I am very disappointed in our government at all levels regarding coronavirus.
There comes a point at which a leader must instill calm in the populace and act rationally, in accordance with the threat. In this case the threat is a virus that has killed 41 Americans to date. All of them have been over 60, most over 70 or with compromised immune systems.
In a situation like this, if leaders fail to act rationally the panic caused by their actions becomes more dangerous than the virus itself.
Consider the edict of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Whitmer. She, like Gov. Cuomo of New York, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana, has declared, by executive fiat, a ban on all meetings of more than 250 people.
This includes gatherings both public and private.
Of course the media is all-in on the story, with 24/7 blanket coverage. They refuse to put out facts about this virus that would give context and proper perspective on the actual threat level we face. It is a threat that must be taken seriously. But it’s not nearly as big of a threat as the regular seasonal flu, or past pandemics like the Swine Flu. The response must be measured in accordance with the severity of the threat.
Notice how Gov. Whitmer and the others always preface these draconian announcements with “Out of an abundance of caution…”
Caution is one thing. Using state power to control people is another.
These are not recommendations or suggestions. These are executive orders holding the force of law. That means police have the power to arrest violators.
I personally am not afraid of this virus. But I am very afraid of my fellow citizens when they are motivated by fear, and when fear morphs into panic.
They have already cleaned out store shelves. There have been fistfights between store customers in New York and New Jersey, seeing who can wrestle away the last bag of toilet paper.
When grocery-store shelves go bare, people lose their minds. Rioting in the streets will inevitably follow.
Why? And for what?
I’ll tell you why. Because people see what happened in Italy, which has essentially declared martial law, shutting down transportation between cities and quarantining thousands of people.
Italy is a free country. If it can happen in Italy, people reason, it can happen here. When they see their governor declaring a national emergency, then their president, it’s suddenly not so big of a leap to think they, too, could be trapped in their homes for weeks.
President Trump has declared a national emergency. We will see what that brings.
I agree with Trump’s travel bans imposed on flights from China and Europe. This makes sense.
But the governors are overstepping the bounds of a free country when they order churches and other private entities to curtail freedom of assembly.
How many more stores will be emptied out? Will the shortage of toilet paper spread to bread, milk, and other basic foods? Will the buses and subway systems be shuttered? What about the interstate highways?
Again, I am not in fear over this virus. I am in fear that some of the rhetoric and extreme reactions to it could cause a pandemic of another kind — psychologically weak people doing stupid, selfish things out of fear and ignorance.
Let’s look at the numbers and try to get reacquainted with reality. The numbers are key if we will just look at them. (For updated coronavirus numbers, see WorldOMeter.)
Swine flu was much worse under Obama
Swine flu, which broke out during the Obama administration, infected 61 million Americans, killed more than 12,000 Americans and caused another 265,000 to be hospitalized.
The regular seasonal flu routinely kills between 20,000 and 70,000 Americans per year.
Compare these numbers to the coronavirus.
To date, fewer than 2,000 Americans have contracted coronavirus; it has killed 41 and fewer than a dozen Americans are currently hospitalized in serious or critical condition (this was as of 3 p.m. Friday).
I don’t recall any of the extreme measures we see being taken for this virus being enacted by Obama or the Democrat governors when they were dealing with a much more lethal illness. I don’t recall whole universities shutting down, entire school districts closing or NCAA sporting tournaments canceled. Disney stayed open, as did the NBA and the NHL. Churches remained open for the faithful to come and pray for the sick.
If we are Christians, fear has no dominion over us. We are to live fearlessly for Christ. The disciples of the first and second centuries faced much fiercer threats than a virus that for most people will be like a minor cold. Christians today in many parts of the world face much bigger threats, and they don’t cower in fear.
The truth is, we have grown too comfortable, too soft. On top of that we are led by dishonest and corrupt leaders with political agendas. They’ve become expert at playing on the all-too fragile emotions of modern Western man.
One governor after another is lining up to see if they can outdo each other, banning gatherings of all types, including church services. That is not only unconstitutional but irresponsible.
Be careful what you wish for
If we learned anything from coronavirus it’s this: People will gladly step into martial law. They will unquestioningly heed the words of their state and federal politicians, no matter how irrational, many of whom are not guided by sound reason but their own corrupt political agendas.
For these reasons, I encourage every Christian who is not sick, extremely old or immune-compromised to attend church services this Sunday! What are these governors going to do, post a cop at every church door to count the number of worshipers who enter?
If Gov. Whitmer wants to arrest me for going to church, I’m good with that.
Leo Hohmann is an independent freelance journalist, author of the 2017 book “Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad.” He is working on a follow-up that will investigate the Interfaith movement, which is ushering false and antichrist ideas into Western churches. To support his research and writing projects, please consider a donation of any size.