I started out the week resolved to be of good cheer, thanks to this webinar, but the school cancellation news brought me to a whole new quarantine low. People who look at actual data and are not making a living off of fear mongering seem to draw a consistent conclusion: “Strategies focusing specifically on protecting high-risk elderly individuals should be considered in managing the pandemic. But evidence is evidently irrelevant. What matters are snippets of misleading information and hyperbolic headlines.
Did you know there is research that suggests the way we are intentionally prolonging the duration of the virus could potentially raise the death rate by 50%? Obviously, flattening the curve is another way of saying elongating the curve. The goal being not to directly save lives — it’s not a cure for the virus after all. The goal is to make it last longer so that there are enough ICU beds to go around. As an aside, I was talking to a young mom recently and she told me she thinks most Americans understand “flattening the curve” to be a means by which we save lives directly. I don’t know how anyone could look at the graph and not see that it is only changing the duration, but she was convinced that people don’t understand. I really hope she’s wrong. People don’t think flattening the curve itself saves lives, do they? How would that even work? What would be the mechanism? We’d have to wait for a cure or vaccine. No one thinks we could actually do that, do they? What would the unemployment number be by then? Of course, I am still praying that God will make it just disappear one day. And who knows, He may. I so want us all shaking our heads in wonder saying, “Only God!”
But back to the way in which we are attempting, at the direction of experts, to artificially manipulate the curve. This manipulation could result in a peak in winter, which could cause the death rate to increase dramatically. I’m not suggesting this would happen. But I am very much in favor of potential unintended consequences being part of the discussion. Instead, we march forward without any pushback or questions for fear of being labeled uncaring. It’s disturbing, to say the least.
And, for me, the worst thing about it is the self-loathing.
I don’t know how many iterations there were of Candid Camera, but when I was in law school twenty-ish years ago, it was my favorite show. I think the intensity of studying lowered my threshold for hilarity, and it’s always been pretty low. Anyway, an episode from that era is one that Will and I still quote with fair frequency.
The joke was set up like this: a man, who has swam laps every morning for decades, arrives at the pool one day to find out that a new policy had been implemented. All of the lap swimmers were now required to wear life jackets. The man is infuriated, and explains that the policy is absurd, that he has been swimming laps at that very pool for years and years. The Candid Camera guy deadpans and explains nevertheless that’s the policy. He hands the swimmer a clumsy-looking orange life jacket, like you’d be issued on a cruise ship.
The swimmer, while strapping on the life jacket says, “I am NOT cooperating!”
And the Candid Camera guy perfectly and nonchalantly quips, “Well, you seem to be.”
It’s absolutely hilarious. Or it was, till 2020 arrived and I realized I am that guy. I feel like in my spirit I am fighting decision-making based on fear instead of evidence, but at the same time I’m strapping on the life jacket. It is so shameful.
I want to rip the life jacket off and set it ablaze.
Literally the worst thing that could happen to me as a follower of Christ is to meet my Savior face to face. And really that’s not even right. The worst thing that could happen is I meet my Savior face to face a few years earlier than I otherwise would have. Uhhh, okay! Sounds good to me. Sounds real good to me. May I die embracing truth and living courageously. May I never ever live in fear.
I honestly don’t even know how we got on this track. Why in the world would we voluntarily destroy the future of our children to pretend that we are avoiding deaths? If Whitney were still alive maybe she could use that unreal talent to remind us that the children are indeed our future. And there is no avoiding death. I’m gonna die. You are gonna die. Healthy young people are at essentially zero risk from the coronavirus. Why on earth would we be forcing them to stay home? It’s a course of action that is guaranteed to cause human suffering. Meanwhile both the models and the experts are proving to be tragically wrong, and to an utterly mind-boggling degree. The nosedive of civilization makes time of the essence. We are in desperate need of truth-tellers. We need courageous decision-makers. Where the heck are they?
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:8-12 ESVPsalm 5:8-12 ESV
Sadly some of the loudest voices in our culture are those with open grave throats. Be sure to avoid them, and seek refuge with the Lord. He is our faithful shield. He is where we can sing for joy.
Rejoicing that this life isn’t all there is, and praising God that He loves me even in my most unlovable moments, like when I strap on the lemming’s lifejacket instead of cling to Him.