𝗤&𝗔𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗗𝗿. 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗪𝗮𝗻𝗴, 𝗠.𝗗., 𝗣𝗵.𝗗.
𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱𝗕𝘆𝗝.𝗔. 𝗛𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝗣𝗵𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗠𝗮𝘆𝟭𝟭, 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟬
𝗤: 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘀𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵? 𝗪𝗵𝘆𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘁𝘀𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀𝗼𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗹𝘆𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗱𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗹𝘆𝘁𝗼𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲?
𝗔: It is a variant of the coronavirus. We have known about this virus for a long, long time and the common flu shot we receive every year, about 20 percent are for corona. We have known about it around 100 years. This particular one is a mutant strain that has developed a particular mutation. Most viruses have been very infectious but not deadly, like the flu, or very deadly but not very infectious, like SARS. However, COVID-19 possesses both. It is one of the most infectious ones we have ever seen and is quite deadly, not as deadly as SARS but up there.
It is so infectious because it has two abilities often unseen together. First, it has found a traveling companion in the common bacteria so, wherever there are bacteria, COVID-19 travels with it. Think like a spaceship with a big rocket and thing on top. The rocket is the bacteria and the thing on top is COVID-19. Therefore, any surface that is dirty and has bacteria could carry COVID-19. The second reason is that COVID-19 has the unique ability to suspend itself in aerosol, a small sphere about 10 to 20 microns in diameter. Aerosols are bigger than other particles and are suspended in the air. Our atmosphere and the air we breathe are filled with aerosols. If someone walks into an office and eats a bag of popcorn and then walks away, for the next hour or two someone smells popcorn. It is still suspended in the aerosol.
COVID-19 is very infectious because it can travel on bacteria for an hour up to three days and can travel in aerosol for up to 8 hours. What this means is, if someone sneezes in a location, that virus they just coughed out could stay in the air for 8 hours and you could actually breathe in the virus. Therefore, it is a very deadly virus.
𝗔: This virus is infectious but there are ways to protect yourself 100% from getting infected. It can only enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. It cannot penetrate your skin. Any surface that you touch that is cold, wet, and dark could have COVID-19. However, you are not infected because it cannot go through skin. That is why we now know and were told by the American Academy for Ophthalmology that contact lenses are no longer safe because your fingertip could carry it. Likewise, if you touch your eyes or mouth with your finger, you could bring the virus into your system. 1% of those with the virus have the virus in their tears. Therefore, those with contact lenses are no longer safe. COVID-19 may be with us for several more years, maybe even our entire lifetime. So, contact lenses may be out as a viable option for the rest of our lives. Glasses are not much better which is why many are getting Lasik surgery at this time.
𝗤: 𝗔𝘀𝗯𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀𝗿𝗲-𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻, 𝗵𝗼𝘄𝗹𝗼𝗻𝗴𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘄𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿𝗻𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗹𝗲?
𝗔: That is one of the most important questions. We have a very infectious disease here. Several related questions need to be answered to answer this. First, what percentage of the population in America today are infected right now? Currently, we believe about 5 to 10 percent of the population are infected right now. We have about 1 million who have tested positive and about another 9 to 10 million with it. The ratio of asymptomatic to symptomatic are about 10 to 1. So, 1 million test positive as symptomatic means 10 million likely have it and are asymptomatic. Roughly 10 million are infected out of the 300 million population.
The next question is, as a nation with 5% infected right now, what percentage has been tested? We are very low, only 2% of population has been tested. If 5% have it but only 2% are tested, is it the right time to open? The answer is no. Most of the population, 98%, has not been tested when 5% are infected. So, what is the problem if we reopen now? The problem is that, for example, if you step in a restaurant, you see a waiter who comes with a plate. Since you know 98% have not been tested, most likely none of the waiters have been tested in that room. Yet, if there are 40 waiters, statistically 2 of them are infected because 5% of the country is infected. They are interacting with hundreds of people a day, so you don’t dare to touch that plate.
What if it is the other way and 98% are tested today? Then that changes the picture! You could step into a restaurant with 40 waiters and they have been tested and those two with the virus are at home because they have been tested positive. Therefore, you have a much greater comfort in going out because those who have it are more likely to have been tested.
I say we should open the nation because otherwise the economy will collapse. My viewpoint is very clear. We should open the nation in May, but we must increase our speed of testing by 10 to 20 times. If we continue this rate of testing, it will take 4 years to finish testing. You will live in danger in that restaurant for four years! If we increase it this much, we could be done within the month. We should reopen but must rapidly speed up testing. This agrees with both the right and the left. There is a reasonable solution that agrees with both political parties.
