March 20, 2020
Philip C. Johnson, Ph.D.
Stranded in Ukraine
By December 10th, one of the earliest known victims of the Corona Virus began to show symptoms – which means that the virus may have been transmitted to a human in late November 2019.
Chinese doctors discovered that the virus had come from the Wuhan wild animal market – a place where wild, sometimes exotic animals are sold for food. Somewhere in that unsanitary environment, the virus leapt from animal to human. Chinese medical professionals knew that this was a new, very infectious disease – but they were silenced by the Chinese Communist government, while this new, deadly disease took hold of the population.
Of course there are speculations that this virus did not begin in one of China’s wet markets, but in a bio-chemical lab in Wuhan – but I’ll leave that speculation alone for now. But what is not speculative is China’s warnings about denying the US life-saving drugs. China already controls production of 95% of the antibiotics we use in the US. How did we let THAT happen? Maybe our political slogan should change from “Make America Great Again” to “Make Stuff in America Again.”
Experts say that if China had responded to the Corona Virus immediately – and honestly, the virus could have been reduced by 95% in its geographic spread.
Now the Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19 is a verified global pandemic affecting 183 countries. As of March 20th, there are 255,201 cases worldwide with 10,456 deaths, but thankfully, nearly 90,000 recovering The numbers are constantly changing.
Fortunately, as more people get tested, the death rate percentage goes down. And medical teams are working around the clock on medications and a vaccine. There are some promising signs. But make no mistake, this is not the flu – and while we may find that the flu killed more people this year, you will not find that it was more infectious – or moved more rapidly. Time will give us perspective. What we know is that this is a new virus, people don’t have any natural immunity for it and with our globalized-connected world, disease can travel quickly.
Here are some takeaways:
- People will get sick and die – and that is always an immeasurable tragedy. But more people will survive than not.
- People will lose jobs and businesses will close. It’s hard to imagine some of those jobs coming back- but I want to be hopeful.
- We will get through this – we’re America.
But there are other takeaway for those who pay attention to the direction that the world is heading. There are things that have happened during this pandemic that will change life and thinking in America and the world in the years to come. Things that were once inconceivable will now be accepted without question, for example:
- With the fear this pandemic has brought, people have panicked and hoarded supplies in a way I have never seen in my lifetime. Expect it to happen again with just the slightest provocation that instability lurks ahead.
- Note how quickly populations have closed their borders – and with justifiable reasons, countries have simply closed down, viewing all others with suspicion. Eventually nations will have to work together to solve problems like this – but look for new alliances to be formed and new lines of animosity to appear.
- Social distancing. Closing restaurants, stores, cancelling concerts and sporting events, all proved to be remarkably easy. The social justification to help stop the spread of the virus seems perfectly reasonable. Still, there’s a sort of conditioning that’s taking place – a model of how to easily separate people and control the gathering of populations.
- Churches are closed. Yes – again, socially responsible choices to help stop the spread of a frightening new virus. But it began as a voluntary choice of churches and turned into an out and out ban (in some cases) of more than 10 people gathering together. While I think this situation will pass and things will more or less return to normal (for a while) – we have a new precedent on how quickly social gatherings and churches can be shut down in the name of “national security,” whether that turns out to be legitimate or not.
Just know that all that is happening during this time will come back. It will be used again, but perhaps for reasons other than health emergencies. And if you think that the Internet, social media and streaming will be our connection to our communities, information and ideas – don’t be surprised when governments shut down those channels if and when they feel too many rumors are spreading, creating panic. And it will always be for your own good. Just tune in to the official State information channel. People who are afraid, separated and confused by conflicting information are easy to control. They will willingly flock to any leader who promises them security and a return to normalcy.
Welcome to round one – a test run on how easily a nation can be shut down, from our economy, travel, our places of worship, our social groups, even our ability to hold elections. Can an entire world basically be shut down and people forced to “shelter in place” awaiting further instructions from their government? I think you’re witnessing that now.
Daniel 12:8-10: “Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.”