I’m curious how people think this pandemic will end. Especially those who refuse the vaccine and are convinced that masks and distancing are ineffective. What do they expect is going to happen to cause this thing to go away? Four and a half million people have already died worldwide from this virus that many expected to be no worse than the common flu. The numbers of infections and deaths continue to increase in the U.S. and are at the worst point. How will this end?
I decided to research how past pandemics ended, and it’s not a pretty sight. In the 6th century, a plague started in Egypt and spread across the Mediterranean into Europe. In North Africa, Asia, Europe, and Arabia, an estimated 30 to 50 million people died, as much as half the world’s population. The only thing people knew to do was avoid sick people. Somehow the pandemic just ended as apparently those who survived had some kind of immunity.
I hear that’s what many people expect today that a large number will have natural immunity and suffer mild symptoms at most. Yet, think about half the population dying. That would be 130 million people in the U.S. It doesn’t seem like an acceptable conclusion to me. Yet when people refuse to do anything to stop the virus, they’re living like those in the 6th century.
However, the plague returned 800 years later and hit Europe in the mid-14th century. This time 200 million died in just four years. It was known as the Black Death. Although they had no understanding of viruses and being contagious, they realized it had something to do with close contact, so they invented the concept of quarantine. The word “quarantine” originates from the word “four” and referred to 40 days.
The virus did not disappear and reared its ugly head in London every decade for the next three centuries. With each new plague, 20% of the population died. The final and perhaps the worst to hit London was in 1665, wiping out 100,000. Victims were locked in their homes for isolation with red crosses painted on their door. Apparently, they accomplished enough isolation to bring the outbreak to an end.
Smallpox originated in Europe, Asia, and Arabia, killing 30% of the people infected, but the worst devastation was experienced by the native populations when it was carried across the ocean in the 15th century by European explorers. There was no natural immunity, and they died by the millions. Over a period of 100 years, as much as 95% of the indigenous population of Mexico died. A couple of centuries later, smallpox was eradicated by a vaccine (go figure).
Cholera killed thousands in the 19th century. However, an enterprising doctor in London determined the source was the drinking water from one source. He was able to isolate the problem, and it disappeared. This led to a movement among the entire world to practice better sanitation.
None of these pandemics ended well. People were left with their own devices and hope that they might be the ones with natural immunity. These were the predecessors of those today who want to be left to their own devices when it comes to avoiding COVID. I guess they think they have immunity, or it will simply disappear before it gets to them. Some claim to be trusting God, but that’s not how God works.
Today I saw a Facebook post from a woman (I hate to admit I actually know this woman) who said she preferred risking her children’s life to having them live in tyranny. This John Henry-like call to arms is foolish. Her choice doesn’t need to be death or tyranny. The choice is death or wearing a mask for a few hours a day for a few months.
If people are willing to discount science, it should not be surprising that they live as did our 15th-century ancestors. Of course, they need to be reminded that the lifespan in those days was 33 years. This woman needs not to worry too much longer since both her children are approaching that age. Perhaps the livestock medicine might give them a few extra years.
Come on people. It’s time to stop being stupid. The pandemic is not going to disappear on its own. There will not be some magic hurricane that hits the Gulf Coast and blows the virus to the frozen north. The “do nothing” approach of some of our politicians will accomplish exactly that—nothing.
The tragedy is that the stupidity will take others with them. After all, it is a virus, and when you refuse to do your part, others are exposed. Oh well, no need to care for others as long as we can maintain our own freedom.
The argument that wearing a mask means giving up freedom is bogus.
This afternoon, Sharon dragged me to the big Kroger up the road since she had a hankering for donuts. She enticed me by telling me I didn’t even need to get out of the car. A few minutes of crowd watching is not a bad thing, and it wasn’t too hot, so I went for the ride. There were too many to count, but I estimate 35 to 40 percent of people going in and out of Kroger were wearing masks.
Although they had the freedom to choose, they did not have the freedom to go in without a shirt or shoes, which they all wore appropriately. What’s the difference? I’m sure some people would like to be barefoot, and a few others would like the coolness of not wearing a shirt (although one of the reasons I don’t like going into the Kroger is because it’s always freezing cold inside).
The rule about shoes and shirts is not because people don’t want to see your fabulous feet and beautiful boobs. The reason for these rules is because the health department would shut them down if they had a bunch of topless and shoeless shoppers. Freedom lost! What’s the difference?
The moment you choose to participate in a community, you surrender rights. Not all of them, of course, but some. If we all held on to every right and freedom, it would be anarchy. Ancient Israel is described as a nation where everyone did what was right in their own eyes. It’s a recurring theme in the Book of Judges; when they would fall away from God, God sent punishment and a Judge to bring them back, over and over. The last words of the book indicate this failure – “everyone did as they saw fit.”
“God be damned! My neighbors be damned! My health and my own family be damned! I’m going to do what I am free to do.”
If that’s what you want, none of us are long for this world. This pandemic will end like those before. Hundreds of millions of people will die before the virus runs its course. If that’s good enough for you as long as you don’t have to surrender any more rights (other than shoes, and shirts, and seatbelts, and traffic laws, and parking restrictions, and paying taxes, and…, and…, and) then rip off your mask, take off your shoes and shirt, and get on with it.