains high amounts of B complex vitamins that keep the immune system strong. Moreover, kefir is known to have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

You can easily create kefir milk by mixing active kefir grains and four cups of raw milk. Transfer the mixture into a jar or container and cover using a coffee filter or butter muslin. Let it rest in a warm spot to facilitate fermentation. Let the bacterial culture thrive until the mixture begins to emit a pleasant aroma. The mixture itself should have a thick consistency.

Protective measures against infection

Natural remedies can only do so much if you do not make an effort to lower the risk of infection. Therefore, it is recommended to observe protective measures that can not only prevent infection, but also give you peace of mind amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Practice personal hygiene

Good hygiene plays an important role in the prevention of infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends frequently washing the hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to ensure the total elimination of germs and bacteria. Observing proper cough and sneeze etiquette in public places can also safeguard against transmission. If you are a member of a household, it is also good practice to leave alcohol-based sanitizers or sanitizing wipes around common living areas.

Clean and disinfect surfaces

Contagious infections, such as pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19, spread via respiratory droplets. However, viruses can survive, so to speak, on solid surfaces. For instance, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can remain viable on plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours. Therefore, an individual can still contract the infection by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth. To minimize the risk of exposure to contaminated surfaces, regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs, light switches and remote controls.

Exercise regularly

Exercise can go a long way toward enhancing the immune system. For instance, physical activity keeps the nasal tract clear of toxins and irritants. Depending on the type of exercise, physical activity can also strengthen the lungs, build stamina and improve endurance. Moreover, physical activity is linked to higher levels of antibodies and white blood cells that combat pathogens.

A strong immune system is well-equipped to combat pathogens. Given the current coronavirus pandemic, it is becoming increasingly important to strictly follow protective measures against infection, as well as prepare the body’s natural defenses by consuming immune-boosting foods that contain high amounts of nutrients. (Click to Source)

Sources include:

JillsHomeRemedies.com

ISOM.ca

BMJ.com

Greatist.com

ScienceDaily.com

CDC.gov

 

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Bill Gates Calls for a “Digital Certificate” to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Bill Gates recently stated on Reddit that “digital certificates” will be used to identify who received the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. And these certificates will also be used to identify who can conduct business or not. Here’s how this plan is already backed by a massive organization called ID2020.

Published on April 1, 2020 – By Vigilant Citizen

For years, Bill Gates has been at the forefront of research regarding global pandemics and mass vaccination campaigns. In the past decade, Gates went on record several times stating that the world was not ready for a global pandemic.

In October 2019 (only a few months before the apparition of COVID-19) the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (in cooperation with the World Economic Forum) hosted Event 201, a 3.5-hour table-top simulation of a global pandemic.

Bill Gates Calls for a "Digital Certificate" to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Oddly enough, this simulation was about a novel coronavirus that would kill millions. About eight weeks later, an actual novel coronavirus spurred in China. This lead to some people wondering if this exercise actually predicted the spread of COVID-19. In response to these questions, a statement was posted on the Event 201 website.

Statement about nCoV and our pandemic exercise

In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a pandemic tabletop exercise called Event 201 with partners, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, the Center for Health Security has received questions about whether that pandemic exercise predicted the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China. To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise. For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic. We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.

On March 13th, about a day after COVID-19 began shutting down the entire Western world, Bill Gates stepped down from the public board of Microsoft to “dedicate more time to philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and climate change”. As the pandemic spread across the world, Gates became an outspoken and authoritative figure on the pandemic crisis, appearing all over mass media to share his views and recommendations.

On March 18th, Bill Gates took part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit titled I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. AMA about COVID-19. where he answered questions about the pandemic. In one of his answers, Gates referred to a “digital certificate” to keep track of who got vaccinated.

A Reddit user named RemoteControlledUser asked this question:

What changes are we going to have to make to how businesses operate to maintain our economy while providing social distancing?

