Counting on Death

A friend posted on Facebook about wanting to hear the number of deaths by all causes, not only COVID deaths, and how we would be shocked by the amount of death surrounding us. Yet because we’re ignoring all this death, we’re almost comfortable with it.

I responded thusly:

“Not to be too contrarian or to sound unfeeling, but while every life indeed has value, and all death is [tragic], we simply can’t expect every person to care about 9(?) billion people at one time. For one, we can’t control when/where/how everyone dies. Not even our own.

“Sure we can take certain measures to live healthy, and encourage/help friends and family do the same (but only to an extent. They still have the freedom to make their own choices). Life is hard/stressful enough to worry about everyone else on this planet.

“In other words, we should concern ourselves with what we have the power to influence or control (which ultimately is ourselves and little else), not with what we can’t. Eliminating death is a power we simply don’t have.

“And to add one more thing, I submit that to concentrate so much on country/worldwide deaths—by whatever means—is unhealthy. ‘Tis better to concentrate on living.”

To change directions a bit, I’ve been trying to write other entries, but I can’t seem to finish any of them. It’s part of why after that little burst last week, I’ve been largely silent. No words I’ve written seem to be good enough. When that happens, it’s usually because I’m avoiding the one subject I need to write about.

Part of it is what I wrote above, but also how we’re treating each other now. Yes, we like to say, “stay safe,” and “we’re all in this together,” yada, yada. We might even mean it. They’re lovely-sounding little platitudes that may make us feel good for a moment, but are ultimately useless. They don’t help those who can’t work and feed their family, or a person who’s in forced isolation, lost all hope and is contemplating suicide.

One of my concerns (and I have many in case you haven’t noticed) with all of this is how we’re now assuming every person we see–and not even come into contact with–is carrying the virus, and that to get even remotely close to them, we will automatically catch it and therefore die (or at least get deathly ill and spread it to others who will therefore die). We also assume that maybe, just maybe, because my coworker’s cousin’s best friend’s brother had it, we are now infected, too.

It’s the new leprosy where we all must hide ourselves away, and if someone comes close we must assume they (and we) are infected, back away and cry, “Unclean! Unclean!”

We’ve all become paranoid germaphobes, and worse, we are more than happy to isolate ourselves and others, and gleefully give up every freedom we’ve enjoyed (and taken for granted) for an unknown possibility of being infected with a virus that has nearly a 99% overall survival rate.

When Jesus described us as sheep, he couldn’t have been more accurate.

Okay. I feel better now. Next time I plan on my entry being a bit more hopeful and encouraging. I thank you for reading.

2 thoughts on “Counting on Death

  1. I do not think we are assuming anything when it comes to the Covid-19 Pandemic. We are simply following what the experts are telling us to do to minimize the number of deaths and serious illnesses from the pandemic. In my opinion, the self-isolation, to which we have been directed to voluntarily submit, is the least we can do to help saves lives and minimize those among us from having to undergo a sickness that can devastate one’s life, physically, emotionally, and financially, even if an infected person survives the illness. It is a lot like, why we do not tolerate drunk driving or even, if you want to compare the number of deaths that arise from from the behavior, murder. Just imagine if it was your parent, spouse, sibling, or child, who would contract Covid-19… It really is important that we self-isolate, as I would not wish that on anyone!

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    1. What if I was that parent, spouse, sibling or child who’s most susceptible to the virus? Is it right—or even moral—for me to make billions of people stop living to the point they may lose their jobs and unable to take care of their own family? My safety and health is MY responsibility, and I have no right to make others take that responsibility for me. Nor does our government have that responsibility (or the right), and we’re currently leaning toward tyranny. I guarantee if this continues, we’ll never get our freedoms back. Some states are arresting and giving up to $500 tickets because their church held services in a parking lot (private property), and no one even got out of their car.

      Even biblically all this makes no sense. When people contracted leprosy (or any other sickness), did God demand everyone self-isolate, quit working and being a part of a community? No. According to Leviticus, the person with leprosy (or other sickness) had to isolate themselves for a time (usually in seven-day increments until the symptoms went away, and then they waited seven days more to make sure). It was their responsibility to make sure it didn’t spread. The same applies here.

      COVID-19 is not leprosy. Not even close, because so far it has an almost 99% recovery rate, and many who got it never even knew they had it, the symptoms were so mild. Plus, as long as people wash their hands, refrain from touching their face and maintain a reasonable distance from others, the chances of contracting it are greatly reduced (and that’s assuming everyone they come into contact with has it, which so far it’s proving not everyone does).

      If you completely trust the experts and government recommendations, fine, go ahead and do everything they suggest. That’s your right, but it’s not right to demand (or even any of your business, honestly) that everyone else does the same, especially those you will never in your lifetime come into contact with.

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