By Kebour Ghenna
There has never been an Easter like this one. Through plagues and wars, even through famine and revolution, this never happened. It’s certainly a first since Christendom began in Ethiopia.
It’s too early to predict what the impact of this shocking break with tradition will mean for the future of the Church – or for the Church of the future. It is not too early, however, to assert that the impact will be felt for years to come.
What price victory in this good and necessary war to kill the virus?
As an ordinary observer, I feel increasingly that some things about this crisis – like the national state of emergency – are just not right, don’t pass the “smell test”, as they say.
Certainly, we are told that COVID-19 is more contagious than regular flu, that it spreads more quickly, and, yes, there is no vaccine yet available to counter it. All true. We also know that the vast majority of cases in the world and resultant deaths have occurred with the elderly who already have other health issues or compromised immune systems and who live clustered in assisted living centers, retirement homes, and in nursing homes. Yet there are far less restrictive ways to address it than preventing worship. Wearing masks, staying six feet apart, holding Mass outdoors – as it’s customarily done here, even taking a personal risk and then self-quarantining are far less restrictive than closing churches.
The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Let’s forget about our own case of 3 death due to Covid-19 IN THE LAST 3 MONTHS. In the US, during March of 2018 and 2019, there were 249,000 and 253,000 total death recorded respectively. Although total data on March 2020 deaths is still not out to offer a comparison, there were 4,053 COVID-19 deaths according to Worldometer. Does this warrants an international panic?
And yet, months of reported coronavirus deaths on various international media has scared the hell out of us. In post-treatment review it appears 8 in 10 COVID-19 related deaths (Italy) were actually due to underlying conditions [https://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/have-many-coronavirus-patien…/] such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 83.3% of Americans with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus infections have underlying medical conditions. Yet the news media keeps blasting higher death counts which is irresponsible.
Then you read about the financial incentive being given to hospitals to up-code cases of seasonal pneumonia by following newly issued CDC guidelines, to indicate they died of COVID-19 ($39,000 reimbursement instead of the normal $13,000) [https://www.foxnews.com/…/physician-blasts-cdc-coronavirus-… ]. So, is the CDC driving the appearance of COVID-19 deaths to push public demand for a vaccine out of what amounts to unsubstantiated fear?
It looks like the hype against Covid-19 is looking less and less like real science… and more and more like guess work.
Finally some relatively good news, many countries which saw the Coronavirus rise in the past weeks are now beginning to “re-open” for business, progressively and prudently, in stages. It’s time now for us to begin a similar process.
Remember we already live in a poor nation atop a mountain of debt….the sooner we go back to work and normalize life, the better for all concerned
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