I am not smarter; I can only come up with a solution because I am not a polarizer. Our society is polarized so much it is toxic. A political discourse without insulting your opponent is rare. I came from communist China run by a dictator to America with $50. The America I came to and love was one of respect and freedom, but it has changed. People have become polarized, seeing what is different rather than what is common. This virus has been a wake-up call to show us that. We can reopen the nation and speed up testing, but people only care about polarization. It gives them power but only coming together as a nation brings us together. I have founded a 501c3 Non-Profit organization called Common Ground Network where people can come together and find common ground. That is my life mission for people to seek common ground.
𝗤: 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗱𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗲𝗱𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗶𝘁𝘀𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱. 𝗔𝗿𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀𝗚𝗼𝗱𝗵𝗮𝘀𝘂𝘀𝗲𝗱𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘂𝘀𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱?
A: Yes, that is a great question I have been thinking about. What is God’s message? There are a few messages. First, air is becoming cleaner with people at home and less cars on the street. So, people, like in China, are seeing rare sunlight in areas that are normally very polluted. We have become very polluted by industrialization, bottomless production, and bottomless consumption. It is pollution not only of the air but of the mind and soul. They are beginning to see the sun and I think that in many ways this is symbolic. God is trying to wake us up to go out less, consume less, and for the air to become clear. God wants us to clear the pollution in our minds and realize the problems we are creating with industrialization and modern society.
Second, this viral outbreak also reveals the virus in each of us. For example, many are coming out and saying this is a Chinese virus, an Asian virus, etc. It is not a Chinese virus; it is a virus. It is an enemy to all of us as human beings. Yet, the racial discrimination is raising its ugly head and now the virus is allowing a channel for that opinion to be expressed. It has revealed a virus in each of us— a tendency to discriminate. The highest outbreak of mortality rates are the African Americans and Hispanic Americans. While we must help, help has been slow from the government. It has infected the poorest in our community. If that mortality rate impacted a different group, the government may have reacted much faster. It reveals virus in us.
Three, it reveals hatred of each other and mutual discussion. The Chinese government should not have suppressed information and I agree with that. Yet, China has nothing to do with the U.S. not being prepared in testing. We knew in February how bad the situation in Italy and Spain was, but we were not ready. We were complacent. We thought we had the best medicine and best healthcare so we could handle it.
So, the first virus is modern consumption and human mind pollution. The second is racial discrimination. Third is that, when things do not go well, we blame everyone else. With the growing mortality rate, China and its suppression of information did not help, but it is our fault we did not have a strategy to combat the virus. In conclusion, God is using a naturally existing infectious agent to reveal three different types of viruses in modern century. First, modernization and consumption are polluting the mind. Second, racial discrimination rises when there is the opportunity. Third, our tendency to blame everyone else but ourselves when things aren’t going well. Blaming China will not help us but focusing on our internal response, crisis response, public education, that will help America. Blaming China will not help America.
I would maybe add one, the virus of polarization. The outbreak has only made that worse. It makes us pay no attention to the elephant in the room. Think about it, what have you heard in the media about why the virus has been so bad and we are so unprepared. You hear a lot about China. China suppressed information and really damaged the world and those responsible must be held responsible. Yet, China is not the reason the U.S. has done such a poor job in our viral control. It is not responsible for the weeks of unpreparedness of the CDC in preparing testing kits and ventilators and our current, complete lack of understanding that the solution is to open the nation but increase our testing speed. They have nothing to do with China, but it is easy to blame them. The virus is that, when things are not going well, we blame others. That will not help us improve. Yet, the polarized ends are shouting the loudest and the media does not care, they are helping the polarizers because they care about their ratings. These are the four viruses God has clearly showed us through this outbreak. The virus of pollution, of racial discrimination, of blaming others, and of polarization.
𝗤: 𝗛𝗼𝘄𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗵𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵? 𝗛𝗼𝘄𝗰𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝘁-𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗸𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲?
A: Very good question. I would recommend the following. As a nation we have seven measures we should practice. I did not come up with this in a dream, but I watched other nations. The second outbreak, for sure, for sure, will come to the United States. It will be somewhere in the fall to wintertime. No question about it. The question is how high the peak will be. If we continue on this path, the peak will be much higher. The first wave was brought on by a dozen people in Seattle, Washington, resulting in the disastrous outcome now. If that is the case, what do you think 10 million will do when we open the country this month? They are going into open society causing tens of millions to be infected.
What I have learned from other countries, where I have talked with doctors from these countries is these seven steps: 1) Gradual, state dependent openings. 2) Test everyone as businesses open. 3) Bring those who are immune back to work first. 4) Increase testing significantly. 5) Require testing in high risk facilities such as churches, nursing homes, and high risk professionals such as pastors, nurses, restaurant services, etc. 6) Practice social distancing and mask wearing for many more months, maybe even years 7) Contact solution technology that the rivals Google and Apple have developed. I think it is great they have worked together. However, as a democratic society, we must be cautious about this though.
