Being a self isolator gives me plenty of time to reflect, plenty of time to ponder and plenty of time for the confession of many things. Today’s confession is no cause for shame, it is just a fact. I confess, I never really liked math all that much. I mean math’s all about the numbers, right? And numbers can be confusing if you ask me. So I was never very good at math. Was that because I didn’t like it or did I not like math because I wasn’t good at it? This is the classic chicken or the egg dilemma, which has no answer.
I also have no answer for all the numbers connected with COVID-19 that I see daily on the news. Numbers can be confusing. They say numbers don’t lie. Maybe they don’t, but people do lie and sometimes they use numbers to do their dirty work for them.
We are shown numbers every night on the news (really 24/7), a running tally of deaths due to COVID-19. Surrounding that are numbers of newly identified cases, numbers tested, numbers admitted to hospitals . . . where are the recovery numbers? Even though the death count has been rising, the mortality rate has been going down. That’s a secret the numbers could share with us if we would look more closely at them.
Jesus said in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is true for more than just spiritual matters. We can’t make good decisions for ourselves and for our communities if we don’t know what is fiction and what is fact – what is true and what is false.
Some truths are harder to hear than others, but that doesn’t mean we should turn our backs on those truths and pretend they do not exist. What are the numbers telling us. What about the number 46,438? That’s the worldwide number of deaths from COVID-19 from January 1 through April 1 2020. That’s a big number right? No wonder all these drastic measures that have never before been imposed on a population of free people are now being implemented. Drastic times call for drastic measures, right?
I mean, no one wants people to die, do they? Something has to be done. So imagine my surprise when I saw this next number for the same time period of January 1 through April 1. That number is 121,993 – the number of seasonal flu deaths which have been occurring at literally the same time we have been counting COVID-19 deaths. (and that’s with a vaccine) Why haven’t those death counts been given to me at every news cast – morning, noon and night? Don’t I need to know this information as well so that I can protect myself and those I love?
Ok, so 121,993 is definitely a bigger number than the 46,438 COVID-19 deaths, right? Actually, the flu deaths are more than twice the COVID-19 deaths, but apparently that is not deemed important. Who decides what is important information for us to know and what is not important for us to know?
Here’s a truth that surprised me. Worldwide suicide deaths for this same time period (which is this current year, 2020) are 269,076. I guess you can see for yourself that number is more than five times the number of COVID-19 deaths for the same time period?
The numbers may be speaking but no one is listening. Here are some numbers I had not heard before, but then the media doesn’t deem it necessary for me to know them. Traffic deaths for this same time period – 338,715 people. Alcohol – 627,571 deaths; from smoking – 1,254,352 deaths just in these same months of January through end of March.
Are these numbers speaking to you? These deaths in each category far outweigh the COVID-19 deaths for the exact same time period. Yet we are still allowing the sale of alcohol and of cigarettes (they must be deemed essential services/businesses is all I can conclude from this) all the while taxing them to make money. Isn’t this profiting from something we know without a doubt (according to the numbers, and numbers don’t lie) causes many times over the number of deaths that COVID-19 is currently causing?
How can this be? We shut down an entire free society in the name of preventing death while continuing in the sale of alcohol and tobacco products, which cause exponentially more deaths than the virus we are claiming to fight. Something is not adding up here. I said I was not good with numbers, but some of you are, dear readers. So see what sense you can make of the following numbers.
Deaths from hunger for this same time period in 2020 are 2,806,314. How can this be? Where is the outrage? Where is the hourly death count on my TV screen? That is a death count sixty times higher than the count from this virus. I don’t understand at all.
People are dying every day. From illnesses, from suicide, from car accidents, from alcohol, from smoking, from hunger, . . . the list is longer but the reality is that we have never in the past restricted people’s freedoms, closed their places of worship, closed their places of business, closed their schools and their libraries and forbid them to leave their homes – and yet death and its myriad causes has always been with us as a society.
Why now? Where was the outrage when people were not getting their children properly immunized against measles, leading to multiple outbreaks after it had all but been eradicated? This current reaction to COVID-19 couched in concern for the elderly and those with underlying conditions, doesn’t add up – the numbers don’t add up. Take a look at one last number.
Ten million, six hundred sixty five thousand, one hundred thirty (10,665,130) deaths due to abortion worldwide during this same time period. I don’t know that I have adequate words to put the magnitude of that loss of human life into perspective. I will just let the number speak to you for itself. Hopefully you will listen and hear the truth the numbers are telling us each and every day.
I said I was not a numbers person. But I have to heed the numbers and learn from them what they would reveal to me. They are telling me something is not right. Suicide and hunger are killing so many more people than the virus is right now. And ironically, it is suicide and hunger along with alcohol consumption that are on the rise as a direct result of all the shut down orders, closing businesses, thereby putting many people out of work.
We are told it is for the common good. Is it? If it were the common good, we wouldn’t allow the sale of alcohol or cigarettes because those numbers are way higher than the COVID-19 numbers. And at every news briefing we are told we have to wait on the virus numbers to come down. What about all the other higher numbers? (including the economic numbers) Don’t they matter?
Don’t we get to decide that? If my church is open, I don’t have to attend. Or if I choose to attend, I don’t have to shake hands or hug someone if I am afraid. The media has filled us with fear, and with guilt. If we don’t do what they say, then obviously, we are not compassionate, we want people to die. We want our own elderly relatives to die, if we don’t do what they say.
Aren’t local businesses capable of figuring out for themselves how to protect their customers, by instituting new protocols if necessary. If things open back up, I am not required to go there but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be open for people who do want to come. We can wash our hands, social distance and have our daily lives back again in the bargain. It is not either/or, we can do both.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Declaration of Independence)
All life is to be valued and protected, including the ten million plus that lost their lives to abortion in the last three months. Life is of value on both ends of the spectrum. We can keep our nursing homes closed to visitors and open up our businesses simultaneously. We should not put people out of work, deny children a public education, deny individuals the right to assemble for worship, close our parks and our museums all under the disguise of saving lives.
We have already seen by the numbers that loss of life is a daily occurrence that has never before been compounded by the additional hardships that forced joblessness brings with it. At a time when we need each other the most, we are being told to isolate ourselves. And remember, the newscasters that are telling us it is too soon to go back, they still have their jobs, their incomes and their daily routines. They are making rules for the rest of us.
Each local community can use common sense and compassion to guide them in coping with this virus as well as in coping with other challenges, (such as flu, hunger, alcohol and drug addiction, suicide etc.) that affect much greater numbers of our population.
They are telling us to look at the numbers. If we were truly looking at the numbers, all the numbers, not just the numbers they want us to focus on, we would be deciding differently for ourselves than they are deciding for us.
Life is precious. No one wants anyone to die. Which brings me to my final number. One hundred percent.
“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-” (John 1:12)
“For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
sincerely, Grace Day