Coronaviruses and Catholics

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Everyone now knows about the Wuhan coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, a betacoronavirus related to the SARS coronavirus that has emerged from China. It has spread to various locations around the world, not in large numbers though. Human-to-human spread is possible; the details of how and when are not yet clear. If virus only transmits when the person is symptomatic (like other viruses in this group), it will be fairly easy to control. China has closed various borders. The big unknown is that China has been less than honest with the result of the world. Much like Adventists are (yes, unnecessary swipe).

Coronaviruses - electron microscopy
Coronaviruses – electron microscopy

Useful links to the clinical / virological situation and response:

Novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City, China – NICD

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) – WHO

My interest here is how religions will respond.

Some will say it’s punishment from God. Some will say it’s because people are eating food prohibited in the Bible. Nonsense.

In some cases, churches (and other places where the public gather in close quarters) will stop services for a while. Already happening in China.

Some Chinese churches suspend activities because of coronavirus – America Magazine

Chinese churches suspend Masses as deadly coronavirus spreads – Catholic Culture

That’s fine for China. As I write, there is no need for it elsewhere. The biggest problem is sick people on planes. The virus could spread very easily there. Various factors will make this more likely or less likely, such as whether or not the virus spreads prior to onset of symptoms. With SARS it did not.

Canadian dioceses remain vigilant amid concerns of coronavirus pandemic – The Catholic Register

As long as they remain vigilant and do not cause panic.

Communion will be issued in the hand instead of on the tongue. Both practices are ancient, although some prefer one over the other for various reasons. This happened in 2009 with the new H1N1 influenza A pandemic.

Swine flu prompts changes in Mass practices – National Catholic Reporter [2009]

Communion in the hand vs. Communion on the tongue – Crux

Sick people should stay at home – even if there is no novel coronavirus in your area (and for now, there almost certainly isn’t).

And the crackpots who don’t know what they’re talking about will also come out of the woodwork. Like this one, who has been harping on about iodine and wants everyone to take iodine and doesn’t know what in vivo means.

Silly iodine person
Silly iodine person
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