How the World Can Quickly Change

The Covid-19 epidemic has had far reaching repercussions on our world and our United States economy, and our civil liberties. Most would not have imagined such drastic effects only a short time ago.

It is a lesson in how the world can quickly change and how fragile it is. It’s a lesson in how ignorance, panic, and a real risk of disease can result in unexpected and disastrous consequences.

In this article let’s examine: (1) the current coronavirus disease epidemic, how many have been infected, and how many have died. (2) How does the Covid-19 epidemic compare with other similar disease epidemics? (3) The response to the epidemic by media and governments, and how that response could be far more destructive than the disease itself. (4) How the disease could be responsibly managed without destroying the nation’s or the world’s economy. (5) The reasoning behind the measures we, the Messenger Church of God, have taken in response to the virus. (6) Suggestions on what you can do to minimize your risk of contracting Covid-19 and other communicable diseases. (7) Where you can place your trust for your ultimate security.

(1) The virus that causes Covid-19 is a coronavirus that causes respiratory tract infections. It is similar but not identical to some other viruses such as the SARS-1 virus, that appeared about 2002. The Covid-19 virus is highly contagious, because it replicates in the upper throat area, which means it can jump throat to throat, so to speak. Coughing, or even talking between people close together may possibly transmit the virus. It may also linger on some surfaces for several hours, and be transmitted from a surface to a person’s mouth, nose or eyes by touching.

Apparently, most people who contract the virus don’t get sick enough to even know they have the disease. In five states in India where testing was conducted, between 50 to 82 percent of Covid-19 cases identified were asymptomatic (“Coronavirus outbreak: 50 to 82% Covid cases in India are asymptomatic,”, April 19, 2020). Most others have only mild symptoms. However, in some circumstances, indications are in a very small percentage of the total number who contract the virus, probably a fraction of one percent, the virus can trigger a severe inflammatory response affecting the respiratory tract that can result in death.

How many have been infected by the virus that causes Covid-19 (the disease)? According to the John’s Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of May 18, 2020, there were 4,805,005 cases confirmed worldwide. 1,508,598 cases were said to be confirmed in United States. 318,534 deaths worldwide have been attributed to Covid-19, with 90,353 of these in the United States.

There are said to be 3,529 confirmed cases in Cameroon as of the same date, and 140 deaths attributed to the disease.

The truth is that no one knows how many cases there are, because as noted earlier, most who contract the virus show no symptoms, or only mild symptoms, and don’t know they’ve had the disease. As of mid April most who had been tested were those showing symptoms. The tests aren’t foolproof. Some estimate the number of false negatives is as high as 40% (“You can test negative and still have the coronavirus. Lot’s of people do. Here’s why,” Louisville Courier Journal, March 28, 2020). On the other hand, there are also reported to be a high number of false positives for some Covid-19 testing (“Study Suggests Potential High Rate of False-Positives For Some COVID-19 Testing,”, March 16, 2020; “The Perils of Mass Coronavirus Testing,“, March 18, 2020; “Testing for COVID-19, False Positives & Negatives,”, April 3, 2020).

The Washington Times reported, “A groundbreaking study by Stanford researchers released Friday [April 17, 2020] indicated that far more Americans than previously indicated may have been infected with the novel coronavirus — and now carry the protective antibodies, a sign of possible immunity.

In the first large-scale research of its kind, a team led by Dr. Eran Bendavid, associate professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, tested 3,300 volunteers in Santa Clara County, California, and found that 2.5 to 4.2% were positive for the COVID-19 antibodies.

That means that in a county of 2 million, between 48,000 and 81,000 residents would have had the virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, even though the county health department had reported only about 1,000 cases on April 3-4, when the study was conducted.


Our findings suggest that there is somewhere between 50- and 80-fold more infections in our county than what’s known by the number of cases than are reported by our department of public health,” Dr. Bendavid said in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer.

Based on the findings, the coronavirus death rate in Santa Clara County would be less than 0.2%. As of April 10, Santa Clara County had recorded 50 deaths from COVID-19.

If our estimates of 48,000-81,000 infections represent the cumulative total on April 1, and we project deaths to April 22 (a 3 week lag from time of infection to death), we estimate about 100 deaths in the county,” said the study. “A hundred deaths out of 48,000-81,000 infections corresponds to an infection fatality rate of 0.12-0.2%.”


In a March 24 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said the estimated death rate for the virus, then 2-4%, was far too high, given the ‘woefully low’ testing rates.