Bill Gates’ answer:

The question of which businesses should keep going is tricky. Certainly food supply and the health system. We still need water, electricity and the internet. Supply chains for critical things need to be maintained. Countries are still figuring out what to keep running.

Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.

Bill Gates Calls for a "Digital Certificate" to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

While most of Gates’ answers were received with praise, this one raised lots of eyebrows. The most upvoted reply highlights the similarities between Gates’ solution and the “Mark of the Beast” in the Bible.

Bill Gates Calls for a "Digital Certificate" to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

This concept of a “digital certificate” to store medical information (including vaccines received) and to grant access to rights or services was not a mere suggestion. It is part of a massive project that is propelled by a powerful group called ID2020 which is backed by the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation and … Bill Gates’ Microsoft.

ID2020

Bill Gates Calls for a "Digital Certificate" to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

Simply put, ID2020 is looking to create a digital identification system that would store a wealth of personal information and that would go beyond the limits of national governments. The official website of ID2020 states that a global digital identity is necessary to keep track of refugees and ID-less people in developing countries. Of course, people in developed countries would be ID-ed as well. The website states:

We Need to Get Digital ID Right

Unfortunately, current models of digital ID do not meet everyone’s needs. They are generally archaic, insecure, lacking adequate privacy protection, and for over a billion people worldwide, unavailable.

Everyone should have access to a digital ID that enables them to prove who they are across institutional and international borders and across time, while giving them control over how their personal information is collected, used, and shared.

In an article published by ID2020 in 2018, vaccines are the perfect way to introduce digital identity to the world – especially infants. Appropriately titled Immunization: an entry point for digital identity, the article states:

Because immunization is conducted in infancy, providing children with a digital child health card would give them a unique, portable digital identity early in life. And as children grow, their digital child health card can be used to access secondary services, such as primary school, or ease the process of obtaining alternative credentials. Effectively the child health card becomes the first step in establishing a legal, broadly recognized identity.

In short, according to ID2020, vaccinations are the perfect opportunity to introduce a digital ID that would store the medical history of each individual. This identity would also be used to grant access to basic rights and services.

ID2020 is already testing the introduction of digital IDs in Bangladesh. On August 2019, ID2020 published a “Request for information” article stating:

A2i and its partners Gavi and ID2020 are committed to jointly researching and implementing a unique ID for infants through digitisation of vaccination processes in Bangladesh.

The program will provide infants and children with a portable, biometrically-linked digital ID either at the point of birth registration or at the time of their immunizations, simultaneously supporting three shared objectives:

Driving improvements in CRVS (Demographic and Social Statistics) coverage and process

Supporting improvements in vaccination process and equity

Ultimately, supporting access to rights and services throughout one’s life-course.

In this Bangladesh experiment, digital ID is “biometrically-linked”, meaning that it is based on the fingerprints of individuals. The article describes the process in place:

Information is required regarding biometric scanners capable of capturing the fingerprint biometrics of parents during phase 1 with the ambition to also effectively capture infant biometrics in phase 2. Scanners can be cabled or Bluetooth. Scanners must be a minimum of FBI certified FAP30, portable, robust and capturing a minimum of 500 pixels per inch. Please state the port type on the scanner(s), for example, micro USB, USB C, or other.

While this project is linked to biometrics, Bill Gates has been funding research on a different form of vaccine identification: The quantum dot tattoo.

Quantum Dot Tattoo

In December 2019, a group of researchers at the MIT published a study in Science Translational Medicine about the use of quantum dot tattoos to identify who people who received a vaccine.

Bill Gates Calls for a "Digital Certificate" to Identify Who Received COVID-19 Vaccine

An article in Futurism titled An Invisible Quantum Dot ‘Tattoo’ Could Be Used to ID Vaccinated Kids reviewed this study:

For the people overseeing nationwide vaccination initiatives in developing countries, keeping track of who had which vaccination and when can be a tough task.

But researchers from MIT might have a solution: they’ve created an ink that can be safely embedded in the skin alongside the vaccine itself, and it’s only visible using a special smartphone camera app and filter.

