Take It Seriously And Stay In Good Spirit

As I receive information from first hand from Italy, and am obviously living the situation currently unfolding in England, it might be wise to give some coordinates as to where we are. So, there is goes.

  1. This is not a hoax. It’s no fake news. It’s real, and it’s serious. Believe me, I am not the guy who “buys the hype”. I don’t believe in global warming, or in papal conspiracy theories, and think myself solidly grounded in reality. I receive constant reports *from the ground in Italy*. Take it from me, this is as real as it comes.   
  2. Most people will obviously survive. Most *old* people will, obviously, also survive. It is not the Plague, or the Huns invading our lands. It is somewhere between a nasty flu and the Spanish Flu. Most of us will not only survive, but thrive.
  3. The real issue is an ethical, not medical, one. The people who are seriously affected by the Coronavirus need intensive care unit places, and specialised equipment. No Country on the planet has the equipment to face such an emergency, as the cases come all together. Therefore, a relatively limited number of cases causes a very real emergency and short-circuits the system.  
  4. This means that, whilst the number or dead will, likely, not be a big multiple of those who die for the flu every year (I will tell you below why I think that), what is terrifying is the horror scenario of hospitals and doctors having to choose who gets treated and who will likely die. This, and no other, is the problem as it appears now and with the information I am getting.
  5. The latter point poses (immediately in Italy, and later everywhere else), a fundamental question: are we, as Nations, the kind of people who allow such a situation to happen in the first place? My answer to this is, clearly, a resounding “no”. To answer otherwise means to have the same mindset as those who, say, want to leave people free to die by euthanasia. The defence of the population is one of the primary duties of every Nation. The defence of the more vulnerable people should be an even bigger priority. We are Christians, for crying out loud. Leave the “survival of the fittest” rubbish to the Darwinists. To say that we should pray for the people at risk is an empty slogan, if we then refuse to actually help them. God works through us. We should be the help we are praying for.
  6. Still, there should be, as in everything, the limits given by elementary common sense. For example: has it ever been a tradition, in Christian Countries, to stop everything during the Flu season, so that more old people could be spared from getting the flu, thus reducing the number of deaths? You know the answer. In the end, elementary common sense must be safeguarded, and the population must be free to go about their business and put food on the table.

If you ask me, we are now, everywhere in Europe, in the midst of the thinking I have explained under point 5. The fact that all this is meant to protect a tiny but important part of the population, and an all-important part to protect our sense of decency and common humanity, is generally accepted in Europe. But all this works on the assumption of a hit to the economy, not a total collapse and TEOTWAWKI.

In time, and if the warm weather does not kill the virus, or medicine/vaccines are made available within a reasonable number of weeks, point 6 will have to be considered and weighted against point 5: then we don’t stop life, say, every December 15 until February 15. At that point, and depending on what information is available at the time, something like this will have to be considered.

Also, consider this: the total infection numbers are not going to be earth-shattering. Among the largely very old passengers of the Diamond Princess, the figures on Wikipedia state 3,711 passengers, of whom (in a contained environment, and with a lot of old people) only around 712 were infected; of whom only 7 died. The infected ones had to cope with a level of exposure worse than every of the old people currently not infected in Italy will receive in, likely, months, when it will get warmer. Summa Summarum: it’s not that if we do nothing 100% of the 80+ years old will die. Actually, a great number will not even be infected.

Still, we face the decision: what kind of Nations do we want to be? What does it mean to call ourselves Christian, if the weak among us are left to die? When I was a child, I read that the Redskin tribes left the old people out in the cold, to literally…. die of cold, when they had become useless and had not used the tribe the courtesy to die in another way. I always despised those savages. I would not want to wake up in the morning, and know that we have become like them; still, this should be within the boundaries of elementary common sense.

The emergency should be, I think, in the provision and manning of ICU places, equipment, field hospitals etc.; in the production of virus tests, and the like.  When that has been addressed, the grip on the population should be gradually released. There is a limit, and the limit is the one of elementary common sense.

Best wishes to everybody.

You will soon have more free time.

One of the things we all can do is to pray more.




Posted on March 19, 2020, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Agree 100%. We must not let CV mitigation become the basis for TEOTWAWKI. At some early point, maybe 30-45 days, people must be told to go back to work and accept the collateral death damage that results.