“’If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases — orders of magnitude larger — then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far,’ they said” (“Coronavirus ‘much more widespread’ than previously thought, Stanford antibody study finds,”, 4-17-2020).

How many have died of the coronavirus? Again, no one really knows. Part of the problem is the way deaths are being attributed to coronavirus.

Minnesota State Senator Scott Jensen appeared on a local news show to report that doctors were receiving instructions from the Minnesota Department of Health to report Covid19 as a cause of death, even if the patient was never tested.

Senator Jensen, who is also a practising (sic) physician, said he had never before in his thirty-five-year career received specific instructions on how to fill out a death certificate.

The apparent policy of Minnesota – to report any and all pneumonia or ‘flu-like illness’ decedents as Covid19 cases, with or without a test – ties in with the US policy as described by the CDC’s official memos.


… the governments of Italy, Germany, the UK and Austria all doing the samething.

So, while Dr Jensen’s revelation isn’t as shocking as it would have been just 10 days ago, it does at least demonstrate that, within the medical world, these guidelines are not normal. In a separate interview with Laura Ingraham, Jensen described the guidelines as ‘ridiculous’.

According to Jensen, citing a colleague, it is not usual practice to ever put ‘presumptions or probabilities’ on a death certificate, but rather to ‘stick to the facts’. The question still hangs in the air: Why do national and regional governments appear to be going out of their way to inflate the Covid19 death statistics?

Dr Jensen has his own idea:

“’Well, fear is a great way to control people, and I worry about that. I worry that sometimes we’re just so interested in jazzing up the fear factor, that…you know, sometimes people’s ability to think for themselves is paralyzed if they’re frightened enough.’

Thoughts to consider” (“Dr Scott Jensen Reveals ‘Ridiculous’ Covid19 Guidance,”, 4-10-2020).

The CDC’s “Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19),” appears to be worded in such a way as to allow a loose interpretation of what may be reported as a Covid-19 death. An Illinois health official recently said publicly that if a person had already been placed in “hospice” because of some terminal illness, and the person subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, the death when it occurred would be reported as a “Covid-19 death.” Different states are following different standards in reporting Covid-19 deaths (“Which deaths count toward the covid-19 death toll? It depends on the state,”, April 16, 2020). Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said at a briefing on April 7, “In this country, we’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality.” Explaining further, “The intent is, right now, that . . . if someone dies with covid-19, we are counting that as a covid-19 death” (ibid.).

Consider that by far the majority of Covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals have some underlying health issue, such as high blood pressure, cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, compromised immune systems, or other problems. If a person dies, and is believed, even without testing, to have been infected by the Covid-19 virus, in many cases the death is put down as a Covid-19 death, possibly without any rational basis for such a claim.

Professor Hendrik Streeck, Professor of Virology and director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research at Bonn (Germany) University states: “You also have to take into account that the Sars-CoV-2 deaths in Germany were exclusively old people [as of March 16, 2020]. In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics. But the question is whether he would not have died anyway, even without Sars-2” (Interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine, 16th March 2020; cited in “12 Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic,”, 3-24-2020).

Deaths have been reported differently on death certificates in the past (“Change to death certificates could boost COVID-19 counts,”, 4-13-2020). “It’s unlikely there will ever be a precise count of this disease’s toll” (“COVID-19 death certificate change stirs controversy,”, 4-7-2020).

(2) How does the Covid-19 epidemic compare with other similar disease epidemics?

Claims have been made that the Covid-19 virus is up to twenty times more deadly than the flu. “The World Health Organization has estimated Covid19’s ‘official’ death rate at 3.4%, Clinical studies done on Sars-Cov-2 put its actual case-fatality ratio at around 0.1%. Roughly equal that of regular season flu outbreaks.


Dr John Ioannidis from Stanford University estimates a death rate between 0.025% and 0.65%. Another study, from Japan, found the death rate to be between 0.04 and 0.12.

These are both, potentially, markedly LOWER than seasonal flu.

In short: No, coronavirus is not ‘20x deadlier’ than the flu. The science suggests it may be anything from very slightly worse, to noticeably better. (“Coronavirus Fact-Check #3: ‘Covid19 is 20x DEADLIER than the flu!’”, 4-11-2020).