In other words, they’ve found a covert way to embed the record of a vaccination directly in a patient’s skin rather than documenting it electronically or on paper – and their low-risk tracking system could greatly simplify the process of maintaining accurate vaccine records, especially on a larger scale.

(…)

The invisible “tattoo” accompanying the vaccine is a pattern made up of minuscule quantum dots – tiny semiconducting crystals that reflect light – that glows under infrared light. The pattern – and vaccine – gets delivered into the skin using hi-tech dissolvable microneedles made of a mixture of polymers and sugar.

“It’s possible someday that this ‘invisible’ approach could create new possibilities for data storage, biosensing, and vaccine applications that could improve how medical care is provided, particularly in the developing world,” MIT professor and senior author Robert Langer said in the statement.

The article states that this study was the result of a direct request from Bill Gates.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the team’s research, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on Wednesday.

According to a Scientific American story, the project came about following a direct request from Microsoft founder Bill Gates himself, who has been personally involved in efforts to eradicate polio and measles through vaccinations.

In Conclusion

While answering a question about conducting business in the era of social distancing, Bill Gates replied that “digital certificates” will be used to determine who had COVID-19, who recovered from it, who was recently tested for it and who received the vaccine. This short (and unexpected answer) opened a gigantic pandora box of what could be in store in the near future: The inevitable mass vaccination campaign to eradicate COVID-19 would be the perfect opportunity to introduce a worldwide digital ID. This system would store a wealth of information about each individual (including vaccination history) and would be used to grant access to rights and services. Although Gates did not go into specifics, “digital certificates” could be linked to biometrics or a quantum dot tattoo.

Considering the fact that this entire project is eerily reminiscent to a passage in the Book of Revelation (a Mark of the Beast that is received on the “right hand or forehead” and that is required “to buy or to sell”), the introduction of such a system would most likely be received with a great deal of resistance. And not only from religious people. (Click to Source)

 

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Tucker Carlson: The WHO Helped China Cover-Up COVID-19

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,
Tucker Carlson exposed during a powerful monologue last night how the World Health Organization helped China cover-up the severity of coronavirus and how the U.S. media turned a blind eye.

The Fox News host noted how World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom “got his job with Chinese support after he covered up cholera outbreaks in his home country” of Egypt.

Tedros has denied the allegation, which centered around claims he had downplayed cholera epidemics in Ethiopia in 2006, 2009 and 2011 by passing them off as “acute watery diarrhea,” a symptom of cholera.

The United Nations later said that more lives could have been saved if the epidemic had been accurately labeled as cholera.

Carlson then accused Adhanom of setting the standard for corruption within the WHO by congratulating China for its “speedy” response to coronavirus in late January despite widespread evidence that China covered up the outbreak for over a month, lied about its severity and then silenced whistleblowers who tried to warn the world.

“Everything you just heard him say there was a lie,” said Carlson, highlighting an Australian 60 Minutes piece which features an expert explaining how China knew human to human transmission of COVID-19 had happened back in December.

Indeed, as we previously highlighted, on January 14th, the WHO was amplifying Chinese fake news that no human to human transmission of coronavirus had occurred.

World Health Organization (WHO)

@WHO

Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳.

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“So the World Health Organization’s leadership tells you that China ‘set the standard’ for the response to the outbreak, apparently that standard includes disappearing doctors who tell the truth about it,” said the Fox News host.

Ai Fen, a doctor at the head of emergency at Wuhan central hospital, asserted that Beijing stopped her from warning the world and subsequently disappeared with her whereabouts being completely unknown.

 

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COVID-19: Distancing is no solution to a spiritual problem

By Herbert W. Titus and William J. Olson – March 29, 2020

As the great Titanic continued to sink in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, bringing certain death to the men remaining on board, some safety boat survivors remembered hearing the big ship’s string quartet playing the hymn Nearer My God to Thee. In that last dark hour, there was no one left to turn to.

