Coronoavirus pandemic, volcanic eruptions, and massive swarms of locusts.
The world is certainly experiencing a challenging set of plagues during Passover Week 2020.
Of course, the pandemic continues to be the most significant international concern. Perhaps the most intriguing development, at least for me as a Californian, is the news that the Golden State was dealing with the Wuhan Coronavirus earlier than the first infections that were officially recorded.
“The virus was freewheeling in our community and probably has been here for quite some time,” Dr. Jeff Smith, a physician who is the chief executive of Santa Clara County government, told county leaders in a recent briefing.
How long? A study out of Stanford suggests a dramatic viral surge in February.
But Smith on Friday said data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health departments and others suggest it was “a lot longer than we first believed” — most likely since “back in December.”
“This wasn’t recognized because we were having a severe flu season,” Smith said in an interview. “Symptoms are very much like the flu. If you got a mild case of COVID, you didn’t really notice. You didn’t even go to the doctor. The doctor maybe didn’t even do it because they presumed it was the flu.”
I strongly suspect my son, my best friend, and other family friends have already had COVID-19 during the month of February. It will be interesting to see what the Stanford research project on Californians’ antibody count will reveal about the extent of the infection prior to the first official cases.
The next event of note this Holy Week is that the “child” of the infamous Krakatau volcano in Indonesia erupted on Good Friday.
The Indonesian volcano Anak Krakatau erupted Friday, spewing a large plume of ash 9 miles into the air.
At approximately 11 p.m. local time, the volcano’s loud eruption was reportedly heard by people in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, located more than 90 miles away. Images taken from a webcam near the area show lava flowing from the volcano.
The strong eruption is believed to be the most forceful since December 2018, when it produced a deadly tsunami that killed over 400 people on the coasts of southeastern Sumatra and western Java.
Anak Krakatau, which translates to “the child of Krakatoa,” was formed after Krakatoa erupted in 1883 with a massive explosion 10,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Here is some footage of the volcano’s 2018 eruption:
Finally, a wave of locusts is making its way though Africa.
Weeks before the coronavirus spread through much of the world, parts of Africa were already threatened by another kind of plague, the biggest locust outbreak some countries had seen in 70 years.
Now the second wave of the voracious insects, some 20 times the size of the first, is arriving. Billions of the young desert locusts are winging in from breeding grounds in Somalia in search of fresh vegetation springing up with seasonal rains.
Millions of already vulnerable people are at risk. And as they gather to try to combat the locusts, often in vain, they risk spreading the virus — a topic that comes a distant second for many in rural areas.
May our Legal Insurrection friends and their families have a blessed Easter or Passover. Let us all pray that the worst of the news cycle for 2020 passes quickly.DONATE
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