The common flu causes up to 5 million cases of severe illness worldwide and kills up to 650,000 people every year, according to the World Health Organization” (“5 Million Cases Worldwide, 650,000 Deaths Annually: The Seasonal Flu Virus is a ‘Serious Concern’, But the Wuhan Coronavirus Grabs the Headlines”,, 2-22-2020). It should be noted in passing that flu deaths are not actually counted, but based on “models,” or estimates. Whether these estimates are accurate or not is a matter of debate. “The CDC and others have argued that recorded influenza deaths underrepresent influenza’s true impact on mortality and have offered various statistical models to calculate ‘influenza-associated mortality.’ Although the effort to know influenza’s true impact is important and relevant from the perspective of potential public health interventions, there are several points of concern with present modeling efforts” (“Trends in Recorded Influenza Mortality: United States, 1900–2004, Peter Doshi, A.M.,” American Journal of Public Health, May 2008).

We do not know how many people will wind up becoming seriously ill or dying of Covid-19. We probably will never know. But it may turn out to be something akin to a serious but not extraordinary flu epidemic. It is a disease that should be taken seriously, especially by those most at risk, such as the elderly or those who already have a serious health problem.

(3) The response to the epidemic by media and governments, and how that response could be far more destructive than the disease itself:

The media has sensationalized the Covid-19 epidemic. That is typical of the “news” media, and not to be unexpected. The virus is a novel [new] virus. It’s infecting a lot of people. Even if the media essentially ignores more routine infectious epidemics, they’re going to make the most of a story like this, for a variety of motives.

Panic among the populace has been induced by wild forecasts of millions dying by government doctors and prognosticators. The media has assisted in provoking hysteria, and the hording of things like toilet paper and other goods, that have temporarily stripped many store shelves bare of various kinds of merchandise.

Such news puts tremendous pressure on political leaders to “do something.” And what has been done may very well cause far more damage in the long run than the epidemic itself would have on its own.

Millions of people been thrown out of work by the actions of politicians’ decrees that everybody stay at home. Civil and constitutional rights have been trampled on, including freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

A Church service in Mississippi, where people were in their own cars with the windows rolled up, listening to the service on radio, was broken up by police. The worshipers were slapped with $500 tickets. The U.S. Justice department subsequently intervened. ”The Justice Department said the city of Greenville, Mississippi, had imposed coronavirus-related restrictions on the church that it had not applied to secular entities.

Attorney General William P. Barr said intervention was warranted to protect Americans’ right to exercise their religion freely.

“’The pandemic has changed the ways Americans live their lives,’ he said in a statement. ‘Religious communities have rallied to the critical need to protect the community from the spread of this disease by making services available online and in ways that otherwise comply with social distancing guidelines.’

The Justice Department said Greenville was not applying coronavirus regulations evenly, unfairly restricting a religious service that complied with government guidelines.


“Justice Department wrote in a federal court filing. ‘Nevertheless, the city barred the church from holding services even if the church adheres to CDC and Mississippi COVID-19 guidelines for essential operations.’”

“Justice Department lawyers said targeting the religious service ‘strongly suggests that the city’s actions targeted religious conduct.’

Temple Baptist Church sued the city and claimed the mayor trampled on its rights to freedom of speech and religious expression.

“Justice Department lawyers agreed. It said the city’s ban unfairly targets religion because motorists can sit at drive-in restaurants with their windows down, but not a church service with their windows up.

“’If proven, these facts establish a free exercise violation unless the city demonstrates its actions are neutral and apply generally to non-religious and religious institutions or satisfies the demanding strict scrutiny standard,’ the filing read.


The Justice Department’s actions come as pastors around the country launch legal assaults on state and local stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus crisis. Some religious leaders argue their churches should be considered essential.

A group of pastors in California filed a lawsuit over the state’s stay-at-home order, saying it ‘specifically targeted people of faith.’

In Kentucky, On Fire Christian Church sued Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and city after he blocked drive-in religious services. A federal judge sided with the church, saying the city could not prohibit drive-in services.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit law firm focused on religious and civil liberties, is representing the Temple Baptist Church.

ADF praised the Justice Department for its support of the Mississippi church.

“’In Greenville, you can be in your car with the windows rolled down at a drive-in restaurant, but you can’t be in your car with the windows rolled up at a drive-in church service,’ the organization said in a statement. ‘To target churches that way is both nonsensical and unconstitutional.’” (“Justice Department intervenes in Mississippi church’s lawsuit for breaking up ‘drive-in’ service,”, 4-14-2020).

Similar incidents happened in Illinois, and elsewhere. “Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell wants to remind people not to attend religious services in person.”

He says under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay at home order, religious services are considered large gatherings and not essential.

On Wednesday, officers stopped a service in the parking lot of Lamarsh Baptist Church in Mapleton.