The title words from that moving hymn were most fitting, as James, the half-brother of Jesus had already reassured the passengers: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”  James 4:8 (NAS). This lesson, having been well taught and understood in 1912, remains equally true for all generations everywhere.  “For that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.” Romans 1:19-20.

The current risk of infection and the risk of mortality and morbidity is tiny compared to being on a sinking ship, but on March 14, 2020, President Trump boldly called for focus on the spiritual, seeking God’s help in his message to the nation, and calling for a National Day of Prayer on the COVID-19 threat.  It was disappointing that President Trump made no call to national repentance for the sins of the nation, but that was likely a bridge too far for large segments of the people.  Indeed, in response to his call for prayer, the President received mocking from many, and there have been few references to an Almighty God since then.  Instead, the rest of his Administration’s efforts have been earthly — what we the American people, and our state and federal governments, can do in our own power.  Foremost among the concrete steps urged, if not enforced, upon the general public is to practice social distancing, that is, stay home and wash your hands.

But distancing is no solution to a spiritual problem.  And it certainly does not work for everyone.  Distancing does not protect persons who must work for a living in close proximity with others, who cannot risk losing a job, a car, or a house.  It is not on option for those who provide necessary assisted living for the elderly or infirm.  Nor is it available to first-responders, much less for those living and working inside our woefully over-populated prisons.  And, although long-distance learning alleviates the burden of supervision, teachers are not yet robots-in-waiting, eliminating all need of actual classrooms for human interchange.  At best, distancing modulates the behavior of those who enjoy the best of health, and those who would otherwise act presumptuously.  But on the other hand, isolation and loneliness is said to deplete the immune system and increase susceptibility to illness.

While there are no doubt benefits from the nation’s current distancing containment policy and practices, they fall short of attaining one necessary objective: the defeat of paralyzing and mind-clouding fear of falling prey of the influenza. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.  Fear produces a confused mind, rather than a sound, sober one.  Fear will cause us to pull up the covers and hide in bed.  Fear will result in accepting, even welcoming, sometimes demanding, assertions of government power which exceed constitutional limits.  The virus will pass, but fear of it could destroy the foundations of our constitutional republic.

Defeating fear is possible, but only if the American people draw near to God.  As Moses wrote:

And [God] said, “if you will give ear to the voice of the Lord, and do what is right in his sight, and give ear to his commandments, and keep all of His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I put on the Egyptians for I, the Lord, am your healer.”  Exodus 15:16.

Many would dismiss this Biblical admonition on the ground that it is limited to its specific context, applicable only to Israel and her people.  Ontologically, they are mistaken.  There is not one disease, not one people, not one nation outside the healing power of God.  As The Gospel of Matthew attests:

[J]esus healed all who were ill.  This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: HE, HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.  Matthew 8:16(b)-17.

Rather than focusing exclusively on running away one from another, distancing ourselves from friends and family in fear of COVID-19, we also ought to be running to Jesus, that “we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by his wounds [we] were healed.”  1 Peter 2:24.

We know from Daniel 2:17 that “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.”  But we must come to the Lord on His terms, not ours.  He has the power to remove temporal judgments from the people, but repeatedly in Scripture we see His precondition of repentance — a change of mind, and a change of behavior.  See 2 Peter 3.  There is no repentance inherent in simply asking God to remove the current “plague.”  Where are the calls from the Ministers of God to both believers and nonbelievers to repent?  If repentance is ignored, why should we expect a righteous God to end the plague?  How should we expect Him to respond to executive orders issued by some Governors to shut down all elective surgeries, except for the one procedure which is murderous?  To the Lord, we sound like the people who “cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.”  Revelation 16:11 (NIV). 

Not long after the nation saw God’s hand move as this nation was given its independence from a British Empire wielding the greatest military power on earth, our first President showed no reluctance to declare America’s utter dependence on our Creator God, as he entreated the Hebrew Congregations of Savanah, Georgia:

May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivering the Hebrews from their Egyptian Oppressors planted them in the promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent Nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

May we Americans, individually and collectively, draw near to God in this time of crisis, “for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6. (Click to Source)

 

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UPDATED – “A Biblical response to the Coronavirus” (COV19-ID)

 

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Coronavirus: A Biblical, Historical Perspective

As COVID-19 suspends public life around the world, Austrian Christian Hofreiter reminds us of “the many times in history where the light of Christian charity has shone with dazzling brightness amidst dark times of infectious disease and societal upheaval.”

Reverend Dr. Christian Hofreiter is Director of RZIM Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. He lives with his family in Vienna, Austria.

Many if not most of our nations are being violently shaken by the coronavirus outbreak. In Austria, for instance, schools and all non-essential shops are closed from Monday. Restaurants must shut after 3 p.m., and pretty much all public life, including church service, has been suspended. Italy, Switzerland, France, and Spain are hit worse in terms of infections, with hospitals in Italy stretched beyond breaking point and doctors having to decide which patient they will save and who they will let die, because they don’t have enough machines to care for all of them. Many other nations, parts of the US included, may well be headed that way. When, if not now, is the church called to rise and shine?

Coronavirus, Loving Our Neighbour, and Quarantine in the Bible

Already in the Old Testament we find very strict quarantine regulations for those suffering of infectious diseases (see Leviticus 13). So, when Christians follow government and medical advice to, say, drastically reduce all social contacts, this is not an expression of unbelief (as though God did not have the power to protect or heal us). Rather, it is a demand of wisdom and, especially, of neighbourly love. The equation is simple and sobering: The flatter the rate of viral infection progresses, the smaller the number of vulnerable people who will die. Wherever we can contribute to that outcome, we should!

Christians, Epidemics, and Revival

While wisdom, solidarity, and love of neighbour lead us to participate in containing the current epidemic as far as possible, I am reminded of the many times in history where the light of Christian charity has shone with dazzling brightness amidst dark times of infectious disease and societal upheaval. In fact, Christians overcame the impulse to flee to safety and isolate themselves from the suffering of others:

“In 165 a plague swept through the mighty Roman Empire, wiping out one in three of the population. It happened again in 251 when 5,000 people per day were dying in the city of Rome alone. Those infected were abandoned by their families to die in the streets. The government was helpless and the Emperor himself succumbed to the plague. Pagan priests fled their temples where people had flocked for comfort and explanation. People were too weak to help themselves. If the smallpox did not kill you, hunger, thirst and loneliness would. The effect on wider society was catastrophic. Yet following the plagues the good reputation of Christianity was confirmed, and its population grew exponentially. Why is this? Christians did not come armed with intellectual answers to the problem of evil. They did not enjoy a supernatural ability to avoid pain and suffering. What they did have was water and food and their presence. In short, if you knew a Christian you were statistically more likely to survive, and if you survived it was the church that offered you the most loving, stable and social environment. It was not clever apologetics, strategic political organisation or the witness of martyrdom which converted an Empire, so much as it was the simple conviction of normal women and men that what they did for the least of their neighbours they did for Christ.”bib

Now, of course, we know that thoughtful apologetics did in fact play a very important role in the conversion of the Roman Empire, so it’s not an either or. Ravi Zacharias has said it beautifully, “Love is the greatest apologetic. It is the essential component in reaching the whole person in a fragmented world. The need is vast, but it is also imperative that we be willing to follow the example of Jesus and meet the need.”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if in our time, too, we Christians would primarily become known for the generous, selfless love of our neighbours, rather than the many things we oppose and judge?

On Dealing with Fear

Uncertain times, societal upheaval, the threat of poverty, sickness and death–all this naturally leads to fear. In situations like these, one of the best things we can do is remember just how great, how good, how strong and mighty, how faithful our God truly is. Through Jesus Christ, each one of us can know Him as our heavenly Father. Personally, I find it most helpful in such situations to meditate on verses of Scripture that I know by heart, that I think through, pray through, feel through, chew through, carry in my heart, and digest inwardly. For example, the 23rd Psalm. Do you know it by heart yet? (Click to Source)

 

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India, Day 1: World’s Largest Coronavirus Lockdown Begins

India’s 1.3 billion people have been told to stay at home. For some, it will mean starving. And an already fragile economy may collapse.

 

By Karan Deep SinghVindu GoelHari Kumar and 

NEW DELHI — India’s economy was sputtering even before its leader announced the world’s largest coronavirus lockdown. Now the state-ordered paralysis of virtually all commerce in the country has put millions of people out of work and left many families struggling to eat.

On the first day of the nationwide 21-day shutdown of nearly all services on Wednesday, the streets of Mumbai, India’s largest metropolis — usually so busy it’s known as Maximum City — were silent. Shuttered shops, empty train tracks, closed airports and idle factories all across the country were signs of the economic impact of the social distancing that the Indian government said was necessary to prevent new coronavirus infections.

India has reported 606 coronavirus cases so far, but with the population density so high and the public health system so weak, Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country’s 1.3 billion residents to stay inside to keep India from sliding into a disaster that could potentially dwarf what China, Italy, Spain, the United States and other countries have faced.

But Mr. Modi’s effort to prevent the spread of the virus will lead to its own calamitous damage.

Manual laborers have no work, farmers cannot tend fields, online retailers and pharmacists have been harassed by overzealous police officers. Countless people have been running out of cash.

“The kind of devastation that is going to be faced by the bottom 50 percent of the workers in the informal sector is unimaginable,” said Jayati Ghosh, an economist and professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

In some places, police officers have staked out roads and highways, stopping motorists and demanding to know why they were outside. Several states have closed their borders, forcing cargo trucks to simply park by the roadside.

Flipkart, the country’s largest online retailer, found it so difficult to move people and goods that it suspended delivery of everything except food.

Grocery stores were allowed to remain open, and in the cities, crowds swarmed and emptied the shelves. At an upscale market in New Delhi, one man stuffed his Mercedes with groceries on Wednesday afternoon, jumped behind the wheel and zoomed off — wearing blue rubber dishwashing gloves and a snorkeling mask.

The National Restaurant Association of India estimated that perhaps 20 percent of the 7.3 million restaurant workers will permanently lose their jobs as employers go out of business. “Many companies may not survive this onslaught,” said Anurag Katriar, the association’s chief executive and the owner of a chain of upscale eateries.

Harcharan Singh, a vendor in rural Punjab state who usually goes door to door peddling everything from oranges to cauliflower, has had nothing to sell for days. The big wholesale food markets he normally relies on have all been closed.

“Our business is completely shut,” he said. “We need this money to survive, get food for our families.”

Hundreds of millions of Indians are like Mr. Singh, with little or no savings. Rickshaw drivers, for example, buy food for their families with the money they make that day. Banned from the roads, many drivers don’t know how they will survive.

Credit…Adnan Abidi/Reuters

 

Economists at Barclays predicted Wednesday that the lockdown would last a month and shave two percentage points off India’s anemic economic growth rate. Although India is likely to escape a recession, Barclays said, such a significant slowdown would mean rising joblessness in a country where millions of young people enter the work force every year.

Mr. Modi acknowledged the trade-offs in a televised address on Tuesday night, when he first announced the nationwide lockdown.

“No doubt this lockdown will entail an economic cost for the country, but saving the life of each and every Indian is the first priority for me,” he said. “If we are not able to manage the next 21 days, then many families will be destroyed forever.”

Economists are urging the government to create a huge stimulus package to blunt the effects of the lockdown.

India’s government stores an enormous grain supply, which could quickly be distributed to the poor, said Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist at CRISIL, a Mumbai-based credit ratings agency.

Mr. Joshi also urged direct cash payments to individuals, and loans to small and medium-size businesses. “Give a clear signal that you will help,” he said.

The Modi administration is deliberating what kind of stimulus to offer, and a plan is expected to be unveiled within days.

For now, people can only hunker down at home.

Credit…Rebecca Conway for The New York Times

 

One chief minister, in Telangana state, in the center of the country, threatened to issue “shoot on sight” orders if people did not take the lockdown seriously.

