Since the inception of the current pandemic (COVID-19) I have attempted to keep a level head. For the past couple of months, I have tried to be a voice of reason to friends, family, church members, and I suppose in some respects to those who are my readers. It has become popular for many of the major social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to blacklist, vilify and ban any dissenting voices. A debate over the interpretation of data, an analysis of the effectiveness of the so-called treatments/preventative measures, or a questioning over the seemingly long reach of Big Brother is unwanted.
If you have been paying attention to the unveiling of events as they have progressed, and if you have attempted to objectively look at both sides of the issue, then you will have noticed some discrepancies on all fronts. I am not insinuating that you are capable of approaching the issue from a position of neutrality. Neutral is not a gear that the human mind is capable of working under. We are hardwired to lean heavily upon our presuppositions, biases, traditions, and assumptions. Being self-aware regarding those varying lenses of interpretive thought will enable you to sift through the muck and mire.
For example, I have an underlying supposition regarding the state of reality. God created it. God is in control over it (i.e., Sovereign King). God is purposeful in governing every aspect of creation. Meaning that life is precious because life is from God my Maker, and therefore I live and die under His watch. This does not mean I’m powerless to make decisions or that my decisions don’t have value. But it does mean that I cannot—it is beyond human ability—to add a minute, hour, day, month or year to my life. I practice good hygiene. I attempt to care for the life I’ve been given in the way I eat, drink, sleep, etc. But I am free from being controlled by irrational fear or panic. So, not to poke fun at anyone, I didn’t run to the market and buy out all of the toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Nor do I get upset because someone sneezes around me or coughs near me. Not every sniffle is a life-threatening disease and to be as straightforward as possible, I’m not convinced that this virus is as serious as others have propagandized.
The threat is as real as all threats are…
Some will take what I’ve said thus far as a bit radical. They may insinuate like a New York Times article that Christians like me are the reason for the spread of COVID-19. I’m not that popular of a guy and so I am relatively safe, I suppose, from the algorithms designed to keep dissenting voices quiet. There are bigger fish to fry if you catch my meaning, but the way things are moving culturally/societally, if they are not stopped, even the little fish may make a tasty meal for the totalitarians.
COVID-19 is a real virus. And as virus’ go it is a real threat. We are, in the grand scheme of things, very frail creatures. We easily forget this fact because we tend to be so self-absorbed. But we are all one breath, one heartbeat, one electrical signal in our nervous system from death. In the near future something will kill every one of us. May not happen until we reach “x” number of years, but the day will come knocking sooner than we think. This is the source of the panic we are witnessing.
We are conditioned to not look at life as short, or death as a near thing. And so, when we are now being conditioned to see rising case/death tolls on all the major news outlets, the nervous jitters ensue. As threats go COVID-19 is as real as all threats are. This virus is deadly as all virus’—given the right conditions—are deadly. But just because I think that it is irrational to freak out in light of this novel virus does not mean that I am a science denier.
What I do deny…
What I am denying is that the civil government has all the answers. What I am denying is that these models which originally promoted a 2.2 million death toll in the United States, (but has now dropped down to around 60 thousand if we take an average of the high and low outcomes, and before years end will probably be even less than this if we can get people to stop fudging the numbers) are accurate, let alone should be used to dictate our way of life. What I am also denying is that the so-called experts, whether they are from the CDC or the WHO or even President Trumps star doctor advisors (Dr. Fauci or Birx), are right in touting their mitigation techniques.
An Example from my home state…
At the beginning of this crisis in my home state (Ohio) governor elect Mike DeWine and head of the health department Dr. Amy Acton were quick in moving towards a state of emergency. They both appeared on Fox News’ the Tucker Carlson show and where asked why they were moving so quickly in the direction they were headed to “mitigate” the spread of this virus. DeWine pointed to Dr. Acton’s expertise in response to this question. Dr. Acton said her advise and concerns was based off the model that was governing everyone’s thoughts at that time, and speaking with her colleagues in Washington D.C. and other places feared that the total case load was probably 1% of Ohio’s population of 11 million people. That means 100,000 people were assumed to be infected with the virus. Here is a clip where DeWine is interviewed in FOX NEWS substantiating many of things I’ve noted above: Mike DeWine Fox News Alert
Current available data (as of April 19, 2020) shows that only 11,292 cases have been reported in the state with 453 recorded deaths. Now our hearts ought to go out to those families that have been affected in this way. Death is serious and the loss of a loved one hurts. But the fact of the matter is that the number shown in no way reflects the initial concerns, nor does it offer justification for giving “stay-at-home” orders to the general population of the state.
Just by way of comparison this is over 7 times lower than 2018 recorded opioid deaths that were prescribed by physicians (numbering 3,237). Death that could have been limited if we just mitigated the prescribing of such drugs to people to zero. Obviously, there is a risk vs. result taken into consideration, with the result of prescribing those drugs being of a higher value than not prescribing them to patients.
What I am arguing here is that we all use a cost vs. effect analysis in every area of life. Every day we take our lives and the lives of others into our own hands. We make a variety of decisions that have a rippling effect that could result in the harm or death of another person. But this does not keep us from living our lives. This does not make us lock ourselves up in our homes.
In the beginning of this pandemic we were told that masks wouldn’t help normal citizens. Those that really needed them because they were in direct contact with infected (possibly infected) individuals was the health care workers. But now there is a move afoot to make all citizens wear masks to go in public. Just this morning I saw an article from NBC in Zanesville, OH (whiznews) teaching people how to make their own cloth face masks: Sewing Masks a Mission. I imagine this is in light of the fact that we are supposed to slowly start opening our state starting May 1st. I have friends that work in various “essential” industries that are being told it will be mandatory for them to wear masks in order to work. If they don’t, they will be sent home.
Now if you are an employer you have the right to set the standard of your employment environment. In the past, this right has been fought on a variety of fronts in the name of discrimination. However, discrimination laws are now being voided—unless you are a Christian organization like Answers in Genesis—under the guise of public safety.
My question and pushback—yes, I am pushing back against this—is why are we being told contradictory messages? Actually, we’ve been getting contradictory messages the last couple of months by federal, state and local officials. If masks didn’t really work a few weeks back, then why are they “working” now? Either the mask is effective and if it is then we should have been doing this in the beginning. Or the mask is not effective, therefore, it should be a personal discretion issue.
If it is mandated by fiat by the Ohio health department and backed by the governor elect Mike DeWine to wear a mask in social settings, I will refrain from doing so. Some may find this childish, offensive, or possibly endangering the lives of others. I see it, among other things that I plan on talking about in the days ahead, as a constitutional issue. My rights and freedoms do not come from civil government, regardless of the level in question (federal, state or local), but from Almighty God. When the civil government fails to recognize those rights/privileges they are the ones guilty of breaking the law. Our constitution both at the state and federal level restricts the government from abusing my life, not the other way around.
The True Crisis that Needs UnMasking…
The true crisis that we are facing that is masked from many in the public sector is totalitarian control. Mini-god-lings at various levels of civil government seeking to dictate every area of life. Mini-god-lings in the social media sphere that are seeking to monitor, control, and rat on their own users (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Mini-god-lings in the tech sphere such as google, apple and others working hard to control the narrative. More needs to be protested at this time and in greater numbers than just the streets of Michigan’s capital.