Shouting Fire

I’m not afraid of this virus, although I’m in the population they say is the most vulnerable.
It’s too late to stop the coronavirus and if you research this, you’ll see what I’m saying is true. Extraordinary measures “to fight the virus” fly in the face of science at this point. The virus is out there. It’s not going away at this point. Yet people are buying toilet paper in record numbers. Why??? This virus doesn’t cause diarrhea or even a runny nose! This is crazy behavior.
The media is saturated with coverage of the coronavirus because the powers-that-be are trying to change our behaviors going forward. They want us to live differently. So what would “living differently” look like? Well, for one we could be forced to take available vaccines “to protect others who are at greater risk.” The CDC would love this. They had a fit with the outbreak of measles last year. 2019 surpassed the total cases per year for past 25 years.
But there was not a single death due to measles in this country last year.
That’s not something they readily share. If you Google how many people died in 2019 in the U.S. due to measles, you’ll be directed to a page that will tell you the number of deaths in the WORLD that were prevented with the vaccine. They also don’t tell you that kids who did not get the vaccine were quarantined in their homes, even when they weren’t sick. Nor were these children allowed to attend school. Parents whose kids are not in school can be hauled into court, as it’s against the law. In other words, they make it impossible to make independents decisions for your family without major consequences.
The WHO, heavily funded by Bill Gates, and institutions like the CDC, are not satisfied with just saving lives. They are on a mission to eradicate disease, which is not only unrealistic, it is creating more problems than it solves. For example, the oral vaccine they give third world countries creates more cases of polio than it prevents. And because only 1% of all polio cases result in symptoms, 99% of the people who contract the disease from the vaccine don’t know they have it so they don’t come forward. We have no idea how many people are walking around with vaccine induced polio. The WHO keeps saying they’re going to change over to the vaccine without the weakened live virus but they haven’t done it. Frankly, it’s unconscionable. They’re knowingly giving polio to people who are then passing it on to other people.
We need to think twice about just “going along.” Fear is a powerful motivator and they’re scaring people to death. . . AGAIN. The impact? Devastating.
The stock market crashed. Blood banks don’t have enough blood. Businesses are unable to keep their doors open. People are emptying the stores of products making them unavailable to the people who need them. People can’t bring home a paycheck to feed their families. People can’t travel. People are detained in dorm like facilities and can’t go home until they test negative multiple time. People are overwhelming the healthcare system demanding to be tested, although being tested is not going to change the prognosis for the person being tested. “Social distancing” is becoming the norm as people, healthy people, are being directed not to go out and stay at home.
None of this is necessary. Everything our mothers told us back in the 50s is still true: If you have a fever, stay home. When your fever abates, don’t go out for another 24 hours. Wash your hands while you sing “Yankee Doodle” until you’re done with the song.
The one good thing that has come out of this insanity is demonstrating how woefully unprepared we are to handle a true health threat. They brag about having thousands of ventilators available but there has been a request for only one. We are SO lucky we’re not talking about something like Ebola that kills 95% of the people it comes in contact with.
We also know the media has more power to influence us than we should have ever allowed.  They need to be prosecuted.  What they’re doing is akin to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire.  That’s not OK.


  1. Antiochene Son says

    All due respect George, I think the people drowning in lung fluid in Italy would disagree. Let’s see where we are a month from now, and if it was enough to avert the same fate.

    People are too fixated on the death rate. Yes, it’s very low. (Still worse than influenza though.) But 12-15% of people who get it need to be hospitalized, and we don’t have enough extra beds to deal with that. Doctors are having to make wartime triage decisions over there.

    If people were already respecting their neighbors as you said, this may not have happened. But as it stands, my parish was literally the only church open in my city today, and people were still blowing their noses and sneezing and touching everything around them.

    Our city’s first case was announced today, so I hope this wasn’t our last liturgy until Pascha.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      As you said, Antiochian Son, one cannot predict anything at this point because the data is incomplete. We can only surmise, based on what we know to date. Because there are so MANY who have had the virus but didn’t know it, i.e were not and will not ever be tested, the death rate is even LOWER than it seemingly is based on the testing. George plans to publish something regarding how the genetic distribution among different races impacts one’s susceptibility to the virus which will explain why the number of cases in Italy is disportionately higher in comparison to other countries, including the U.S.

      • Gail and to you all. I have just unscribed myself to this blogg.  While there is much i agree with as you will know from my  messages spiritually and politically. 
        However AS A CHRISTIAN, i cannot take the double and treble standards applied to Trump and his corrupt family.  The pot calling the kettle black.  But above all that,  it’s not the politics. That person  is sickening me as a human being and a Christian and don’t give me abortion please. YES HE KNOWS ALL ABOUT ABORTION.   
        I am not an american so i leave that to you guys and yr consciences . I wish  you all safe and well. Take care Nikos 

        • Gail Sheppard says

          We wish you the same, Nikos. If you change your mind, you’re always welcome to rejoin us.

