Frustrated with COVID-19

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This coronavirus thing seems to be confusing everyone. And I’m getting a little tired of the confusion.

First, don’t read this to say that I don’t think this thing is real. It is.

But I am frustrated with it.

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When we first heard about it, some called it the Chinese flu. The word police decided that was a racist name (though we still call the 1918 flu the Spanish flu), so we renamed it the coronavirus. Then, we got all fancy and began calling it COVID-19. Like any of that helped.

Those were not all of the new terms we had to learn. First, we were told to “social distance,” which they said meant that we were all fine to go out in public as long as we stayed about six feet apart. We didn’t see much of the coronavirus locally then, except when you went to the store and learned that it had evidently eaten all of the toilet paper off the shelves.

Before we knew it, social distancing gave way to “shelter in place.” That’s another new term which we were told meant that we should stay home, not go out to eat, not go to work.

Except, it didn’t really mean that. Beauty shops and theaters and courthouses closed, and we couldn’t go inside a restaurant to eat. But law offices, car washes and gas stations stayed open. And while you couldn’t eat in a restaurant, you could walk into a service station/convenience store and buy and eat a hot dog.

Yesterday, I drove by a church where the pastor stood on the front steps and preached to a congregation of parked cars. Members couldn’t go inside their church, but after church they could go to Walmart or Family Dollar and stock up on chips and candy.

Remember the early projections? Millions would die in America. While everyone we lose is tragic — and we’ve lost people aplenty in Chambers County — the projections were not even close. And I pray that they never are.

Remember when Nancy Pelosi and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio invited people to meet them in New York, even though COVID-19 was already there? Weren’t they the same two who shortly thereafter called President Trump a racist for stopping the Chinese — remember that COVID-19 was already rampant and killing people in China — from coming here to infect us? How quickly things changed.

And President Trump is not without fault. Remember that after the virus hit he still held rallies?

Remember when the experts told us that face masks didn’t help? Have you noticed that those same experts are now telling us to wear face masks?

Does anyone else detect mixed messages? My head spins.

And to top things off, a new group of experts is now coming forward to say that sheltering in place is, in the long term, the worst possible solution.  It comes down to this: who do we trust to tell us the truth? Where do we turn for correct information? I’m not sure who that would be.

I know we are doing the best we can. But it strikes me that the best we can do is not very good. It strikes me that careful consideration has been eaten alive by mere reaction.

In ancient Israel, King David’s band of warriors – a rag-tag bunch at best – was just gaining strength. Men were flocking to him from all over. Finally, a leader they could believe in! And who did he count among his closest advisors? He found chiefs from the tribe of Issachar, described in the Bible as “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.”

I sure could use a few of them right now. If you run across any, let me know.