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Our local newscast was mostly about the coronavirus: the covid-19. It gave little new information -- mostly about the increased death number. Then Carol and I watched the ABC Coronavirus Special. But besides their increased death number, it gave us insignificant new information. When the host asked the doctor questions, nearly all her answers were basically:

• We don't really know.

• We don't have enough information yet.

• We need to get more tests done from those who don't show the symptoms so we have something to compare with.

• But we don't have enough kits to test everyone.

• However, all those without symptoms should stay inside so the virus doesn't spread.

• Tell everyone to hunker down and don't make contact with others unnecessarily.

• Cancel all discretionary traveling.

• Tell everyone not to panic.

• Continue your regular routine. (?)

• But the death count continues to rise.

And why is the current death rate from covid-19 in Italy 5 percent, in China 4 percent, while in the U.S. it's 1.5 percent?

I looked up Italy's overall mortality rate -- not just from covid-19. From 2000-2020 it has been hovering around 9.99-10.83 percent. We're told it's because Italy has the oldest population in Europe. Without covid-19, the population experts expect the Italian mortality rate to peak in 2063 at 16.19 percent. However, most Italians who are succumbing to covid-19 are in their 80s and 90s, and in poor health. That's the same thing we hear every year in flu season.

China has a different history. In 1950 its mortality rate was 23.6 percent, dropped to 6.7 by 1980, and back up to 7.3 by 2018. But less than 10 percent of all deaths last year was due to communicable diseases. Well over 24,000 people die every day in China, of which about 410 are due to infectious diseases, while approximately 760 of those deaths every day are suicide.

Are young people getting covid-19? As with all flus, colds, and other diseases, the answer is yes. Covid-19 is affecting people of all ages because sickness and dying are part of the curse that mankind will experience until Jesus puts an end to it. Viruses have always affected the sick, elderly, and very young more dynamically than strong and healthy adults.

Why have we gone bonkers about the 124 who died in the U.S. from covid-19 but are seemingly not concerned about the 20,000 or more in the U.S. who have died so far in 2020 from the annual flu? One answer I received is: "We understand the annual flu, but not covid-19." So, are we merely afraid of the unknown? That rationale is a little lopsided.

Today I read, "Generally, the death rate seems to decrease as more people are tested and cases are confirmed." That is obviously correct, because the great majority of infected people are recovering. And the more people we test, the higher the documented survival rate.

Another question many people are asking: Is covid-19 a real threat? Are the world governments over-reacting to this virus? Or are some folks calling this a pandemic for ulterior motives?

I think we are in the midst of an over-reaction. If you study world history, you'll find that there is ALWAYS more going on than meets the eye. Also, the public reaction, exacerbated by the explosive and unbalanced news reports, is unnecessarily crunching the economies around the world. In other words, I believe the news media is blowing this out of proportion, and our government is reacting improperly. Although the covid-19 is a bad flu, like all other flus, it will pass; but the reaction will leave a lasting scar. That brings up concerns about "the last days" we read about in the Bible. Is this the precursor to the Tribulation and the return of Jesus, our Messiah? I don't know, but it resembles what we read in Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation.

Don't get excited folks -- I'm not predicting. But the perplexities of nations, mentioned in the Bible, will eventually be addressed by one person who will "somehow" solve them and bring "lasting peace" that will last for only a short time. These ideas are on the minds of many people. And don't laugh or scoff at them: Eventually it will happen, and Jesus will return.

But, will the over-reaction save lives? Yes -- our leaders are stepping up and quickly employing safety measures to protect our populace, with an emphasis on the elderly, the young, and the early responders. Although some will die anyway, our response will save many from dying from covid-19.

But there's one major item our over-reacting news media is ignoring. It's the simple fact of how all flus circumnavigate the globe: Air currents. Watch the weather report, or the weather channel. You'll see the storms coming from the Orient to America's west coast, and from Africa to our east coast. Every year since I was 5 years old, many of us would get a cold or the flu. And every year many people across the world died from it. I usually got the flu in February. Mom kept me home from school and I stayed in bed for three to four days. I stayed warm and drank a lot of water, and got well. Most of us did.

But we can do our part to slow down the sickness? The average sneeze or cough can send around 100,000 contagious germs spewing into the air at speeds up to 100 miles per hour. And contrary to some news reports, not much of it drops to the floor. So please! Stop contaminating people! Muffle your cough and sneeze with tissue or cloth.

And if you have flu symptoms, stay home, stay warm, drink plenty of liquid, wash your hands often. The covid-19 will pass, but you better study the Bible so you'll be prepared for the future.

-- Gene Linzey is a speaker, author and mentor. Send comments and questions to [email protected] Visit his website at The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Religion on 03/25/2020

Print Headline: Coronavirus? What's happening?

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