        • Niko, wait,wait, περίμενε!

          I’ll be very sad if you leave because you have a good heart, and that’s why I want spontaneously to try a last thought:
          If two friends have different opinions about a third person, it invariably means that one of them, or both miss an important piece of information about the third person.
          Why not softly carry on the dialog,  and then one may convince the other or even find a good modus vivendi somewhere midway? I was just thinking…

        • i agree with you, but i’ll still read this and many other sites, because i am interested in the church and in different opinions. i disagree with the general politics of this site, i am neither democrat nor republican, as i don’t believe in any representative government. i am a monarchist.
          while monarchy is not ideal either, nothing in this world is,
          it gives a certain stability and security. i do believe in a strong social safety net to protect the working class and peasantry from abject poverty and thus the state from upheaval(just like prince von bismarck did). had our nicholas ii introduced reforms like bismarck did, the dynasty and empire could have been saved.
          to put that simply, the life stock, the peasants and workers, need to be fed well and well taken care off, to be happy and healthy in order to PERFORM, WORK WELL.
          something that some republicans refuse to understand.
          however, able bodied and healthy people who could work, but choose not to, should not only not receive any government assistance, but should be severely punished for their idleness. something the democrats seem not to comprehend.
          the state however, must care for those who can’t take care of themselves, children, the truly infirm and the elderly.
          most criminals, not only murderers, but also thieves, fraudsters etc. should simply be publicly executed in a painful manner to warn other potential criminals of the consequences of wickedness. (and to entertain the good people, like in the old days) it doesn’t make sense to keep parasites for years in prison, the money for their keep could be put to better use.
          any religion should be kept out of government, our frederick the great (der alte fritz, as the germans lovingly called him) one of my favorite kings, an enlightened despot, believed in freedom of conscience and faith. “jeder soll nach seiner facon seelig werden” he said.
          i myself do love our orthodox church and her beautiful rituals and teachings, but, it’s my faith, and i have no right to impose it on others, because it’s FAITH, you believe or you don’t. my favorite russian rulers are peter the great, catherine the great, and ivan iv, the terrible ( he was a little mean, but he is one of the founders of the greater russia by expending into the east)
          my point is, although my views essentially don’t agree with this rather populist blog, i still enjoy reading it and have found interesting material once in a while.
          and i am not american either, i grew up among our old immigrants back in europe. destiny has brought to these shores. i find average americans rather dull, but nevertheless quite charming in their simplicity and naivety, just like golden retrievers, LOL. don’t let that corona bug bite you!

          • Estonian Slovak says

            I’m a monarchist as well. I disagree with you about your choice of Russian monarchs; also, while capital punishment may be needed in some cases, I don’t believe in torture. To do this makes us no better than the Nazis or Communists.
                 I further agree that people who are idle by choice should be punished. California could start by taking the bums off of the streets of San Francisco and other cities. Put them to work fighting the forest fires in that state. Furthermore, they are a high risk group for diseases. I fully agree with radio host Michael Savage, that they should be screened more thoroughly. May God have mercy on us all!

            • Gail's Husband says

              ES, I believe that Peter the Great and Catherine the Great were problematic, Ivan IV believe it or not was not as bad as Henry VIII and he was actually loved by the peasantry but hated by the boyar class.

              Yes, he did go insane but that was due to two things: syphilis (his fault) and gradual, chronic arsenic poisoning. The last may not have been due to a conspiracy per se but by the natural level of arsenides which are present in drinking water at the time (although even here, we know from an anatomical analysis on his & his first wife’s bones, the arsenide levels were higher than normal).

              • Tim R Mortiss says

                I have a naïve question; I do hesitate to ask, but it may be important.
                Can one be an Orthodox Christian and believe in a republican form of government? Does Christianity, properly understood, ultimately require one to be a monarchist? Or some sort of a variation thereof?
                Mostly I ask, because, after several years here, I do wonder if “Monomonarkos” represents what we might call the ‘mainstream’ of Orthodox thought, or is it just an aberrant corner thereof?
                I only ask because when Midwest Americans, from such places as Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Kansas, declare themselves as monarchists, in the same breath they profess the Christian faith, I wake up in the middle of the night, and go ask Alice what pill that was she gave me….
                A lad hardly knows whether to be con-fused, a-mused…or re-fused….

                I can see it now; a broken statue in the Nebraska Sand Hills, or along the Mississippi near Kansas City: knocked off of its pedestal, windswept: “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair…”

                Why not? After all, the Mormons say that Jesus will return– to Independence, Missouri! Why should not North America have kings and emperors? And patriarchs: His All Holiness of the Mighty Mississippi, Missouri, and Columbia Rivers? And the Ohio and All the Tributaries Thereof?

