Tuesday, April 21, 2020

COVID-19


COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and the Church
B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, April 21, 2020; Last Update July 13, 2020

A strange thing just happened and most Christians didn’t think twice about it. I’m not talking about the debate over the age of the earth or the problems with evolution. In many parts of the Western World—especially here in the USA, a secular government suggested churches and ministries close their doors for a time, and they did it.

This should be a wake-up call for Christians. It wasn’t a communistic government, or a secular king, emperor, or dictator, but our local, state, and federal government that we elected that first suggested it, then demanded it and have gone so far as to arrest pastors who will not comply.[1] They’ve levelled threats to permanently shut down churches as well.[2] And now mass layoffs and dismissals have left many families wondering where they are going to get their next meal.   

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)—how does this pandemic stack up?


What could cause such a panic and scare? How many millions have died to warrant such a response? Zero millions. Yes. Zero millions. And yet people have lost jobs, businesses, property, and are struggling to survive and feed their families. This government-imposed economic collapse and quarantine is on a self-inflicted scale that is nearly unprecedented.

The statistics of deaths involving coronavirus is sadly very inaccurate. There are reasons of course.  First, the data coming from China, is untrustworthy due to the cover ups occurring. The data in the USA is also skewed. The CDC changed documentation rules to insist that doctors to code death as COVID-19 even if there was no testing to verify it. So the data is suspect. Massive increases began to occur as a result of this.

Secondly, the government is giving a certain amount of money to hospitals per patient that had COVID-19 and died and even more money if said person who died utilized a ventilator (per the CARES Act of 2020).[3] So it became a cash cow instead of getting accurate data. Interestingly deaths by flu, pneumonia, cancer, heart disease, etc. suddenly waned! So the numbers are skewed very high due to untruthful reporting. These are consequences of a secular culture.

Nevertheless, even with these skewed numbers, it is at most comparable to the flu virus mortality rate. The flu has about 291,000-646,000 yearly deaths which dwarfs the COVID-19 pandemic.[4] Each year we do not go to such measures as forcing businesses and churches to shut their doors when flu seasons rears its ugly head.

Mosquitoes cause human deaths per year at a rate of about 725,000 per year, which also dwarfs  COVID-19.[5] By way of comparison, Black Death, which peaked from AD 1347-1351, killed 25 million people in Europe but if you include the Near East is was closer to 75 -200 million people. The flu, mosquitoes, and  the seven cholera pandemics[6] or the Black Death make COVID-19 seems quite trivial.

Although these numbers are staggering, there is one more that dwarfs these. Child sacrifice, in its modern form of abortion, is the  leading cause of death where about 1,437,000 deaths occur per year in the United States alone.[7] Interesting how government officials were quick to have church gatherings close “for our safety”, but the same officials permitted Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the US to continue their operations.

Worldwide, there are about 40,000,000-50,000,000 deaths of human babies by abortion (child sacrifice) per year.[8] It makes COVID-19 seem a bit mundane. This doesn’t mean COVID-19  isn’t serious—it is—but is our response worth the loss in other ways?

Mortality Rate of COVID-19 


Furthermore, there is a lot more to understand about this virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Initial models of the mortality rate were staggering.[9] The mortality rate was later reduced to about 3.4%.[10] Thus the overall survival rate would have been about 96.6%. But this is the extreme.

Newer data as reported in a medical journal is more indicative of a mortality rate closer to 0.66% meaning that the survival rate is actually about 99.34%.[11] Estimates of about 80-90% of people infected recover on their own with mild symptoms[12],[13]—showing how the virus has little effect on many. Those under 50 as well as  healthy have a 99% recovery rate—those without preexisting conditions.[14]

Those aged 65 and beyond and/or have an underlying medical conditions (e.g., cardiovascular, diabetes, chronic respiratory, hypertension, and cancer) are at a higher risk for fatality. A good example of this is in Italy. Italy is under a lockdown right now. The Italian National Institute of Health leaked that two of their 1000 deaths (at the time) were strictly related to Coronavirus.[15] The others were due to preexisting conditions but the blame goes to COVID-19.  

Initially, the World Health Organization (WHO) the breakdown or mortality rate is[16]:

·         Ages 40-49: 0.4%
·         Ages 50-59: 1.3%
·         Ages 60-69: 3.6%
·         Ages 70-79: 8%
·         Ages 80+: 14.8%

From newborns to age 39 were an extremely low rate where ages groups from  10-39 was only 0.2% and those under 10 were nearly 0% fatality.[17]  Since that article was published a few children have died, but again it was usually associated with preexisting conditions. Even this data has been rather high after seeing the reality of the situation. Currently, the fatality rates have dropped based on actual data (albeit, skewed high) to between 0.1-0.36%.[18]

Another interesting statistic is that those people who were without any pre-existing conditions only had a death rate of 0.9%, which means 99.1% recover from COVID-19.[19] This is much more consistent with the 99.34% recover rate from newer data. {Editorial note: as of May 25, 2020, based on the observed data from the CDC is 99.74% survival rate.}

According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control, studies found that people under the age of 30, although they were in more contact with others, were the lowest rates of even contacting the disease. Teens in China, for example, only had a rate of 1.2% contraction rate and only 0.2% of them ended in death.[20] Even with all this data, by the time you read this, it may have changed again!

Another fact to consider has been blood types. Researchers found that people with blood type A were more susceptible to the COVID-19 where people with blood type O were least susceptible to it.[21] 

Efforts are in place to help slow the spread of the virus—such as social distancing of at least 6 feet and no group gatherings of more than 10 people—except at some places like Planned Parenthood (baby killing offices) and grocery stores. Yet we know the virus is transmitted in airborne fashion. It can last in the air for upwards of 3 hours and remain viable on surfaces more than that.[22] So someone coughing outside with a 10 mph wind can carry a viable virus 30 miles. 

Is there a cure in sight?

Medical personnel and researchers are working diligently to solve how to deal with this virus. In France, Dr. Didier Raoult and colleague Dr. Chandra Duggirala, are publishing a peer-reviewed study (which has been accepted in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents by Elsevier) where they were able to treat all 40 patients with COVID-19 within 6 days.[23] 

Professor David Paterso  of the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research pointed out that there are other promising drugs for use which both show ability in laboratory studies.[24] 

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is fast tracking the drugs through trials as I write this.[25] These treatment options  are one step. Currently they are showing some promise, but caution as well. It’s clearly not a “cure-all” drug for the COVID-19 virus.

A number of companies are working on vaccines (you can find out more on their respective websites). But in short, some work underway is:

o   Moderna Inc.’s mRNA-1273 is one vaccine candidate.
o   CureVac is using a man-made mRNA to spur the production of proteins to have a testing candidate ready within a few months.
o   Inovio’s INO-4800 is expected to hit clinical trials later this year.
o   Johnson & Johnson is working on a deactivated COVID-19 virus to so how the human body reacts with antibodies; while testing previous medicines and how they might work against it.
o   Regeneron, Sanofi, and others are working on ways to fight the virus in different ways with future testing.

So a widespread treatment maybe upon us quicker than we anticipate.

Why the panic and what can Christians do?


When people get scared, they get scared. They run for toilet paper and other essentials and get in the mindset that the “Walking Dead”  and other end-of-the-world scenarios are about to occur. So they prepare. When government officials fuel this fire, businesses close, and panic really sets in—and the average person takes the brunt of it. But churches, ministries, and small businesses also get hit rather hard too.    

By way of numbers, this was never a virus to fear—yes, it’s dangerous, but the world’s knee-jerk reaction may have been a bit much. COVID-19 is similar to SARS and MERS which we, as a society and culture, easily survived a few years back with some causalities.[26] COVID-19’s official virus name is actually SARS-CoV-2. We survived H1N1, which infected 60 million people in 2009 too.[27] But fear has gripped our culture so much that even churches are coerced not to meet—in some cases for fear of government interference and force.

For the first time in history, those who are not sick and those not exposed to the virus are put into isolation [editor: and now having unwarranted face masks imposed on us]. Normally and for biblical reasons, if someone was sick, they were put “out of the camp” or in “isolation”. If someone was exposed to a sick person they were put into quarantine to see if they developed symptoms to then go into isolation or not. But those not exposed and without a disease, were still free to move about and do daily activities. This government mandate for isolating people who are well is odd and restrictive of rights but shows the secular influence of a mind that cannot think properly (e.g., Titus 1:15).

Then we are told to love our neighbor by not spreading the disease by isolation. This sounds nice on the surface, but it is the second greatest commandment. We, as Christians, don’t do this with a far deadlier diseases like the flu or refuse to meet when mosquitoes are flying around. The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all you hearts, soul, mind, and strength. To love God is to obey Him. We are to obey God first (1 John 5:2-3), then love our neighbor second.  God says,

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV) 

We don’t have to fear SARS, MERS, mosquitoes, COVID-19,  flu, and so on when we keep our eyes on Christ—even though humanly-speaking, it’s really scary. Naturally, if someone is sick, then refrain from live meetings, even small groups, until healed. But stay connected in other ways if necessary. Continue to have a heart of giving and looking after each other even in the hard times.

We, as Christians, should not have a spirit of fear but instead fear the Lord—who gives us the strength to stand strong against adversity. Bear in mind God’s promises that “while the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease”—Genesis 8:22 (NKJV). And we should be an example to the world of how we take care of each other’s needs. Consider:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)    

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17  (NKJV)

Meanwhile, we should be doing the Lord’s business until He comes. Love God, love our neighbor, and continue to do His bidding until He comes.

Please be in prayer for the church, ministries, and our culture. Our society needs to confess our sin and repent of the heinous sins such as child sacrifice (i.e., abortion), sexual perversion, and chasing false religions. People need the Lord.  




[6] The seven cholera pandemics have taken the lives of about 38 million people from 1817-1917. Each year cholera still takes about 21,000-143,000 people’s lives; https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cholera; and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera_outbreaks_and_pandemics.
[17] Ibid.
[20] Ibid.
[24] Ibid.

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