Week 5 of the Coronavirus pandemic



There is a beautiful bit of clear and easy philosophy in the Old Testament, in Ecclesiastes 8-17, that goes like this: “Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man can- not find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.”

This says that a wise man claims to know the way but not even the wise man can show us the way.

This kind of truth is played out for all of us to watch and listen to everyday when the president goes on television with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx.

Doctors Fauci and Birx are the nation’s leading epidemiologist.

We should listen to them…and most of us do. But when they have finished with their daily mix of medical facts and fiction, a mixture of what is known and what is unknown about the virus, we are no further down the road toward having a clear understanding of what needs to come next because, frankly, they don’t know.

Facemasks are good. Facemasks don’t stop the virus.

Facemasks are good for those with the virus, not in stopping the virus.

Gloves must be worn.

Gloves must be changed.

Gloves touching any surface must be immediately changed. When we boil this down we come in contact with what we already know – there aren’t enough pairs of gloves in the universe to satisfy our needs for one day.

Distancing helps. Distancing is good. Distancing is necessary.

Distancing seems sensible. Distancing keeps us away from those who are sick as well as from those who are not sick who might become sick.

Distancing proves we can bring down the number of infected.

The virus produces asymptomatic carriers.

What does this mean?

It means many of us are carrying the virus but don’t know it and might come down with it at any time.

That’s a nice how do you do, isn’t it?

How do you protect against a virus like that?

All the testing in the world can’t stop a virus that is carried latently in all of us or many of us.

What does the testing do?

It tells us, according to those who claim to know, how great the spread of the virus is in any given geography where testing can establish the extent to which the virus is prevalent.

We all get this.

Testing is needed everywhere to determine safety standards for everyone.

Yet there is not enough testing going on.

We know this for sure – deaths from the virus are happening by about 500 a day in Massachusetts and the numbers of infected are coming in at more than 1,000 a day – and we are not yet at the height of this madness.

Some of our cities here in Great- er Boston are in the throes of a possible catastrophe, and this includes Everett, which now ranks number six with infections per thousand in Massachusetts.

Chelsea and Revere are number one and nine respectively as this week gets underway.

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Tracy Ferrante (left) and Kathleen Penza collect donated flowers to salute their efforts during the pandemic. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Now comes the brilliance of Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”

When we watch on television or see it on the Internet, flag waving Americans wanting the shut down to stop in states where the virus is causing havoc, sickness and death, we are left with the immutable feeling that we are doomed as a society.

How can people be found to cheer and to demonstrate for their freedom when that easy escape from the boredom of being inside might infect them and everyone in their family?

What kind of ignorant lunatics act this way, many of us are left to wonder.

Every one of us doubts everything these days when nothing seems to matter but ourselves.

What do Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx know? What does the president know? What do reporters asking them questions know? What do Democrats know that Republicans don’t know?

Why is it so hard for Americans to pay attention to what is right and smart to do?

How do we make people aware?

Everyone doubting the danger of the virus should be forced to spend an afternoon with emergency medical doctors, nurses and volunteers in our emergency rooms and our over-crowded hospitals.

Maybe then, we would all understand.

Just for kicks, if you are an average Everett resident, go about the city and try to find surgical masks and plastic gloves.

You can’t.

What does that tell you?

That the government is letting you down.

Watch CNN when the president comes on, you will know how badly the government is misreading this crisis which has crushed the economy and whose effect will be felt for man years to come.

The virus isn’t a game. It is a deadly reality trying its best to take advantage of us and to destroy us if we don’t fight back.

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