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Well Ed, though I suspect you may be asking in sarcasm:  True monarchy is the way God orders things but IMO there is only one King.  The Biblical form government and the way the Church is arranged is a hierarchical confederation. The hierarchy should come from and have the axios of their community.
                  Confederation both distributes power and allows for the people being governed to be seen, heard and considered yet still allows for God to be present too. 
                  Confederations have two great drawbacks as far as the Kings of the earth are concerned both stem from the power distribution: they do not levy armies nor taxes efficiently.  
                  One does not need to be a monarchist to be Orthodox but democracy and socialism are far worse.  Real constitutional republicanism isn’t bad but we lost that in the Civil War. 

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    As usual, Michael, a lot of insight.

                    If I may however, you are right about monarchy in this sense: there is indeed only one King. Because of this reality, we “have no abiding home here on earth”. Nations come and go, so do dynasties and political ideologies. Having said that, just as there is only one real King, so too is there only one “real” Father in heaven. Still, we have fathers here on earth and we owe them all due respect, not merely because they sired us but because they live for us and if need be, die for us.

                    Our kings are therefore like our sires/fathers: real as anything else here on earth is real, but also shadows or (platonic accidents) of the real Father and King who is in heaven. They are no less real but reflect an archetype.

                    • Michael Bauman says

                      George, most kings are too far away. Real leaders/fathers need to be closer. Then they can become Burkean representatives for us in the larger confederation. That applies to the Church as well as civil government. Thus our bishops should 1. Have reasonable sized flocks; 2. Stand for us, rightly dividing the word of Truth in any episcopal conclave, regional or national.

                      We actually started out on that track for the United States, but, like the ancient Hebrews, we cried out for a powerful leader just as our neighbors so we could raise armies and levy taxes and be protected.

                      We lost all but a semblance of an actual republic with the Civil War and even the semblance was gone with the passage of the 16th and 17th amendments and the Selective Service Act of 1917.

                      We have been run by a demagogic oligarchy tending more toward socialism and authoritarianism ever since. The current crisis will only exacerbate that movement, unlike Nick thinks.

                      Historically governments tend that way until they are overthrown or collapse. As the revolutionary crowd says: A good crises is a terrible thing to waste and if there is not one, manufacture one.

                      Monarchy, even the petty monarchs of Germany, never comes to good. The centripetal forced generated by lust of power and pride is always too great.

                      I am afraid in longing for a Christian Monarchy one becomes like Candide.

                • Throughout the history of the Church, holy men have declared that the monarchical form of government is the most God-pleasing. Unfortunately, we are no longer worthy of having an Orthodox monarch.
                  Orthodox Christians can exist and thrive in any political system, but monarchy is the ideal.

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Basil, you are correct. A true Christian Monarch requires a fully Christian people who’s life is centered on the practices of the Church of prayer, worship, repentance and almsgiving with a merciful heart. If we all did that, a true Christian monarchy would naturally and organically emerge.

                    That is the best of all possible worlds.

                • He who will sleep on the couch tonite when Gail reads this comment. says

                  Mr Winskill, speaking for myself, I am a republican who believes in the Constitution and a Federalist system of governance.

                  I am also a student of history and I see that the default position always seems to be monarchy. If not monarchy at first, then monarchy after a period of anarchy (French Revolution, Weimar Republic, the assorted tyrannies of the ancient Greek polities, the Roman Empire, etc.)

                  Indeed, we are seeing this play out today, in which even the progressives and Democrats are complaining because Trump is not faschisty enough. Truly, when I saw the stuff Pelosi pulled last night, I could easily express a hope that Trump would gather a regiment of Marines and teams of Special Forces and storm the Congress and clap her and her minions in chains then declare martial law for 6 months.

                  In the final analysis, we can never forget that republicanism can only last as long as we heed John Adams’ words, that our government was “suited only for a religious people”. Once manly virtue is lost (and sorry ladies, this means no feminism which has eroded manly virtue), then it cannot be gotten back and republicanism is gone.

                  Of course, once manly virtue is gone, then the civilization will collapse in due time, only to be replaced by a more virile race (usually barbarians).

                  • Gail Michalopulos says

                    Naw, George. You’re fine. But I think Tim deserves an honest answer about whether or not you represent “mainstream Orthodoxy.”

                    I suspect some, who are infinitely more dissatisfied with their lives than they purport, come here to to poke someone else in the eye. They really don’t care about having an exchange of ideas. It’s the “poking” thing that keeps them coming back. They covet the attention they believe is wrongly going to someone else and feel it is their duty to get some of it back, postulating questions for which there are no answers. But they aren’t interested in the answers. Again, it’s the “poking” thing they live for. And though it is as annoying as the crazy uncle who keeps following you around at Thanksgiving saying, “Pull my finger. Pull my finger,” you just can’t get away from it.

                    So, Tim, we have people like that on the blog, although not many. I certainly wouldn’t call them “mainstream.”

                    But Monomakhos, itself, doesn’t represent anything. It’s not uniquely George. George just has a way of generating a lot of conversation. It’s a place where different people gather to exchange ideas. I do think, as a rule, the people who comment here love the Church. Of course this isn’t always the case. There are some who are seemingly hostile to it and yet still claim they are Orthodox. But it’s OK. They can post here, too.

                    So what is “mainstream Orthodoxy”? It’s an oxymoron, Tim. It doesn’t exist.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Thank you, my Dear! However, you are right, I didn’t answer the question and went off on tangents. You, however, did.

                      If I may though, I do think that this blog has evolved (so to speak) into a somewhat mainstream forum for the honest exchange of ideas. Admittedly from a traditionalist Orthodox perspective. Politically, I think we are on the Right or as I like to call it, the “Realist Right” or even “Dissident Right”. This can (and often does) bleed over into monarchism but as I wrote in my earlier response, I am coming more and more to believe that monarchy is the only natural method of governance.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      Of course, as Michael Bauman implies, I am somewhat tongue-in-cheek (which I prefer to ‘sarcastic’!). Nonetheless, there seems to be a fair amount of this sort of historical romanticism among the Orthodox; a bit more than was to be found among the Presbyterians! And this is by no means limited to Monomakhos….

                      The Founders of this country were of course deeply aware of the argument that history always eventually expunged republics, Rome being the historical ‘gold standard’ of everything. They undertook to make it work. Abraham Lincoln had something to say on the subject at Gettysburg.

                      The prevalent cynicism concerning our own Republic since about the Jackson administration on the part of some is another subject…

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Manly virtue can only exist properly in union with true feminine wisdom and fecundity(the opposite of modern feminism). “My soul doth magnify the Lord” Neither of us stands alone. Being alone is not good. We are created “Male and Female” we are not whole as separate genders. But neither is superior to the other.

                    Manly virtue is the virtue of the Cross, i.e. giving oneself for others: family first.

                    The only reason for a “couch” figuratively or literally is because of the failure of both to be who they actually are.

                    Forgive me a sinner for I know not what I do, should be flowing from our hearts toward our mates always. Then, one has the ability to pick up the Cross and follow Him.

                    A very subtle Biblical example: When Jesus feeds the 5000 it is “5000 men, plus women and children”. The women and children are not numbered. In Acts 1, the description of Pentecost all of the disciples including the women, esp the Theotokos are numbered.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Indeed. Men need to be men and women need to be women. The yin & yang” coequal & complementary.

  2. Tim R. Mortiss says

    One thing we can always be sure of, George: you’ll never be happy with what’s being done, no matter what, no matter who.

    One day, maybe, we’ll come across a blogger, or a radio talk-show guy, or such, who will concur with anybody’s course of action at the level of the government. Then we’ll know the end is near!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      George is pretty happy with Trump! No complaints about getting the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates close to zero. Actually, George is happy about a lot of things these days. Just saying. . . 😉

      • George Michalopulos says

        TimR, surely you jest! I am quite happy (and have been) since The Golden Don defeated the Wicked Witch of the West!

        And anyway, who are we to disagree with the love Gail? (I for one would do so at my peril! 😉

        • Michael Bauman says

          Freedom to disagree is essential in marriage.
          There is a great passage in Stanislavski’s seminal book on method acting: Building A Character. The protagonist takes on the character named The Critic.   As he begins the process of inhabiting that character it becomes impossible for him to be happy with anything.  Impossible for him to know joy or be thankful.  The make-up he chooses is grey-green mix without brightness.
          As The Critic he cut himself off from all his friends and his voice even changes becoming whiney and irritating.  

  3. George, I agree with you. The Holy Mysteries are so vital in times like these.

    At our English-language ROCOR parish, my family and I received the holy mysteries today. No fear at all, I simply felt and feel the love of Christ. Of course we take appropriate precautions like handwashing and others.

    We need Christ and His body and blood in times like these to keep us centered in reality.

    I feel much pain for those churches who closed this weekend. Yes, those at risk should take precautions, and we must have compassion so as to minimize the risk of infecting anyone else. But the sacramental life of the Church is so important at times like this.

    I just don’t understand the point of having the liturgy celebrated by only the priest and one or two others and instructing the faithful to stay home and watch it online. It sounds so incomplete and bizarre. Should we start doing confession over E-mail?

  4. Johann Sebastian says

    Let’s not understate the severity of this and revert to arguments used by the left (for different reasons, political correctness chief among them) just ten weeks ago, namely, that the lethality of the virus is not as bad as it seems.
    This is a problem that could have been avoided long ago–by closing our borders, limiting foreign travel, and not being afraid of offending the delicate sensibilities of those who would cry “racism” at any criticism of habits peculiar to certain nations.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Johann, you are correct! I noticed that in yesterday’s debate (of which I saw only snippets), that only the poor old doddering fool known suggested that upon his election, he’s going to open the borders and declare an amnesty. Unless I’m mistaken, even the Bolshevik did not suggest such a thing.

      One of the silver linings of this outbreak is that the closed-border crowd now has the upper hand, the moral high ground so to speak.

      Another silver lining is the fact that the bloom off of the CDC’s rose has come off –and not a moment too soon IMHO. Is it possible that the Lord is using this crisis (pace Rahm Emanuel) to “never let a crisis go to waste”? I’m speaking specifically about the moral, ethical and functional bankruptcy of Big Government. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, the Federal government is a lumbering behemoth which can barely organize a two-car funeral.

    • “This is a problem that could have been avoided long ago–by closing our borders, limiting foreign travel, and not being afraid of offending the delicate sensibilities of those who would cry “racism” at any criticism of habits peculiar to certain nations.”
      I think you are correct, John.

  5. The Church of Greece just suspended all services. The Devil is counting many victories.

  6. I suggest reading this first hand account – this will help you understand what the fuss is all about.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      That this is overwhelming the healthcare system is a given. We were woefully unprepared for this. Even Maron said he has given up on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      • George Michalopulos says

        The CDC, like the FBI, the DoJ and the CIA has lost all moral authority. We are at the point in the history of a nation in which the bureaucracy exists for itself and not the public which it ostensibly serves.

  7. Ronda Wintheiser says
    • Gail Sheppard says

      The only thing I can tell you is to study this yourself, because what we’re being told is just not adding up. It was astounding to me to hear that we have 160,000 ventilators available but in the throws of a pandemic, that kills the elderly by attacking the lungs, as of yesterday, there had been a request for only one.

      Misha offered some legitimate reasons why what we’ve seen in Italy is different from what we’re seeing at home. George will offer others.

      The CDC has been off the rails for years, in my opinion. They were slow to call this a pandemic (see the following paragraph) and they screwed up the tests. Yet they’re calling the shots.

      CDC: “An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza A virus. Pandemics happen when new (novel) influenza A viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. The United States is NOT currently experiencing an influenza pandemic. CDC influenza programs protect Cdc-pdf[1.1 MB, 2 pages, 508] the United States from seasonal influenza and an influenza pandemic, which occurs when a new flu virus emerges that can infect people and spread globally.”

      • The United States is following in the path of Italy, it is just slightly behind on the timeline. The Seattle and NYC areas seem to be closest behind, other areas lagging further.

        . . . {Editor: Deleted] Please cite sourcing for that statement.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Here you go:

          There was a news conference yesterday where they said they had 160,000 and to date (as of yesterday) there had been a request for one. ICU beds are typically equipped with ventilator machines, as well.

          • Ronda Wintheiser says

            Gail, what news conference are you referring to?

          • Looking at the link you provided I see the source of confusion. I will quote from it in hopes of clarifying the situation. The 160,000 figure is the number of machines deployed right now in US healthcare facilities that can serve some form of respirator function.

            “1 study estimated that US acute care hospitals own approximately 62,000 full-featured mechanical ventilators.1 Calculations suggest that about 28,883 of these ventilators (46.4%) can be used to ventilate pediatric and neonatal patients. The study also reported an additional 98,000 ventilators that are not full-featured but can still provide basic function in an emergency during crisis standards of care.”

            This is not a reserve stockpile of ventilators waiting to be shipped out. That is an estimate of the active hospital inventory for the entire United States. The CDC reserve capacity from your link is:

            “To meet this potential surge in demand, the CDC Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) stores and maintains mechanical ventilators that can be deployed on request through appropriate channels.3 The SNS stockpiles 3 specific types of ventilators: the LP10 (Covidien), the LTV1200 (CareFusion), and the Uni-vent Eagle 754 (Impact Instrumentation).4,5 It is unclear whether these machines are manufactured in the United States or elsewhere. The CDC SNS has an estimated 8,900 ventilators as of 2010.4 Malatino reports that shipments from managed inventory “could arrive within 24-36 hours of the Federal decision to deploy them.”

