By Charlie Johnston
The Covid Virus is like a very weak predator which is murderously aggressive, preying ruthlessly on the weak, slow-moving immune systems of the old and vulnerable while barely bothering with the faster-moving systems of the young and healthy. For people 18 and under, the common flu is almost 30 times (30 times!) more deadly than a Covid infection. For people between 18 and 64, the flu is a little more deadly than Covid. But for people over 65, Covid is twice as deadly as the flu – and its virulence increases on a steep curve as age increases.
I have been dismayed to see some who are adamant that the government cannot force us to wear masks drift into ridiculing people who choose to wear masks. While I agree that this virus does not justify the draconian imposition of arbitrary government decrees on a free people, if my only choice is between bullying jackasses who want to impose their will on me and bullying jackasses who agree with me, I lose either way because I will not support bullying jackasses.
Each individual has the tools to know best what his level of vulnerability is and act accordingly. I know many people who look perfectly healthy and perform at a high level who, nonetheless, have critical vulnerabilities – because of age, conditions that are not obvious, or are undergoing medical therapies that compromise (even if temporarily) their immune systems. I am sensitive to this, in part, because I well know what it is to have a hidden disability. It has been over 17 years since I had an hour without significant pain. You would not know this unless you spent a lot of private time with me. I can go pretty hard when I want – but there is a price to be paid. Sometimes all is well, but many times I can barely move by the end of the evening. Sometimes I can barely move at the start of the day (and, boy, is that usually going to be a bad day!). A lot of times I have to lay down for a little while in order to prevent myself from having to lay down for several days. Get a neurological disability or disease, and “shepherding your strength” takes on a whole host of new meanings. Some people so afflicted whine all the time instead of being grateful for all they can do most of the time, driving people away because of their relentless self-pity; other people pretend they have no disability at all and crash and burn, making a manageable disability much worse. The trick is to understand and acknowledge your limitations without letting your disability define you. That requires prudent judgment – which is what this is all about. But it is fatuous and cruel for those who are not vulnerable to ridicule those who are (or even just think they are) – and that is not what any of us are called to be.
At the beginning of all this, there were enough unknowns about this virus that I did not strongly object to the proposed 14-day shutdown. It struck me as imprudent to take the unprecedented step of quarantining the heathy in a shotgun approach rather than the sick in a more rifled approach. That had never been done in the history of the world before and seemed likely to cause as many or more serious problems than it would help. But it was only for two weeks, so any damage done could be recovered from reasonably quickly. Four months later with never-ending lockdowns, the damage can’t begin to be repaired until we have crashed. Too many people think that the damage of this is just the lost wages and revenue. But like a murderously aggressive cancer that is silent until near the very end, we have hollowed out our economy in ways that are not at all yet apparent, but will be.
After the supposed initial two weeks, there was still much we did not yet know – but we did know enough to see that a targeted approach protecting the most vulnerable would work without the substantial collateral damage we were imposing. Instead, in New York, New Jersey and Michigan, governors forced the sick and the most vulnerable into nursing homes – and created an entirely predictable and preventable holocaust, while continuing to lock down the healthy. In a few states, such as Florida, governors acted with dispatch to protect the vulnerable while leaving most decisions of the healthy to the individuals involved. Sweden did little except isolate the most vulnerable and count on the common sense of its people. Unfortunately, the issue became so politicized, seen as more of a tool to get Donald Trump than a public health issue to be honestly managed, that the media attacked southern Republican governors as failures (Florida had a death rate of 21/100k. Texas was 11/100k) while lionizing New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had a death rate of 166/100k – more than 10 times that of Texas and almost that much higher than Florida. The media loves to note that Sweden’s death rate of 56/100k is higher than most of its neighbors, but NEVER note that it is only a third of that of New York – or that it is right in the mainstream of infections in most European countries, but did not devastate its economy nor bully its people to get such results. The chart above shows that the worst results have come largely from the left-wing states which enacted the most draconian dictates – the same states which have simultaneously adopted the most permissive approach to rioters and looters – and from which almost all of the violent destruction has come from. I don’t see how policies of oppressing the healthy and law-abiding while encouraging and helping the violently criminal is much of an argument for an election – but we live in strange times.
If the politicization of the virus only extended to praising those whose disastrous policies produced the most deaths, it would be tragi-comic. But the media and their partisan allies among public health officials were furiously and relentlessly hostile to hydroxychloroquine regimens (combined with zinc) merely because Trump found it promising. Some, such as Michigan’s Gov. Gretchen Whitmer even went so far as to make it a crime to prescribe this common anti-malarial drug for Covid. As it turns out, it is the most effective treatment to prevent death in those infected, as long as it is used quickly when symptoms appear. The media and both left-wing political and health authorities have not just gaslighted us: they have a LOT of blood on their hands in their reckless determination to get Trump no matter how many people have to die for them to accomplish it.
