“Coronavirus”-2 operation: some more figures and reflections
The fight against COVID-19 has swept the entire planet. An inquiry is made below into the manipulation of numbers and effects of the quarantine regime on each of us.
Coronavirus victoriously marches the planet. Every day, news comes from different countries about the increase in the number of sick and dead, while the governments of these countries are engaged in a “whose-quarantine-is-tougher” competition. To understand what is happening, it makes sense to analyze the statistics, as well as to think about what to be ready for and what to do and, finally, what enormous spiritual benefit can be derived from this situation.
As of March 25, 2020, the number of coronavirus cases in the world exceeded 420 thousand people in 168 countries. Of these, almost 20 thousand died, more than 109 thousand were cured. In Ukraine, these figures are as follows: 113 confirmed cases, one cured and four dead.
Doctors have doubts about the true cause of death of the first in the list of the dead, a 71-year-old resident of the Zhytomyr region. Regarding the second deceased, a 33-year-old woman from Chernivtsi, there is a statement by doctors that death did not occur from the coronavirus but from cerebral edema resulting from a complex pathology of the nervous and endocrine systems. However, they are still considered victims of the coronavirus.
A similar practice of manipulative statistics is common all over the world. Every minute news feeds bustle with messages about more and more coronavirus victims. This means that it is necessary to stop the entire economy, social activity, and most importantly – to stop, finally, all worship services.
Throughout its history, the humanity had to survive a huge number of epidemics, but they never served as an excuse for the cessation of worship.
Throughout its history, the humanity had to survive a huge number of epidemics, but they never served as an excuse for the cessation of worship. On the contrary, mortal danger prompted people to pray as much as possible, asking God for mercy. Not only and not so much at home as by public worship.
We are now living the Holy Cross week of Great Lent. The Cross of Christ is honored in a special way three times a year: at Holy Week during Great Lent, on the day of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14 (according to the new style) and on August 1 (14 by new calendar) on the day of the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord. Moreover, the holiday of the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Life-Creating Cross of the Lord was introduced in Byzantium precisely in connection with epidemics.
The Greek Book of Hours explains the reason for this holiday:
“Because of the diseases that often happened in August, the tradition has long been established in Constantinople to take the Venerable Wood of the Cross to roads and streets to consecrate places and to avert disease.”
Our ancestors prayed fervently to God for the end of the epidemics not because of poorly developed medicine and certainly not because they were dumber than us. And today, the authorities should not close churches across the world but rather call on believers of all faiths to pray for an end to the disaster.
This was done, for example, by the captain of the ship, on which the prophet Jonah fled to Tarshish, and which was caught in a terrible storm:
“All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, ‘How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish’” (Jon. 1: 5-6).
But today, the “men at the wheel” arrest clergymen for performing services, as it was the case with Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythira in Greece. By the way, this is one of several Greek hierarchs who did not recognize the notorious Orthodox Church of Ukraine – OCU.
Ordinary people’s heads are continuously dinned with an idea that thousands of people in the world are dying of the dreadful coronavirus, which means that all the restrictive measures that government authorities take and will take, all prohibitions and restrictions on their rights are justified. However, it is not so. In order to understand this, one needs to understand one simple thing: people are mortal, they die. Every second. For different reasons. And no quarantine can prevent this.
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There is a publicly available website on the Internet that shows the number of people on the planet, the number of deaths and births in real time, and also gives some information on the demographics of the population by country. This information comes from the Population Division of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs. Turning to the data on this site, ond can get a true picture of mortality in the countries most affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
For example, the authorities of Italy, the most disadvantaged country in terms of the number of dead and sick, said that on March 21, 2020, about 800 people died from the coronavirus in the country. The figure is really big, quite capable of instilling panic horror. However, we now turn to statistics.
In Italy, in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, 1,137 deaths were fixed between 00:00 and 5:00 p.m. on March 22, 2020, which is 66.88 people per hour.
