Thursday, January 20, 2022

A Little Less Self-Righteousness About COVID, Please

 While this is primarily aimed at Christians, it is sound advice for the rest of you, too.

The Christian church in America has polarized around how to respond to COVID-19.

1. "I have faith, not fear."  This is a variant of the prosperity gospel.  If I have faith that God will protect me, I will not get sick.  I know a few people who must not have had enough faith and ended up with it, anyway.  Anyone who goes to a doctor for a sinus infection or a heart attack but not for COVID-19 is not being serious.  If you get a flu shot every year (as most older people should), then this argument against vaccination is not serious.  (There may be others against the vaccination; I will get to that later.)

2. "This is a hoax."  I know too many people who have had it, including some who said #1.  A friend is a nurse back East and quite conservative.  He is seeing his patients dying of this crud.

3. "Masks do not work."   Cloth masks are indeed of questionable value.  This 2015 RCT of cloth vs. surgical masks found:

Conclusions This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

Even their 2020 update says that cloth masks are better than no masks but:

The study found that cloth mask wearers had higher rates of infection than even the standard practice control group of health workers, and the filtration provided by cloth masks was poor compared to surgical masks. 

N95 masks are better:

What to know about NIOSH-approved respirators

  • When worn consistently and properly, they provide the highest level of protection from particles, including the virus that causes COVID-19. Additionally, they contain your respiratory droplets and particles so you do not expose others.
  • They seal tightly to your face when fitted properly.
  • It is important to pick a respirator that fits your face and seals well since not all fit the same.
  • Respirators approved by NIOSH are evaluated against a specific US standard that includes a quality requirement.
  • They filter at least 95% of particles in the air when approved by NIOSH and when you have a proper fit.

The KN95 masks are made in China:

Poor quality KN95 respirators

  • About 60% of KN95 respirators NIOSH evaluated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 did not meet the requirements that they intended to meet.
    • Using a poor-quality product may not provide the level of protection indicated.
  • Learn about factors to consider when purchasing an international respirator. This webpage and a webinar provide reliable information to guide you.

 Gee, China shipping junk, who would have guessed?

4. "I will not be forced to wear a mask."  Americans hate to be told what to do.  While the cloth masks are not worth using, the N95 masks are.  (That link takes you to US-made N95s.)  Wearing them may reduce your risk (which is your risk to take), but reducing risk to others by controlling sneeze, cough and general exhalation of the virus is something you can do for everyone around you.  John 15:13 tells us: "No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends."  You are not giving your life; wearing a mask is a discomfort and nuisance.  Show your love for those around you who may not survive infection.

5. "This was used for political purposes."  No question.  We will correct this stunt in November.  Revenge is not Christian.  This isn't even revenge.  It is increasing risk for neighbors who might well have voted for Trump.

6. "We were lied to repeatedly."  Yes, every alternative treatment, even ones that have demonstrated efficacy, have been the subject of mocking and dishonesty.  The public health authorities have changed instructions so many times that you have reason to wonder how much was incompetence, changing conditions, and intentional deceit.  Their failures are not a reason to make a bad decision.

7. Microchips, tracking devices.  Show me one.  I hear that a friend of a friend was able to hang a magnet on his vaccination site.  Show me or stop spreading this claim.

On the other side:

1. "I am angry that Christians do not care about others."  Perhaps they do not see the larger picture or their anger has caused them to over react.  Let us watch for self-righteousness.  We all have areas of sin or stupidity.  This does not make those who disagree outside our fellowship once the disease either passes or gets under control.

2. "Why are they anti-science?"  Are you sure they are?  A lot of what was considered clear science about this a year ago is not so clear now.  The unwillingness to consider other treatment possibilities and occasionally outright false statements have made a lot of people skeptical of the scientists who are claiming to be experts; not necessarily skeptical of science.

3. "Why don't they get vaccinated, so we can put this behind us?"  Even countries with high vaccination rates are not doing all that well.  Fewer deaths but still a lot of sick people.  (That describes America as well; lots of new cases but not as many deaths.)  I suspect this will peter out as previous pandemics have done.  Also, many people have already had COVID and believe (rightly or wrongly) that they do not need the vaccine.  Britain's top scientist thinks they are about past the pandemic because 95% of the population is vaccinated or has antibodies.

A little less self-righteousness and contempt for other viewpoints (which may include some introspection) is needed on both sides.



  1. Comments that describe Democrats as inhuman or subhuman are dangerously close to portrayals of Jews or Republicans as rats and are not welcome here.

  2. What other term would you use for people who gleefully engage in mass torture and murder?

    1. Broken, deluded, and sinful. The most dangerous tyrants are the ones who believe that they are doing good. Greedy people do not usually pretend to themselves that they are doing good. But if a person is convinced that they are harming your for your own good or the society as a whole, they will never look in the mirror and say, "Are we the baddies?"

    2. While I can see where you're coming from, I don't think I can bring myself to do the same. I've seen far too many on the tyrant side whose comments and actions make it clear that they know exactly what kind of evil they're committing.

      At best, the useful idiots are sincere in thinking "it's for their own good," but the people actually pushing things forward (and their hired thugs, both the badge-wearing and brown-shirted versions) very clearly believe in making others suffer and die for the crime of threatening their mad power-grab.

    3. You think they are smart enough or educated enough to see where they are going? The Judenraten thought delivering their fellow Jews for extermination would save themselves and families.