The “Spanish Flu” of 1918 was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It is estimated that 500 million people, one-third of the world’s population, became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be 50-100 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States!
Far worse was the plague of the 14th century. An estimated 75-200 million people, including a third of the Europe’s entire population perished. The “black death” lingered on for centuries, particularly in cities. Outbreaks included the Great Plague of London (1665-66), in which at least 70,000 died.
As bad as the current Corona/Chinese/Covid-19 virus is, things have been worse and could get worse. Can you imagine where we would be today if this virus had happened only 50 years ago? With no social media, a lack of coordinated clinics all over the world and limited technology, the present pandemic could have been more catastrophic than the black plague. Evil as life, we will survive this sad chapter in human history and we will be stronger, wiser and, prayerfully, more humble about our limitations.
While some of our politicians are still telling us that attending church is not “essential” during this crisis, nor is tending to our lawns or visiting the hardware store for supplies for our homes, the same governors and mayors maintain that the sale legal marijuana, alcohol, and lottery tickets available is essential for life (this really happened just a few days ago in Michigan!)
The truth is that sane people are no longer talking about climate change, legalization of pot, or immigration reform, etc. Important those these issues might be, suddenly the survival of mankind and the continuation of our “flawed” democracy and a return to our “selfish capitalist economy”, replete with its inequalities, seems a lot better than the repression we’re now forced to live under.
We’re being forced to decide what is essential and what is non-essential—that’s a good thing. And for the record, the Governor has it wrong about liquor, pot and gambling as essential for life. She’s got it backwards and is pandering to her constiutents worst instincts. What is essential in life of —-and the life of our nation-—is to humble ourselves before our Creator and enter into the sober confession that we have chased insignificant and erroneous things that do not add value to live and have celebrated the wrong people that are doing the worst things. We have chosen to believe that the banal things are necessary for a full-life and that the destructive things are indispensable. How insane and indefensible. Sometimes it takes a plowshare of suffering and tragedy to wake a soul up…. or a nation
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