COVID and the Death of Common Sense

Someone shared this article taken from here . Our Diocesan clergy had a zoom meeting with the bishop a few days ago which, by the way, is nothing new. We’ve been having teleconference meetings long before COVID. The bishop instituted them a few years ago as a monthly thing. Sometimes productive, sometimes not so, they are always opportunities to share ideas and thoughts. Sometimes just to hear from someone, from fellow clergy and their bishop, is productive enough Anyways, at our last meeting one of the priests the question: Have we used anything we learned from the 1918-19 pandemic of 2020/21? In his opinion, No. We are divided. Mostly about the measures. I think, for the most part, we all agree that there is a serious virus out there and we have to be careful. But just how careful and what’s necessary to do and what’s not….well, that’s another question.

Dr. Singleton brings up some interesting point in this piece:

The New Wasteland: COVID-19’s Shameful Legacy

By Marilyn Singleton, MD JD

Discarded surgical masks strewn along the sidewalk aptly represent COVID-19’s lasting legacy. The federal medical bureaucracy’s response to the pandemic has resulted in a wasteland of lost economic and educational opportunities, psychologically damaged children, terminally lonely nursing home residents, and lives lost to suicide, illicit drug overdoses, and missed diagnoses. 

Thanks to the lockdowns, 140,104 businesses were temporarily closed and 97,966 were permanently closed by September 2020 according to a Yelp survey. Significantly, more than half of these were local small businesses—and small businesses employ nearly half of all American workers. Predictably, the workers who were most affected were not the professionals pulling in a paycheck while working from home. They were the working-class folks whose jobs the bureaucrats considered non-essential.

The disruption of children’s education and socialization will haunt us for years to come in terms of earning potential and mental health. The central planners punished children for months although the mortality in children from COVID-19 is roughly equivalent to that of influenza year to year. Moreover, CDC data shows that attending school or child care was not associated with having positive SARS-CoV-2 test results. 

So why were children barred from attending school? To protect Grandma. Even if children were found to be transmitters of disease—they haven’t been, a sensible alternative to depriving all students of a proper education and social life would have been to ask children whether elders lived in their homes. If so, that group could have been provided with educational accommodations. But the way of bureaucracy is all or none with no room for individual considerations.

Typical of blanket decrees, the most vulnerable fared the worst. Thirty percent of parents from low-income homes reported that their children never logged on to the computer for virtual schooling. And almost half of special needs children received no support. Worse yet, insurance claims for pediatric mental health visits as well as teen overdoses doubled in March and April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.  

Adults fell prey to the dangers of lockdowns. There was an increase in alcohol sales, use of prescription anti-anxiety medications, and domestic violence, Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationreported a 24 percent increase in traffic deaths in 2020. Almost two-thirds of the seriously or fatally injured tested positive for alcohol, marijuana, or opioids. According to the CDC, the 12 months ending May 2020 had the highest number of U.S. overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period (more than 81,000). This increase was mainly due to illicitly obtained fentanyl. 

Anyone who isn’t hidden away in an ivory tower could predict that isolated people deprived indefinitely of their livelihoods, recreational outlets, and family relationships would sink into depression. The CDC reportedin late June, that 40 percent of U.S. adults surveyed were struggling with mental health or substance abuse. And 11% say they seriously considered suicide. These unintended consequences were foreseeable yet Americans were subjected to social isolation in the face of no evidence that lockdowns were a useful COVID mitigation strategy. Ironically, according to CDC data, “masking”, a symbol of our isolation, has made no difference in COVID infections.

With the media’s help, the public health gurus waged a campaign of fear to keep us in line while we waited for Dr. Fauci’s solution: vaccines. One of the medical bureaucracy’s biggest (intentional) missteps was the failure to support early treatment of COVID. They told us to stay home until we couldn’t breathe. Of course, at that point the virus has overwhelmed the body. The scientific elite maligned study after study and thousands of clinical successes with early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin in favor of unproven high priced drugs. Despite the CDC and FDA previously acknowledging the 60-year safety record of hydroxychloroquine, it miraculously became harmful in 2020. 

It is as if the medical bureaucrats are making up the ever-changing rules as they go along. They claimed they were “following the science.” Why haven’t we heard from these politically driven experts as hundreds of illegal migrants are released into the United States without COVID tests while U.S. citizens are being fined for not wearing useless masks?

