With all the crazy shifting narratives in American news about Coronvirus – the availability of treatments, the effectiveness of masks, the ineffectiveness of masks, the persecution of Christians who want to go to Church and pray and receive Holy Communion, the comparative safety of riots and attacking people, statues and buildings who are deemed “racist” by historically ignorant overgrown teenagers who are too stoned to think straight…
Well, you get the idea.
When it comes to dealing with the novel coronavirus, the political Left found their dream weapon. Fear of the virus is far more severe than the virus itself, at least for most of the people who get it. Most of the people who get it turn out not to have even known that they had it.
This is not to diminish the sorrows of those who got severe cases of COVID-19, because the sickness for some people is indeed fatal and / or debilitating. There is no way I want to run down or diminish the experiences of those who have had this sickness. I still wonder if I got it, myself, because of a rather reduced capacity to breathe that I have noticed since getting sick with something in January of this year. Whether this be merely psychosomatic on my part or real evidence of the disease having made its run through my family, it is certainly unsettling to see so much of life disrupted because of the concern over this still largely mysterious illness.
Nevertheless, the fear of the virus is still much more of an issue than the actual sickness itself.
It seems that it might be helpful to offer the present state of how Russia is dealing with the same virus, and it might serve the American or Western reader well to understand that the primary chaos in the United States is political, with powers and motives that use the coronavirus narratives to keep the American people afraid, uncomfortable and unstable.
Russia, at present, has a cumulative total of 832,992 cases (July 30, 2020, 11:49am GMT) of coronavirus detected since the pandemic began. According to both Yandex.ru and the COVID-19 dashboard provided by Johns Hopkins University.
Moscow bears a little less than one-third of all the country’s detected infections, with about 240,664 infections detected in the city. This exceeds the 224,551 cases detected in New York City, America’s largest and hardest hit city. Moscow’s population is estimated between 12.6 million and 17 million in the city, compared with New York City’s 8 million. (We are dealing in both cases only with the city proper, and not metropolitan or suburban areas).
The New York death count is 22,982, and Moscow’s is 4,446.
The number of new cases being reported in Moscow today is 678, with 12 fatalities and 1,471 people classed as “recovered.”
We do not have the recovery numbers for New York City, but six deaths were reported due to COVID-19 on July 28th (Moscow lost ten people that day). New York just recently started into Phase Four of its reopening, which is in the roughest terms, 33% capacity allowed for museums, sports events happen but without fans, and school reopening is unknown at best, though some discussion talks of opening schools one or two days a week.
Moscow is pretty much fully open. Public transport is freely available and people are already traveling all around Russia and to other countries as permitted by those countries ingress regulations. Russia’s borders are closed to the outside world except for repatriation and emergencies, but a colleague of mine who flew to New York from Moscow during the pandemic says he is indeed able to come back to Russia. Most likely he would undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
The country overall has been experiening a steady decline in new cases since May 11th, the peak day where 11,656 people were reported infected that day. Today the number of new infections nationwide is posted at 5,509. There is some evidence that a “second wave” of the virus may be coming as for the last week the trend of new cases in Moscow rose every day, from a low of 531 new cases on July 24 to 678 today, July 30. However, while Moscow sees a rise, the rest of the country continues in a slow decline of new cases.
The attitude of people here is calm. On the streets and in the Metro (subway) and on buses, one sees a lot of people wearing masks, including children, but on the whole it appears that about two-thirds of people do not wear masks at all unless going into a business requires it. There has been no panic in Moscow save for the first few days of the lockdown when, similar to the US, the grocery stores experienced massive sellouts of very stable basic items. Here, the two things that could not be found for about week were salt and “grechka” a type of buckwheat grain that is eaten by many people here as a cheap and nutritious hot cereal.
While the US news media rages back and forth over hydroxychoroquine and remdesivir as treatments, the doctors and medical researchers here have also been working on both therapeutics and vaccine possibilities for the virus.
Here the medical information is interesting because it is delivered without hype and it seems pretty reliable. For example:
A report released today on TASS notes that the coronavirus does not survive very long in water; the warmer the water, the less time the virus can hold itself together:
Experts of the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology have conducted studies of the coronavirus viability in water. About 99.9% of its particles die in room temperature water in 72 hours, the press service of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing told TASS.
“It was proven that in dechlorinated and salt water the virus doesn’t proliferate but can be preserved. At that, the time of deactivation of the novel coronavirus directly depends on the water temperature. In the water at room temperature 90% of the COVID-19 virions died during 24 hours, and 99.9% during 72 hours,” the statement said.
The boiling of water leads to its complete decontamination and extermination of the virus, while in the chlorinated water the coronavirus loses its viability completely. With the increase in water temperature the number of viable viral particles decreases significantly, the sanitary watchdog noted.
The press service specified that the sanitary watchdog’s directorates in the Krasnodar Region, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol started to monitor the circulation of the coronavirus infection pathogen in the coastal sea water, in swimming pools of health and recreational resorts, water parks, and centralized sources of drinking water. “The COVID-19 pathogen was not detected in the samples studied,” the agency noted.