  2. Something I have not heard discussed during this pandemic is how many people in the USA have been bombarded over the past 25 years, at their well-visits to their doctors and during admittance to assisted living facilities, to complete an “advanced directives” form. These forms ask individuals to delineate what they want done in the case of a life threatening medical emergency. Many folks, fashionably and in a pagan-like manner choose “no heroics” meaning no CPR or ventilator. So now what? I imagine many will change their mind as they gasp for air in emergency rooms if this virus is as bad as they say it is. But perhaps many will stick to their guns and there won’t be the shortage of intensive care beds predicted.

  3. I’m for doing everything we can including what we are doing now and possibly required home containment. I’m at apparent odds with many in the Catholic world. Who said “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” In New Jersey a Catholic family who actually may live their Catholic faith is suffering the loss of their matriarch and siblings. The family had gotten together two weeks ago for whatever reason and mother and two siblings have already died of coronavirus with I believe three more in intensive care. This is not some hypothetical projection of suffering and death but all too real for these poor people, God have mercy on the souls of their dead and on them, they cannot even join together to gain solace from this.
    I feel discomfited by some in the Catholic blogosphere who seem to have somewhat muted understanding of that very real loss and suffering. True there is always death, but the need for more ventilators than are available is as real as real can be, and when you need it there is simply no substitution for oxygen, which you cannot get if your lungs are filled with infection.
    The government, no matter how rotten, silly, or dopey, can do basic math. I’m appreciative that governments are not willing to let mass numbers of people suffer and die in vehicles with desperate family members, or at home where no one can even come get them, or laying on floors of hospital rooms, unaided or helped because the system was simply overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Yes it may end it all more quickly, but there is something to be said by the effort to “flatten the curve” and stretch it out so that hopefully this may be avoided.
    Some people do not understand what it feels like to watch a loved one die of respiratory failure. I dislike personal anecdotes but my husband and his siblings had to watch helplessly as their mother was removed from a ventilator only to go into respiratory failure after a cup of coffee. No morphine arrived in time and she begged her children to help her, but they could not. As you say Oakes, this is all too real. Let’s do whatever we can at all to try to prevent this from happening to anyone. We can’t prevent it all, but we can help by following recommendations and certainly, prayer. God bless all suffering from any illness and may He be close to us all at this hour of need, amen.

    • You are absolutely right. In Italy the left is in power. This is not a left wing conspiracy. It’s simply the decision of what kind of people we want to be.

  4. And once again I failed to mention we did not lose my mother-in-law to coronavirus. This happened ten years ago, but the idea is the same, respiratory failure is bad.

  5. We were told as kids that Eskimos put their elders on ice floes to die when there was a scarcity of food. Just googled it: apparently some did abandon them (Inuit) and some didn’t (Yuit). See how educational your blog is, Mundy? :-). (And who knew there were Yuits?).

  6. I am surprised at the reaction of some of my fellow Catholics, people I know at church, who said they would NOT miss Mass. God would protect them. (They have no choice now as Oregon has just decreased the number to 25 total for any group attending churches. Our SSPX church has made a sign-up schedule for Sunday and weekday masses, with no one under 7 years allowed.) I have read people’s statements that ‘…the priests hands can’t be contaminated because they are blessed.’ And ‘…the host cannot be contaminated because it is no longer bread, but Christ, and He can’t be contaminated.’ !!! This on Twitter. I have flown recently among masked travelers, so I’m self-quarantining. And 50% of my coworkers and I will be working from home for the foreseeable future. This virus could be halted so much more quickly by cooperation.
    Thank you for your great posts, Mundabor. You are in my daily rosary.

    • Thanks Mary. The amount of nonsense I have read in the last weeks is beyond belief. Almost at the level of stone-licking Mohammedans.

  7. Pius Enthusiast

    Thank you, Mundabor, for your analysis here, which sounds to be on the mark in terms of the factual situation, as well as a proper theological interpretive understanding of it.

    Dismaying that there appear to be some traditional Catholics and Western ‘conservatives’ who are determined to find this to largely be a hoax being perpetrated for political reasons.

    I hope we can absorb and accept what the facts are strongly and swiftly enough to get this behind us as soon as we are able.

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