Shameless non-clinician bureaucrats have stolen our lives, stolen the smiles from children’s faces, and bullied a segment of the population into paralyzing fear. Those hiding behind masks (including our precious children) no longer see people as people, but as 170-pound nests of germs and certain death.

Dr. Fauci remains the highest paid federal government employee, and Dr. Birx has moved on to her private air purifier consulting job. Meanwhile, we are left in the wasteland with their legacy: boarded up shops; needless lost lives; and the death of common sense, scientific discourse, and medical freedom that we may never regain. And why?

The Lazy Monk

This came up on my Twitter feed as March 30th, the day we commemorate The Monk who Joyfully Died and Who Never Judged Anyone in His Life. He’s actually commemorated on April 12 according to the Old Calendar. I realized this soon after I started this post but was too lazy to put it aside and wait for his feast day.

Don’t judge me.

From the Lives of Saints in the Prologue of Ohrid we read:

This monk was lazy, careless, and lacking in his prayer life; but throughout all of his life, he did not judge anyone. While dying, he was happy. When the brethren asked him how is it that with so many sins, you die happy? He replied, “I now see angels who are showing me a letter with my numerous sins. I said to them, Our Lord said: `stop judging and you will not be judged‘ (St. Luke 6:37). I have never judged anyone, and I hope in the mercy of God that He will not judge me.” And the angels tore up the paper. Upon hearing this, the monks were astonished and learned from it.

It’s important to score and win

Fr. Milos Puric, a Serbian priest from Toronto recalls his memories of meeting Bishop Atanasije here as a young seminarian. It’s a very touching piece. He describes a time Bishop Atanasije visited with Fr. Grigorije (now Bishop of Germany) and the highlight of the visit was when the bishop invited the seminarians to a soccer match after lunch.

I don’t have time to translate the entire thing but I wanted to share a snippet:

“Children, everything in your life is like a soccer game. Always remember that. You can play great the entire game but if you miss a goal in the end then it’s worth nothing. Also, the game can be sloppy but if you score a goal in the end – you win! It’s important to score and win!”

Thereby, using the language of soccer, the bishop conveyed to us the same thing Christ had once said: “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt 24:13). When Bishop Atanasije and Fr. Grigorije left for Herzegovina that evening we sat like orphans in our rooms and talked about what had happened that day. What we all felt could be compared to what Luke and Cleopas felt on the way to Emmaus. We could all confess, saying, “Were not our hearts burning within us” (cf. Lk 24:32) while we were with the Bishop today? ” That day I learned that the most important thing is to score a goal in life. Even to this day when the ups and downs of life occur, either in my personal life or my pastoral vocation, and when I find myself in a situation in which I am doing either very well or very badly in life, I always recall this lesson of Tasa. Nothing is important, because in both cases they are nothing but fleeting “soccer” situations. It is important to score a goal in the end and win with Christ!

This example is reminiscent of the words of the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9: 24-25): 24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

Why are Easters a month apart….

Taken from Public Orthodoxy…..

There is a common misperception among Orthodox Christians that the reason why Orthodox Easter (i.e. Pascha) often occurs so much later than Western Christian Easter is because the Orthodox Church abides by the rules for calculating the date of Pascha issued by the 1stEcumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 AD and thus the Orthodox must wait for Passover to be celebrated by the Jewish community before Pascha can occur. Despite this view being held by so many Orthodox Christians as well as being promoted in popular essays written by some Orthodox priests, it is not accurate. The reason why Orthodox Pascha frequently occurs so much later than Easter celebrated by Roman Catholics and Protestants has nothing to do with the Orthodox Church following the Paschal formula of Nicaea and the Western Churches not doing so, nor is it because the Orthodox must wait for Jewish Passover to be celebrated. Rather, Orthodox Pascha frequently occurs later than Western Easter because the Orthodox Church uses inaccurate scientific calculations that rely on the inaccurate Julian Calendar to determine the date of Pascha for each year. Some background information is in order to help explain precisely what the problems are. Continue here

What is heaven? What is salvation?

From the YouTube channel, The Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University: The Orthodox Christian Studies Center, in partnership with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, is pleased to announce the launch of the new video series “Orthodox Scholars Preach.”

In anticipation of the Second Sunday of Lent, of St. Gregory Palamas: