Is a Coronavirus “Breakthrough” on its way? Maybe.

Shalom all,

May this find you and yours all healthy and hanging in there during this unique time in our modern history. The coronavirus pandemic continues to spread far and wide with attendant health and economic consequences for many. All are looking for an end to the crisis. If we look at the glass half full, a potential cure may not be that far away.

The Haifa-based, Israeli company, Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., reports that preliminary testing of COVID-19 treatment on six critically-ill coronavirus patients showed a 100% survival rate, with four of them showing respiratory improvement. The company also treated its first American patient suffering from COVID-19 complications. The latter was carried out in a hospital in New Jersey. the US. trial was run under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Single Patient Expanded Access Program, which is part of the US. Coronoavirus Treatment Acceleration Program – an emergency program aimed at moving new treatments to corona patients as quickly as possible.

According to the Company, “Pluristem has made the strategic decision to work only with adult stem cells, purified from the placenta after birth and, therefore, not subject to ethical or religious controversy.”

The six Israeli patients were treated at three different hospitals here for one week, under a compassionate use program. All suffered from acute respiratory failure and COVID-19 related complications. Four of them had other severe medical issues.

Not only had all the patients survived one week later, According to Pluristem, all of the six patients not only survived the week, but four of them showed respiratory improvement, with three of them being weaned off of ventilators. 

This comes as a breath of fresh air, particularly as the number of Israel’s dead has climbed about 20% in the last two days, with over 12,000 having tested positive for the coronavirus so far, including an 8-day-old infant, who was diagnosed today and hospitalized. It seems that the virus is not listening to what the medical authorities have to say, namely, that it afflicts mostly the elderly and, particularly, those with pre-existing medical conditions. 

If that wasn’t enough, the government authorized a nation-wide restriction about traveling between different community, which went into effect at 5:00 p.m. today and will remain in effect until 5:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. This is the second time in one week that there is a nationwise lockdown, the first being on the eve of Passover and now, at the end of the last day of Passover, which is also a national day of celebration here. The restriction will continue and include the festivities that usually take place during the Mimuna, a non-Biblical event that is celebrated by many in Israel to mark the end of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and allows for the eating of regular bread again. All normal celebrations for these two days are cancelled. 

The political on-again, off-again, negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz to form an emergency, unity government continue, with the latest round of meetings taking place this morning and afternoon, without success.  They are scheduled to continue right after the holiday, that is, not before Wednesday evening. The joint statement released by the Likud (Netanyahu’s party) and Blue and White (Gantz’s party) was to the effect that the intended goal of Wednesday evening’s meeting is “to reach agreement on the establishment of a national emergency government”. For all intents and purposes, the mandate given to Benny Gantz to form a government expired last night. Israeli President, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin can give Netanyahu the mandate, or he can turn it over to the Knesset. But, one thing is clear – if the leaders of the two major parties do not reach agreement by tomorrow night, we will go back to politicking and in a worse-case scenario, we will be on our way to a fourth election. 

Hard to believe. In two days, I’ll have been in lockdown for a month. Could be worse…I could have written these lines after two months! Looking at it from the bright side, I’m thankful that my family and I are healthy, I didn’t have to shave during this entire period, I had more time to pray, read and write and to be be in contact with folks, near and far. So, there are positive things to dwell on.

For those who are able to celebrate the last day of Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread, enjoy … in good health! L’chaim!

Remember: Bless, be blessed and be a blessing!

Marvin

10 thoughts on “Is a Coronavirus “Breakthrough” on its way? Maybe.

  1. jeaur

    Thanks for the spark of hope provided by you are all well and the treatment for some for recovery. The news with us is good, but our country is a mess. If this orange buffoon doesn’t explode soon from all the lies and mismanagement, I don’t know what we will do. He causes more stress than the virus ( ALMOST) I know you probably like him ( although I can’t understand why ) but we detest and despise him and all his minions ( including our Florida governor) Be well. Love you much. Dine Shvester

    >

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    1. Hi, Sheila. Glad to pass on encouraging information. We’ve been following the mess in the U.S. I don’t particularly like the President, nor do I particularly dislike him. I’m not in the same situation that you are. At this point, I look at how nations and rulers impact Israel and from that perspective, I commend him. At least he didn’t ask the P.M. of Israel to come into the White House through the back door, like a servant. There are other matters of considerable importance to Israel where he has sided with us to the great dismay of our enemies, unlike his immediate predecessor. As for DeSantis, I don’t know enough about him to form an opinion and trust your evaluation. The number of politicians who truly serve the interests of all of the people who are their constituents, whether national or local, are very few and very far between – on both sides of the water.

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  2. Alon Barak

    Shalom Haifaite

    Here in our Golan Heights community, we have sorta ‘enjoyed’ getting to know our neighbors better. Lots of people walking and some even running. 0 cases of any kind of virus.

    Children regularly ride bikes down the center of our street. Why not; only a few cars are seen and moving quite slowly. No one seems to be in hurry any more!

    But, things may change. Why just yesterday we saw for the first time a man walking with a mask on. We aren’t sure why??

    I have a home made mask from an old sock stuffed with paper. Works fine, if I ever need it.

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    1. Alon, people are walking with a mask on because the government imposed a mandatory requirement that everyone who goes out of their home needs to put on a mask. The situation is more pronounced in the major residential areas than in more open areas like the Golan Heights. May you continue to enjoy the fresh air, nature, the view of the Kinneret and your neighbors. We are thankful for the almost car-less road that allows us to walk our 100 meters back and forth, with our masks on, without having to smell gas fumes. Oh well, at least it’s exercise. Keep well.

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  3. coasterride

    “has made the strategic decision to work only with adult stem cells, purified from the placenta after birth and, therefore, not subject to ethical or religious controversy.”
    For us that is a very important statement and without going into the whole realm of stem cell research and implementation.
    I would think that God of Abraham, Issac n Jacob will bless and honour that decision.
    If memory serves me correctly placenta were used for years in the world of makeup and skin care.
    A child walks on the earth versus a child trashed
    Shalom Shalom

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    1. Reg, shalom.
      I agree that God will bless the decision to use “adult” stem cells. No pre-born children need to die in order for other people to live. Blessings always.

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  4. childrenofalmighty

    Thank you Marvin, may our hope for a unity government come to fruition. However it pans out, we will keep the faith in knowing that our Heavenly Abba Father is in complete control and it is He who puts “kings” in and takes them out.
    Many blessings and let us pour out blessings on others,
    ~ nancy

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Agreed, Nancy. He remains sovereign in all His ways and there is a purpose for things that we don’t always immediately see. May God grant us wisdom and understanding, patience and a spirit of thankfulness in all things, even though they may be difficult.
      Stay well.
      Blessings, Marvin

      Like

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