In the Andamans, Jagadishan, a taxi driver who uses only one name, has been cooped up in his house in Port Blair, longing to “walk past the sea and smell fresh sea air.”

“All shops are shut, not even groceries or chemists are open,” he said, which should not be the case, according to the government’s rules. “The uncertainty is killing me.”

The lockdown includes schools, offices, factories, parks, temples, railways, even the airspace. To impose social distancing where people are ordinarily squeezed together, exempted businesses and the authorities are looking to devise solutions.

In the city of Meerut, the police began shaming people caught evading the lockdown, forcing them to hold signs — later posted on social media — stating they did not care about protecting society.

Outside Mother Dairy, a national milk cooperative, shopkeepers drew circles and squares on the pavement using chalk to indicate where people should stand and wait.

In Veergaon, a farming village in central Maharashtra state, a few farmers were still tilling the fields. But many stayed indoors, in small cramped houses with sheet metal roofs.

“They fear the disease,” said Kapil Wagarhande, a villager.

During his address on Tuesday night, Mr. Modi spoke forcefully about the dangers of social interaction and how Indians must make big, immediate sacrifices. Mr. Modi remains widely popular in India. In many quarters, what he says goes.

Credit…Jaipal Singh/EPA, via Shutterstock

 

“Everybody appreciates the steps taken by Modi ji,” said Kailash Dhoot, a textile trader in Mr. Modi’s home state of Gujarat, using a term of respect. “Of course people are facing problems like how to spend the whole day. What do you do?”

Still, rumors and misinformation have led to the closure of essential businesses and the harassment of citizens, outcomes that the government likely did not intend.

Gaurav Gupta, chief operating officer of Zomato, one of the country’s largest restaurant delivery services, said his couriers had been turned back and in some cases detained by the police, despite clear orders from the government permitting such deliveries.

In a video message, Sandeep Nangia, president of a pharmacists’ association in New Delhi, said the police were “raining sticks” on pharmacists for trying to do their jobs.

Doctors and airline employees have reported landlords forcibly evicting them as “dirty” tenants.

Amrita Saha, an employee at IndiGo, India’s largest airline, said her neighbors in Kolkata were spreading rumors that she had the coronavirus and harassing her mother, who lives with her.

“She cannot go to the market to buy groceries, because people are refusing her, saying, ‘Your daughter has the corona and you might also have it,’” Ms. Saha said in a recent video, nearly in tears.

An association of doctors in New Delhi wrote to India’s home minister, Amit Shah, on Tuesday, urging the government to protect medical personnel from home eviction.

“Many doctors are now stranded on the roads with all their luggage,” the letter read. (Click to Source)

 

 

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Montana reaches 71 COVID-19 cases

  • Updated 

Montana reached 71 known cases of COVID-19 by Thursday morning, according to test results announced by the state.

That’s a rise of three cases from the night before. Numbers released by the state Thursday morning capture test results that come in after the state’s 4:30 p.m. press release Wednesday. About 2,200 people have been tested at the state public health lab in Montana.

Two smaller, more rural counties in northwestern Montana, Glacier and Lincoln, picked up their first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, over the last two days.

So did Hill County, with a larger population center of Havre. Cases are identified by county, not town, because of concerns about patient privacy, so it’s not possible to narrow down a patient’s precise location within a county.

Gallatin County still has the most known cases in the state by almost double the next closest county, at 24.

Yellowstone County has 13, Missoula has six, Cascade and Flathead each have five, Butte-Silver Bow and Lewis and Clark each have four, Madison and Broadwater have two, and Jefferson, Ravalli, Roosevelt, Hill, Glacier and Lincoln each have one.

The state also reported its first hospitalization from the coronavirus Wednesday. The hospitalization figure could include hospitalizations when the test was performed after the patient was admitted to the hospital. An official said the state could not provide more information about the hospitalization because of privacy reasons.

Gov. Steve Bullock has issued an order of emergency in Montana and public K-12 schools are closed, as are universities. Businesses like bars and gyms, where people congregate, are closed, though some can offer to-go options.

The governor has also prohibited nonessential social and recreational gatherings of more than 10 people outside a home or place of residence, if a distance of at least 6 feet between people cannot be maintained. He also told stores to follow rules keeping people 6 feet apart, though he exempted essential places like grocery stores, health care facilities and pharmacies.

Also this week, Bullock said counties could choose to conduct the June 2 by mail. (Click to Source)

 

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Up to 10 per cent of recovered coronavirus patients in Wuhan study tested positive later, doctors say

  • Hospital staff in the city say there is no evidence that these patients became infectious after recovery
  • Tests carried out on patients suggest between 3 to 10 per cent gave positive tests after being discharged

 

About 3 to 10 per cent of patients who recovered from Covid-19 tested positive again after being discharged from hospital, doctors in Wuhan have found.

Researchers around the world are trying to determine whether recovered patients can still infect people with the coronavirus that causes the disease and if they have developed antibodies offering them immunity to the disease.

Doctors from Tongji hospital in the city, where the disease was first identified, told state broadcaster CCTV that they have found no evidence that these patients who again tested positive became infectious , based on close observations of their family members and laboratory tests.

In spite of its relatively small sample size, the Tongji hospital research is especially relevant as China now has far more recovered patients than new confirmed cases.

The Chinese mainland, where the disease first emerged last December, has discharged over 90 per cent of its infected patients and around 4,300 confirmed patients are still receiving treatment in hospitals.

The country has reported at least 81,000 cases and more than 3,200 deaths, but most of the new cases have been imported.

Wang Wei, president of Tongji hospital told CCTV’s prime-time programme that of the 147 recovered patients they studied, only five – or just over 3 per cent – have tested positive in nucleic acid tests again after recovery.

Meanwhile, Life Times, a health news outlet affiliated with People’s Daily, reported this week that quarantine facilities in Wuhan have reported that about 5 to 10 per cent of their recovered patients tested positive again.

Previous reports have also highlighted cases where patients tested positive after recovery, including one on Sunday from Life Times about a family of three in Wuhan, who all tested positive again.

These incidents have raised questions about whether nucleic acid tests might not be reliable in detecting traces of the virus in some of the recovered patients.

Some experts have also expressed concerns about the sensitivity and stability of the test kits, and the collection and handling of patients’ samples.

Wang told CCTV that the five patients from his hospital who tested positive again did not have any symptoms, and none of their family members or people in close contact with them has been infected.

He said there was no conclusive evidence to prove that the recovered patients who tested positive again would be infectious to others.

“So far there is no evidence to suggest that they are infectious,” Wang said, adding that surveillance of similar patients showed about 80 to 90 per cent of them had no trace of the coronavirus in their blood one month after being discharged from hospitals.

Another sample group of 15 patients from the hospital also confirmed a similar trend, with none infecting their family members.

“These are just small samples and not enough to assure us of the validity of our initial findings,” Wang said. “We need a large-scale epidemiological study to guide our disease surveillance and prevention works.”

However, he said it was imperative for recovered patients to stay in isolation for two weeks after discharge so they could be tested again for confirmation.

In a separate interview with CCTV also broadcast on Tuesday, Tong Chaohui, a respiratory disease expert from a central government task force in Hubei, where Wuhan is located, agreed that continued monitoring of the recovered patients was important.

“So far, none of the close family members of these recovered patients have been tested positive and we could not find the coronavirus in the laboratory cultured samples [from these patients],” Tong said.

“Although the nucleic acid tests were positive, random checking suggested that the patients have developed antibodies that were effective in protecting them from the nucleic acid of the virus,” he added.

Speaking to official newspaper Hubei Daily early this week, Tu Yuanchao, deputy director of Hubei health commission, said discharged patients who tested positive again and have shown symptoms would be re-hospitalised. Those who do not have symptoms would be sent to quarantine facilities for observation for two weeks. (Click to Source)

 

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