COVID-19: Epically bad bug or doomsday apocalypse?

COVID-19. A septuagenarian friend spelled it “COVIG19” in a mass email message. Makes me think of “go fig,” as in “go figure.” That’s the phrase for the thing because none of us know exactly what we’re facing and what to expect in the days ahead.

One thing’s for sure about the coronavirus—it’s not nothing, and it’s not the end of the world.

It’s interesting how personal things get when a novel virus is doing its worst in one’s own country. At the time and to most Americans, SARS, Zika, and Ebola all seemed small fry because they afflicted other people in other countries far, far away.

I remember watching Women’s World Cup soccer in 2015, and hearing fans mock the American goalie, Hope Solo, for voicing her fear of the virus. Each time she touched the ball, the crowds in Brazil went, “AHHHHH … ZIKKAAAA.”

It was kinda funny. COVID-19 isn’t funny at all.

Pardon the pun, but the coronavirus is nothing to sneeze at. I jest because I must. I daresay we could all use a touch of humor right about now. It’s a welcome diversion when dealing with a shared darkness.

The darkness

Make no mistake—these are dark days.

Consider this litany of fear-inducing conditions: A worse-than-Great-Depression economic shutdown, swelling unemployment, nationwide distancing and quarantines, doomsday pandemic models and predictions, sensationalized media coverage, the largest economic relief package in human history—it’s a zombie apocalypse without the zombies.

The experts are all over the place on this thing. Some say we’re in for a gazillion infected and millions dead. Others put both numbers much lower. Let’s face it—we don’t know what will happen.

An online product marketer and data smart guy watched his Medium article, “COVID-19–Evidence Over Hysteria,” go from tens of thousands of likes and comments to REMOVED for violating Medium standards … of something.

What? Who put the kibosh on his analysis? Was it the WHO? Not the rock band—the World Health Organization, which is affiliated with the United Nations. Conspiracy theory? Maybe. But watching the WHO’s director-general sing the praises of China’s coronavirus response makes one wonder.

Somehow, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus continues to praise the communist China regime as they claim that the virus they unleashed upon the world is contained in their country and has killed only 3,304 of their 1.4 billion people.

Scary numbers

Worse, many in our media are propagating China’s COVID-19 numbers. No healthy skepticism from the press, just bovine trust. Of course, there’s no earthly way to verify China’s numbers, but the math simply doesn’t add up.

Let’s crunch some numbers. Why not? We’re in self-isolation and there’s only so much TV and Internet we can ingest in a day. Here we go:

As I write this, of 331 million Americans, 142,000 have tested positive for the coronarvirus and 2,484 have died. Conversely, of China’s 1.4 billion people, the regime claims 81,000 have been infected, and 3,304 have died.

China has four times our population and had a month or so head start on a deadly virus that originated in their country, yet somehow has 61,000 fewer cases and only 820 more deaths.

This means that per capita, China boasts an astounding (and absurdly unbelievable) .0017 percent infection rate and 4 percent death rate.

Dense population

Keep in mind; we’re talking about a nation that has more than four times our population with the vast majority of its citizens living in dense population centers. China’s population density is 384 people per square mile while the U.S. is 91 people square per mile.

And because of China’s infamous one-child per family policy, their population is older than that of most other countries. More older people means more are at-risk for COVID-19.

What’s more, China’s male/female ratio is tilted strongly male because the regime prefers men over women. So does COVID-19, seemingly. The data shows that male COVID-19 patients fare much worse than female patients.

All of this means that China is likely experiencing much higher infection and death rates than they’re admitting. Some leaks indicate the death toll is in the tens of thousands.

Why would the regime lie? For the same reason the Soviets lied about the Chernobyl disaster—their COVID-19 nightmare threatens their influence in the world, which threatens their hold on power.

Woke West

Why point out the deception of China’s communist regime? Because our media is reporting their lies as facts. We know why China’s lying; the bigger question is this: Why is the American media enabling them?

I’m trying very hard to give our media the benefit of the doubt. Do they truly believe China’s regime or are they afraid to voice skepticism for fear of being accused of xenophobia or harboring anti-communist insensitivity?

As a writer, I earned my journalism degree by learning to verify everything. If you can’t verify it, don’t write it. Or qualify it as an “unverified report.” Isn’t skepticism of the claims of a deceptive communist regime justified?

After all, distrust of government is a central pillar of the “Fourth Estate” in America. Why does communist China get a pass?

The answer is two-fold. American media members hyperventilate when faced with any conclusion that can be linked to supposed racism and/or xenophobia.

Wuhan wordplay

Take the “Wuhan Virus” brouhaha. Throughout history, epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have routinely named viruses based on their points of origin. No one disputes that the coronavirus originated with an outbreak in the Wuhan Province of China.

Yet in today’s woke West, referring to COVID-19 as the Wuhan Virus is verboten. Somehow, doing so connotes a message of inferiority or fear (racism or xenophobia) of an ethnicity or people group. This is nonsense.

So is referring to it as the “Chinese Flu.” COVID-19 does not have an ethnicity, and its point of origin, Wuhan, is a place, not a race.

The other part of the answer is much more cynical. I wrestled with it for days because I’m an optimist at heart and because I hold out hope that our shared Americanism will prevail over politics and partisanship. Here it is:

Leaders of a political party and many media members care more about hurting the president and his administration than they care about adhering to basic journalistic principles and ethics—and reducing fear and anxiety.

Bias & propaganda

They want to believe China and pretend to do so because China’s victory over COVID-19 makes the Trump’s administration’s “failure” in dealing with the pandemic look worse to American voters.

This is why some media members have accused Dr. Deborah Birx of kowtowing to Trump. They imply that because Birx chided them about sensationalizing DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) conversations in hospitals, she must be getting bullied by the president and is lying for him.

