Is the Hysteria with the Current Pandemic Justified?

A better question is, is it really a “pandemic”?  You know, the kind you see in movies?

According to Merriam-Webster, a pandemic is “an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population”. Another definition is that it is “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”.  This describes the coronavirus (COVID-19) to a “T”. So, yes, COVID-19 is a pandemic.

But in the eyes of laymen, whenever one hears the word “pandemic” one thinks of a massive amount of death on a global scale with resultant panic. Like the Black Death, the Bubonic Plague of the 14th century, or the Spanish Flu of 1918. In both instances, millions of people died. The Spanish Flu, for example, had a higher mortality rate than all the deaths of the Great War (1914-1918) which preceded it. Unfortunately, the hysteria that has attended COVID-19 would be justified if its mortality rate was on the same trajectory as the earlier pandemics. It is not.

One is tempted to believe that there are other considerations involved, considerations which are exacerbating the hysteria; perhaps by design.

Allow me to explain. In the wake of the earlier Swine Flu epidemic of 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) set up so-called Pandemic Bonds which would be used to support (read: bail out) certain financiers (read: George Soros) should a pandemic break out.  The WHO must declare it as a pandemic before the funds become available.  Interestingly, although touted as a brand new virus, coronavirus is the common name for coronaviridae, which is one of the 6 viruses called out in this PEF.  If this is truly a unique virus we’ve never seen before, why would investors be talking about it’s pandemic potential in 6/28/2017?  This is a discussion for a different day but it’s a conversation we’re definitely going to have.       

Then there are the political considerations.  China, as we all know, has been rocked for the better part of a year by massive anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Protests which were on a par with the Tiananmen protests of thirty years ago, except that unlike Tiananmen, were sustained over a period of many months and were growing in ferocity with no end in sight. Now, for some reason, these protests have all but disappeared. As for the United States, the histrionics of the open-borders crowd has also suddenly gone quiet.

President Trump’s vision of well-policed borders has now been tacitly acknowledged as the morally correct one. Likewise the Greek government has been emboldened in turning back “Syrian” refugees from Turkey, even to the point of threatening military action against them and the Turkish government that provoked this situation. So far, there has been nary a peep from their moral superiors in the EU. Indeed, ordinary Greek civilians have taken paramilitary action and are supporting the regular Army on the border. This is unprecedented and very welcomed. (I’m curious on which side of this struggle the Ecumenical Patriarch is going to come down on? The Turks who want these refugees off their soil or the Greeks, who don’t want them on theirs?)

Even Matt Ridley, a debunker of panic narratives, is now saying, “It is now likely, though not inevitable, that [corona] will kill hundreds of thousands of people”.  Note the qualifier: “not inevitable”.  Among the reasons for his prognosis is that this is what we should expect from globalism: “[I]f we persist in creating conditions in which virus can be easily transmitted and amplified, then we will persist in experiencing waves of new viral epidemics”. If President Trump is to be faulted, it is because he didn’t act quickly enough in closing our borders and shutting down travel from foreign locales and not because his ideas are “xenophobic”. Contrast this view with Joe Biden’s position, that upon his inauguration, he will open the borders for the first hundred days of his administration. Yeah. (I guess he wants to lose California as well.) Right now, a little xenophobia would be welcome around the world.

This is not to say that this all by design. I, for one, would never give pride of place to conspiracy over stupidity. Stupidity and incompetence are the offspring of ideology, especially progressivism. Good, bad or indifferent, it is important to keep these things in mind when considering the coronavirus. Having said that, yes, it is a virus, and yes, it is contagious. And of course, like all flu epidemics, it can be deadly.

But it is equally important to keep the following in mind:

1. Every year, over 50,000 people die in the United States alone from the garden-variety flu.

2. The vast majority of those who die are elderly and also have other underlying medical conditions.

3. Technically, it’s not the flu that kills people, it’s pneumonia. (For lifelong smokers, emphysema kicks in, as well.)

4. And this is really important: we don’t really know what the mortality and/or infection rate of the corona virus is in comparison to the flu; it is perhaps two to ten times more lethal than the regular flu according to best estimates.

The problem is we don’t know what the actual denominator for corona is, that is to say, how many people have actually been infected and/or exposed. It’s quite possible, indeed probable, that there have been many more people who have been infected but are asymptomatic or thought they had a mild winter cold. If so, then the death rate (numerator) will be much smaller than what is presently reported. At the risk of being flippant, there are “known knowns” (the number of victims or the numerator) but then there are “known unknowns” (the number of people who have actually been infected), which is the denominator.

Think of it this way: there could be 10,000 deaths from corona and it’s possible that there were only 10,000 people infected. That means that the mortality rate is 100 percent. On the other hand, let’s say that for those 10,000 deaths, there were 100,000 people infected. That would be a death rate of 10 percent. If one million people were infected but only 10,000 died, then the death rate would be 1 percent.  If one billion people were infected but only 10,000 died, then the death rate is only 0.1 percent and so on.  It’s the denominator which is, at present, the “known unknown”. The exposure rate has to be known (as best as possible) before we can assess its virulence.

I realize of course that if your one of the 10%, 1% or 0.0001% that’s dead, you’re 100 percent dead. I get that. But perspective cannot be –should not be–ignored. Compare this with Ebola, which has a mortality rate of 95 percent. Why has there been none of the same widespread panic? Is it because it’s confined to only a few countries in Africa? One wonders.  The reality is that anytime a person with Ebola can get on a plane and expose our nation to a truly deadly, horrible disease.  Does this keep us up at night?  Frankly, it should, but because it’s not talked about we don’t think about it. 

5. Racial and ethnic disparities also play a role. This is always a touchy subject in our hyper-PC world. However, scientifically, it cannot be overlooked. No matter how much we would prefer to believe that there are absolutely no differences between the races, epidemiologists and biologists know better, even if social “scientists” do not. Bear with me here. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant, which is important for the immune system. It works by binding free radicals, which left to their own device, damage internal cellular structures. And different races and ethnicities have different capabilities of metabolizing vitamin C.

OK, so now let’s concentrate on item number 5. In order to optimize vitamin C levels, certain proteins in the cells of lungs come into play. They are called haptoglobins (Hapto-G) and there are three types: Hp 1-1, Hp 2-1 and Hp 2-2. Haptoglobins bind to haemoglobin (HBG) which is the molecule that carries oxygen and iron throughout the body. It also destroys excess iron, which can be damaging in its unbound form.

There are differences in the haptoglobins, however: Hp 2-2 doesn’t bind iron to the same extent that the other two haptoglobins do. This results in excess amounts of iron in the blood, which, in response to oxygen, results in oxidation, i.e. “rust”. This causes a cascade which results in vitamin C being oxidized, which reduces its immunological potency. Thus populations which have a higher-than-normal Hp 2-2 receptors, have less effective immune systems. In fact, they are three times more likely to be vitamin C deficient than people who have (comparatively higher) Hp 1-1 and Hp 2-1 receptors thereby making them more susceptible to attack.

It’s the distribution of these three haptoglobins which varies based on population. And throughout the world, there are marked dissimilarities among races and ethnic groups. Approximately 56 percent of the Chinese have the Hp 2-2 receptor. As such, the Chinese have more iron in their blood than other non-Asiatic populations making them more vulnerable to viruses like corona. Sub-Saharan Africans, on the other hand, have a Hp 1-1 receptor rate in excess of 50 percent (in some African countries it’s as high as 70 percent).

Interestingly, only 28 percent of Iranians and 30 percent of Israelis have the Hp 1-1 receptor, thus making them (like the Chinese) extremely susceptible to COVID-19. The same is true of Italians, who unlike other European populations, have only a 36 percent Hp 1-1 receptor rate. Interestingly, in northern Italy the Hp 1-1 rate is even less (30%) than it is in the rest of Italy, and it is in the north of that we find the greatest number of cases.  In addition, they are at a higher risk, because a greater percentage of their population is elderly, as noted by Michael Levitt, an American-British-Israeli biophysicist who teaches structural biology at Stanford University.

All things being equal, we should see far less mortality in European and sub-Saharan countries than we do in Middle Eastern, North African and East Asian ones. And presently, the three hardest-hit countries are China, Iran and Italy.

Israel, like Russia, had sealed its borders from almost the start of the outbreak. This should not surprise us, as the Israelis take issues of ethnicity very seriously and don’t believe in egalitarian nonsense when it comes to nationhood. Like European countries used to be, Israel is an ethno-state in every sense of the word.

Interestingly, we are seeing a similar distribution in the United States, in other words, even here it is based on demographic differences. New Rochelle, New York, recently established a quarantine; we can surmise based on the data above that the reason that this particular city was among the hardest hit was because of its relatively high proportion of Asian and Jewish populations. Harvard College, which is 23 percent East Asian, cancelled all classes or the time being. For comparison’s sake, Oklahoma, which is 73 percent white, 7 percent Amerindian and 7 percent African-American, with the rest being an admixture of those three racial groups, has had only two cases so far, and both of these were people who had just returned from Italy.  Not that the hysteria hasn’t affected us.

Then there is the fact that we are starting to enter into spring. As a general rule, flu epidemics peter out once warmer weather hits. Based on the real-time virulent effects of corona matching the “normal” flu, there is no reason not to suspect that it too, will begin to dissipate in a few weeks. It should not be forgotten that the vast majority of deaths caused by both strains is concentrated among the elderly. So far, the average age of death by corona is 81 years old. Contrast this age distribution to the Spanish Flu, when the age for peak mortality was 28 years old.

Based on this wildly disparate age distribution, it stands to reason that corona is essentially no different than the garden-variety flu that happens every year. As to why the younger cohort was more prone to dying during the 1918 pandemic, it has been theorized that the older generation, who had been alive during the Russian flu pandemic of 1891, had acquired a “herd immunity” which immunized them against the Spanish flu of 1914. It’s also possible that the close quarters of trench warfare caused many soldiers to be immunocompromised. Clearly, there was a concatenation of factors which made the Spanish Flu particularly virulent. In any case, we are seeing nothing of the sort with corona. Again, this bears repeating: like the regular flu, corona is more lethal among the elderly.

Ironically, alone among the various governments, the British are taking a decidedly different approach which you can read for yourself here: For whatever reason, the British government and health care establishments are acting in a more confident manner. The United Kingdom is an electoral democracy; as such, one cannot assume that its leaders are wont to be cavalier with their citizens’ lives. Ironically, it should also be pointed out that Britain has a national health care system, which has been the envy of American liberals and progressives since time began. I’m wondering how confident progressive politicians in the United States are about the glories of socialized medicine. While I don’t agree with socialized medicine (or single-payer), I don’t believe that British medical authorities are incompetent.

Anyway, prayer is called for. It is always called for. As a believer, a Christian sensibility informs my life and beliefs. I am also a healthcare professional and a student of history. As such, I am more than a little confident that this too, shall pass. And that it’s not going to be anywhere near as horrific as the hysterics among us believe.


  1. Things move very fast in a pandemic. The UK is now trying to change course very rapidly, your description of their approach is already obsolete:

    Potential seasonality doesn’t offer much comfort if one is looking at how the 1918 flu epidemic went. At best it offers a brief respite to build up infrastructure and prepare for the next round of required lockdowns.

    What is the current growth rate of cases in the US? When will that curve get bent? How many cases will there be at peak? What is the threshold at which you agree that it is an emergency that has justified the extreme measures that have been hastily enacted in the past few weeks?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Flavius, thanks for the update re Great Britain. In a rather oblique fashion, you are proving my point in that the elites in the UK were acting steadily however because of a subsequent hysteria, they buckled under pressure.

      I have to disagree with you re “seasonality” however. COVID-19, unlike the Spanish Flu, is acting (so far) like the seasonal flu, at least as far as mortality is concerned. The great tragedy of the Spanish Flu was not merely the numbers of deaths, which were staggering, but the youth of the afflicted.

      Not only had the “flower of Europe” died in the tens of thousands in the trenches during the Great War, but the rest of them were decimated in peacetime by the influenza. It was a double-whammy which destroyed all the joy that was budding once the armistice was signed.

      It was also quite possibly very dysgenic.

      • On the troop ships bringing the ‘boys’ back from the battlefields of Europe, the flu was rampant. My wife’s father was on one of those troop ships and he said that they didn’t have enough blankets and everyone was cold which helped in the spread of the virus; he spread newpapers over himself and placed the blanket on top to remain somewhat warm. I was in Korea and we had single, thin, wool blankets and when the temperatures got below zero, it was very cold; we wore long john underware and fatigues in bed.

      • I’m afraid I can’t agree with your assessment that the UK changes were due to giving into “hysteria”. They happened after realization that the input assumptions for the projections were wrong. After corrections based on actual real-world data the grim reality was potential for quarter million deaths in the UK assuming the health system didn’t collapse:

        My mention of seasonality was not to suggest that COVID-19 had a similar CFR to the 1918 flu, but rather that like the 1918 flu, we have to consider the possibility that even if it does exhibit some seasonal decline, it may resurge in the fall.

  2. Anonymous says

    Only three months ago, the globalists – The World Economic Forum and the Bill Gates Foundation – ran something called ‘Event 201’ which ran a simulation, a stage rehearsal of the very events unfolding today. The rehearsal staged a fictional worldwide pandemic of the Caronavirus.
    I’m not a conspiracy theorist, just pointing to the strangeness of our times:

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Bill Gates announced he would be stepping down from Microsoft and the board of Berkshire Hathaway to focus on “philanthropic priorities including global health and development, education, and his increasing engagement in tackling climate change.” A few years ago, he invested in developing machines to convert seawater into microscopic particles to be sprayed into clouds. For all we know, this kind of technology contributed to the extreme weather we experienced. He has been criticized for his active involvement with WHO where some have reported that he is dictating policy because he is one of it’s top contributors.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Interestly, they put out the following statement:

      Statement about nCoV and our pandemic exercise

      In October 2019, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security hosted a pandemic tabletop exercise called Event 201 with partners, the World Economic Forum and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Recently, the Center for Health Security has received questions about whether that pandemic exercise predicted the current novel coronavirus outbreak in China. To be clear, the Center for Health Security and partners did not make a prediction during our tabletop exercise. For the scenario, we modeled a fictional coronavirus pandemic, but we explicitly stated that it was not a prediction. Instead, the exercise served to highlight preparedness and response challenges that would likely arise in a very severe pandemic. We are not now predicting that the nCoV-2019 outbreak will kill 65 million people. Although our tabletop exercise included a mock novel coronavirus, the inputs we used for modeling the potential impact of that fictional virus are not similar to nCoV-2019.

  3. George Michalopulos says

    Then there’s this from The New York Times: “Are we overreacting?”

    This is from a paper that is most definitely not Trumpian in any respect.

  4. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s a balanced perspective on why Federalism (in the best sense, not the leviathan sense of our modern hyper-state) works:

    And why probably it will mitigate the distribution of the virus here in America.

  5. George, I hear you but I have also been following this since mid-January. The virus is bad but our society is so corroded and corrupted by the left and the media I fear that it no longer has the ability to weather crisis.  China has also been less than forthcoming with the true impact of the virus.  Take their infection and death numbers and multiply them by 100 and you might be closer to the truth.  Without lockdowns it would have been even higher.  Italy is probably a good indicator.
    In about two or three weeks we will know if this is overblown.  Until then I will err on the side of caution for the sake of my family and my community.  That will be the time to call BS.

  6. As an Orthodox Christian & a practicing physician who is married to a practicing physician with two young children I can say, “Yes, it is a pandemic, and it should be taken very seriously.”
    While it is true that the mortality rate is not “that high” relative to the Ebola virus the data are showing the novel coronavirus causes quite a bit more severe illness & death than the flu.
    More people will require ICU care with temporary use of a ventilator to get them through the worst part of the illness that would otherwise kill them, and COVID-19 will cause more deaths than a bad flu season but likely not as many as the 1918 flu epidemic.
    The virus will inevitably spread through the US until we all get it, and while most people will be fine there will be lots of deaths (considerably more than influenza) especially if we don’t act responsibly.
    The only way to prevent a situation where there are not enough hospital beds & ventilators to care for the critically ill is to slow the transmission of the virus down so that people get sick more slowly (i.e., few people sick at any given time, but as they recover others get sick).
    If the virus rapidly spreads through the country & everyone gets sick at once because the number of cases can double every few day (it’s exponential not linear growth, which isn’t a big deal when there are 10 cases in you state, but when you jump form 1,000 to 2,000 to 4,000 to 8,000 to 16,000…you get the picture) we will certainly be in the dilemma that Milan, Italy is in where they have to chose who gets the necessary care & who doesn’t (…and therefore dies).
    We only have so many doctors, hospital beds & ventilators so the reality is that medical resources are, in fact, limited, and no doctor wants to be forced to “ration care”, which could be the inevitable reality.
    No doubt, people will die from this, but we shouldn’t create a situation where we have relatively easily preventable deaths.
    If we can slow the spread of the virus down so that fewer people are sick at any given time & therefore spread the illnesses out over a longer time period (i.e., “flattening the curve”) by staying home & avoiding crowds greater then 10 people, social distancing (i.e., staying at least 6 feet away from others) as well as other common sense measures that the CDC & the Trump administration are recommending then it will take longer for the virus to move through the US population making the chances much greater that there will be enough medical resources to care for really sick people on any given day.
    However, if we blow this off & refuse to inconvenience ourselves then we will contribute to the needless death of many of our elderly & vulnerable family, friends & neighbors.
    It’s that simple.
    Lord, have mercy.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Timmy. I think it’s invaluable for healthcare professionals like you to communicate in a balanced and measured way, the way you just did. George and I agree that the biggest concern is overwhelming the healthcare system. I’d be curious to find out what you think of the following. If this guy is correct, it may not be bad as we fear.

      • Gail,

        The article you linked is pretty good, but he basically admits that China’s explosion of cases halted & is now dropping because they shut the country down just like we need to do in the US as soon as possible.

        There are many credible infectious disease experts who believe that once China relaxes its lockdown that the number of cases will start to increase again because COVID-19 is so incredibly contagious. To illustrate how contagious it is the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted Germany’s sentinel case in their 3/5/20 piece entitled “Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany”; If you Google it you’ll find that it’s a short & fascinating read.

        Yes, overwhelming the healthcare system is, indeed, the biggest concern. In fact, it’s really the only concern that the public can do anything about (and we must do something about) because it’s just a matter of time before everyone gets this virus & then we’ll develop some degree of “herd immunity”.

        The vaccination that is in the works will take 12-18 months at minimum before it’s available (assuming it’s even effective & safe) & it’s likely that nearly everyone will have been infected by then, which is why we need to slow transmission down so we have adequate medical resources to help the really sick people when they need it. We’ll be able to get a lot of folks (mostly people over 60-years-old) over the hump & they’ll survive, but even with ICU care & ventilator support there will be deaths, up to 8 times as many as the flu, as the article you linked accurately pointed out.

        This is precisely why we need to take this seriously. If we don’t a lot of older folks & people with underlying medical problems will die unnecessarily. The sacrifice most of us make will be for the benefit of others who are more vulnerable, but isn’t this The Way that Christ showed us?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I truly appreciate your analysis, Timmy. Thank you. Everything you’re saying makes sense. I will look for that article.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Timmy, ditto.

            While I am still not a Pollyanna about the current contagion, I refuse to be a hysteric about it either. As you point out, “…there will be deaths, up to 8 times as many as the flu…” That makes the worst-case scenario to be 480,000 deaths in the U.S. which works out to 480,000/330,000,000 = 1.4% of the population.

            Not good by any stretch of the imagination but still nowhere near as bad as the Spanish Flu of 1918. The catch phrase is “up to 8 times as many as the flu”. And I rounded up the annual flu mortality rate to 60,000 dead, whereas it’s usually just over 50,000.

            I also believe that with the current measures taken, this number will be mitigated somewhat. Then there is the possibility that ventilators will be mass-produced and already we are seeing proto-vaccines being tested as we speak.

            For those interested in purchasing stock in ventilator manufacturing companies, I recommend that you look into Allied Health Care Products, Inc., ResMed, Medtronics and GE Healthcare.

            And this is particularly interesting: the SAVe II ventilator, which is built by AutoMedx has been used by the military. It’s a compact ventilator used on the battlefield and mobile army units which was developed by DARPA to combat the 2003 SARS disease (also from China) and MERS. Both of these diseases attacked victims’ lungs and both were able to contain the virus before they became epidemic.

            • GSV Death and Gravity says

              You are probably being a bit too optimistic. A projection for a “worst-case” scenario in which nothing was done was shaping up to be 2.2 million dead in the US. 
              Obviously things are being done, this has been one of the most dramatic past weeks in modern American history. So it is unlikely to get that bad. But have you reflected on the fact that you are apparently simultaneously labeling extreme measures a hysterical overreaction while also counting on them to avoid a scenario where over one percent of the US population dies of C19 over the next several months?

            • Well, since you brought up the military and mobile army units, maybe now would be a really good time to bring back all those troops, from Iraq, from Syria, from Africa, from all those farflung bases most of us know nothing about, and along with them bring back however many field hospitals there are.  Imagine how much it might help to have those field hospitals moved to the U.S. and set up here. 

              • George Michalopulos says

                100% agreement. But the State Dept thinks otherwise. Because reasons.

                • To whom does the State Department report?

                  • From what I gathered from listening extensively to the House impeachment hearings, the State Department reports to itself and to the governments of foreign countries.  Numerous times I heard how “the president’s actions were in contradiction of established U. S. foreign policy.”

            • George (in response to your 8:55AM post): Agreed. Panic is always counterproductive. However, we need an honest & accurate understanding of the facts so that we can all act responsibly.
              The bottom line is that a certain number of our family, friends & neighbors (mostly older folks) are going the die from this virus no matter what we do, but the promising news it that we can prevent more people from dying needlessly if we take appropriate measure as a society.
              Shutdowns, closed borders, social distancing, testing/tracking/isolating will certainly cause other problems for our society, but how can we place a value on human lives?
              This may be the libertarian in me talking, but if the government won’t take measure to protect its citizens’ lives from an acute infectious outbreak then what function does government serve?

              In Jefferson’s “…life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness…” clause from our Declaration of Independence there is an obvious reason that “life” is listed first. As far as I know dead people don’t purse liberty or happiness.

    • I’m not sure I would want to be with a crowd of even 8 or 9 people, let alone ten or more.  Otherwise, I appreciate Timmy’s comment and plan to abide by it.

    • As an Orthodox church choir director who is married to a practicing surgeon, I thank you for your realistic and sober assessment. Too many people bought into the original hoax theory propagated by your (I am in Canada) clueless leader. Let’s hope that his turnaround will help put the ship on the right course.

    • Why is it inevitable that we all get it?

      • And tell me how it would be different if the Euro and American media were to pick any one strain of the 6-10+ flu variations that come every single year and tracked it as it spread day to day , person to person, through most countries in the world, noting each exponential jump in those affected?
        Last week it was 2 in X country now it’s 16 . . . now it’s 1,000 . . . then a few months later it’s 50,000 people dead in the USA alone! Sounds scary when framed/spun the right way until you realize that it happens every year and then you figure the percentage of 50,000 into 330 million.
        It’s like when they hype gun crime and then you check statistics and find out how many people are killed by being beaten with hands and feet and everywhere-available blunt objects. And then see the numbers of how many people die from medical malpractice every year. And then you see suicide numbers dwarf them all and are horrific and realize that’s the real tragedy in the US but the puppetmasters can’t accomplish their political goals addressing the honest roots of why people are so despondant in modern societies.
        Tracking any virus on a micro level through a globalized, high-speed-traveled, open-borders world would make for a frightening show. Divide thousands into 6.5 billion though and then add in the media’s tendancy for less than credible reporting, and the absolute corruption of the political classes of the “democracies” the world over, and you’ll better understand the skepticism some of us have. 

  7. Gail Sheppard says

    Mortality rate 3/16/20:  2%

    Total known cases: 3,487
    Total deaths: 68

    • Yes, and that’s a 2% mortality rate as of right now when we have the medical resoruces to care for really sick COVID-19 patients. By comparison, the mortality rate for the flu is 0.1%, and we have some measure of herd immunity & a vaccine for the flu unlike the novel coronavirus, which is why it is so serious/fatal. However, as COVID-19 spreads with exponential growth, which is what will definitely happen if we don’t shut the country down for a period of time so that we slow the rate of transmission, then we’ll see mortality rates increase because there will be too many critically ill people for doctors / hospital to care for…and they will die unnecessarily.
      This is all about the numbers. Unchecked transmission explodes in a short period of time. It’s not overwhelming when there are 500 cases in a given state, but when a week or two later the numbers continue doubling from 2,500 to 5,000 to 10,000 to 20,000 to 40,000 to 80,000 it’s a disaster, which is exactly why we need to get in front of this. This is a responsibility that every member of American society needs to understand & accept.
      Also, American peoples’ physiology is not any different than Italian or Chines peoples’ physiology, and we have a lot of risk factors here in the US like obesity, diabetes, heart/lung disease, high blood pressure & smoking that many experts feel put US people at greater risk of complications.
      Lord, have mercy.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        So, Timmy, I read where we have 46,800 to 64,000 medical intensive-care unit (ICU) beds; no where near the number we’d need to care for 2% of the population if we all got sick at the same time. Are they just hoping to slow the rate of transmission so we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system or is it possible to eradicate it if the rate of infection drops?

        • Gus Langis says

          Mass hysteria. 11 days ago a UK article citing medical experts said a best case scenario is 15 million dead worldwide. It said South Korea can expect tens of thousands of deaths. They probably wont even have 250 dead. South Korea tests 15,000 people a day and their death rate is down to 0.22%  .  The article gives the same ‘tens of thousands’ dead for Italy. Italy is the hardest hit a worst case scenario and yet it’s unlikely they will hit 10,000 deaths. Here from 11 days ago:

          • Gus, it seems as though you’re missing the point.
            The COVID-19 outbreaks are not getting better anywhere in the world all by themselves. They are only being halted & reversed in certain countries with recognition & acknowledgment of how serious this disease is followed by implementation of rigorous programs.
            Italy’s death rates would skyrocket further if they hadn’t imposed the lockdown & closed its borders. South Korea is turning things around because they imposed an austere testing program to identify, trace contacts & then isolate infected/exposed people in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Satellite photos show mass graves dug for the dead in Iran. This is the basic math of an infectious disease that spreads at a rate that is exponential, doubling every few days, and the above mentioned measures can be taken to minimize deaths.
            The point is that WE CAN lower the death rates if we take this seriously & act responsibly. However, I we minimize it & act irresponsibly then we’ll likely approximate the projected death rates.
            We can pay now with the shutdown or pay later with a lot of unnecessarily dead people in the social security age range.
            That’s all I’m going to say since the old addage is true, “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

        • True death rate is survivors vs deaths.  Those who are still sick do not count until their outcome is known.  It’s higher than 2%.

        • Gail, the graphic below illustrates the goal for us here in the USA:

          No doubt, there will be deaths even with medical care (some estimates are ~7% of infected people between 60-80 years-old & ~15% over 80 years-old), but if we overwhelm the healthcare system then there will be a lot more deaths that could have been prevented with temporary ICU / ventilator support and we’ll look like northern Italy in the graphic below where they are starting to tell the really sick people over 80-years-old to stay home (i.e., die) because the don’t have enough doctors, hospital beds or ventilators to help them:
          Essentially all current data is indicating that eradication of COVID-19 is a pipe dream. It’s like trying to stop the wind.
          We’ve never been able to eradicate a virus without a vaccine (think smallpox), and effective/safe vaccines are hard to come by. We haven’t come up with vaccines for HIV, herpes, or the mosquito-born encephalitis viruses, just to name a few. We have vaccination for viruses like the polio, the flu & HPV (the cause of cervical cancer in women) and they are helpful, but far from erudition, which is like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine not like hitting the target in an sharpshooting competition…there’s more luck than skill involved in eradication.
          Hope this helps.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            As always, Timmy, it absolutely does help and I so appreciate it.

            I don’t mean to pepper you with questions, but do you have any confidence in using antibodies from the blood plasma or serum of people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to boost the immunity of newly infected patients and those at risk of contracting the disease? What about immunoglobulins? Should we be talking to our physicians about this?

            I discovered today that the average cost of hospitalizing someone and putting them on a ventilator could be as high as $20,000 per hospital visit. Rather than closing businesses down and possibly bankrupting Medicare, I still think it would be more cost effective to incentivize people to hurry up and get the virus if they’re in a low risk group, which would shorten the cycle. It’s sounds like we’re all going to get it anyway. If I were a younger person, I would expose myself to it and would give as much blood as I could if it would save other people.

            I was surprised to read that 1 in 3 people over 20 have hypertension and many don’t know it. This puts them at higher risk for complications. More than 1 in 10 adults over 20 have diabetes. Diabetes puts a person at a 60% greater risk. I wouldn’t be surprised if the mean age of mortality in this country turns out to be much lower because of obesity. In other words, this is not just an “old person” disease.

            For the first time, I am realizing that I am probably going to lose some of my closest friends. I have a friend who had a liver transplant 10 years ago. Interestly, she was one of those who never took a drink. She’s now 70 now and struggles with hypertension and diabetes. She’s also on a host of anti-rejection medication. What’s worse, she lives alone thousands of miles away in CA where I can’t help her. She is not the only one I love who is similarly compromised. Thinking of what they may have to go through is keeping me up at night. Thinking about how I might lose them is almost too difficult to bear.

            This is one of those times where we absolutely need God to intervene or 2020 could be the worst year many of us will ever experience. Though we can’t go to services, I think most of us can go in and light candles. I’m going to ask George if we can start doing that as often as possible. We can also ask our priest and our monasteries to pray for our friends and family. If it is their appointed time, we can pray for their peace during the process. So many people prayed for me when my son died. I felt like God was literally lifting me above all of it so I could get through it. I would not have survived it otherwise. As Orthodox Christians, you would think prayer would be our default position. Why is it that we always seem to pray as a last resort?

            • George Michalopulos says

              Very much agreed with going to church and at least lighting a candle. Our parish priest is following Arb Alexander’s directives and conducting Divine Liturgy every Sunday (admittedly with a skeleton crew, again following the arb’s directive), so that’s all to the good.

              I’m intrigued by your proposal to harvest antibodies from those who have already been exposed. That might be the way to go.

            • Gail,
              Why is prayer often our last rather than our first response to crises, myself included? I would say it is due to a lack of faith, again myself included (if not especially me). Many saintly hierarchs,  particularly Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev, have explicitly stated that this cross (like all trials) is an opportunity to reorient ourselves toward God & our neighbor and an opportunity to strengthen our faith. That’s real wisdom, if you ask me! I agree that we should all increase our prayers for each other & ourselves.
              I haven’t see enough data to know if there’s much hope in the idea of transferring antibodies from recovered people to folks not-yet-infected but at-risk-of-complications. I think is it certainly worth some investigatory trials though.
              I also agree that shutting society down indefinitely is not really the way to go because the economic ramification will be devastating. As we’ve seen in South Korea where they executed a regimen of VERY aggressive testing, tracing contacts & isolation of infected/exposed individuals, and it has proven to be tremendously effective as evidenced by the dropping number of cases. It’s worth noting that South Korea didn’t mandate generalized shutdowns either; Science (the publication) did a nice piece on this the other day.
              Our current 2-week shutdown here in the US is a cautious trial to let the dust settle, slow down the spread & get results of testing so we can see where we are at & reassess the situation so we can figure out what the next best step is for public health & the economy. When the next few weeks are over recommendations may be along the lines of what you laid out in your last post.
              I agree with you that many of us are, unfortunately, going to lose someone near & dear to us because of this virus, and death is a profound tragedy (as you know first hand). However, without denying the agony of death as Orthodox Christian we also know by faith that death is not the end but rather a new beginning to a different “phase” of our existence. Christ is Risen, and so we will be too. Thus, I find consolation in knowing that my dead loved ones are not “‘Gone’ but not forgotten” but rather still here with us but in the spiritual dimension that circumscribes our material existence awaiting the return of Christ, the resurrection & judgment. Yet another reason to pray.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                You are a wealth of information, Timmy. It’s good to talk to an Orthodox physician who is not only educated to heal us physically, but has a great appreciation of our spiritual needs, as well.

        • All current data indicates that our only hope is slowing the rate of transmission down so we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system.

          Eradication of the virus would be like stopping the wind, and the recipe would be a pinch of knowledge/skill mixed with 4 quarts of good luck.

          I tried to post some graphics that illustrate these points more effectively than words but, unfortunately, the post didn’t take (maybe pictures are prohibited on the blog?).

  8. Steven J. M. says

    Health issues aside, it’s worth considering the economic implications of all the rate cuts and stimulus packages that governments and central banks around the world are implementing to fight the affects of coronavirus.
    While I’m definitely illiterate when it comes to economics, I do nevertheless watch the videos of these guys linked below, as they seem to never fail to get things right. The basic tenor of their most recent video is – if you can – to get your money out of wherever it might be tied up, in anticipation of the coming collapse.
    I understand that market collapses are forecast all the time (and yet never come to fruition), and that this could be just another one of them; and yet given the situation, as well as these guys’ proven record, I believe there’s something important here to consider.
    Of course, if anyone here speaks economics better than this and can put people at ease, please don’t hesitate to do do so. In the meantime:

  9. TheFutureOfTheChurch says

    I don’t think there is any situation where hysteria or panic is productive but unfortunately our news and social media platforms promote such reactions. However, I don’t think the gravity of this should be underestimated. I recommend that anyone who thinks this does not need immediate and extraordinary action in the U.S. do a Google search for “coronavirus italy” and read some articles about the effects there. Italy is a few weeks ahead of this on us and they are telling the world what they believe they did wrong. In particular, they are saying they did not take it seriously enough early on and shut things down soon enough to stop it from spreading rapidly. Now they have bodies piling up in morgues and their healthcare system is at the breaking point. From what I have read about this in the U.S. we are repeating their same mistakes. We all need to pray about this often.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Also St Hussein went golfing the day he announced the swine flu national emergency.

      Just sayin’.

  10. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Announces Further Measures on COVID-19 to Protect the Faithful
    By TNH Staff 
    March 17, 2020

  11. George Michalopulos says
  12. OCA and Antiochians just shut all parishioners out except for clergy, servers, and chanters. At a time when we could have been a shining example to the world…we are acting like the protestants. Discouraging.

    • Please be more careful, Mikhail.  This is not quite true.
      “Each Diocesan Bishop is entrusted with overseeing the spiritual and pastoral care of his Clergy and Faithful and with protecting their wellbeing in whatever measures he determines appropriate. This oversight, in response to the coronavirus, is to be in keeping with the Holy Synod’s vigilant response to the present pandemic, the most recent federal, state, and municipal civil directives, and updated medical knowledge obtained from recognized experts. Therefore, Diocesan Bishops may allow for the churches within their dioceses to serve the Divine Services with limited participation on the part of the Faithful, or to designate a limited number of Churches in their dioceses to serve a limited number of services with only a few people present or to be closed altogether for the time being.”
      Our local OCA bishop is allowing continuation of all normal services (at least for now), but has cancelled all coffee hours, Sunday Schools, and other meetings/gatherings.

    • Sorry, Mikail, I didn’t intend to single you out, as I now see others have reported the same.

    • Mikhail, sorry to disappoint you, but the OCA has not shut out all parishioners. The OCA has left it up for the Diocesan bishops to decide about holding services. As I told StephenD earlier, the Diocese of the Midwest (under Bishop Paul) has not shut out parishioners. We are encouraging members to stay away if they’re elderly or feel that their health/safety is at risk. But we are not turning anyone away. Granted, coffee/social hours and church school classes are suspended, but there are still going to be open for services. I’ll certainly keep you posted if anything changes.

      • Alex,
        “Mikhail, sorry to disappoint you, but the OCA has not shut out all parishioners”
        I think you are wrong Alex:
        Mikhail’s words suggest he is disappointed when OCA churches ore shut, not when they are not shut.
        I think you, Alex, are disappointed because some OCA Churches are NOT shut, because that means they do not obey the one called All-Most-Holy and not simply Holy as in “Holy God”.
        It seems  the Corona virus is triggering changes in the Fanariot ecclesiastical obedience and order.
        That is the silver lining of the clouds.

        • George Michalopulos says

          When all is said and done, there will be more than a few silver linings. Among them would be the closure of most colleges and universities and a transition to on-line learning (which is already going on and has been for a decade or so). The only physical institutions of higher learning that need to exist would be those that have medical, dental, pharmaceutical and nursing schools. Also those universities that are heavy into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mechanical).

          A friend of mine came up with an excellent idea: in order to address the student-loan crisis (another govt boondoggle that has needlessly inflated the cost of higher education), the President should order the Congress to confiscate all the endowment funds of all the colleges and universities and set up a “bank” in which the indebted students could draw on the funds therein and use the money to pay back their loans. If there is any money left over, then qualified students (i.e. not those wanting to study basket-weaving or Latinx Lesbian Studies at Enormous State University) could use the money, interest-free to pay for tuition.

          According to my friend, the pot of money we’re talking about is ~$500,000,000. While student-loan debt is currently approaching twice that amount, it would have a cascading effect in other ways as well. For instance, with the transition to online learning for (say) 80% of students, then colleges would be forced to lay off all those useless flunkies they have that deal with diversity and other such nonsense. And that’s just a start. They could sell off buildings and acreages that are not needed. Surplus dormitories could be rented out for living. (Some of these newer dorms are very nice duplexes and quadruplexes.)

          And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Such a bold move would have a multiplier effect further down the road.

        • Sorry, Ioannis, it must be a language thing. You’ve got it backwards. I’m all for churches to be open. Not sure why you’re so confused? When I say we, I refer to those of us in the Diocese of the Midwest. As, I’m a lay leader…on a parish council. So, I’ll be at services. (It’s all a moot point anyway, as we should all be praying very hard for this virus to abate. Don’t you concur?)

          • Sorry Alex, I am the one to apologize!
            I was actually surprised that you would write  such a wrong thing.
            But again, language can have two meanings sometimes.
            So it was indeed my fault!

    • To clarify…
      March 17, 2020 To all clergy, monastics and laity of the Diocese of the Midwest, The blessing of the Lord be upon you. The following is an update to the directives issued by the Holy Synod last week in response to the Coronavirus. The Holy Synod met yesterday to further discuss this situation and we are still deliberating on the guidance to give you on this crisis. However I thought it important to at least give some direction as people are seeking that from me. All that I say is not motivated by fear for my own well being, or a lack of faith but for a concern and love for my brother. This air born virus has the ability to be passed on from person to person by people that could very well be symptom free. What has happened in countries like Italy could very well happen with this us if we don’t take action now. This is what the medical people are saying. Not only that, the Central of Disease Control (CDC), issued guidelines yesterday that groups of 10 or more people should not be meeting. Given this I am issuing the following directive for the Diocese of the Midwest. 1. All social gatherings such as coffee hour, church school, adult education, and seminars and retreats are suspended. 2. Liturgical services may still be held but only with the priest and a small group of people of no more that ten. Should that number be exceeded, no one will be turned away, but the priest should remind those who attend of the risk they are taking in coming. 3. I am asking people to not attend services out of love for God and their brother so as to minimize the threat of passing on this virus. 4. In the case of funerals, rectors or priests in charge are to contact me for further direction. 5. All parishes (who have the ability) should live stream their services so people from home can be there to pray along with the so-called “skeleton crew.” 6. Please do not neglect to support your stewardship responsibilities with the parish. 7. The usual pastoral duties of our clergy are to be carried out in the context of these guidelines (I.e. Confession, visitation of the sick, etc.). 8. All of the above measures are meant to be temporary. 9. These directives apply for the next two weeks effecti

      • Thank you, Brian!

        • Where I live, there is not one Liturgy available to me and my family this Sunday. The Sunday of the Cross! This includes OCA, Greek, and Antiochian. Some parishes are having skeleton crews by invitation only (five maximum). I’m seriously wondering if they will cancel Pascha. This is ludicrous. It is not Orthodox. I am pleased to hear that this is not the case for some OCA parishes in other parts of the country. I may make the one hour plus drive to the ROCOR parish with my family. Lord have mercy!

          • The Bulgarian Patriarchal (not OCA) parishes are remaining fully open for the time being with the caveat that there be no kissing of anything or anyone.  You might check to see if there is one near you, if you simply must go.

  13. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on The Pappas Post website.
    Home > Diaspora > In Coronavirus Chaos, A Power Struggle Emerges in the Greek Orthodox Church in America
    Diaspora ◇ Greek America
    In Coronavirus Chaos, A Power Struggle Emerges in the Greek Orthodox Church in America
    written by Gregory Pappas
    March 17, 2020

    • My understanding of the Eparchial structure of the GOA would support the Metropolitan against the Archbishop. But then it’s a Greek Archdiocese so what are rules and regulations anyhow? I was recently told that GOARCH Uniform Parish Regulations are just good ideas that don’t need to be taken literally. 
      Abp. (Not ‘Arb’!) Elpidophoros might be tipping his hand here to indicate that his interpretation of Eparchial hierarchy places his authority over local Metropolitans. I am learning that in Iakovos’ time it was thus. 
      Recently Metropolitan Gerasimos, when asked by one of his clergy to interpret Arb. Elpidophoros’ comments to the Leadership 100 regarding ‘Miracle Marriages’ and communion of non-Orthodox spouses, declined to give a definitive answer, prefacing his own comments with, “I am not a theologian.”
      Pause to let that sink in.
      So the clergy of the SF Metropolis are not to look to their Bishop for theological answers to pastoral issues. Everyone in the GOA is free to do what he sees is right in his own eyes. Talk about your blind mouths and clouds without water. 

  14. Sage-Girl says

    With this global Pandemic I keep wondering what’s going to happen with rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church at Ground Zero? 
    Will construction be on hold for yet another year or more?  What endless saga… I’m sure Archdiocese is devastated since they got money up & then BAM? Apocalypse!

  15. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Greek Orthodox Church Hosts Event Making 25,000 Meals for Students in Need amid Coronavirus Shutdown
    By TNH Staff 
    March 18, 2020

  16. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Holds Special Coronavirus Teleconference of the Eparchial Synod
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    March 18, 2020

  17. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find yet another article from today in The National Herald.
    HC/HC to Close For Rest of Academic Year
    By TNH Staff 
    March 18, 2020

  18. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet one more article from today in The National Herald.
    TNH Exclusive: Ecumenical Patriarchate to Close All Churches and Monasteries amid COVID-19 Outbreak
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    March 18, 2020

  19. I’m not going to church this weekend because I am complying with the medical and government authorities who have explained how Covid-19 spreads and are prohibiting more than 10 people from gathering. I agree with their directives. But, I believe it’s important to emphasize that I’m not staying home from church for fear of being contaminated from Holy Communion! This is an important distinction. Holy Communion  saves us. It does not make us sick.  And I am heartened by those Orthodox jurisdictions that while in full compliance with government limit of 10 people to protect their parishioners, will continue to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Sunday and in some cases Saturdays-the two days of the week when the Divine Liturgy is celebrated in Great Lent. I don’t know much about theology, but I was taught that the strongest form of prayer the Church offers is in the commemorations of the living and dead and the petitions offered up by the priest in the Divine Liturgy. The medical community, the first responders  and the government are playing their roles in this crisis. The Church needs to be present and active in appealing to God in the Divine Liturgy. What a powerful comfort and assurance this sends to the faithful that their priest is offering the Divine Liturgy for the needs of his flock!

  20. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Message from Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco Regarding Coronavirus
    By TNH Staff 
    March 19, 2020

  21. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Metropolitan Nathanel of Chicago Closes Churches as Coronavirus Measure
    By TNH Staff 
    March 19, 2020

  22. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find yet another article from today in The National Herald.
    Orthodox Church Proclaims Three New Saints
    By TNH Staff 
    March 19, 2020

  23. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article and video from Tuesday in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Prays for the Healing of Sickness (Vid)
    By TNH Staff 
    March 17, 2020

  24. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.
    List of Parishes Offering Live Broadcasts of Divine Services in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
    By TNH Staff 
    March 18, 2020

  25. Michael Bauman says

    I do not know a lot but a couple of things I do know and am working to remember in repentance and prayer:
    1. God’s mercy and providential care is beyond imagining and profoundly real and present for each of us;
    2. Having been required to spend time away from the Cup a few years ago I leaned that the preperation for communion was just as important as actually receiving it: repentance, forgiveness, patience and hope.
    3. Speculative fear is ALWAYS a negative especially in epidemics and pandemics
    4 Mankind is incredibly adaptable. 
    5. I have almost no control over when I die.  
    Glory to God.

  26. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from yesterday in The National Herald.
    Mt. Athos Shuts Down to Visitors until March 30
    By ANA 
    March 19, 2020

  27. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a video from yesterday, by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Regarding Coronavirus, on the Orthodox Times website.

  28. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Jerusalem
    No visitors at Sinai Saint Cathrine Monastery until March 31
    Mar 20, 2020 | 12:00

  29. Metropolitan Seraphim of Kythera has been arrested for opening his cathedral and calling the faithful to service.

  30. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday, along with a full video documentary by Ancient Faith Films, on The Pappas Post website.
    Home > Features > During the Last Pandemic, this Orthodox Priest Did What He Was Called to Do
    Features ◇ History
    Orthodox Priest Did What He Was Called to Do
    written by Gregory Pappas
    March 21, 2020

  31. George Michalopulos says

    I believe we are not being told the whole truth regarding the relative virulence of this disease. Olga Kurylenko just posted this:

    She is recovered and received no medication, just boosted her vitamin intake.

  32. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Coronavirus
    By TNH Staff 
    March 24, 2020

  33. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article and video from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Addresses the Faithful Regarding Coronavirus (Vid)
    By TNH Staff 
    March 27, 2020

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      I know I’m being caustic, but perhaps the faithful will start caring what he has to say when he lets them back into the Church and quits telling them “to stay home.”

  34. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church Document Now Available Online
    By TNH Staff 
    March 28, 2020

  35. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article and video from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate > Mount Athos

    They prayed for health around the globe on Mount Athos (video)
    Mar 28, 2020 | 20:38

  36. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate

    Prayer for pandemic from Network of Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care
    Mar 28, 2020 | 16:52

  37. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Tuesday, on the Orthodox Christian Mission Center website.
    OCMC News – From Archbishop Anastasios: Resistance to the Pandemic
    by Archbishop Anastasios of Albania (Posted 3/24/2020)

  38. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday in The National Herald.
    Monk from Mt. Athos Has Been Infected with COVID-19
    By ANA 
    March 28, 2020

    • Patriarch Kirill has caved in
      but Metropolitan Onuphry has not.
      What better proof could we ask
      of the autonomy of the UOC?

        • Joseph Lipper says

          This is quite admirable.  Metropolitan Epiphany is obedient to the authorities by telling people to stay at home, and he is also offering up the OCU parishes to the Ukrainian government for use as temporary hospitals for those infirm with Covid-19.  That’s amazing.

          • “That’s amazing.”
            Amazing? Epihany follows Onuphry who previously offered the monasteries of the UOC as hospitals (with, no doubt, lots of monks as auxiliary nursing staff)?
            Even more admirable, Onuphry’s flock have the Eucharist. Epiphany’s do not.
            Less admirable is that you, Joseph, praise Epihhany but not Onuphry.

          • Johann Sebastian says

            I think he’s making the right decision. Doesn’t make him a real bishop though.

            • Precisely.

            • George Michalopulos says

              The thing that all the canonical churches (save for one) agree on is that Epiphany is not a real bishop. As far as Greece and Alexandria are concerned, their “recognition” of Dumenko is highly irregular and most decidedly non-canonical.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Correct. In “obeying the authorities” Mr Dumenko is simply making a virtue out of necessity as his parishes are pretty much empty anyway.

              • Johann Sebastian says

                Maybe if the bishop gig doesn’t work out, he can run for the Ukrainian presidency. After he repents, of course.

      • Brendan, Patriarch Kirill also has a different government to placate. (Metropolitan Onuphry has the civil authorities of Ukraine to deal with.)

        • Patriarch Kirill is in a stronger position relative to the Russian civil power than Metropolitan Onuphfry is to the Ukrainian civil power.
          So my point concerning the autonomy of the UOC stands.

          • Okay, Brendan, I see what you were getting at now. The rather ‘broad’ autonomy that the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church enjoys lets them make decisions separate from the Moscow Patriarchate.

            • …whereas the narrow ‘autocephaly’ of the non-canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine lets them obey decisions delivered by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

      • Joseph Lipper says

        This does add another problematic layer to the schism in Ukraine.  If the UOC abandon their parishes because of Coronavirus, then perhaps fear exists that they would somehow lose them indefinitely.  Conversely, if the UOC refuses to stop liturgical services, then there is the real danger that the government could label those parishes health hazards and shut them down.  Of course, all of this is on top of the current tensions that already exist in Ukraine. May God help Metropolitan Onuphrey.

  39. E M Cimmins says

    These events have now occurred:
    On March 20:
    On March 28:
    And now finally, on March 30:
    In sum, the Status Quo group declared the Holy Sepulcher will be open on the 20th, open but with restrictions on the 28th, and closed and padlocked by order of the Israeli govt March 30th.
    E M Cimmins

  40. E M Cimmins says

    Forgive me, the link below should be substituted for the first link above, and the date changed to March 22. The info at the Patriarch of Jerusalem website seems a little off on the exact dates between the dates in the links themselves and the date the info was posted.

    Thank you,
    E M Cimmins

  41. E M Cimmins says

    Additionally, here is a good link regarding the Holy Fire:

  42. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Mount Athos and Meteora Hold Vigil to Pray for the Health of People Around the World  
    By TNH Staff 
    March 31, 2020

  43. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s some interesting stats:

    These are the top six countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus (in absolute numbers as of March 27, 1430):

    1. USA 94,238
    2. Italy 86,498
    3. Spain 64,059
    4. Germany 49,344
    5. Iran 32,332
    6. France 29,593

    Now, here are the top six countries by confirmed cases per million people:

    1. Italy 1,386.13
    2. Spain 1,280.78
    3. Germany 615.57
    4. France 436.17
    5. Iran 380.72
    6. USA 283.30

    Same six countries but clearly the US is the least affected.

    • GSV Death and Gravity says

      Why are you posting four day old data? That’s an eternity ago at this stage. The John Hopkins numbers at March 31, 1400 hours EDT:
      USA 174,467
      per 1M: 528.7
      Now, everybody has per capita numbers still going up, but if you look at the rate of increase post 100th-cases ( it seems very very likely US reaches 1,400 per 1M by sometime this weekend. 

      • Gail Michalopulos says

        According the the WHO, today, the order hasn’t changed since 3/27:

        1 United States of America
        2 Italy
        3 Spain
        – China
        4 Germany
        5 Iran
        6 France

        (George inadvertently left out China.)

        I think George was just posting something interesting about the United States being the least impacted based on number of cases. The problem with using the number of cases is that it’s dependent upon testing and there are too many variables to make any comparisons among countries. Testing is impacted by:

        1 The availability of test kits
        2 Whom you test, e.g. people who come forward who think they may have it, people who are high risk, people in a geographic area, everybody, etc.
        3 What type of test you’re using
        4 Turnaround time for results
        5 Number of false positives
        6 Number of false negatives

        The number of cases is less significant than the mortality rate. The mortality rate, based on the number of confirmed cases, tells you how well you are doing in comparison to other countries in responding to the crisis.

        Our mortality rate will shrink, significantly, when the number of confirmed cases skyrockets, as result of Abbott shipping 50,000 test kits per day beginning this week. It takes 5 minutes to get a result. The FDA also released emergency approval for Bodysphere, who can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes. They need to come up with something that measures antibodies so we can determine the true number of cases where people had it but recovered.

        We’re not going to know what we were really dealing with until after the virus has run its course. My fear is the the loss of freedoms we’re experiencing due to social distancing is going to be the “new normal.”

        When the coronavirus runs it course, some will say it’s because of social distancing even though they can’t really measure how many people are really doing it or to what degree.

        If it doesn’t run its course, they’ll say people didn’t utilize social distancing enough.

        In either case, they’re going to explain everything in terms of social distancing and they’re going to impose it again the next time there is a perceived threat.

        People are going to start freaking out being isolated like this. Like they are in China. Expect crime and violence.

        People may (experts say they will) die, as a result of equipment shortages. It’s not a factor yet and maybe won’t be in this country. But if people die, they’ll politicalized that as well. They will become victims of xenophobia. It goes without saying, it will all be Trump’s fault. It just has to be, right? He’s got orange hair, after all.

        • GSV Death and Gravity says

          The point is that taking in more recent data against the older data directly undermines an assertion that the “US is the least affected” because the situation is dynamic and changing rapidly. Saying my sandcastle is holding up the best is a bit premature when you are saying it while the tide is only starting to come in.

          I would like to be optimistic about seeing a drastically reduced mortality rate. Unfortunately, the data is not supporting that yet. Testing has already started to increase, although there are still lots of problems, but the mortality rate has gone up. Remember that 1.33% CDC figure from March 20? The current numbers off their page (163,539/2,860) put the figure at 1.75%. If I’m pulling the JH numbers at 1000 EDT, it’s (189753/4090) 2.15%.

          Key worries about that number going higher before it goes lower:
          Increased spread in rural America with a lack of health resources to fight it.
          Florida, how bad is it going to be? Trailing that, Louisiana and Texas? Other southern states?

          Trump’s screw-ups have nothing to do with his hair color, i.e.

  44. George Michalopulos says

    Here’s also a datum regarding ethno-racial differences and how they impact a person’s susceptibly to infection: according to The Jewish News of London, Jews only make up 0.3% of the UK’s population but make up 5% of all coronavirus deaths. This would accord with what yours truly wrote last week about haptoglobins and how they vary among different ethnicities and races.

    To be sure, a factor may be that Jews are heavily concentrated in London, where because of population density, there is a higher-than-average occurrence of coronavirus. As one gets into the weeds however, it is Sephardi Jews (who are Iberian-descended) who seem to suffer more than Ashkenazi Jews (Jews from Central and Eastern Europe).

    Curiously, Jews are historically less susceptible to tuberculosis.


    • Sounds like a… coronoacaust!

      • Gail Michalopulos says

        George, you’ve got to remember this term. It’s GREAT Basil!

        • StephenD says

          I think it could be due to the fact that Jews also wash their hands often and partake of the mikva which is a ritualistic bath which women if they are observant use after their menses. Jews weren’t targeted by many of the plagues during the Middle Ages because of their cleanliness which caused Christians to target them.

  45. Gail Michalopulos says

    Thought you might all like to see what the Pew Research Study group says we think about the coronavirus and how it’s being handled.  It’s entitled, Worries About Coronavirus Surge, as Most Americans Expect a Recession – or Worse

  46. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarchate Issues New Announcement on Coronavirus Closings
    By TNH Staff 
    April 2, 2020

  47. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Israel to Help Christians Share “Holy Fire” amid Outbreak
    By Associated Press 
    April 3, 2020

  48. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Archdiocese’s Ionian Village Cancels Summer 2020 Programs
    By TNH Staff
    April 3, 2020

  49. George Michalopulos says
  50. George Michalopulos says

    Why is it that Trump voters are considered crazy when it’s always those who have TDS who do the really crazy sh!t?

    This is one, sick puppy. Perhaps the death penalty is called for? It’s a miracle that nobody was killed.

    • Estonian Slovak says

      Indeed, he is. I’m sure the left will try to portray him as a right-wing conspiracy theorist.
            I wouldn’t say that there aren’t some real conspiracies, however. Maybe someone here has read “Father Elijah”,by Michael O’Brien. The author is a traditional Roman Catholic. 
           The main character is Fr. Elijah, a Catholic monk, a converted Polish Jew who survived WWII. On a flight from Israel to Rome, he is seated next to an American. In conversation with Fr. Elijah, the American says there are three billion too many people in the planet, and THEY GOTTA GO. Note, not talking of birth control, but elimination of living people. 
            Conspiracy theories? Who knows?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “Conspiracy theories? Who knows?”

        Yes! There is no evidence– that’s the proof!

        “He is seated next to an American.” Which one? (Which American, that is…..) There are, after all, several million of them…..

        • Estonian Slovak says

          Did you not read my post, Tim? The American was a fictional character; to be more precise, he was a military doctor.
               I do not know if this virus is part of a conspiracy. I’m sure it’s real. That doesn’t change the fact that it MIGHT be part of Chinese germ warfare that got out of control. Notice I said MIGHT, that means a possibility, no proof, no direct accusation.
               As for conspiracies, they’ve been around since the devil was sent to hell. I don’t see them everywhere, but I won’t say they don’t exist.

  51. GSV Death and Gravity says

    We Have Always Been At War With Eastasia part xvii

  52. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Statement of the ACOB-USA Executive Committee Concerning Holy Week and Pascha
    By TNH Staff 
    April 5, 2020

  53. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today by The Associated Press in The National Herald.
    Bulgarian Orthodox Church Is Resisting Calls to Close Houses of Worship
    By Associated Press 
    April 5, 2020

    • E M Cimmins says

      Greatly Saddened,
      I’d like to personally thank you for the many links you share. It’s good work, and you’re faithful to it, even if people aren’t coming forward to say so. Many of these links could be very important to people in the future looking for archival evidence.
      I myself have been pleasantly surprised finding links in old articles on Monomakhos.
      Again, thank you.
      E M Cimmins

      • Greatly Saddened says

        E M Cimmins,

        Thank you so much and I am ever so humbled by your kind words.

        It is my pleasure in doing so and I am greatly appreciative of your acknowledgment.

        Stay safe, stay strong, stay positive, be well and God bless.

  54. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Homily on the Fifth Sunday of Lent
    By TNH Staff 
    April 6, 2020

  55. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Ecumenical Patriarchate Extends Suspension of Church Services 
    By TNH Staff 
    April 6, 2020

  56. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros of America Urges Faithful to Donate Blood
    By TNH Staff 
    April 7, 2020

  57. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    GOA Services of Holy Week and Easter Behind Closed Doors
    By TNH Staff 
    April 7, 2020

  58. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today in The National Herald.
    Coronavirus Keeps Greek Churches Closed Through Easter
    By TNH Staff 
    April 7, 2020

  59. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another additional article from today in The National Herald.
    The Value of Non-News for our Archdiocese
    By Antonis H. Diamataris 
    April 7, 2020

  60. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find one more article from today in The National Herald.
    Warm Wishes of Patriarch Bartholomew to Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens 
    By TNH Staff 
    April 7, 2020

    • I do mean this in a charitable way on this blessed Feast of the Annunciation! 
      But I’m curious as to why we are supposed to care about these articles from TNH?  This “news” outlet has always been and always will be a knee-jerk mouthpiece for the schismatic-creating-and-supporting Patriarchate of Constantinople.  Everyone knows how to navigate their browser to the TNH website if they want to, which, frankly, I don’t.
      I simply don’t think many people are sitting on the edges of their seats waiting for the latest “news” from TNH. 

  61. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find two articles from today in The National Herald.

    Mt. Athos Extends Shut-down to Visitors

    By ANA 
    April 8, 2020

    and …

    Daily Prayer Service by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros for Coronavirus Victims

    By TNH Staff
    April 8, 2020

  62. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    COVID-19 Financial Assistance from the Ecumenical Patriarchate to Greece and Turkey
    By TNH Staff 
    April 8, 2020

  63. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find two articles from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros to Hold Virtual Town Hall with Greek Orthodox Faithful
    By TNH Staff 
    April 9, 2020

    and …
    Erdogan Thanks Ecumenical Patriarch for Aid in Coronavirus Pandemic
    By ANA 
    April 9, 2020

  64. Bill Gates: “We don’t want to have a lot of recovered people […] To be clear, we’re trying – through the shut-down in the United States – to not get to one percent of the population infected. We’re well below that today, but with exponentiation, you could get past that three million [people or approximately one percent of the U.S. population being infected with COVID-19 and the vast majority recovering]. I believe we will be able to avoid that with having this economic pain.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      He also talked about how much less expensive it would be for people to purchase a drug rather than attempt to use the antibodies from those who have recovered. Which would make sense given how much money could be made if one drug was needed by 100% of the population around the world.

      But beyond that, few people realize that his foray into global epidemiology is not a new sideline for him. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are one of the largest contributors to the WHO, which should give Bill the right, he thinks, to dictate policy. They do not agree. It make sense that he would want to develop his own organization that will probably eclipse the WHO, while he continues to experiment with the weather. Do I hear, “Hey, that may be why we’ve been seeing such extreme weather,” from anyone?

      Nope. Because most people jump right to carbon emissions. They fail to look at other hypotheses which is why no one should be listening to a little girl who is a afraid of a garbage disposal and “water machines,” the same machines she claims she saw women drinking out of at our southern border, who admits she will not read any book without pictures. Whatever she thinks is the problem probably isn’t it.

      • “Perspectives on the Pandemic Episode 2: In this explosive second edition of Perspectives on the Pandemic, Professor Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years head of The Rockefeller University’s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design, says that social distancing and lockdown is the absolutely worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus. Further, he offers data to show that China and South Korea had already reached their peak number of cases when they instituted their containment measures. In other words, nature had already achieved, or nearly achieved, herd immunity.”

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Very interesting, Brendan.

          • George Michalopulos says
            • Gail Sheppard says

              I shouldn’t laugh. Can’t can’t say I’m surprised. Now, what’s going to happen when all those people who have “social distanced” themselves come out of their homes?

          • Indeed, Gail. Somebody should show this interview to the Donald – along with the Ioannides interview I posted earlier.

            • George Michalopulos says

              At this point, all we can hope for is that President Trump ignores the “experts” and opens up the nation as soon as possible. Perhaps a “rolling roll-out” executed in coordination with the governors. These roll-outs would occur in two-week waves.

              I would recommend that he begin this April 20 (Easter Monday) and then every two weeks open another sector of the economy. The demand is pent-up. I’m not sure we’ll get back to 3.5% unemployment but anything less than 8% would be a jolt to the GDP.

              Also, by doing rolling roll-outs it would increase herd immunity. (And yes, there will be some infections and even deaths.)

              Under NO circumstances should we listen to a damned thing Bill Gates says. The man is either plumb evil or stupider than a box of rocks.

      • Gail: “He [Bill Gates] also talked about how much
        less expensive it would be for people to purchase a drug”
        Why should they buy a drug [vaccine] when they h202 h2o2,
        hydrogen peroxide (food grade) is cheaper than any vaccine?
        [Virus inactivation by hydrogen peroxide].
        [Article in Russian]
        Mentel’ R, Shirrmakher R, Kevich A, Dreĭzin RS, Shmidt I.


        The effect of H2O2 on adenovirus types 3 and 6, adenoassociated virus type 4, rhinoviruses 1A, 1B, and type 7, myxoviruses, influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus, strain Long, and coronavirus strain 229E was studied in vitro, using different H2O2 concentration and timec of exposure. H2O2 in a 3 percent concentration inactivated all the viruses under study within 1–30 min. Coronavirus and influenza viruses were found to be most sensitive. Reoviruses, adenoviruses and adenoassociated virus were relatively stable. H2O2 is a convenient means for virus inactivation.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          How dare we consider using something off the shelf in lieu of the expensive option he has in mind!

          • George Michalopulos says

            I pray I live to see the day when all the anti-Christian oligarchs are brought to justice and are made to answer for their perfidy.

  65. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Greek President to Be Present at the Official Opening of the St. Nicholas National Shrine
    By TNH Staff
    April 10, 2020

  66. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today by The Associated Press in The National Herald.
    Greek Orthodox Churches in Belgium to Remain Open over the Easter Weekend
    By Associated Press 
    April 10, 2020

  67. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday by The Associated Press in The National Herald.
    Coronavirus Has Hit a Christian Orthodox Monastery in Ukraine
    By Associated Press 
    April 9, 2020

  68. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a Press Release from today on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.
    NEWS >> OFFICIAL NEWS >> 2020
    60 Minutes Highlights Saint Nicholas National Shrine on Western Easter
    Information: Press office
    Tel: (212) 570-3530
    APRIL 10, 2020 

  69. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Archdiocese of America
    Archbishop of America honors the memory of late Archbishop Iakovos
    Apr 10, 2020 | 20:00

  70. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a video from today on the Assembly Of Canonical Orthodox Bishops Of The United States Of America website.
    Home » News » ACOB-USA Releases a Video Message of Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    ACOB-USA Releases a Video Message of Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Friday, April 10, 2020

  71. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America website.

  72. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Tuesday in the Citizen-Herald of Watertown, Massachusetts.
    Watertown Greek Orthodox church feels financial impact of coronavirus
    By Joanna Tzouvelis
    Posted Apr 7, 2020 at 10:51 AM
    Updated Apr 7, 2020 at 10:51AM

  73. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Wednesday, relating to Run For Hope – Project Mexico & St Innocent Orphanage, on the Orthodox Christian Laity website.
    Source: Project Mexico & St. Innocent Orphanage

  74. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from yesterday in The National Herald.
    Churches of the Archdiocese of Canada Receive Holy Week Instructions
    By TNH Staff 
    April 10, 2020

  75. “Here’s why Bill Gates wants indemnity…
    Are you willing to take the risk?”

  76. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Nikitas of Thyatira Speaks to TNH about Coronavirus in England
    By Theodore Kalmoukos 
    April 11, 2020

  77. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Ecumenical Patriarch: Entire life of Church is Pascha
    Apr 11, 2020 | 19:24

  78. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate > Mount Athos
    Request for Mount Athos to declare a state of emergency
    Apr 10, 2020 | 17:35

  79. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    Raising of Lazarus
    Apr 11, 2020 | 16:01

  80. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Archdiocese of America
    Archbishop Elpidophoros hosts virtual town hall with thousands of faithful (Video)
    Apr 12, 2020 | 14:25

  81. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    What do we celebrate with Services of Bridegroom during Holy Week
    Apr 13, 2020 | 09:29

  82. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Opinions
    An explanation of the liturgies of the Holy Week
    Apr 13, 2020 | 13:06

  83. Minnesota State Senator and (35 year) practising physician Dr Scott Jensen recently revealed in a TV interview that he had received guidance from the Department of Health (whether of Minnesota or the USA, I am unsure) on how to fill out a death certificate, recording COVID 19 as cause of death when he did not know if that was the case.

  84. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a press release from yesterday on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.
    NEWS >> OFFICIAL NEWS >> 2020
    His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros Homily for Palm Sunday

    Information: Press office
    Tel: (212) 570-3530

    APRIL 12, 2020 

  85. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    60 Minutes Highlights Saint Nicholas National Shrine on Western Easter
    By TNH Staff 
    April 13, 2020

  86. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Archdiocese of America
    Archbishop of America: The Holy Communion transmits life, not diseases
    Apr 13, 2020 | 18:07

  87. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about Holy Week
    By TNH Staff 
    April 14, 2020

  88. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today in The National Herald.
    Archbishop Elpidophoros Broadcasts Services of Holy Week from the Archdiocese
    By TNH Staff 
    April 14, 2020

  89. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today in The National Herald.
    Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Online COVID-19 Resource Center
    By TNH Staff 
    April 14, 2020

  90. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find yet even one more article from today in The National Herald.
    Archdiocese of Australia Offers Help to Those in Need
    By TNH Staff 
    April 14, 2020

  91. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    What do we celebrate on Holy Tuesday
    Apr 14, 2020 | 17:17

  92. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    What do we celebrate on Holy Wednesday
    Apr 15, 2020 | 10:15

  93. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    What is the Sacrament of Holy Unction
    Apr 15, 2020 | 09:32

  94. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Romania
    Romanian Orthodox Church and Ministry of Interior decided to distribute Holy Fire to faithful’s door
    Apr 15, 2020 | 10:48

  95. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Sunday on the Greek News website. (
    An Interview with Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago: Promoting or endorsing agendas of fundamentalist thoughts will harm all of us
    APRIL 12TH, 2020 
    New York.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

    • George Michalopulos says

      Here we go with the “fundamentalist” thing again. I especially thought it was rich that he called those who want to go to church (and possibly risk their lives) as “Scribes and Pharisees”. Doesn’t he realize that the original Scribes and Pharisees were con-men who used the minutiae of the Mosaic Law to lord it over the ordinary people in order to extract money from them?

      • I am led to believe – more and more each passing day – that most of our hierarchs simply don’t believe and look down on the regular faithful.
        Real NWO bishops.

      • Met. Nathanael of Chicago (and Met. Alexios of Atlanta) countersigned the ‘tomos’ of autocephaly for the charlatan, non-canonical Ukrainian Church that Pat. Bartholomew created, so I have absolutely no regards for anything whatsoever that he (Nathanael) has to say about anything. I wouldn’t even trust him to give me directions to the nearest Starbucks.

        • Arthur Samouris says

          Alex I agree with you. The Bishop of Istanbul and his minions have made a huge miscalculation. Many of the laity have left and more are waking up to their shenanigans and are not happy with the course that the recipient of smuggled gold cufflinks and blesser of Turkish tanks has taken.

          • Arthur, I just hope and pray the laity that have left the GOA find spiritual homes elsewhere within Orthodox America.

            • Arthur Samouris says

              Alex thank you. My family attends a wonderful Antiochian parish. Very welcoming and pious. Several former GOA also call it home. 

              • Arthur,
                that will teach Bartholomew and Elpidoforos.

              • Arthur, that’s wonderful!

              • Hieromonk Philip (Vreeland) says

                Officially:  “The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch.”  It should come as no surprise that Greeks feel at home in a Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.

                • Jacob Lee says

                  Haha – you are so right the converts in most “Antiochian” parishes have no idea that is the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. I learned that lesson overseas. When the priest ask me my Church I said so and so antiochian and he said not Orthodox. I than said Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch he said oh Antioch ok.

                • Well, in Arabic it’s actually Rum Orthodox, which is not the same as Greek.

                  • I believe that the (Greek Catholic) Melkites also call themselves ‘Rum’ (or ‘Ruma’) Orthodox…as they consider themselves ‘Orthodox’ under the Pope of Rome. I discovered this when I had a conversation with a business acquaintance that kept telling me he was Palestinian Greek Orthodox. And, when Orthodox Pascha came that year, I wished him a blessed Pascha. He then looked confused and said that it (Pascha) had been the previous week. We started going back and forth when he then told me that he was a Melkite. (He also disclosed that his wife was a Maronite). Talk about confusing! (I later asked my parish priest about it and he set me straight, explaining everything in detail.) 

                  • Rum Orthodox means Roman Orthodox
                    = East Roman Empire Orthodox
                    = Greek Orthodox = Byzantine Orthodox

                    • Thanks Brendan, but I already understand that now. I was just puzzled as to why my acquaintance originally told me that he was Palestinian Greek Orthodox? Apparently, he’s somewhat confused—as most of the Uniates are.
                      A most blessed Pascha to you and yours! 

                    • Indeed, ‘Roman’ or ‘Rum’ for our Arabic-speaking brethren, is a rich broader term than Greek or Hellenic.
                      I’m not a big fan of Fr. John Romanides’ theories, but when it comes to Rum/Rome and Romanity, he certainly has a point. Vladimir Moss also touches on the concept of Romanity as a unifying Orthodox identify overriding all ethnicity.

                    • And to you Alex – and everyone else here
                      contributors and visitors both
                      and our hosts George and Gail.

                    • When I was a boy, ‘Romania’
                      (ie: ‘Roman Land’)
                      appeared on maps as ‘Rumania’
                      (ie: ‘Ruman‘ Land).

        • Sage-Girl says

          Alex – Yes agreed… ?
          personally, I never trusted Met. Nathanael of Chicago from way back 2009, met him at NY Cathedral – he seemed a rather ‘simple’ Monk, so years later I fell off chair hearing he was elevated to Metropolitan!
          Last time he visited again in ballroom, years ago, at coffee hour, we spoke again – but this time he gave me that smarmy, aggressive ‘Leftist Drill’ — I couldn’t believe it.
          I’m not surprised there’s a Petition demanding Nathanael resign. Seriously, he needs to step down & join that homosexual run clubhouse they call Episcopal church — he’s always rooting for gays. 

          • Yes, it’s all quite sad. (Though, I hadn’t heard anything about a petition to remove him. I’m not in the GOA, but have many friends…including priests…that are, but nobody has said anything to me about it. And, I’m even right here in the thick of things…Chicagoland!)

            • Sage-Girl says

              Greek orthodox Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago must resign effective immediately

              by: Niko El S


              8 SUPPORTERS
              1,000 GOAL

              I am not a spokesman nor do I represent the church in any way, although I was baptized, went to Greek school at holy trinity, and still have high hopes in a miracle to get back the church. With all due respect I will not defy or slander anyone. I will merely utilize my freedom of speech. Holy Trinity church was sold at auction and by years end it’s over. The Greek communities last hope was His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago to help save the church with their resources. He has been silent as many parishioners have stated. Holy Trinity church will eventually close it’s doors soon for the last time, year end it will be over, unless a miracle happens, and I do believe in miracles. On September 10, 2019 I attended mass, and it was stated the metropolis will take out the weeping icon of the virgin Mary! Many people showed their frustration and even yelled out loud. Your Eminence you have no right in touching that icon, no right whatsoever in taking it down, especially when were witnessing a miracle. Your job is to come to holy trinity and pray in front of her, with us. You need to call every metropolitan and you need to walk in their and pray like theirs no tomorrow. You have to find a way to bring back the church.
              No one is perfect, not even I, were all siners, and I actually prayed and said lord have mercy on them! I always say were not worthy of anything, yet god loves us all. Their heartbroken and when your heart breaks you never speak with your mind. 
              Considering their was no help in the end so far from the archdiocese the church is at a loss and you represent the community your Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago. That’s right, your our leader. We still have high hopes. For some reason many are questioning why you didn’t intervene and help! Were all one community, one body! What will you tell Jesus in the next life? I had the resources, I could of tried harder, and let it go? Here’s a thought, go to our Eminence Bartholomew and ask for funds, go to New York and ask the archdiocese for help, their is no shame in asking your eminence for financial help. If Holy Trinity goes, the mother of all churches in the Midwest, then I would like to ask you to resign and step down. Your in a position to make things happen. I do believe in last minute miracles! Yes I do! I still believe in miracles. Your our last hope! 
              Their is someone up above that has more love to give us than anyone of us down here. If you go to the lord, if you believe in him, the lords grace will save the church, no matter how dark or bleak the situation may be. God is beautiful, god is merciful, and Holy. 
              Always have eyes that see the best, A heart that forgives the worst, A mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never looses hope! Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step. 
              Because it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God.

              Update #17 months ago
              The weeping icon is still inside holy trinity church! Let’s keep praying a miracle happens

              Sign Petition

              8 SUPPORTERS

              Thomas G.
              New York
              4 months ago

              name not displayed
              New York
              5 months ago
              Years back in NY Nathaniel did Worst bible class as a priest – we walked out – it was embarrassing; we couldn’t believe it! Seriously, he should join Anglican Church – He is seriously NOT orthodox nor respects Orthodoxy & the holy fathers like St. John Chrysostom writings canons etc

              steven c.
              6 months ago

              name not displayed
              6 months ago
              The fruit is know by the tree, this one happens to be rotting away!!!!

              name not displayed
              6 months ago
              We must bring back honest leadership to the Metropolis and rid ourselves of this unholy big spender.

              name not displayed
              6 months ago
              This petition and my choice to sign this petition are because the dictator needs to be removed and so does Chancellor Bakakos who is a completely nasty person and should be thrown out of Assumption and should of been thrown out a long time ago. The both of them are incompetent, evil and have no business of being in charge. The Greek Orthodox Church in America needs to break off of Constantinople and be independent. These two Dictators should be helping Holy Trinity and they are not helping them.

              Niko El S.
              7 months ago

              Donnie C.
              7 months ago

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              • In seven months you have eight signatures out of a goal of one thousand…. Not promising for a revolution….

      • Michael Bauman says

        I have never quite understood why being a “fundamentalist” is such a bad thing. Here is the entry for that word on the gem of a web site Etymology Online:

        fundamentalist (adj.)
        1920 in the religious sense, from fundamental -ist. Coined in American English to name a movement among Protestants c. 1920-25 based on scriptural inerrancy, etc., and associated with William Jennings Bryan, among others. The original notion might have been of “fundamental truths.”

        Fundamentalism is a protest against that rationalistic interpretation of Christianity which seeks to discredit supernaturalism. This rationalism, when full grown, scorns the miracles of the Old Testament, sets aside the virgin birth of our Lord as a thing unbelievable, laughs at the credulity of those who accept many of the New Testament miracles, reduces the resurrection of our Lord to the fact that death did not end his existence, and sweeps away the promises of his second coming as an idle dream. It matters not by what name these modernists are known. The simple fact is that, in robbing Christianity of its supernatural content, they are undermining the very foundations of our holy religion. They boast that they are strengthening the foundations and making Christianity more rational and more acceptable to thoughtful people. Christianity is rooted and grounded in supernaturalism, and when robbed of supernaturalism it ceases to be a religion and becomes an exalted system of ethics. [Curtis Lee Laws, “Herald & Presbyter,” July 19, 1922]

        Fundamentalist is said (by George McCready Price) to have been first used in print by Curtis Lee Laws (1868-1946), editor of “The Watchman Examiner,” a Baptist newspaper. The movement may have roots in the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1910, which drew up a list of five defining qualities of “true believers” which other evangelicals published in a mass-circulation series of books called “The Fundamentals.” A World’s Christian Fundamentals Association was founded in 1918. The words reached widespread use in the wake of the contentious Northern Baptist Convention of 1922 in Indianapolis. In denominational use, fundamentalist was opposed to modernist. Applied to other religions since 1956 (earliest extension is to the Muslim Brotherhood).

        A new word has been coined into our vocabulary — two new words — ‘Fundamentalist’ and ‘Fundamentalism.’ They are not in the dictionaries as yet — unless in the very latest editions. But they are on everyone’s tongue. [Address Delivered at the Opening of the Seminary, Sept. 20, 1922, by Professor Harry Lathrop Reed, “Auburn Seminary Record”]

        So, for an Orthodox to be a fundamentalist we just have to believe the Nicene Creed and try to live by that in word and deed? What is so wrong about that?

        Shoot, I have not digested the entire Creed yet. I know only two things: 1. Jesus is Incarnate Lord and God and 2. He is Risen!

        Still working out the ramifications of those two fundamental realities. To be a fundamentalist can also mean that one is not an effete intellectual snob (courtesy of Spiro Agnew and Pat Buchannan).

        Can some one explain to me how it is supposed to be an insult?

        • Michael, according to the definition you produced, being a fundamentalist is consistent with basic, fundamental, Christianity. However, I don’t think Jesus could have ever been described as a fundamentalist.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Not within the Jewish community to be sure but He, His Incarnation, Death and Ressurection are the new fundamentals.

  96. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article and video from Sunday on the Orthodox Christian Laity website.
    Nearly 20 years after being destroyed on 9/11, a New York City church is being resurrected
    Source: CBS News

  97. Metropolitan Nathanael doesn’t hold back any words in describing those of the faithful he describes as “fundamentalists”. He concedes they are regular church goers, know a lot of the hymns, regular communicants etc., but he goes on to denounces them for being like the scribes and pharisees. Kind of reminds me of Hilary Clinton’s memorable”basket of deplorables” speech. Happy shepherding, Despota.

    • Arthur Samouris says

      I had the same reaction to his words. He is more a wrecking ball than a shepherd. 

    • Jacob Lee says

      Replace Scribes and Pharisee with Bishop and Priest.  Then re-read the gospel. It may hit too close to home. 

    • Sage-Girl says

      Peter & Arthur: 
      I forwarded Petition for Met. Nathanael 
      to resign — he’s a train ? wreck 

  98. Empathy and spiritual understanding  from a true hierarch who heeds the cry of my spirit.  
    “To You, dear laypeople:  A word of pain, sympathy and hope” from Ukrainian Bishop N
    Met Onouphry and his bishops and Met Athanasius of Limassol are balm to the spirit.  Glory to God for their example. 

  99. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Saturday in the Chicago Tribune.
    Priests at North Side Greek Orthodox church deal with 4 funerals, virtual ministering as 18 people linked to parish struck by COVID-19
    APR 11, 2020 | 3:41 PM


  100. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Kankakee, Illiniois, which has been posted on the Orthodox Christian Laity website.
    Source: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church Bulletin, Kankakee, IL

  101. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Three monks of Mount Athos were discharged from hospital
    Apr 15, 2020 | 14:20

  102. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Romania
    Churches to be closed this Easter in Romania
    Apr 16, 2020 | 10:06

  103. Greatly Saddened says

    For those of you who may have an interest. During this time of ‘Shelter in Place,’ I have been blessed to have come across via YouTube, live streaming of the most beautiful, most inspirational & most spiritual Great & Holy Week services I have ever personally experienced. They are from the Church of Our Saviour in Rye, NY.
    The services are as follows:
    Holy Thursday Service:
    Holy Passion at 7pm
    Good Friday Services:
    Royal Hours at 9am
    The Apokathelosis at 3pm
    Lamentions Service at 7pm
    Holy Saturday Services:
    Vesperal Liturgy of the First Resurrection at 9am
    Resurrection Vigil at 11:15pm
    Anastasi – Orthros and Divine Liturgy at 12am
    Pascha Sunday
    Agape Vigil at 11am
    Wishing all my brothers & sisters in Christ, a most blessed, happy, and a most joyous Pascha/Resurrection!

  104. Michael, I would point out that the pejorative term “fundamentalist” was  coined by ecumenists to discredit Orthodox defenders of the faith who opposed their novel ecclisiology. Prior to that, the term was unknown in Orthodox discussions. Additionally, the LGBT group in the Church has taken a liking to the use of  fundamentalists to attack their Orthodox opponents. And of course, there is the very vicious use of the term by the anti-monastic group in the Church. They dislike, some even hate the late Elder Ephraim, his monasteries and those inspired by him.

  105. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today by The Associated Press in The National Herald.
    Rival Ukraine Orthodox Churches Clash over Easter Lockdown Rules
    By Associated Press 
    April 16, 2020

  106. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    What is the meaning of Holy Thursday for Orthodox Church
    Apr 16, 2020 | 12:26

  107. Michael Bauman says

    Well, I still do not see how it is an insult

    • Michael,
      neither do I.
      It seems some “liberal” groups use the word ironically
      meaning something like “you super-orthodox”.

  108. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    Holy Friday: This is culmination of observance of His Passion
    Apr 17, 2020 | 15:06

  109. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Bulgaria
    Open churches in Bulgaria – The services are also broadcast on the internet and radio
    Apr 16, 2020 | 17:21

  110. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    The Great and Holy Saturday: It is the day between Jesus’ death and His resurrection
    Apr 18, 2020 | 11:37

  111. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on The Associated Press website.
    ‘Holy Fire’ ceremony held in empty Jerusalem church

    April 18, 2020

  112. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros’ 2020 Paschal (Easter) Message on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.
    2020 Paschal (Easter) Message of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros

  113. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home >  Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Jerusalem
    Consummation of Holy Fire Ceremony in Jerusalem (upd)
    Apr 18, 2020 | 13:32

  114. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from yesterday on The Associated Press website.
    Orthodox churches empty for Easter amid pandemic
    By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV • April 18, 2020

  115. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on The Associated Press website. 
    Eastern Christians mark Easter in shuttered Jerusalem church
    April 19, 2020

  116. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Friday on The Associated Press website.
    Lockdown weighs heavily on Orthodox Christians during Easter
    April 17, 2020

  117. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy
    Orthodox Church celebrates Easter with optimism in time of coronavirus  (video)
    Apr 19, 2020 | 14:15

  118. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Resurrection of the Lord at Ecumenical Patriarchate (video)
    Apr 19, 2020 | 14:56

  119. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    Great and Holy Pascha: The celebration of the defeat of death
    Apr 19, 2020 | 16:51

  120. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.

    Paschal Message From His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 2020
    Prot. No. 270

  121. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Ecumenical Patriarch: Blessing of Church overcomes any pandemic because it is God’s epidemic
    Apr 20, 2020 | 15:38

  122. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Moscow
    Patriarch of Moscow: Risen Saviour Christ will never forsake us
    Apr 19, 2020 | 18:31

  123. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    Easter Monday (20 April 2020)
    Apr 20, 2020 | 17:55

  124. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Opinions
    Coronavirus does not make Church slave, but it sets it free
    Apr 20, 2020 | 15:56

  125. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find a video entitled: ‘Come, Receive the Light,’ on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.

  126. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Archdiocese of America
    Archbishop of America: Never forget
    Apr 21, 2020 | 20:10

  127. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Ecumenical Patriarch: Every day is earth day
    Apr 22, 2020 | 11:30

  128. Michael Bauman says

    “If the people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

  129. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on The Conversation website.
    Beating coronavirus requires faith leaders to bridge gap between religion and science
    April 22, 2020 8.03am EDT
    By Katherine Marshall, Georgetown University

  130. Michael Bauman says

    I have a built in shudder whenever I see stuff about “bridging the gap” between science and religion. Such wording is usually used to arrogate science and minimize religion.
    Here it is more subtle but “science” is the Victor once again.


  131. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday by The Associated Press, in The National Herald.
    Ukrainian Police Launched Criminal Cases against Orthodox Priests
    By Associated Press 
    April 22, 2020

  132. Greatly Saddened says

    On this Feast Day of Saint George. I would like to wish you, George, a most Blessed and Happy Name Day! Χρόνια Πολλά και nα σε χαιρομαστε!

  133. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today in The National Herald.
    Message of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for Saint George Day 2020
    By TNH Staff 
    April 23, 2020

  134. George Michalopulos says

    The #resistance is rising, bit by bit, little by little. I’d say it feels like late 1775 to me:

    • Michael Bauman says

      George, if so then Mark Levin may be akin to Thomas Paine. Heard his radio show the other day. He was loudly calling on the American people to arise!  Or maybe Howard Beale in Network: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it any more!!!”

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, as a Christian I certainly don’t advocate violence. However as an ordinary man with some historical understanding, I can safely predict it.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I don’t think a government must use coercive force. Ours doesn’t. We haven’t seen a Kent State for a long time. Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a place like Syria where is is possible, indeed likely, that your leader or his family would kill 40,000 of you to stay in power?

          The “right” to do something does not imply the use of violence. It’ doesn’t expressly rule it out either.

          • Shortly after the Kent State shooting, Harvey Andrews wrote this song for Sandra Lee Scheuer:

            • Gail Sheppard says

              It was shocking to me. I was in high school. We all wore black armbands back then and were made aware that it could be dangerous, particularly on the college campuses where we would hang out. Didn’t see it coming, though. Expected arrests and all that. . . but shooting kids??? – You know, it even shocked people like my parents who felt the students were way out of line. That’s why this sort of thing just doesn’t happen here. We don’t have the stomach for it. – I think the same was/is true during the stay-at-home orders. The officers who were/are supposed to be handing out tickets to people visiting their families with kids in tow and baskets of food just can’t do it. At least not in OK where “enforcement officers are counseled to inform and persuade to effect compliance when confronted with violations.”

              • The National Guard would be kids themselves, kids with guns; half-trained and operating on adrenaline and fear.
                What could possibly go wrong?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  I’ll admit it is kind of hard to find pictures of the faces of the Guardsmen in most of the pictures under all the gear and gas masks they wore, but tell me if you think they look the same age as the students?



                  • Some do, some don’t.
                    As for the students, the one holding the banner
                    looks older than many of the guardsmen.
                    My point is: anyone (on any side) can panic;
                    and panic is what I think happened here.
                    Even the bravest heroes can panic under extreme stress.
                    Hektor in the Iliad is the supreme poetic example.
                    I note Harvey Andrews does not attribute blame.
                    Here, I think, the bardic response is the true one.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Clearly the decision to fire on these students was made before the National Guard even stepped foot on the Kent State campus.

                      It was not typical for kids back then to be carrying guns. They had an abhorrence of guns. These were PEACE rallies against the Vietnam War. Kids that age were part of the “peace, love, and rock & roll” movement. The whole emphasis was non-violence. There wasn’t even a fight at Woodstock where there were 500,000 people!

                      The students at Kent State were of no physical risk to anyone. Look how they’re dressed. They’re just normal kids. They weren’t the Malcolm X, Angela Davis ilk. They had no weapons, which is why the Guardsmen gave that photographer a pass and yes, probably the pistol that he claims he never shot. I believe him. That appears to have been part of the plan: Shoot off a pistol to signal “it’s game on” and make sure someone, like the photographer, had a pistol on him so they could later attribute the gunshots to someone else.


                      * * *
                      New analysis of 40-Year-Old Recording of Kent State Shootings Reveals that Ohio Guard was Given an Order to Prepare to Fire
                      Updated Jan 12, 2019; Posted May 09, 2010

                      The Ohio National Guardsmen who fired on students and antiwar protesters at Kent State University on May 4, 1970 were given an order to prepare to shoot, according to a new analysis of a 40-year-old audio tape of the event.

                      “Guard!” says a male voice on the recording, which two forensic audio experts enhanced and evaluated at the request of The Plain Dealer. Several seconds pass. Then, “All right, prepare to fire!”

                      “Get down!” someone shouts urgently, presumably in the crowd. Finally, “Guard! . . . ” followed two seconds later by a long, booming volley of gunshots. The entire spoken sequence lasts 17 seconds.

                      The previously undetected command could begin to explain the central mystery of the Kent State tragedy – why 28 Guardsmen pivoted in unison atop Blanket Hill, raised their rifles and pistols and fired 67 times, killing four students and wounding nine others in an act that galvanized sentiment against the Vietnam War.

                      The order indicates that the gunshots were not spontaneous, or in response to sniper fire, as some have suggested over the years.

                      “I think this is a major development,” said Alan Canfora, one of the wounded, who located a copy of the tape in a library archive in 2007 and has urged that it be professionally reviewed. “There’s been a grave injustice for 40 years because we lacked sufficient evidence to prove what we’ve known all along – that the Ohio National Guard was commanded to kill at Kent State on May 4, 1970.”

                      “How do you spell bombshell?” said Barry Levine, whose girlfriend Allison Krause was mortally wounded as he tried to pull her behind cover. “That is obviously very significant. The photographic evidence and eyewitness accounts of what took place seemed to suggest everything happened in those last seconds in a coordinated way. This would be the icing on the cake, so to speak.”

                      This excerpt from a copy of Terry Strubbe’s Kent State recording contains the order for the Guard to prepare to fire. The word “Guard!” can be heard at 9.3 seconds. “All right, prepare to fire” begins at 19.5 seconds. “Get down!” is spoken at 22.3 seconds. The final “Guard!” is at 23.7 seconds, and the gunshots begin at 26 seconds.

                      The review was done by Stuart Allen and Tom Owen, two nationally respected forensic audio experts with decades of experience working with government and law enforcement agencies and private clients to decipher recorded information.

                      Allen is president and chief engineer of the Legal Services Group in Plainfield, N.J. Owen is president and CEO of Owl Investigations in Colonia, N.J. They donated their services because of the potential historical significance of the project.

                      Although they occasionally testify on opposing sides in court cases hinging on audio evidence, Owen and Allen concur on the command’s wording. Both men said they are confident their interpretation is correct, and would testify to its accuracy under oath, if asked.

                      It is the only known recording to capture the events leading up to the shootings – including a tinny bullhorn announcement that students must leave “for your own safety,” the pop of tear gas canisters and the wracking coughs of people in their path, the raucous protest chants, the drone of helicopters overhead, and the near-constant chiming of the campus victory bell to rally the demonstrators.

                      Strubbe has kept the original tape in a bank vault, and recently has been working with a colleague to have it analyzed, and to produce a documentary about what the examination reveals.

                      The Justice Department paid a Massachusetts acoustics firm, Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., to scrutinize the recording in 1974 in support of the government’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to prosecute eight Guardsmen for the shootings. That review, led by the company’s chief scientist, James Barger, focused on the gunshot pattern and made no mention of a command readying the soldiers to fire.

                      Barger still works for the company, now known as BBN Technologies. When told Friday of the new findings, he said via a spokeswoman that in his 1974 review he “did not hear anything like that.”

                      Someone made a copy of the Strubbe tape in the mid-1970s for use in the civil lawsuits that the shooting victims and their families filed against the Guardsmen and Ohio Gov. James Rhodes, who had sent the reserves to restore order at Kent State.

                      One of the plaintiffs’ lawyers donated the cassette copy of the Strubbe tape to Yale University’s Kent State archives. Canfora, one of the wounded students, found it while doing research for a book. The Plain Dealer commissioned an analysis of a digitized version of the Yale tape.

                      Using sophisticated software initially developed for the KGB, the Soviet Union’s national security agency, Allen weeded out extraneous noises – wind blowing across the microphone, and a low rumble from the tape recorder’s motor and drive belt — that obscured voices on the recording.

                      He isolated individual words, first identifying them by their distinctive, spidery “waveform” traces on a computer screen, then boosting certain characteristics of the sound or slowing the playback to make out what was said. Owen independently corroborated Allen’s work.

                      For hours on Thursday, first in Allen’s dim, equipment-packed lab in Plainfield and later in Owen’s more spacious, equally high-tech shop in nearby Colonia, the two men pored over the crucial recording segment just before the gunfire. They looped each word, playing it over and over, tweaking various controls and listening intently until they agreed on its meaning.

                      “That’s clear as a bell,” Owen said at one point as he and Allen replayed the phrase “Prepare to fire” on two large wall-mounted loudspeakers.

                      The two audio engineers didn’t add anything to the recording or fundamentally alter its contents. Instead, they boosted what was present to make it easier to hear. “It’s like putting on eyeglasses,” Owen said.

                      In addition to the prepare-to-fire command, the segment just before the gunfire contains several curiosities.

                      * There is a sound fragment milliseconds before the gunfire starts. Allen believes it could be the beginning of the word “Fire!” – just the initial “f” before the sound is overrun by the fusillade. Owen said he can’t tell what the sound is.

                      * The frequency of the voice giving the command changes as the seconds pass. “I’m hearing a Doppler effect,” Allen said, referring to the familiar pitch change that occurs as a siren passes. “It’s as if he was facing one way and turned another,” Owen said. That’s consistent with eyewitness accounts that the Guardsmen spun around from the direction they had been marching just before they fired.

                      * The 1974 Bolt Beranek and Newman analysis concluded that the first three gunshots came from M1s, the World War II-vintage rifles carried by most of the Ohio Guardsmen. The M1 is a high-velocity weapon with a high-pitched gunshot sound.

                      But Allen and Owen said the initial three gunshots sound lower-pitched than the rest of the volley. “It suggests a lot of things, but we’re not certified ballistics examiners,” Owen said. Pistols typically are lower-velocity, lower-pitched weapons. Several Guard officers carried .45 caliber pistols, but the Bolt Beranek and Newman analysis identified .45-caliber fire later in the gunshot sequence, not among the first three shots.

                      As author William Gordon reported in his exhaustive 1995 book on the Kent State shootings, “Four Dead in Ohio,” several witnesses told the FBI they saw a Guardsman with a pistol fire first, or appear to give a hand signal to initiate the firing. Gordon believes the firing command probably was non-verbal. A few students and Guardsmen claimed at the time that they heard something that sounded like an order to fire, but most of the soldiers who acknowledged using their weapons later testified that they acted spontaneously.

                      “This is a real game-changer,” Gordon said Saturday of the new analysis. “If the results can be verified, it means the Guardsmen perjured themselves extensively at the trials.”

                      Without a known voice sample for comparison, the new analysis cannot answer the question of who issued the prepare-to-fire command.

                      Nor can it reveal why the order was given. Guardsmen reported being pelted by rocks as they headed up Blanket Hill and some said they feared for their safety, but the closest person in the crowd was 60 feet away and there is nothing on the tape to indicate what prompted the soldiers to reverse course, and for the ready-to-shoot command to go out.

                      Most of the senior Ohio National Guard officers directly in charge of the troops who fired on May 4, 1970 have since died. Ronald Snyder, a former Guard captain who led a unit that was at the Kent State protest but was not involved in the shootings, said Friday that the prepare-to-fire phrasing on the tape does not seem consistent with how military orders are given.

                      “I do know commands,” Snyder said. “You would never see anything in training that would say ‘Guard, do this.’ It would be like saying, ‘Army, do this.’ It doesn’t make sense.”

                      Whether the prepare-to-fire order could lead to new legal action or a re-opened investigation of the Kent State shootings is unclear. A federal judge dismissed the charges against the eight indicted Guardsmen in 1974, saying the government had failed to prove its case. The surviving victims and families of the dead settled their civil lawsuit for $675,000 in 1979, agreeing to drop all future claims against the Guardsmen.

                      The federal acquittal means the soldiers could not be prosecuted again at the federal level, although a county or state official potentially could seek criminal charges, said Sanford Rosen, one of plaintiffs’ attorneys in the civil lawsuit.

                      The legal issues would be complex, he said. The presence of a command could give rank-and-file Guardsmen a defense, since they could argue they were following an order.

                      The command’s significance may be more historical than legal, Rosen said. “At very least, it puts new [focus] on the training and discipline of the Ohio Guard, and provides a lesson of how things should be done correctly when you are faced with civil disorder, particularly when you bring in troops.”

                      In Pittsburgh, Doris Krause has been waiting 40 years to find out who killed her daughter Allison, and why. Now 84 and widowed, she said Friday the presence of the prepare-to-fire order doesn’t surprise her.

                      “It had to be,” she said. “There’s no other way they could have turned in unison without a command. There’s no other way they could fire at the same time.”

                      She is frustrated, though, that the recording can’t identify the person who gave the order. “I wish there was better proof,” Krause said. “We have to find a man with enough courage to admit what happened.

                      “I’m an old lady,” she said, “and before I leave this earth, I’d like to find out who said what is on that tape.”


                  • Two years after the Kent State shootings, there was an incident in the Springfield Road Police Station in Belfast in which the boot was on the other foot (so to speak), when Sgt Michael Willetts gave his life to save others. Harvey Andrews wrote a song about this incident too:
                    Then, sadly, as Harvey said later: “It seems that it was taken to be a pro-Loyalist song, which was never my intention. Years later it was released as a bootleg single by a Loyalist band and I have been told it was sold in pubs and out of car boots at the Glasgow Rangers ground to raise money for paramilitaries. I was strongly opposed to this but was powerless to stop it. A song I had originally intended to once again mirror man’s inhumanity to man has somehow become a vehicle for more of the same, something I regret.”

                  • Gail, this is information I did not have before.
                    I wish the families well in their attempt to find those responsible, but I fear they will be unsuccessful.
                    It seems to me that the authorities in Ohio valued the students at Kent State like the British valued the Irish in Derry in 1972:

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      The reason we remember these things is because they’re atypical for our culture. There are parts of the world where stuff like this wouldn’t even make daily news.

                  • Extracted from a larger article:
                    Kent State University in 1970 is a common rallying cry. The entire narrative is an absurd hoax with more holes then WC Fields’ liver. Miles Mathis, as always, has written a substantial critique of the basic claims of the press on Kent State. Mathis, an amateur historian, while an excellent researcher, often falls victim to typical amateur pitfalls. In truth, his strength comes from asking some very simple questions the media hacks refuse to ask. Mathis, while occasionally biting off more than he can chew, is a valuable resource for alternative information on the matter.
                    Watching the “video” from the event (as seen in the Oliver Stone film Nixon, for example) is an eccentric experience because the actual shooting itself is never seen. The young guardsmen are depicted marching without context, then a group of protesters are seen yelling, equally without context, then the screen goes blank, shots are heard  and then the scene quickly cuts to a dead body. Apparently, the media filmed everything but the actual shooting. Is this likely?
                    Despite the media narrative, the Guardsmen averaged 18-19 years old. The protesters, immediately violent (which is why the Guard had been called out, the police couldn’t handle them), had backed the kids up to a wrought iron fence that surrounded part of the university. They were clearly going to kill these men, as many eyewitnesses claimed. These boys were reluctantly given the order to fire. 
                    Few protesters were students. They were made up of many violent elements, including “bikers and transients.” They were hardly “protesters” at all. They were burning down the town and the mayor had the gall to call a state of emergency. City officials and downtown businesses received extremely violent threats that were soon acted upon. Rumors spread that the city’s water supply would be poisoned with LSD. 
                    By the time the Guard arrived, much of the town and the campus was in flames. The ROTC building was burning and no “support the troops” banners were seen anywhere. “Protesters” destroyed several fire trucks sent to extinguish the fire, meaning ethically that the “protesters” had forfeited their lives. They became a malignant tumor that called for the harshest chemotherapy. 
                    The mayor wasn’t going to preside over the total destruction of his town, though he was attacked for not letting it burn. Of course, none of this was recorded in the popular press of the day. As always, editors were instructed to offer no context to the shootings. It was presented as a random event of violence against students “going to class.” The Guard first used tear gas, but this was ineffective because of the wind. Students were attacking the guard with rocks, blades, bats and makeshift weapons like Molotov cocktails. Fully aware they wouldn’t be punished, they were allowed to indulge their most inhuman appetites while the moral double-standard for the Guard was a stony rationality in the face of death. 
                    The head of the Guard stated that a sniper had fired upon them first, which is very likely since the student radicals were regularly speaking about killing them in any way possible. The ruling class might well have fired the first shot in order to create an incident that would mobilize the population. The shooting was obviously justified and necessary. Only 67 rounds were fired at a range of about 80 feet. Since only four were killed, the order wasn’t shoot to kill and most fired into the air.
                    One way to prove the violence was entirely the fault of the “protesters” was the words of Geology professor Glenn Frank, who pleaded with the students to stop the threats and violence: “I don’t care whether you’ve never listened to anyone before in your lives. I am begging you right now. If you don’t disperse right now, they’re going to move in, and it can only be a slaughter. Would you please listen to me? Jesus Christ, I don’t want to be a part of this.” The violence of the protesters and the exhausted patience of the teenage Guard led Professor Frank to beg the students to desist. He was hardly the only one. They were fully aware that they might be shot and continued to back the Guard up to a fence.
                    One Guardsmen, Sgt. Lawrence Shafer, was seriously wounded by a projectile, while several others received only minor injuries, all about five minutes before the shooting. Gallup polls showed, as always, that the majority of Americans blamed the protesters, who, after all, were burning down the school and the town. This stubborn “reactionary” opinion is precisely why the media thought carnage was necessary.
                    Immediately, the leftist press ran stories that a Marine brigade attacked “peaceful student protesters for no reason as they tried to get to classes.” Despite all the facts of the case, the Guardsmen were put on trial and acquitted. If soldiers in Vietnam weren’t put on trial for killing Viet Cong, then why would Guard units be tried for the same thing at home? After all, the Cong weren’t burning every city in America.
                    Unfortunately, the students seen burning down the campus were also let off, as always. Despite a well funded legal team demanding the Guard be blamed for shooting “without cause,” all cases were unsuccessful. Too many witnesses described the Guard as frightened, with students closing in on them screaming for blood. The wrought iron fence was torn down in order to keep it from being used as a prop for the defense. 
                    Writers like Mathis, as well as several journalists, have made the claim that no one died that day and that the Guard fired into the air. There’s good reason to accept it. Though the Guard fired 67 rounds at short range, only four were killed and a handful wounded. This doesn’t make sense. 
                    One of the “victims” was William Knox Schroeder, who had just transferred in from Colorado and was a member of a Marine Counterinsurgency group. His father was a part of the military-industrial complex, as was the parents of Allison Krause, who’s picture used in media reports until today is an obvious, painted fake. It also looks nothing like the real Krause, who’s facial features are very distinctive. Krause was the “darling” of the event, which the media needed to build public sympathy. That the incident had “characters” with typically cinematic personalities is strong evidence that it’s the creation of the media’s imagination. As it turns out, the real Krause had no real political opinions at all. There are no autopsy records of the victims.
                    The famed picture of the woman screaming in front of the dead body, made famous in Life magazine and won a Pulitzer prize,  is a poorly staged fake. It was said to have been taken minutes or even seconds after the shots, yet the crowd seems relaxed. No one is running from anything. No one is even looking at the body or showing emotion. There’s not enough blood in the photo though he was supposed to have been shot in the mouth at close range. It’s one of the more ridiculous fakes in the long history of the American press, which is probably why it won a Pulitzer Prize. It couldn’t be a fake if it won one of those, right?
                    Another iconic “fake” was the cover of Life magazine that shows a picture of John Cleary, allegedly shot in the chest. Though several pictures of him are available, none show a wound or any blood. There are no police. There’s an ambulance with its door open, though not a single paramedic can be seen anywhere. Not in a single picture. 
                    To add even more absurdity to this, a protester was supposed to have been jumping up and down in the pool of Cleary’s blood, having dipped his flag in it as a protest of some kind. This too is a fake that seems to come from the desire of the ruling class to mock the population. The picture of the man jumping on the non-existent “blood puddle” both desecrated the guy’s memory and destroyed evidence at a crime scene. 
                    No one bothered to mention this at the time. The man depicted in several photographs was never questioned about the issue. In the pictures, no students are even looking at him. There were shots fired seconds earlier, and students are seen milling around like their waiting for a bus. A man is jumping up and down in a pool of blood and not a single person is even looking at him. How likely is that? Why did no journalist mention it? Isn’t that their job? It’s a comically bad fake. 
                    Every weapon fired at Kent State was destroyed immediately after the event. This would only make sense if there were a debate as to whether or not the Guard fired or how many rounds. There’s no debate over these facts. Why destroy them? They would only be destroyed so no one could prove that they were not fired that day. Did the Guard fire at all? If so, why was there no video, despite the fact that media cameras were rolling? Did no one ask these questions at the time?

          • Syria is in a civil war – which civil war was instigated by the US, UK and France who wanted Assad overthrown and replaced by an allegedly democratic opposition which turned out to be a wild collection of Jihadi fruitcakes. Before the war began, Syria was a secular state in which Alawites and Christians, Sunnis and Shia lived at peace – so long as they stayed out of politics. Yes, Assad was and is a dictator, but he is infinitely better than what would have followed if he had lost; which, thanks to the Russians, he did not. Indeed, if Assad had lost, there would now be no Christians in the Street called Straight.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Every couple of decades it’s something. When is the world going to start holding the Syrian people and their leadership accountable for their own problems?

              • When is the (Western) world going to stop supplying arms to head-chopper jihadis because they don’t like other countries’ governments, while (at the same time) supplying arms to the Saudi dictatorship to bomb Houthi women and children?

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  The West is always going to be looking out for their own interests but I think you’re seeing here, with our current president, we’re growing tired of fighting all over the place. – I don’t think your words have the shock value you may have intended. We are tired of being seen as the cause of the world’s problems, too.

                  • “I don’t think your words have the shock value
                    you may have intended. ”
                    I did not intend ‘shock value’. I merely pointed out
                    that Syria’s problems are not all their own fault.

                    “I think you’re seeing here, with our current president,
                    we’re growing tired of fighting all over the place.”
                    It’s the chief reason I like Trump. If Clinton had won,
                    more people would now be dead, more countries wrecked.

                    “We are tired of being seen as the cause
                    of the world’s problems, too.”
                    The problem is not (and never has been) the American people.
                    It’s the criminal classes who run the place.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      That’s one way of looking at it, I guess.

                      No other country sees the West as the bane of the their existence to the extent that Syria does. I have never heard a single Syrian say anything nice about the West. You’d think they would be happy to see us retreat. But that’s not the case. We feature so heavily in their “woe is me” narrative, they can’t imagine a world where we’re not there to cause all their strife and wars.

                      But the problem with always blaming someone else for your problems is you will never have the wherewith to overcome them. You won’t believe it’s possible.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Well, we are/should be looking out for our own interests, which is why we should have had a foreign policy based on George Washington’s Farewell Address. Which was America First.
                    Anything short of that will invariably result in being involved in the intractable conflicts of races & ethnicities which are incapable of seeing the world in ways that are congruent with ours.
                    I know this from personal experience in re the Greek civil war (post WWII). While the West was right to come to the.royalist cause, the Greek left never got over it and used their loss to fuel anti-American sentiment.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I would argue they have never been at peace. Syria is always at war over something. When are the Syrian people and their leader going to be held responsible for their own problems?

              “Infinitely better” and “not at all better” are looking more and more the same these days.

              There were 6 war before the Assads took power and 6 wars since. For some to say the Assauds brought “stability” to the region just isn’t the case. Even now, they have to depend on Russia to maintain some semblance of peace.

              I’m obviously Christian. I care about Christians. I have stood up for Christians from Syria.

              I worked with a lovely woman from Damascus in 2010 and she assured me that Damascus was safe; “Nothing is going to change it. Parts of it are like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills,” she told me. Then in March 2011, I was visiting a monastery with a dentist and a Mercedes car salesman, both from Syria, when this Arab Spring thing blew up. I had read about it on FB and again I was concerned. They were unfazed, even though both had families in places that don’t really exist anymore. They assured me nothing would happen.

              There is a great deal of denial going on.

              LAST 100 YEARS:

              1. Franco-Syrian War (1920)

              2. Great Syrian Revolt (1925–1927)

              3. Levant Crisis (1945)

              4. First Arab–Israeli War (1948–1949)

              5. First Iraqi–Kurdish War (1963–1970)

              6. Six-Day War (1967)

              7. Black September (1970)

              8. October War (1973)

              9. Islamist uprising in Syria (1979–1982)

              10.Lebanese Civil War (1976–1990)

              11.Gulf War (1990–1991)

              12.Syrian Civil War (2011–present)

              • Brendan’s own country – that’s if you recognize Westminster? – has been in excess of fifty brutal conflicts since WW2, and we here in the States haven’t seen much peace either, with all our interventions in random hotspots.
                Syrian is in a tough neighborhood where fights break out often, like living in south central or something – at least they don’t go halfway across the world looking for some impoverished state to flatten.

          • I read a great article a while ago that stated the the Kent State shooting was provoked by the extreme violence of the students, who cornered the National Guard up against a wall or fence and maybe even fired first. I’ll try and find it.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I heard there was a photographer with a pistol, who interestingly, “had a press card issued by the Guard, and brought his own gas mask to fend off clouds of tear gas from the canisters Guardsmen fired to disperse the crowds. . .” The pistol went off. Several times, apparently. The photographer denied he fired the shots. The Guardsmen claim the pistol shots started the whole thing. They resurrected an old tape they say they’ve enhanced to prove it. (Article from 2010:

              Seems like they could have confiscated the pistol to determine if it had been shot but I don’t think they started looking at gunshot residue until 1979.

              Anyway, the most recent thing I can find is from 2016: “This article re-examines the role of Ohio National Guard Sergeant Myron Pryor in the Kent State/4 May 1970, shootings of students at Kent State University, Ohio. Pryor first came under suspicion as a key perpetrator of the shootings in the works of early Kent State conspiracy theorists, and subsequently in official investigations and prosecutions. Though he was not indicted, and is now deceased, Pryor remains a lightning rod in Kent State conspiracy theories, and is often portrayed in the context of guilt. Recently, Pryor’s role has been rehashed after 4 May victim and activist Alan Canfora unveiled new audio evidence in 2010 pointing to Pryor as a possible catalyst in the shootings. By looking at countervailing evidence, including not-before-released evidence from the private files of Pryor’s defense attorney, C. D. Lambros, the author calls into question Pryor’s alleged role in the 4 May shootings, and argues for a careful reevaluation of evidence in assigning responsibility for the Kent State shootings to Pryor.”

              If you can find anything else, I’d love to see it. It’s hard to imagine any of these unarmed kids cornering the National Guard and pushing them up against a wall. I’m sure there were altercations, though, and I’m sure they were heated. Why they fired on those students, however, is still a mystery.

  135. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from Wednesday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Moscow
    Monasteries of the Russian Church in Ukraine ignore measures against coronavirus
    Apr 22, 2020 | 21:07

  136. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Ecumenical Patriarch: The Mother Church has remembered in Her prayers Her beloved spiritual children in America
    Apr 23, 2020 | 10:01

  137. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    The feast day of the Patriarchal Church of St. George in the Phanar
    Apr 24, 2020 | 09:28

  138. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from today on the Orthodoxy Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Patriarchates > Patriarchate of Alexandria
    Patriarch of Alexandria: No matter how many pandemics come, St. George is a Trophy-bearer
    Apr 24, 2020 | 10:19

  139. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find and yet another article from today on the Orthodox Times website. 
    Home > Spirituality
    Life-Giving Font Church in Constantinople
    Apr 24, 2020 | 09:54

  140. Here is a link to an interview with Jane Burgermeister who opposed an attempt at mass vaccination with contaminated vaccines in 2009. The aim was to provoke a pandemic which would then allow the WHO to mandate worldwide vaccination. She is one brave woman. The FBI does not show up well…

    • Steven J. M. says

      Hahaha the interviewer had to clarify whether Jane laid charges with or against the FBI. Poor fella lost his faith long ago. 
      Jane mentioned famine a couple of times. I hope we’re paying enough attention to the affect this is having on supply chains. 
      In any case, this is a good video.

  141. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Orthodoxy > Ecumenical Patriarchate
    Sunday of Thomas at the Phanar
    Apr 26, 2020 | 18:15

  142. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Society
    Infectious Diseases Professor: We may not kiss holy icons or priest’s hand
    Apr 27, 2020 | 10:22

  143. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find another article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Spirituality
    Sunday of Thomas
    Apr 26, 2020 | 16:05

    Just as I’ve said from the very, very beginning, this thing is just another strain of the flu, not significantly more lethal.  Now the data is starting to show exactly that.
    You could tell from the reports that were coming out initially, if you only connected the dots.  It was obvious that all the numbers being bandied were wildly exaggerated and mostly baseless and the few hard numbers where there were isolated exposures and effects pointed to another H1N1.
    The only good things about this are that it has made the Democrats look even crazier than before (if that is possible) and Trump look positively presidential with little rat dogs nipping at his heels.
    The other good thing is that big business is sure to force politicians to put in safeguards to make sure that this never, ever happens again.  And they will.  My guess is that a clusterf**k of this monumental cost will only be allowed to happen once.  Whether heads will roll is an open question but the law and standards for responding to these “pandemics” will change. 
    Something no more significant than the common flu shut down the US economy and cost trillions of dollars.
    And now, on the street at the bottom of the food chain, I’m hearing lots of talk of people buying weapons with their checks.  The mood is ripe for widespread unrest unless the country is opened up quickly.  This is what developing countries call a mood of “political instability”. 
    The demonstrators at some of these state government events are armed, even firing off rounds into the air, and very frustrated.  Livelihoods have been and are being destroyed for no rational reason.

  145. ROU Killing Time says

    COVID-19 is not comparable to an influenza virus. We are just starting to get a bigger picture as to the range of complications that can result from contracting COVID-19. There have been a lot of unpleasant surprises:

    Wishful thinking that COVID-19 death figures are inflated continue to crash up against cold, hard reality:

    I’ve noticed people on here like to link to comforting sounding flawed arguments put forth by people like urgent care doctors who operate way outside their lane, a reminder that just because someone is telling you something you want to hear, they may not know what they are talking about:


    • Gail Sheppard says

      Complications are not a factor in determining whether or not the mortality rate of the coronavirus is similar to that of influenza. The only numbers that matter are the number of people who had it and the number of people who died from it.

      Speaking of which, one has to wonder why they attributed COVID deaths to people who may have died of a number of things who also tested positive for the virus. Especially since it is presumed, based on the date of the first case which appears to be much earlier than previously believed, that a very large percentage of the population has been exposed to it, who either didn’t have symptoms or symptoms so mild they didn’t seek medical attention.

      If I were a conspiracy theorist, I might conclude that the powers-that-be wanted COVID to seem more deadly than it is.

      A more likely scenario is that challenges with the CDC, struggles with logistics and clashes between federal and state officials (even hospitals) were all contributing factors on why they couldn’t just “call a spade a spade.” It’s going to take a lot of time massaging the data to come up with more accurate numbers.

      That the numbers will change, however, is a certainty and they can only change one way: The number of people who were exposed and did not die will go up (probably, way up given the virus is now believed to have been in the United States much earlier than we originally thought) and the number of people who died of the virus will go down, once they eliminate those who could died from a number of other causes with flu-like symptoms, e.g. bacterial infections (encephalitis, hepatitis, lyme disease, TB, etc.) viral infections (encephalitis, enteroviruses, SARs, MERs), fungal infections, parasites, etc, but also tested positive for COVID.

      When you think about it, I would imagine people with other serious problems would be much more likely to test positive for COVID given their immune systems are already compromised. So, many probably didn’t really die because of COVID, they might have actually succumbed to the other problems they had and COVID was a complicating factor. In other words, COVID didn’t cause their death; it pushed them over the edge. When you’re looking at how deadly something is, you want to know how deadly it is in the absence of everything else. But that’s not what we’ve got.

      The bottom line is this: The COVID mortality rate is lower, probably considerably lower, than has been reported to date. It may be considerably lower than the flu.

      It’s possible, my friend. And we tanked the world economy over it. I think people are going to be REALLY pissed off if this turns out to be the case and instead of supporting everything a “scientist” says just because he dons a clean, white coat, they’re going to be a lot more cautious before jumping on the bandwagon in the future. Milgram and his experiments be damned! No more believing and doing what the “authorities” tell us without doing some heavy duty critical thinking. Imagine how that’s going to change the paradigm for the globalists.

      • ROU Killing Time says

        The contrast in complications to the flu were not in regards to the mortality rate, but rather to the ultimate health outcomes. I would suggest that in addition to “how many had it” and “how many died from it”, another important number is going to be “how many will have long-term or permanent health issues from having had it”.
        Again, now that we are a couple months in, the data is simply not suggesting that COVID-19 has a mortality rate lower than a seasonal flu. And the sheer scale of excess mortality showing up is putting paid to the notion that COVID-19 as a cause of death is being exaggerated.

        • “…the data is simply not suggesting that COVID-19
          has a mortality rate lower than a seasonal flu.”
          When doctors record those who died with coughs and fever
          (absent actual testing)  as having died of COVID-19,
          the mortality rates of COVID-19 and flu are both distorted.
          The first is exaggerated and the second is wrongly deflated.

      • George Michalopulos says

        It’s also widely accepted that the “wet markets” theory of etiology is now bogus and that this virus somehow “escaped” from the P4 virology lab in Wuhan. 
        That of course is beside the point at this stage of the game.  Still, I was rather surprised back in late 2019 when the Chinese signed off so eagerly on Phase I of the Trade Agreement that Trump shoved down their throats.  It’s classic Sun-Tzu:  attack your enemy obliquely, invisibly and imperceptibly.  Especially after he thinks he has won the battle. 
        The question at this point is two-fold:  do we have the stomach for the fight and second, logistics.  Do we have enough of the supply-chain to rebuild the American economy?
        As for having the stomach for the fight, I would caution that it could real dirty.  My proposal is to either cancel the debt owed to China, tariff all their goods, and –get this–recognize Taiwan as the legitimate Republic of China.  That last thing would send howling like crazed jackals. 

    • ROU Killing Time: “I’ve noticed people on here like to link to comforting sounding flawed arguments put forth by people like urgent care doctors who operate way outside their lane, a reminder that just because someone is telling you something you want to hear, they may not know what they are talking about”.
      Really? Well:
      Here is John Ioannides:
      Here is Knut Wittkowski:
      Here is John Ioannides again:
      They make more sense than you, I think.

      And here is David Katz with a more alarmist view of the virus,
      yet still against total economic shutdown:

    • ROU,
      Actually, it’s mostly the opposite of what you are saying.  But you are relying on MSM bs sources so that is no surprise.  They manufactured this crisis, of course they have a stake in perpetuating it.  It’s their political weapon.
      Kungflu deaths are wildly exaggerated.  Contrary to any common sense, they are reporting as deaths from KF every one who dies having tested positive as well as those who die from similar symptoms who have not been tested.  That inflates the numbers dramatically and irrationally.  At first we thought it was only the Italians who were engaging in this fiction.  It turns out it is the US too.  But they have to do this to rationalize and justify their manufactured reaction to this.
      Kungflu is quite comparable to the common flu or H1N1 and will be proven so over the next year or so, just as the H1N1 ended up being no more dangerous than the common flu.  Political considerations are interfering in the truth being widely reported at this point.  Political hucksters are talking this thing up throughout the MSM in a desperate attempt to influence the election against Trump.  Yet he has outfoxed them again, taken control and will end up being the hero who “defeats” the imaginary enemy and renews a strong economy all in time for the formation of independent political opinion beginning in late summer.  The hucksters misjudged the timing curve on this one badly, as well as the president’s reaction.
      It’s also turning out the that virus was here long before we were originally told and that many more millions of Americans have already been exposed, asymptomatically, than previously believed.
      It’s all a huge crock of bs foisted upon us by the Left/MSM in an election year.  The latest anti-Trump tactic to fail.  Talk it up all you want.  It won’t make any difference at this point since the cat is out of the bag in all the conservative media.  EVERYBODY on the Right knows that the Covid Emperor has no clothes and the drumbeat will increasingly kill this wicked meme.
      You are either grossly misinformed, a liar, or both.

  146. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an announcement from today on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Archdiocese of America
    Prayer of Archbishop Elpidophoros for the afflicted with Covid-19
    Apr 28, 2020 | 12:07

  147. A Scottish Doctor, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, who is a GP in England has just blogged about the effect of Vitamin D on viruses. He cites a 2008 study in the peer-reviewed (ie: mainstream) Virology Journal showing the importance of Vitamin D in fighting influenza and other viruses. However, he doesn’t stop there. He cites an (as yet) unpublished study on the relationship between Vitamin D levels and the severity of COVID 19. There is a stunning graph.
    If this is correct, we don’t need Mr Gates and his expensive vaccines.
    We need Vitamin D – inexpensive Vitamin D, lots of it.

  148. Greatly Saddened says

    Below please find an article from yesterday on the Orthodox Times website.
    Home > Society
    Coronavirus outbreak boosts Bible sales
    Apr 28, 2020 | 15:47