However, in 2019, 579,244 people died in Italy without any coronavirus, which is 1,587 people per day, or ... 66.12 people per hour. That is, the increase in mortality due to the coronavirus is generally within the limits of statistical error. Almost 800 deaths per day in Italy were really caused by the coronavirus, but the people died mainly for other reasons, while the coronavirus itself was a concomitant disease.
Even official medical statistics in Italy suggest that almost 50% of those who died from the coronavirus had three chronic diseases at once and almost 100% had at least one. Look at what is happening in Italy now. The quarantine regime is so rigorous that citizens have no right to go out at all, the cities are patrolled by an armed army and the streets are dotted with block posts. All economic activity has ceased altogether.
Question: where will the basic foodstuffs and commodities come from after stocks are used up? How will they be delivered to stores? And most importantly, where will people get the money to buy them? After all, enterprises do not work.
Politicians around the world choose to turn a blind eye to these issues, but it only makes the issues even more relevant. To any criticism of the restrictive actions of the government of any country, state leaders angrily reply, “what kind of reasoning you mean when it comes to people's lives, and the state is obliged to do everything to save them.”
Let us turn to the numbers again: since the beginning of 2020, 770,963 people have died from various infections of the lower respiratory tract (pneumonia, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, flu and whooping cough). Are these second-class people? Nothing has to be done to save them? Are we saving only those who contract the coronavirus?
Here is the figure on Ukraine: every day (!) In our country 11 people die from tuberculosis. Moreover, from April 1, 2020, the Ukrainian authorities have closed almost all tuberculosis dispensaries. Thousands of people with an open form of tuberculosis will simply be on the street despite the fact that today tuberculosis is no longer a disease of homeless people and prison inmates and hits quite prosperous sections of society.
Recently, the leading infectious disease doctor of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine Olga Golubovskaya said that in recent years in Ukraine the number of children (!) with an open form of tuberculosis has grown by 30%.
Most of the population believes in alarmist statements in the media and is scared to death of the coronavirus.
However, let us return to the coronavirus, more precisely, to the catastrophe arranged across the world under the pretext of combating it. Most scientists agree that COVID-19 is not a man-made virus; it was not specially produced in the laboratory. It emerged through natural mutations. However, the panic around the world because of this coronavirus is undoubtedly a man-made product. A very limited number of actors at the geopolitical level are leading the current crisis and deriving their global benefits from it. Most of the population believes in alarmist statements in the media and is scared to death of the coronavirus. A number of people, including politicians and doctors, understand what is happening but cannot do anything, thus living in this tideway of growing alarm.
For example, U.S. President Donald Trump, who recently stated that the topic of coronavirus is artificially inflated and up to 70 thousand people die of ordinary flu annually in the United States, today is forced to introduce a quarantine regime and thereby inflict a fierce blow on the country's economy. Unless he does it – every death caused by the coronavirus (or associated with it) will be chalked up to his account by his opponents, which will certainly affect his rating. The incumbent president can’t allow this to happen in the run-up to the US elections scheduled for the autumn.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who just recently pursued a reasonable “no-comprehensive-restrictions” policy which is to quarantine only citizens over 65 years old, is now forced to close schools, restaurants and enterprises, particularly because French President Emmanuel Macron threatened him with termination of all contacts between the two countries if he does not.
The most popular Ukrainian doctor, Yevgeny Komarovsky, who just recently made a relieving statement that we just have to get used to living with the coronavirus like with a normal flu, is now forced to back all quarantine measures, criticize religious processions and speak with horror about what awaits us at Easter.
Every virologist knows that any virus reduces its pathogenicity as the number of those infected increases.