Dr. Birx is an accomplished medical professional and former Army doctor, She helped lead the effort to develop game-changing HIV treatments. Yet for daring to tamp down media-driven DNR hype, she’s a coward and liar.

It’s shameful. So is the COVID-19-Trump-failure narrative.

Now more than ever, wouldn’t it be refreshing and helpful to see fair and responsible reporting and bipartisan words and action against a common deadly enemy?

Instead, we see CBS News use video from a crowded hospital room full of COVID-19 patients in Italy in a segment titled, “AMERICA’S EPICENTER NEW YORK NOW ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN HALF OF NEW U.S. CASES.” Sloppy journalism or willful manipulation? You tell me.

Faith in the future

The good news is that the free world is rallying to conquer COVID-19. Nations are working together in ways not seen since World War II. Medical professionals are pushing hard to develop effective treatments and a vaccine. Families are growing closer. Sacrifices are being made.

We’re toughening up and developing character. Many are seeking strength and succor in God.

We’re in this fight together. We are the World is now much more than a song.

We desperately need solidarity in the midst of our fear of the future. I’m tempted to explore the validity of the pandemic models, but what’s the point? We will flatten the curve or it will flatten itself over time. Every viral epidemic and pandemic in history has petered out at some point.

In all likelihood, our COVID-19 pandemic will not be a doomsday apocalypse. And it likely won’t be a mere blip of economic privation and civil sacrifice either. I think it will land somewhere in between and closer to a lesser side of the continuum.

Reasons for hope

U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres / Public domain

As Americans, we’ve always met challenges with resourcefulness, humor, optimism and hard work. I think we’ll rediscover our national identity as we learn the true value of close and cohesive families and communities and cooperation.

And I think we’ll come up with COVID-19 treatments and a vaccination in record time. Come Christmas, I think we’ll be looking back at these dark days with humility, sadness, gratitude and hope.

It’s my prayer that we’ll realize we were made for a better, brighter world.

As many prepare to celebrate Easter in self-isolation for the first time in our nation’s history, let’s reflect on the ultimate sacrifice Jesus—the Great Physician and Almighty God—made for us.

The coronavirus may look like a crown, but it’s not king.

COVID-19 is China’s Chernobyl

coronavirus
Image maybe copyright protected.

The coronavirus pandemic is showing the world what communist China is truly about—suppression and secrecy. Just like the Soviets, its leaders are hiding how bad it is and muzzling those who try to tell the truth to the world.

This always happens.

As the state grows in power, those who begin as comrades become controllers. They are their gods. When they taste power, they want more. It’s the ultimate drug.

Socialism always devolves into slavery. It does so because it’s incompatible with our bent nature and broken world. It never works. This is why Chinese communism is doomed. And it’s good news.

The good news about the coronavirus, as with all viruses, is that it’s not the end of the world and should recede in intensity as winter becomes spring and then summer. I sure hope so.

I also hope that, like Chernobyl was the deathblow to Russian communism, the coronavirus cover-up will be the beginning of the end for Chinese socialism.

It’s my prayer that lives will be spared, so that as many Chinese as possible will be there to build a new and free nation on the ruins of a failed socialist state. They deserve it.

Freedom always wins. Why? Because we’re made for it.

Trumping Truth: The Scripture according to Pete Buttigieg

Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

Mayor Pete says Trump’s conduct is incompatible with Scripture. He also holds that, according to his scriptural interpretation, life begins at first breath.

Yet Scripture says otherwise. In Psalm 139:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Amen. Nothing about first breath here. More like a breath of fresh air. But Pete maintains his trust in Scripture by relying on his personal interpretation. By holding to his interpretive position—even though it conflicts with Scripture AND science—he can support abortion up to the moment of a baby’s first breath AND consider his position scripturally sound.

Pete also says that God is apolitical. And that he has a hard time imagining that the Almighty had anything to do with Trump becoming president. If God had nothing to do with Trump’s election, who’s responsible? The devil? Deluded voters and bad Christians? Pete doesn’t say, but he kinda does.

What odd scriptural positions Mayor Pete holds. To recap:

1) Trump’s conduct is immoral. Even though he champions the sanctity of life and opposes late-term and up-to-birth abortion, both of which Pete supports.

2) The mayor doesn’t tell other Christians how to be Christian, but if they support Trump, they are not scriptural Christians and aren’t doing Christianity the right way—Pete’s way.

3) He says he has a high regard for Scripture, yet disregards many of its basic truths: We’re created in God’s image, he knew us before we were born, and all life is sacred.

It seems that Pete’s scriptural positions aren’t particularly compelling—politically, medically OR scripturally. So why does he hold them? Because they’re compatible with his lifestyle and political beliefs.

Pete seems to deny the essence of Scripture. By its nature, it’s steadfast and unchangeable; it doesn’t conform to anyone’s belief preferences. We conform to its truths; it doesn’t conform to our wants. And if we embrace it, we do so because we believe it’s true and that it reflects the love and nature of God.

It’s not that God is apolitical; it’s that he is as far above petty politics as he is above conforming to our preferences.

Mayor Pete is right about one thing: Trump does conduct himself in ways that are incompatible with Scripture. So do I, from time to time. So do you. And so does Pete.

Sometimes Trump’s conduct aligns with Scripture. Like when he uses his power to protect the innocent. Or when he shows mercy by pardoning the penitent. Or when he brings justice to murderous terrorists.

I would respect Pete’s brandishing of Scripture much more, if his words and actions aligned with what it teaches. If I could, I’d say this to Pete:

Please revisit your untenable position about when life begins and whose is sacred and whose is optional. And don’t make a devil of The Donald—he’s just another sinner like you and me.