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Rethinking Social Distancing, Part 1

  • Paul Dean
    Dr. Paul J. Dean's Weblog
  • 2020 Apr 28
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A Lament

There’s a verse that describes our situation in this political crisis connected to Coronavirus: “How lonely sits the city That was full of people! How like a widow is she, Who was great among the nations! The princess among the provinces Has become a slave” (Lam. 1:1)! While our context is different from ancient Israel’s, our cities feel lonely and empty as everyone is under stay-at-home orders. The city is like a widow. The heartbreak is palpable, not only for those who have died and lost loved ones, or for those who’ve lost jobs, but also for those who’ve suffered and died as a result of the shutdown, as well as for what’s coming. While no one really knows what the ultimate economic fall-out will be, we’re already told to brace for food shortages. That’s a dynamic most of us have never had to face. The cracks in our nation are showing. And the sad fact is that it didn’t have to be this way, but you’ll never get the perpetrators to admit it or be held accountable. We’ve become slaves.

A Precaution

But I want to speak briefly to the issue of social distancing, and in particular, I want to urge all of us, but especially Christians, to reject it out of hand. Let me say quickly that if you are in a high-risk category, then by all means, please take every precaution, and protect yourself. If you visit anyone in a high-risk category, you should take care not to endanger them. And that’s not true for a coronavirus only, that’s true for the flu or anything else. Those in high risk categories are in danger from everything, and there are many viruses more dangerous than COVID-19. But, generally speaking, there are reasons for the rest of us to cease the social distancing.

A Plea: Seven Reasons to Stop Social Distancing

First, God Himself is trinitarian by nature. He is one God who’s revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His very nature is community. We’re told in John 1 that the Father and the Son have face-to-face fellowship from eternity. The Christian community is a reflection of God. We’re created to be in community with God and one another.

Second, God said in Genesis that it’s not good for man to be alone. In context, He makes Adam and Eve husband and wife: life-partners. But the principle is true for all of humanity: it’s not good for us to be alone. When people live in isolation, certain spiritual, social, and even physical problems develop over time. Prov. 18:1 says, “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” A person who isolates himself has rejected community for whatever the reason. The picture couldn’t be more graphic. “He rages against all wise judgment.” It’s not wise to force people into isolation. We know the tragic results, and it’s sheer hypocrisy for our government and the mainstream media to do so in the name of a virus that’s relatively harmless to most, and even less threatening to persons in high risk groups than the flu.

Third, that’s not to say that COVID-19 is not a danger to high-risk persons. It is, and those in that category should self-isolate, as we’ve said. But everyone else should proceed as normal so that herd immunity can develop, the virus can run its course, and then even high-risk persons can come out again.

In fact, a group of doctors put out a piece entitled Coronavirus Truths. Among other things, they say we’ve been lied to. We’ve been told we don’t know much about the virus, but we do. We hear daily that the virus is more infectious than the flu. It’s not. In fact, the flu is much more virulent. The flu is actually far more dangerous despite the fact we’ve been told the opposite. We’ve also been told COVID-19 is more dangerous because you can have it without knowing it. That’s true of all viruses when they’re being shed, and COVID-19 is far less contagious than the flu. And yes, the virus is more dangerous to the elderly and immunocompromised, but so is everything else, as we’ve noted. We see daily numbers of infections and deaths, and yet the books have been cooked. The media, say these doctors, has grossly misrepresented this disease, and they will continue to manipulate us by predicting a spike in deaths if we open the country too soon. They’re already doing just that. Though we’ve been told the opposite, not every country has shut down their economy, and none of those countries have suffered higher rates of death. The medical community has failed us they say. This virus has been treated as a world-ender, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Fourth, social distancing is the world’s answer, not God’s. It tears community apart. It’s tearing our nation apart. Have you noticed how people look at you in the grocery store with fear and suspicion? And how about those who report their neighbors for taking a jog? That’s not American, and it’s certainly not Christian. It’s Satan who tears apart. God, the gospel, and the church bring people together (Ephesians 3).

Fifth, the government is picking winners and losers. Walmart will survive, even thrive, but a large number of mom-and-pop operations will not. Home Depot will thrive, but many restaurants will never re-open. The State has no right to say who’s essential and who’s not. We’re all essential; we all make up the economy. The State has no right to prevent people from earning a living. The surveillance and subsequent police raid on a woman cutting hair in her Texas home should cause all of us to collectively shout, “Enough!”

Sixth, there’s the inconsistency. We’re told that only x number of people can be in the store at one time, yet we stand in the parking lot shoulder to shoulder until we’re released into the vastness of Lowe’s. We’d be better off if all were allowed inside to start with. We’re allowed to congregate in the Lowe’s parking lot, but we can’t go to church or worship from our cars in the church parking lot. Our overlords at the national and state levels can stand shoulder to shoulder in the daily news briefings, but if you’re the lone person shooting baskets in the park, you’ll be arrested. For the life of me, I can’t understand how any of this is being tolerated.

Seventh, the government would have us believe that every American is the carrier of a deadly virus. Criticizing out-of-work protesters who were pleading for the lockdown to end and rightly saying that some things are worse than the virus, namely a decimated economy and the devasting results, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, replied, “What could be worse than the virus? The virus is death.” Yes, some have died. And that’s truly tragic. But the virus is not death. Ninety-nine percent of people who contract it recover. Most will not contract it, and those who do will suffer mild symptoms, and many won’t even know they had it. But this is the official narrative, and the people have been sold a lie. Psychological warfare is being waged against this country.

These are only a few of the reasons why social distancing must end. We’ll highlight a few more in Part 2. But suffice it to say, it’s not God’s way, and it’s far worse than the virus. It’s a nation-killer.

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