            If, as of right now there had only been a single request for that stockpile, that is not terribly surprising given where we are. However it is entirely possible that NYC or Seattle alone could deplete that entire 8,900 unit stockpile in the next few weeks. As for how responsive the federal government will be about requests for that stockpile, we have a somewhat troubling quote from today:

            “Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Thank you for reading the paper, Flavius. I appreciate the correction. My point was less about stockpiles and more about the fact that the massive need for additional ventilators has not yet surfaced.

              Governors actually can get “respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment” themselves through the CDC. I’m guessing that’s what President Trump meant. It would hardly serve him to be flippant and say “go get it yourselves” in a national emergency but I didn’t hear the comment.

              • George Michalopulos says

                Flavius, Gail is correct. I just listened to Trump’s conference call with the governors. I know the left is going to spin this as “let them eat cake” but anyone who heard the call understood that this was anything but. So yes, I’m defending Trump. He’s not perfect but he’s not some elitist who doesn’t care about ordinary people. His advice to the governors was what one should expect from a chief executive.

                • I’m afraid I can’t agree with your assessment. Avoiding duplication of effort and resource conflict between fifty state governments during a nationwide crisis is a job for a federal government.

                  Why was the federal government not working towards surging new ventilator construction six to eight weeks ago? I have been told that there is a multi-dimensional strategic genius in the White House.

  8. The Holy Metropolis of Limassol, Cyprus, will normally continue her services and Divine Liturgies
    March 16, 2020
    From the Holy Metropolis of Limassol it is announced that the sacred services of our church that are celebrated during the Great Lent (Great Compline, Laudations for the Theotokos, Matins, Hours, Presanctified Liturgies, Saturday Vespers and Sunday Divine Liturgies) will continue to be chanted in all temples.

    During the Great Compline the Canon for any infectious disease will be chanted instead of the Canon of Theotokarion.A special prayer for this purpose will also be read.
    Also, the sacrament of Holy Ointment will be performed after the service of the Great Compline.

  9. When it’s all said and done, it will be just another, perhaps marginally more lethal, version of the flu:
    The reason for the high number of deaths in Italy is the median age of its population, 47, as opposed to, for example, 38 for the US.  Almost a quarter of the Italian populace is over 65 and most of the deaths have been people in their 80’s and 90’s. –
    The thing you have to keep in mind is that the mortality rates bandied about are garbage.  Mortality is deaths divided by exposures.  No one knows the number of exposures for this newbie because it has not previously been studied and there has not been widespread testing which is only now being done.  Numbers of exposures discovered through testing will rise considerably in coming days, and mortality rates will sink.
    Just wait for it.  This too shall pass.
    The question, after all the hysteria is over, will be why was the fear generated in the first place?  Calculation of mortality is common knowledge among epidemiologists and the uncertainties with a new strain are also well known.
    Whatever causes anxiety in an election year works against the incumbent.  And that is why the sky is falling.
     Some perspective, H1N1 flu, 2009-2010:

    H1N1 flu killed about 12,500 Americans in 2009-2010. –

    But that was under Obama . . .

  10. I dislike the fear mongering I see on both sides, both the media-caused panic that is causing people to hoard, and in both the Orthodox and Catholic communities that treat temporary suspension of Mass or the Divine Liturgy as some kind of spiritual disaster. Remember the many hermits who did not have access to sacraments for years on end, yet still became saints. Remember the Divine Liturgy is always happening somewhere around the globe, even if you can’t physically go to one locally. I trust Trump and his team and are following their recommendations by social distancing and staying home as much as possible. Which means I am working from home, doing only necessary errands, and not going to liturgies until this blows over (while being alert to any of my neighbors who may need help). I don’t want to become a carrier and spread it to anyone else, especially not one of the many elderly in my congregation or my own elderly mother. And I certainly hope they are all staying home, too. For me it is a matter of love for neighbor, not of fear or lack of faith in God.

  11. I won’t comment on the issue of measles or polio, but to the matter at hand.  You state, “Yet people are buying toilet paper in record numbers. Why??? This virus doesn’t cause diarrhea or even a runny nose! This is crazy behavior. ”
    No, this is not crazy behavior.  For those in higher risk groups, avoiding going to the store is a good idea.  A larger than normal home supply of essential items means one does not have to go to the store as often.  Going less often means a reduction in risk.  That is not “crazy.”

    • Gail Sheppard says

      So are they buying toilet paper because they know they’re not going to be going to the store for awhile? I didn’t realize that. I thought it was because of what experts call “panic buying” which is crazy, as well as counter productive. I can just see the little old ladies who are most likely to get sick going from store to store just to buy the essentials. It’s weird that some will agree to quarantine themselves saying it’s because they care for their neighbor while stockpiling groceries other people also need. I don’t think this is normal behavior for our country. I think people are REALLY scared.

      • “Really scared” is an understatement. It is bordering on hysteria. It is very disturbing. It shows how many of us care not for the soul, but only for the flesh. When a crisis unfolds, we do not bat an eye when our Churches are shuttered. But God forbid if we don’t have toilet paper for our rear ends and ample food for our bellies.  Many do not even care if they leave a single item on the shelf for a neighbor who may really need it. Lord have mercy on us!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Blimbax, while I see no reason with having a decent supply of toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and the like, the shelves which are empty of toilet paper is ridiculous. Especially when diarrhea is not one of the symptoms of corona.

      People would be better served in stocking up on aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol. (Nine parts aloe vera to 1 part alcohol: shake well.)

      • I don’t have anything add anything on the subject of toilet paper.  But I would like to comment on the aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol mixture that you describe. From what I have read, it would not meet the required strength of alcohol.
        First of all, you do not mention the strength of the alcohol, so your formula is deficient.  The strength of the final product, at a ratio of 9 to 1, will obviously vary depending on the strength of the alcohol that is used.   I’ve seen isopropyl alcohol in strengths of 70%, 91%, and 98%.  
        More importantly, I have seen recommendations that the final product should have at least 60% alcohol.  My empty bottle of Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer states that it has an ethyl alcohol content of 70%.
        By contrast, with your 9 to 1 mixture, even if you started with 91% alcohol, the strongest I have seen in drug stores, the final mixture would contain less than 10% alcohol.  That is much, much less than recommended.  If 70% alcohol were used, the final result would be even less.
        The proportions need to be reversed and altered, so that about 1/3 of the mixture, at most, is aloe vera, and the balance is alcohol.  If you are using 91% alcohol, a mixture of 2 parts of alcohol to 1 part of aloe vera would yield a product of 60%, the minimum recommended by CDC.  Using lower strength alcohol would require using less aloe vera proportionately.

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Good information, Blimbax. Do you know anything about this? Honestly, this seems like a much better solution and it’s still available:

          George, we can order monthly supplies. There are other distributors so I can find the best price. Unlike alcohol, it STAYS ON YOUR HANDS. Put it on just once in the morning and it lasts until the next day.

          The Science: The physical kill (of germs and microbes) is accomplished by the active ingredient EV360™ forming a nano-scale biostatic layer on the surface of the hands. This layer is invisible and can’t be felt. It consists of millions of carbon-based nano-spikes that self-assemble in layers (see Fig 1) and bond covalently with the skin. Each nano-spike is made up of a carbon shaft with a nitrogen molecule at its base. The positively charged nitrogen interacts with the negatively charged germs like a magnet that draws it down onto the carbon spike. The result is a physically ruptured or “stabbed” germ that can’t survive – or adapt to become resistant. That is how 24Hour Defense™ Hand Purifier effectively protects your hands from FUTURE contamination! The nano-spikes are very durable and stay bonded to the skin surface through touching and hand washing. They stay attached to the skin, protecting until your body naturally sheds the outermost skin cells – which is about every 24 hours.”

          • I do not know anything about the 24-hour defense products.  If I were sure they worked and were available, I would try to purchase some.  But I am concerned that the product might not stay on the skin if one uses alcohol based cleaner.  In other words, one might have to use either one or the other, hoping that whatever choice he made is the correct one in the long run.
            As for the aloe vera/alcohol homemade cleaner, please note that I am neither a chemist nor a pharmacist and am not in a position to render an independent judgment as to how much the alcohol content needs to be in order for the product to be effective.  I just wanted to raise the issue because there is a wide gulf between what George recommended and what CDC and others say is necessary.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Since it kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, you wouldn’t need to use an alcohol based sanitizer.

          • Does this company state what is the active ingredient?  I mean the actual chemical name.  I could not find it, even on the safety data sheet linked from the website.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Sorry, my bad. 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

          I didn’t mean to imply that it was just as good as Purell or other products (see Gail’s comment below) but it is better than nothing.

          Be looking for more homebrew-type of products in the near future.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Here in the Puget Sound area, hand sanitizer ran out 2 weeks ago. But it is everywhere on business counters now, so I expect it back on the shelves soon.
          I use isopropyl alcohol, 70%. I don’t bother to make ‘sanitizer’; I keep a squirt bottle in the car console, squirt a bit on my palm, and rub away. Extremely simple. Were I to run out of isopropyl, I’ll just use denatured alcohol, which is ethanol tainted with methanol. Same procedure. This way you are always sure of the antimicrobial power.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Here at ground zero (I’m 35 miles south of Seattle) the bottled-water ‘shortage’ is already over. At the Safeway supermarket a couple of hours ago, the walls were lined with mountains of cases of water and nobody was buying them anymore.
        Toilet paper is still out; I assume we’ll be seeing it again pretty soon. The issue is not diarrhea– toilet paper is the security blanket of the middle class.
        With all the latest restrictions and with the fact that we have the most US cases in this state, here is the status of shopping:
        Lots and lots of folks out shopping. Mid-day today at Safeway: all meat and dairy cases are totally full; all produce totally full (including spuds and other ‘storables’); canned goods and soups about 1/2 down, but  stockers working like mad to fill the shelves back up, rice is out for a day. Everybody calm and in good humor.
        There are no genuine shortages except toilet paper; no food shortages at all, except canned goods, rice and beans, which are getting cleared out, but then replaced. And this is after 10 days of one really big regional shopping spree.
        No sense of panic; sort of an idea of prudence– it’s smart to stock up on durables.
        Tonight at midnight in Washington State: no bars, no restaurants (except take out), no theaters, barbers, or salons, no groups bigger than 50. Etc. We 70 guys should lay low– that’s their suggestion.