Earlier top sanitary doctor Anna Popova stated that the coronavirus doesn’t proliferate in fresh and salt water while boiling kills it immediately.
Another report from Nature.com noted that there appears to be a timed period of immunity for people who had asymptomatic infections of COVID-19:
16 July — Antiviral antibodies peter out within weeks after infection
Key antibodies that neutralize the effects of the new coronavirus fall to low levels within months of SARS-CoV-2 infection, according to the most comprehensive study yet.
Neutralizing antibodies can block a pathogen from infecting cells. But such antibody responses against coronaviruses often wane after just a few weeks.
Katie Doores at King’s College London and her colleagues monitored the concentration of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in 65 infected people for up to 94 days (J. Seow et al. Preprint at medRxiv http://doi.org/d3s2; 2020). In a preprint that has not yet been peer reviewed, the team reports that at the peak of antibody production, people with severe COVID-19 symptoms had higher levels of antibodies than had people with mild disease.
However, in most people, antibody levels began to fall about a month after symptoms appeared, sometimes to nearly undetectable levels — raising questions about the durability of vaccines designed to promote the production of neutralizing antibodies.
This report made it into the Russian news stream, and suggested that people who are afflicted with mild cases of COVID-19 ought to be checked after several months against re-infection.
Finally, reports from Interfax suggest that a vaccine may start being administered in Russia as early as August 15th, 2020. In a rare instance of real journalism performed by the Dutch Putin-hating news site The Moscow Times, we read:
July 30: 3 things you need to know today
- Russia’s coronavirus vaccine could be administered to civilians as soon as Aug. 15, Interfax cited a source at the state-run Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology as saying. The source said the Health Ministry will likely register the vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trials, between Aug. 10-12.
- President Vladimir Putin said the country’s coronavirus outbreak had stabilized but warned the situation remained difficult and could easily deteriorate.
- Russia confirmed 5,509 new coronavirus infections Thursday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 834,499.
That cited source’s article is only in Russian, but we offer a translation below:
Moscow. July 29. INTERFAX.RU – A vaccine against coronavirus, created at the Gamelai National Research Center, has been submitted for examination, it is assumed that it will be registered on August 10-12, an informed source told Interfax. It will take another five to seven days to review and check the vaccine at Roszdravnadzor.
“After that, as expected, on August 15, the vaccine can enter civilian circulation,” he added.
Now the vaccine is under examination at the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Scientific Center for the Expertise of Medicinal Products”. After the complete package of documents for the vaccine is compiled, it will be tested and sent to the Ministry of Health, where it must be registered, the agency’s interlocutor specified.
Earlier, a source in the government told Interfax that the “Gamelai vaccine” will be registered in early August, but will be applied selectively. According to him, people from the so-called [high]-risk groups – teachers, doctors, etc., as well as more than 1,500 volunteers will be the first to receive the vaccine. The source allotted five to six months to finally be sure of its effectiveness and safety. After that, the vaccine will be launched into mass circulation, that is, it will be in January-February 2021.
Earlier in July, the head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, announced the high degree of readiness of two Russian vaccines, which are being developed by the Gamelai Center and the Novosibirsk Scientific Center “Vector” of Rospotrebnadzor. The Gamelai vaccines were tested at the Sechenov University and the Burdenko Hospital on two groups of volunteers. Trials of the “Vector” vaccine began on 28 July.
Throughout all of this, calmness is all across Russia. There are no riots, there are no screaming and panicky crowds; churches are mostly all open and services are proceeding more or less the same as always.
Why is it so different?
It would seem that the difference lies in the fact that Russia does not use COVID as a political tool the same way as it is being used in the United States. There can be several contributing factors involved:
- The legal and “tolerated” status of cannabis use in America, which has skyrocketed since legalization for recreational use started to occur in American states in 2012. Cannabis creates a delusional state in its users which is very subtle and undetectable by the users themselves.
- The impatience of millenial Americans, who are unable to bear unsolved problems.
- The lack of knowledge of history, or “revisionist” history which is intended to create radical activists in the schools and universities.
- The extreme polarization of the radical Left, made so because the nation as a whole abandoned its reliance upon God decades ago.
- State and local governors and mayors acting like lords over their local fiefdoms instead of like leaders.
- The willingness to blame anybody for the problem, falling usually on the leadership, hence Trump, who already is reviled and feared by the radical Left and the Deep State.
Contrast this with the developments in Russia over the last several decades, culminating in:
- The restoration of the Orthodox Church to a dominant role in State affairs as well (“Symphonia”)
- A re-establishment of national identity, dedication and love of God, country and family.
- The move of the country towards encouraging traditional values in living.
- An embracing of the entire history of Russia as it stands, including the Communist days. All things led to Russia as she is now, and none of it is to be forgotten.
- A general distrust the citizenry has for local news sources.
- The understanding that regardless of what the government does or fails to do, each citizen in Russia needs to rely on his or her own mettle to make a good life for himself or herself.
This is amazing to see, because all of these values I listed for Russia were commonplace in the United States during the 1970’s and earlier, when the US was at her peak. Could it be that these values and the success of the nation are connected?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.