Sheriff Asbell says a group of about 20 cars were at the church.” (“Peoria County officers break up parking lot church service amid pandemic,”, 4-2-2020).

The Governor of Michigan banned people from traveling to their own homes if they have a second home in the state. She banned the use of motorboats. She banned gatherings involving more than two people, and banned the sale of garden seeds, and paint, but the sale of lottery tickets, booze, marijuana, and abortions is okay.

These are just a sample of over-the-top, Nazi like, and contradictory tactics employed by government officials, that could have virtually no meaningful effect on controlling the spread of coronavirus disease. (“Marijuana sales bloom during COVID-19 outbreak,”, 3-30-2020).

An article examining deaths attributable to the economic impact of the temporary shutdown of the economy states that deaths from suicides, drug abuse, lack of medical treatment, and poverty and insufficient nutrition could result in more than two million deaths over the next six years (“Could the Covid19 Response be More Deadly than the Virus?”, 4-1-2020).

Dr. Gérard Krause is a leading Epidemiologist in Germany.

He says, “We have to keep these serious social measures as short and as low as possible, because they could potentially cause more illnesses and deaths than the coronavirus itself.

Although my focus is on infectious diseases, I believe that it is imperative that we consider the impact on other areas of health and society. We as a society must not focus solely on the victims of the corona virus.

We know that unemployment, for example, causes illness and even increased mortality. It can also drive people into suicide. Restricting freedom of movement is likely to have a further negative impact on public health.

It is not so easy to calculate such consequences directly, but they still happen and they can possibly be more serious than the consequences of the infections themselves” (“8 MORE Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic,”, 4-17-2020).

(4) How the disease could be responsibly managed without destroying the nation’s or the world’s economy:

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to government ordered shutting down of “non-essential” businesses. One might ask, non-essential to whom? Similar shutdowns have occurred in other countries. The St. Louis district of the Federal Reserve predicted at the end of March that the toll of job losses in the United States could become as high as 47 million, potentially more.

The U.S. Congress has appropriated several trillion dollars (that we don’t have) to attempt to prop up the economy as a result of the epidemic. It’s possible if not likely that the disastrous effect on the economy will last long after the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself is history. Many millions may be left dependent on the government for support for a long time to come, which is not healthy for a number of reasons. Not only businesses, but governments may fail or be drastically restructured as part of the fallout from the epidemic and the reactions to it.

Socialist politicians in the United States are intent on using the crisis to advance their political agenda, which is to make the United States into a socialist state void of economic and other liberties enjoyed by the country’s citizens since its founding.

Dr. Klaus Püschel is German forensic pathologist and former professor of forensics at Essen University and current director of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. He has worked on many noteworthy autopsies, as well as high-profile forensic archaeological studies.

He says, “This virus influences our lives in a completely excessive way. This is disproportionate to the danger posed by the virus. And the astronomical economic damage now being caused is not commensurate with the danger posed by the virus. I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.

All those we have examined so far had cancer, a chronic lung disease, were heavy smokers or severely obese, suffered from diabetes or had a cardiovascular disease. The virus was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak […] Covid-19 is a fatal disease only in exceptional cases, but in most cases it is a predominantly harmless viral infection.” (“8 MORE Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic,”, 4-17-2020)

Dr. Karin Mölling is a German virologist whose research focused on retroviruses, particularly human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). She points out that 35,000 a year die in Germany from multi-resistant germs. “This is not mentioned at all. I believe that we have had situations like this several times and that the measures are now being taken too far.

I am of the opinion that maybe one should not do so much against young people having parties together and infecting each other. We have to build immunity somehow. How can that be possible without contacts? The younger ones handle the infection much better. But we have to protect the elderly, and protect them in a way that can be scrutinized; is it reasonable what we are doing now, to stretch out the epidemic in a way that almost paralyzes the entire world economy?” (“10 MORE Experts Questioning the Coronavirus Panic,”, 3-28-2020).

Dr. Anders Tegnell is a Swedish physician and civil servant who has been State Epidemiologist of the Public Health Agency of Sweden since 2013. He suggests the proper approach is for people who are at risk to self-isolate, such as elderly, or those with conditions which put them at risk for serious disease from the coronavirus.

Secondly, he suggests, “Anyone with symptoms should stay at home immediately, even with the slightest cough.

If you follow these two rules, you don’t need any further measures, the effect of which is only very marginal anyway.”

These rules correspond with Biblical regulations concerning communicable diseases. In Leviticus 15 a person with a serious infection is to be isolated and everything he has touched is to be washed or destroyed. He was to remain isolated for another seven days after any sign of the infection is absent.

In Leviticus 13 are similar rules about isolating someone who has a possibly contagious infection until it’s determined that he is not capable of infecting others. In these cases symptoms are present, and they give us a guideline for dealing with infectious diseases.

In Leviticus 12, we find that after childbirth a woman is considered “unclean” for a period of about a month and a half to about three months. This means she cannot have normal contact with other members of the congregation, she cannot approach the sanctuary, etc. In other words, she is isolated with her child, boy or girl. This gives the mother time to rest and recover from the trauma of childbirth, and it gives her time to bond with the newborn and nurse the baby. The baby is thus protected from contagion, as a newborn’s immune system takes time to develop fully. It is aided by consuming the mother’s milk.

Mothers produce milk rich in cells that fight disease and infection, so breast milk continues to supplement a baby with disease-fighting antibodies long after delivery. Formula cannot duplicate the benefits of mother’s milk. Comparatively, breastfed infants generally suffer from fewer chronic diseases, such as allergies, rheumatic disorders and ear infections” (“Development of the Immune System in Children,” Shannon Marks,, 11-28-2018).

So the Bible teaches us that people who are infectious should be quarantined. And it teaches us the principle that people who are especially susceptible to disease can be largely protected by isolation. And it also gives us lessons in rest and proper nutrition.

These principles could be implemented in a situation such as we are in now. Quarantine of people who are symptomatic, and isolation of those at risk, would not prevent all serious illnesses or deaths from an infectious disease, but they would go a long way towards prevention, and allow society and the economy to function without a total quarantine or isolation of everybody.

(5) The reasoning behind the measures we, the Messenger Church of God, are taking in response to the virus.

Given the knowledge we had at the time, and based on Biblical principles, I determined the best course to take for the Church in dealing with this epidemic was to cancel services temporarily. Not much was known about this particular virus, except that it is especially contagious, and affects disproportionately the elderly and infirm, those with high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, compromised immunity, etc. This profile fits a large proportion of the people in our local congregation. Also, asymptomatic people could easily be carriers of the disease and spread it to those at risk if they are in close contact with them.

It did not seem reasonable to me to impose that risk on our members who may be susceptible to serious complications or death if they contract the disease. We’ve seen that God’s law provides for isolation of his people in such circumstances. Yes, God could protect everyone from infection if he saw fit. But God allows all kinds of sickness and disease to affect members of the Church. None of us is necessarily immune to infectious diseases. “A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, But the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).

In this situation, it’s my belief that we can be justified in minimizing the risks. As Jesus taught, we must not tempt God by taking ill-advised and unnecessary risks with our health and our lives (Luke 4:9-12). On one occasion, Jesus did not appear in the temple precincts until about the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles, because he knew his enemies there sought to kill him (John 7:14).

That’s not to say we never take risks. Indeed, life is full of risks. But we can adjust to a difficult situation by making reasonable accommodations. Fortunately, we’ve been able to accommodate our need to meet together for services with the technology available to us for online “virtual” meetings. Our regular meetings are scheduled to resume in May, with the stipulation that sick people, including anyone who has or has recently had an elevated body temperature, not attend, and others calculate the risks depending on their individual circumstances, and act accordingly.

(6) Suggestions on what you can do to minimize your risk of contracting Covid-19 and other communicable diseases:

I have posted on our website material which has advice and links to various articles containing valuable information on how you can take action to minimize your risk of being seriously infected with viral and other infectious diseases ( There are anti-viral herbs and minerals or compounds available, if you know what to look for. A healthy diet, exercise, sleep, stress reduction techniques, and prayer can all help you avoid sickness. I suggest you visit our website to see what information is available to you.

(7) Where you can place your trust for your ultimate security:

We live in an insecure world. From one day to the next, we don’t know what trials and tribulations we might face. So where can we look for solace and assurance.

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God ( I will praise His word ), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalms 56:3-4).

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid” (Psalms 56:11).

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by” (Psalms 57:1).

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved” (Psalms 46:1-5).

And there is no other God besides Me, A just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me. Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:21-22).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).

Whatever happens, we can be assured that God loves us, and will ultimately deliver us, if we are faithful.

Unless otherwise noted Scripture taken from the New King James VersionTM

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.

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Copyright © 2020 by Rod Reynolds

Messenger Church of God
PO Box 619
Wentzville, MO 63385

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