I have not seen any government agency develop these in layman’s terms. One of the reasons the government was so unprepared is because we were complacent. We thought we had the best. We did not think we needed to learn from others. That time has forever passed. We better be humble and willing to learn from others. As one citizen to others, we must be willing to learn but that voice is largely absent in our government leadership because many do not believe we need to learn from other countries.
With the church, that is number five on my list. It is a high-risk facility and a pastor is a high-risk profession. My recommendation is to wait for the reopening in your specific state where people can gather over 100 or 150. Do not open sooner. Second, test all key services of the church around the last week of May and those who test positive cannot come back until they no longer have the virus. If a church has 40 staff, 2 will statistically test positive so they stay home and the church works with 38. I would also recommend temperatures be checked, plenty of hand sanitizer be available, the tithe bags should not be passed, coffee should not be served, after church talks be done outside and not in the building, masks worn always, no passing microphones on stage, families can sit together but away from other families, and to have multiple entrances open.
I would recommend those coughing stay at home. If they have a fever, cough, taste change, etc. than they should not even show up at the church. This should be a questionnaire sent out and asked at the door. Churches are particularly vulnerable. One church of 20,000 was found to infect hundreds. The pastor was found to be a super-carrier and infected 85 himself. We as the Bible belt could end up like New York because, if we do not pay attention, we are uniquely vulnerable because of the church. The pastor, at the least, must have a minimal understanding in order to protect their churches and our society. The church is unique because it can see beyond, to see the virus’ true attention, the viruses of the heart. It is times like these we are humble enough to hear His message. Your church could be a leader to show other churches and God what we can do to improve as human beings.
We would like to thank Dr. Wang so much for agreeing to this interview. We would like to encourage all of you, if you have any questions or would like to have an online Q&A session with Dr. Wang, please contact him. He has a great ministry and wishes to help people and churches navigate this difficult time. Also, I would encourage you to purchase a copy of his autobiography to learn about how he went from a child during China’s Cultural Revolution to a world-renowned eye surgeon. His autobiography is From Darkness to Sight: A Journey From Hardship to Healing.
www.wangvisioninstitute.com | www.WangCataractLASIK.com
Dr. Ming Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
𝗔𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗗𝗿. 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗪𝗮𝗻𝗴: Dr. Wang is a Harvard and MIT graduate (MD, magna cum laude) and one of the few cataract and LASIK eye surgeons in the world today who holds a doctorate degree in laser physics. He has performed over 55,000 procedures, including on over 4,000 doctors. He is called, “The doctors’ doctor.”
Dr. Wang grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution – during which millions of innocent youth were deported to remote areas to face a life sentence of poverty and hard labor. Ming had to play the Chinese violin erhu and learned to dance to escape the labor camp. He eventually made his way to America with only $50 and graduated with the highest honor from Harvard Medical School and MIT. He embraced the Christian faith and tackled one of the important questions of our time – Are faith and science friends or foes? – which led to his invention of a breakthrough biotechnology to restore sight.
He founded two 501c(3) non-profit organizations, Wang Foundation for Christian Outreach to China, and Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration, which to date has helped patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with all sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge. Wang Vision is the only center in the state that performs 3D SMILE & 3D LASIK (18+), 3D Implantable Contact Lens (21+), 3D Forever Young Lens (45+) and 3D Laser Cataract Surgery (60+). Dr. Wang has published 9 textbooks and a paper in the world-renowned journal “Nature”, holds several U.S. patents, and performed the world’s first laser artificial cornea implantation. He was named the Kiwanis Nashvillian of the Year for his lifetime dedication to helping blind orphan children from around the world.
Dr. Wang is also the co-founder and president of the Tennessee Immigrant and Minority Business Group, and co-founder of the Common Ground Network, a non-profit that focuses on Dr. Wang’s life-long mission to help people find common ground and solutions to our society’s problems. His autobiography “From Darkness to Sight” has inspired the upcoming movie “Sight.”
𝙂𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝘿𝙞𝙨𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙧: 𝘼𝙡𝙡𝙜𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙥𝙤𝙨𝙩𝙨𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨𝙤𝙛𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙖𝙪𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙧(𝙨) 𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙢𝙖𝙮𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙚𝙨𝙨𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙮𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙡𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙚𝙬𝙨𝙤𝙛𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙍𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙤𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙤𝙛𝙞𝙩𝙨𝙧𝙚𝙜𝙪𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙗𝙪𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙨.