Re: Covid-19 Thoughts
Many well-informed people regard Covid-19 as a giant hoax. Other well-informed people believe that Covid-19 is a genetically- engineered pathogen from China. Still other sincere people understand the pandemic as the wrath of God upon a wicked population. More think Covid is no worse than common flue. And, others think Covid-19 is a serious natural disease that should be avoided with common sense hygienic practices. Bits of evidence support – and refute – all of the above views. Does anyone know what is true? What does the real, verifiable evidence tell us? Unfortunately, real, verifiable evidence is rare. Let us examine some reports regarding the outbreak.
But first, a disclaimer:
Note: This writer strives to convince no one of any particular belief. The goal of this writing is for all to actively seek valid information before we commit ourselves to any path of action. Following are some bits of news that must be thoughtfully considered….
The serious nature of the Covid-19 pandemic: We are told that the daily deaths are diminishing. As of this writing, deaths are about 1000 daily. Consider this: The normal death rate is 9.5 per 1000 per year, or 8600 every day. Covid deaths equal about 12% of total deaths. Eighty-eight percent of deaths are from some other cause. Today the U.S. has 1,500,753 total cases of Covid with 90,312 total deaths. That means that 6.02% of the people who contracted the disease have died. (A rate that is increasing…)
National news reported (truthfully??) on April 12, of the 90,000 hospital beds in New York, 18,000 were occupied. Concurrently, the same media outlets were stating that hospitals were, “overwhelmed”.
The Javits center was converted to a makeshift hospital of either 1000 beds or of 2800 beds. Both figures were reported. (truthfully??) Photos of the center were shown on national TV. All the beds were empty.
A tent city was set up in Central Park to accept the overflow from the overwhelmed hospitals. Photos were shown on national TV. All the beds were empty.
A military hospital ship was sent to New York to accept the overflow from overwhelmed hospitals. A few weeks later, it left. According to national news, the ship had served 182 patients.
Locally, viewers were treated to video clips showing a full floor of Cox Medical Center that was exclusively dedicated to Covid-19 patients. All the beds were empty.
The national media has reported (truthfully??) that DARPA, a military science lab that is billed as the best in the world, has been working tirelessly to identify the antibodies that might defeat Covid-19. An interviewed scientist told us that DARPA had evaluated over 3,000 possible antibodies and have eliminated all but a “handful” that might be the antibodies that combat the disease. Concurrently, we are told that ordinary medical personnel can take a quick blood test and identify the Covid-19 antibody.
We are told that Covid-19 may be detected by a quick temperature reading of the forehead. Everyone from Chinese police to Korean medics to American football players are relying on the technique. The questions, of course, is What temperature on the forehead indicates a fever? (The reason that Mom placed the thermometer under Sally’s tongue is that the under-tongue temperature most closely reveals internal body temperature.) The forehead is exposed to, and influenced by, the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere. This writer encountered a public health nurse screening for Covid by taking forehead temperatures. She replied with stony silence to the question, “What temperature at the forehead indicates a fever?” Finally, she eluded an answer by stating, “Normal temperature is ninety-eight point six.” So, the question was reworded: “At what temperature do you send people away?” She replied, “Everyone is different. What is a fever for one person may be normal for another.”
May 18, the national news reported (truthfully??) that a Covid-19 vaccine has been developed and has been tested on 45 people. All 45 reportedly have developed the proper antibody that has been tested and proven to kill the Covid-19 virus. One day earlier, May 17, the same news channel reported that Oxford University is leading the efforts to find a vaccine. They have developed a “potential” vaccine that they are currently testing on monkeys. We have been told repeatedly not to get optimistic about a vaccine anytime soon. Dr. Anthony Fauci has repeatedly warned us that a year to 18 months is an optimistic goal that can only be reached, “…if everything goes right, and it never does…” And now, with no fanfare, we miraculously have a vaccine that has been tested and proven in its first trial. We are told that it may be ready by July. Meanwhile, poor, slow Oxford U. is struggling with a non-miraculous vaccine that might, potentially, not kill the monkeys.
Oops! Sorry. I promised that I would try, “…to convince no one of any particular belief…” But some of the contradictions are so extreme that they are obvious. The appearance of an instant vaccine, after months of warning Americans that it is not possible, causes one to wonder off into internet-worthy speculations.
So… do we have the facts? Do we have enough information to reach conclusions? Do we brush off Covid as a minor inconvenience or do we hoard every roll of toilet paper we can steal? Do we fall on our knees in repentance before our Heavenly Father or do we run to the nearest bar and kiss all the girls?
The Creator of All Things gives His people discernment. Here are the clues to uncovering a lie:
1. Fabricated evidence.
2. Incomplete accounts.
3. Conflicting accounts.
4. Omitted facts, photos or audio.
5. Excessive repetition.
6. Motive: a reason driving the deception.
When we hear national news, local news or read internet accounts, items one through five, above, are in ample supply. Item six, the motive, is obscured. Obscured motive leads to wild speculation. What Americans need are facts. If Covid-19 is a genuine threat, it is so big that government controls cannot defeat it. The defeat will be at the hands of individuals taking personal responsibility for the actions. For those individuals to make competent decisions. they must have a full complement of facts!
Facts are in short supply. The result is: People speculate.
If we every learn facts, we need to have enough basic knowledge to act wisely. Act wisely? Brings to mind a serious recent omission. the Missouri School Boards Association released 97 pages of recommendations for restraining Covid-19 when (if?) schools reopen in the fall. Lots of recommendations; some logical, some irrelevant to reality. The glaring omission?
Handwashing. Nothing was mentioned about the absolute necessity of washing hands to prevent the spread of any disease. Why would MSBA not mention handwashing?
What would you recommend if you were responsible for a state full of schools with no handwashing facilities? Consider the cost of retrofitting handwashing facilities into buildings that were designed with no room for such. Consider the impractical nature of designing the facility, requesting bids and finding sufficient contractors and materials in the short time span from now until August. Consider the complete rescheduling of classes to allow time for a thousand students to wash their hands. Or, 4,000. Consider the disciplinary problems of enforcing handwashing in an era of unruly students and fettered teachers. Consider the maintenance costs of towels, soap, water and yes, perpetual unclogging of drains.
Alternately, consider homeschooling. God said it is the responsibility of parents to teach their children. (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 11:19) Homeschooling is legal and it gets better results if done properly. Homeschooling is not hard: Teach reading, writing, basic arithmetic and basic science. Stimulate their curiosity and, then, get out of the way! Children are born with a love of learning. Give them a hand and clear the obstacles.
Whatever the realities, Covid-19 is a test of the nation. We need to educate ourselves, practice hygiene and act responsibly. We will become forever better, healthier and stronger as a nation.