Covid is deadly dangerous to an easily identifiable segment of about 10% of the population. For the other 90% it is far more innocuous than a mild flu. That is not a guess. It is what the science says – though the left is not the least interested in “following the science” any time it contradicts their preferred narrative. If draconian dictates that contradict the Bill of Rights can be imposed because of this issue, they can be imposed at will for any reason – or no reason at all. That is what the left wants and that is why it must not stand.
As I noted, Covid IS deadly dangerous to about 10% of the population. In keeping with what I wrote about above about respecting the choice of all, I intend to practice what I preach at my talk on Sunday. A quarter of the theatre will be set aside for those who must social distance and prefer to wear masks.
The talk will be this Sunday, July 26, at the Lincoln Theatre, 245 E Ave. in Limon Colorado. We will begin at noon. I will speak at 1 p.m., then lunch will be served at 2 p.m., followed by group discussion open to all.
If you are planning on coming, please send a note to email@example.com.
I have had a number of Priests and Ministers contact me offering whatever help they can with our new CORAC group. I have decided to compile a spreadsheet of Priests around the country who are willing to do home Masses if the oppression of Christians by government officials continues to worsen. This spreadsheet will not be shared generally with other volunteers or coordinators in the organization. I will keep it to myself – and use it to give an individual coordinator a name and contact info when a genuine need arises – and will discuss it with the specific Priest before disclosing any information to another person.
Keep in mind that my goal is not to undermine or even go around proper Diocesan authorities. Rather, it is to support and reinvigorate them, hopefully giving them new heart at seeing there are faithful Catholics ready and willing to step out on behalf of and in defense of the faith. Thus, we will not violate any local Diocesan policies and will follow the lead of the local Bishop on such matters.
Any Priests or Ministers who would like to be on the private list may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am enthused to tell you that CORAC is helping with its first local project, set for the middle of next month – and in California, no less. I won’t tell you what the project is, for now…don’t want opponents trying to shut it down before it happens. It is a stand for religious liberty, for the Church and all who call on the name of the Lord. I will keep you updated. If any in California reading this want to participate, just drop me a line at the email address listed in the previous item and I will put you in contact with a local coordinator.
Here is an appeal to all the artists and illustrators we have out there. I am looking for both a logo and an artistic rendering of a mascot for CORAC (which, by the way, stands for the Corps of Renewal and Charity, if you don’t know.) The mascot will be a squirrel decked out in an aviator’s jacket and sunglasses with a jauntily cocked halo above his head. On the jacket should be several patches, including a prominent one that says “CORAC” and then a religious symbol such as the Sacred Heart or the Crusader’s Cross patch, as in the photo at right.
Squirrels became very dear to this site. They are amazing little animals. Individually, they are not the least bit intimidating or powerful. But glory! They are industrious, clever, tenacious problem solvers with no quit in them. If you don’t believe me, just buy a “squirrel-proof” bird feeder. Many are marketed as such, but none actually work. Squirrels always find a way.
My assistant, Mary Lapchak, has a plaque in her house that reads, “An army of squirrels…is still an army.” May we all be “squirrelly” in our tenacious refusal to accept defeat in this growing culture war around us.
I was never much of a fan of the Enlightenment French author and philosopher, Voltaire. I think the Enlightenment is highly over-rated and actually, for all the good it did, actually did terrible damage to our understanding of the nature of man. Of course, all the Enlightenment philosophers were liberals – but they were liberals that actually meant it. Voltaire’s single most famous quote was, “While I disapprove of what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.” The fatal flaw that will ultimately be the death of modern liberals is their illiberalism. Ironically, Voltaire did not actually say this. It was actually penned by a biographer, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, to describe his outraged attitude when he found that the government had condemned a book he did not like that was written by another philosopher. Can you imagine that? There was a time when liberals passionately defended the right to say even what they passionately disagreed with.
All of this went through my mind when I found that Twitter yesterday banned all accounts connected with QAnon, while limiting over 100,000 accounts that had linked to it. Regular readers know that I am largely indifferent to and skeptical of QAnon. I have many friends who think quite highly of it, though, and I see no serious harm in it, so you could say I am agnostic about QAnon. But I am utterly outraged that Twitter continues to host Antifa, BLM and other left-wing fascist organizations that actually promote violence and rioting while denouncing QAnon as a conspiracy site that poses a danger to the American public. A wise man once said that convincing a man to shut up is not the same thing as actually convincing him. Neither is forcing him. I pray ardently that the left and these toxic social media mavens will learn that to their sorrow this November.
I have to finish with this hilarious very short video showing how modern “woke” hipsters and actual racists are almost indistinguishable. I saw a comment the other day that described BLM as merely the “Ku Klux Klan in blackface.” No wonder Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam loves Antifa and BLM so much.
Less amusing is this piece about a black police officer from Portland. A lot of hysterical, young, white women are eager to use BLM to abuse and insult real black people in working out their vicious neuroses. These are strange times, these are ugly times. But the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart is coming. May all of us here be her heralds.