  12. “…diarrhea is not one of the symptoms of corona.”
    It’s all the chicken soup that gives you that.

  13. Sometimes babies just want to cry, past reasoning, too much for them.  Let em go at it and get on with business filtering out the noise.  They will wear themselves out.  Don’t be a nervous mother.  Just adds to the collective anxiety.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    George, it is much deeper and more comprehensive than ying-yang or the ordinary meaning of complimentary.   It is a mystery similar to Jesus being fully man and fully God. 
    One of the reasons I married my dear wife is because she can see me and I can see her.  That allows us to become one without fear but still be fully ourselves even when we get irritated with each other.  I do  not believe such is possible without Jesus.  I pray that you and Gail will be blessed in the same manner.   
    The concepts you mention simply do not go far enough in explicating the complete synergy that is possible without any dilution of each person. Fully man and fully women without confusion but one flesh yet always interpenetrating and receiving. A great fecundity even if there can be no children born from us.

    My sinfulness blocks a more complete realization of what could be, but I can see a bit if what is there and it is dazzling.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Of course you’re correct: it’s much more than merely Yin and Yang. Christian marriage is a reflection of the archetype, which is Yahweh and Israel/Christ and the Church. In my humble opinion.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    George, another thing that sets the truth about men and women revealed in Holy Scripture and the Church is that there is a natural hierarchy that the Yin-Yang complimentary models ignore.  
    Men are head.  Not because, God forbid, because we are superior but because that is the nature of things.  My dear wife, as independent and tough a person as can be found, has said repeatedly that in the Church men can be men and women can be women.  
    That is true but each of us has to be humble and trusting enough in our marriages to allow that to become reality.  I love my wife and she accepts that love, magnifies it and gives it substance.  That allows me to be more of who I am which includes listening to her and her counsel and rebuke when I get it wrong.  
    As we were discussing this morning that also involves not falling into the sin of “remberance of wrongs” especially if married before, the wrongs of prior spouses and laying those on the one to whom you are married to.  Harder to do than you might think.  Lots of landmines buried everywhere.  

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      As for us, we know no other state!
      I was a bachelor for a year. You can’t be one before you graduate from high school, I don’t think…..
      It does help to have a basic congruency in attitudes toward money, child rearing, and certain other important values. These are the usual stressors, especially in the early and middle years.
      Time does pass. I remember each time we’d bring a newborn home, put the tiny child on the bed, and marvel at the 20+ years of responsibility that lay ahead. Then the day comes when those children are not just parents themselves, but empty nesters…..with married kids.
      We had children in college for 14 years straight, from age 38 to 52. I used to love to help move the kids back and forth to and from college in the Spring and Fall. Then the day came when the job was all over…took some getting used to. And….that was 20 years ago!
      My wife never ‘worked outside the home’ as the expression goes. On the other hand, she became a local elected public official when the kids were grown, and served 30 years, winning 5 elections straight.
      I’ve never dwelt much on the metaphysics of it…..just a few ruminations.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Tim R. You and your wife are natural “unconscious competents” Sluggards like me need more info to even approach doing it correctly. In fact my truly blessed marriage of 10 1/2 years is due mostly to the joy, kindness and forgiveness of my dear wife.

        So I say to you: Malzetov!

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Back atcha, Michael.

          I finished the last of the last case of Dry Elderberry a few days back. Will be putting another order in soon. As the Psalmist said, ” You made elderberry wine to gladden the heart of man”!

  16. Michael Bauman says

    Not to mention Prairie Sunshine wine.  Right now they have a backlog on all orders as most of what they are shipping is the Elderberry Juice Concentrate.  Running about a week behind.  My dear wife, suffering from severe back and knee pain keeps cowgirling up and going in to take the orders and my son is fighting his own demons to fulfill them.  Please keep them all in your prayers.   They are not on the front lines in fighting the pandemic but they are certainly part of the supply chain.  The concentrate works.