And such a transition from a sensible assessment of the situation to solidarity with overall panic is taking place against the backdrop of statements by the World Health Organization about a gradual decrease in the pathogenicity of coronavirus. Moreover, every virologist knows that any virus reduces its pathogenicity with an increase in the number of infected. In other words, if as many people get ill with the coronavirus as with an ordinary flu, then mortality rates will hardly differ. This serves as a rationale of the actions of some very few countries, for example, the Netherlands, Sweden, partly Russia, Turkey and some others, which say that it is necessary to quarantine people over 65 and chronic patients, letting the rest naturally fight the coronavirus, therefore reducing its pathogenicity and developing immunity. Another positive side of this approach is that it will not kill (or finish off) the economy, as is now done worldwide.
But the vast majority of countries follow China’s lead, which managed to stop the spread of coronavirus through total quarantine. However, there are two points in this connection: China’s financial losses amounted to, according to various estimates, up to $ 200 billion, and all this will be useless as soon as China stops quarantine and opens its borders. The Chinese will again become ill with the coronavirus, since they have not developed immunity. But most likely, they will simply not say about it publicly so as not to spoil the image of the country that gained victory over the coronavirus.
Even now it turns out that China’s official statistics did not take into account more than 40 thousand infected people who were tested for coronavirus, nor does it have an idea of how many people with mild symptoms of the illness and who recovered on their own never did their tests.
Now let's consider possible consequences of total panic induced by the coronavirus.
Firstly, as mentioned in the previous article on this topic, this is an increase in the controllability of the population and its surveillance. Moreover, the increase is spasmodic. States will simply increase their control over each individual person by an order of magnitude: monitoring his movements, contacts with other people, and even his biological indicators like temperature, pulse, pressure etc. All this will be done with the consent of the person himself under the slogan of combating epidemics. After all, these measures are really effective. This will be exercised with the help of an ordinary smartphone, which is available to almost everyone. For example, in China, it was smartphones that revealed the circle of persons with whom an infected person contacted; their current location was determined,and they were sent to a hospital.
Everyone will have to wear fitness bracelets and ensure total monitoring of their temperature, pulse and other indicators, plus control of their movement and meetings. It will not be difficult.
Secondly, if the situation with coronavirus develops in the direction in which it is developing now, the world can anticipate a series of defaults of those states whose financial system simply cannot cope with the restrictions imposed. In addition, another type of dependence of some states on others is now increasingly apparent, a medical one. Some states can quickly create virus testing systems, vaccines for them and treatment, while others cannot. However, all states will urgently need this all. Consequently, for the sake of biological survival, they will have to bow down to those states whose medicine is at a higher level. Only those with robust economic systems can have a high-level medicine. And only highly developed states have such economies, a sustainable political system and more powerful armed forces to defend their power.
In general, everything is interconnected. Once again, the current coronavirus epidemic is just an episode. Sooner or later, some other “virus” will come in turn, which will require even greater efforts to combat it, and therefore even more control over the person. The necessary toolkit for this scenario is being tested right now.
Thirdly, the online economy will increase substantially. All countries recommend switching to remote work wherever possible. But the reverse process, after the coronavirus panic is over, will be less intensive. In other words, not many of those who went online today will come back. Today it suddenly turns out that it’s very convenient not to go to work, not to waste time on transport, not to go shopping and so on. All this can be done online. And even a medical consultation in a huge number of cases is more convenient without leaving your home but simply by contacting a doctor, giving him all the necessary evidence and conducting an external examination using a webcam.
Fourthly, today it turned out that the global economy and social life can be turned off simply by snapping one’s finger. "People, stay at home, deny yourselves everything, obey the orders of the authorities, because a terrible coronavirus is in the air." And everybody obediently stays at home and considers it absolutely natural and necessary.
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Can we move everything online? It’s partially possible for the economy. But how to move the Divine Liturgy online? Baptism of newborns? Is virtual Communion of the dying real? Has someone even thought that the ban on movement means that thousands of people will die without the last crucial words from the priest before their death? Those who could repent and be absolved of their sins will pass away without it. So we can talk not about bodily death but about eternal death.
It turned out to be very simple to fight religious organizations: they must be quarantined and that’s all.
Now we see how religious organizations all over the world are “turned off” in the snap of someone’s fingers alongside other enterprises, factories and public institutions. The government makes a decision and, for example, primacy-conscious Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew immediately orders to cease all worship services around the world, in all churches under his jurisdiction. In fact, no one knows when these restrictive measures will be lifted.
If we turn to the sacred canons, then every Christian, who has not been at the Divine Liturgy for three consecutive weeks without a good excuse, is excommunicated. It means after three weeks, everyone who listened to Patriarch Bartholomew and, just in case, who remained at home, would fall under this canon. It turned out to be very simple to fight religious organizations: they must be quarantined and that’s all.
From church history it is known that in the Middle Ages the popes imposed the so-called interdict, i.e. the prohibition of worship in a city or principality. But to have it on a global scale is unprecedented.
Finally, about the benefits of coronavirus and everything related to it. Many epidemiologists voiced a version that quite plausibly explains all the goings-on. It boils down to the fact that, according to recent data, there is a very high probability of the appearance of any deadly virus on earth, which means that humanity must be ready to face it. Therefore, it is quite possible that all the current alarm, all prohibitions and quarantines are nothing but planetary trainings, a rehearsal in case a virus appears on earth that will really take millions of lives.
After all, today we are afraid to die of the coronavirus, tomorrow – of something else. But let's think about the following: we will all die of something. If not today – there’s always tomorrow.
Famous Russian medical professional, head physician of the city clinical hospital named after M. Zhadkevich in Moscow, Alexander Miasnikov, in an interview with "Spas" channel said:
“Thank God that this (coronavirus – Ed.) is innocent, not aggressive, that this is not the most evil disease. There will come (a more terrible disease – Ed.), mark my word. There is a very good publication, it is called "The adversity in two mutations from us", namely in a couple of mutations from us. And it will be so. It will come from China, where a man, a pig, and a bird live very close to each other. Most likely it will be China or Africa. And may it be China, because they managed to come to grips with it quickly. What if it should be Cameroon, where AIDS came from? Or Ethiopia, where they will hardly understand what is going on... It can break out instantly then and sweep the Earth. So what we are doing now is very useful. We make no mistakes. Well, there are some ... Delay, procrastination ... But this is also good. Further we will know how to respond faster. When it breaks out next time, we’ll crush it and save millions of lives. Thanks to today's 'trainings'.”
This point of view is consistent with the data of epidemiology, which records an increase in outbreaks of infectious diseases and an increase in the likelihood of any mutation of the virus fatal to humans, as well as with the words of the Gospel: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24, 6-8).
The fear of the coronavirus should make us not only put on masks but also take the Gospel from the shelf, read it, and finally do something for our soul.
Anyway, the existing coronavirus and possible future epidemics are, in fact, the voice of God, urging a person to realize that he is mortal. After all, today we are afraid to die of the coronavirus, tomorrow – of something else. But let's think about the following: we will all die of something. If not today – there’s always tomorrow. No matter how a person tries to obscure the consciousness of death, no matter how he tries to live as if it is not there, no matter how hard he tries to delay its arrival, it will come for each of us anyway. No matter how much we are “quarantined”, no matter how much we isolate ourselves, sooner or later we will be infected with something, become ill with something, and die. The coronavirus just reminds us of this very loudly.
The fear of the coronavirus should force us not only to put on masks but also to take the Gospel from the shelf, read it and finally do something for our soul. Rummaging through your past, remembering your sins, repenting of them, asking for forgiveness from anyone, possibly, preparing for the inevitable death. One cannot escape death, but one can die in peace with God or in sins and enmity with your Creator.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus and the whole dimension of the changes taking place on the planet will shake the mind of many people and make them think about the sense of life, about God, about saving the soul. This is when we can have an enormous benefit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Someone is looking forward to the end of the quarantine to return to a closed nightclub or a restaurant. But someone will go to the Church despite all the prohibitions to say to God: “... Jesus, remember me, when you come into Your Kingdom!” (Luke 23: 42).