Let’s talk numbers. Let’s talk data. Let’s get down to the science of what is going on and draw some conclusions based on the facts. There is a lot going on with the County of San Diego and its restrictions on what people can and cannot do. We want you to know that we take this very seriously and we are constantly trying to balance the FEAR that is being spread by some of our National, State and Local officials and the verifiable FACTS about Covid.  

Currently,  the Covid mortality rate is at 0.02%, according to an Oxford study that is updated monthly.[i] Some say 0.01%. The point is that it is very low, to almost non-existent. That means you are about as likely to be killed by an errant baseball as you are Covid. And when it comes to dying from the virus, that 0.02% is only if you have significant underlying health issues, or as they are often referred to as, co-morbidities. This low death rate is even inflated as many health officials around the nation have been documenting motorcycle and car crash victims as Covid deaths.[ii] 

I want to share some statistics with you to help alleviate the fears some of you may be dealing with concerning the Covid virus. I cite every statistic I share in the endnotes so you can look up the websites and the journal articles to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. You may not agree with me, and if not, please cite your sources so I can look up the information you are basing your opinion on. 

I believe one of the things Shepherds are supposed to do, is protect the Sheep. Pastors are supposed to protect the flock God has entrusted to us. Not only are we to spiritually nurture, feed, and help grow our flock, we are supposed to fight for our flock when wolves and other predators try to attack. We are to fight off enemies we can see and enemies we cannot see.  

Sometimes, as is the case here, there is fear from something that is actually not there. It has been an enemy in the dark, something we cannot see. So, we have all scrambled not knowing where the next strike was going to come from. Yet, for 99.9% of people, the strike from this viral enemy has never and will never come. It is a straw man of an enemy to be sure. But, we have to fight the narratives out there to give people hope. We cannot sit back and just wait for the OK from the Governor as more and more lives are ruined. 1 Peter 5:2 reminds us, “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you …” 

Having said that, I’d like to give you some statistics to, hopefully, alleviate some fears that are constantly and consistently being spread.  Here are some statistics to give you some clarity on what is going on. Now, for my Kansas people, I’ll be specifically giving California stats from the CDC[iii] and then I’ll give some nationwide stats. Over 270,000 people die in California every year from various causes:            
·       65,000 die from heart disease 
·       60,000 die from cancer
·       16,000 from stroke
 ·       16,000 from Alzheimer’s
·       14,000 from respiratory illness—Covid is a respiratory virus, 14,000 people every year die from respiratory issues.

We don’t shut everything down because of that every year. Yet we have 8,700 Covid (supposed Covid deaths) in CA. I say supposed because a lot of fraud is now coming out that deaths are being labeled Covid. Hospitals are getting more money from Medicare when deaths at their hospital are labeled Covid. For example, if someone dies from straight forward pneumonia the payment to the hospital is $5,000. If they die of Covid-related pneumonia it’s $13,000, and if the Covid patient is on a ventilator and dies it goes up to $39,000.[iv] Continuing with the California causes of death: 
·       10,000 from diabetes 
·       5,000 from liver disease
 ·       14,000 from various accidents
·       3 Million from alcohol (USA) 
·       250,000 from cigarettes
·       5,000 from Suicide (and that number was from 2019 before Covid, we know it’s much higher this year as NATIONWIDE suicide ideation is up 600%).[v]

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, going to religious services helps lower the incidences of suicide, “Many Americans attend various community or religious activities. Weekly attendance at religious services has been associated with a 5-fold lower suicide rate compared with those who do not attendThe effects of closing churches and community centers may further contribute to social isolation and hence suicide.” [vi]

Why? Because you’ve got to have hope to cope. Every week we hand out hope at Skyline church and many other churches do the same. Yet, health officials want to keep churches closed or force them outdoors in 95-degree heat in the middle of summer (in East County San Diego). 

 The greatest killer in our state is by medical professionals who perform abortions. 364 abortions a day in California. That means 1 in 4 pregnancies are aborted. California has more abortions than anyone else and they are taxpayer funded.  Our Governor, Gavin Newsom, has decided that anyone who lives in a state where abortion is illegal or hard to come by, they can come to California and our taxpayers will pay for the abortion.  So, a woman can have a free abortion no matter where she is from or how she got here. We, as California Taxpayers will pay for the abortion.[vii] 

Meanwhile businesses are closing and many will not open again because they have been ruined by this lockdown, and there is no help in sight for them. People in our church are losing their life savings and their lifelong dream of having a thriving business, over a virus that kills less people than a thunderstorm. 

Yet the abortion clinics remain open, the liquor stores remain open, the strip clubs remain open, the casinos remain open. And, you may have noticed, those of you here in San Diego, that according to our public health officials who report ad nauseam on the “outbreaks” that not one outbreak has been reported from those places. That is fascinating.  As we learn more about this virus, apparently the Covid virus is very virtuous and will not go near those places. You are expected to believe that. There is a clear problem here, it is one of hypocrisy and duplicity.   

There is no moral high ground with the leaders in our state who portend to have the public health in mind as these lockdowns drag on into the fifth month or 139 days since March 13 when we all heard the phrase, “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” The initial issues that caused the lockdown have been rectified yet we are still locked down and locked out.  Let’s go through the short list:           
1. Ventilators. We were told we need enough ventilators. Ventilators, check.
2. Flatten the curve. Then we can resume our lives, albeit with some changes. Curve flattened,check.           
3. Surge capacity in our hospitals. We need to make sure when the virus spikes, we have surge capacity in our hospitals. Most hospitals have less people this year, year over year.[viii] Surge capacity, check.      
4. Therapies and Prophylactics. We need to make sure we can treat those who get the virus and prevent it in those who are the most vulnerable. Therapies and Prophylactics, check.           
5. Kids are vulnerable. We must keep our kids safe. Kids are not vulnerable to Covid. As a matter of fact, the flu is more dangerous for kids.[ix] 

I could keep going but you get the idea. The point is the goal posts are constantly being moved to agree with a false narrative about this virus. 

Abortion clinics, liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos are all deemed essential during this time. But the Church, and many businesses that help our community, are not. Folks, if you are not already, it’s time to wake up to what is going on. I believe the tide is turning and many, many people are waking up to what is actually going on. You are not in danger of a virus called Covid. However, you are in danger of losing your great country to a radical agenda that will stop at nothing to destroy our economy, our freedom, and our faith. 

Knowledge is power. We have the knowledge of this virus. We know how to manage it, treat it, prevent it and even cure it. Unfortunately, we grieve for those 0.02% who have lost their lives to this virus. As small of a number as that is, it still represents lives that are lost and families that have been affected. We are not heartless in understanding that.  

However, don’t believe the nonsense you are hearing from godless news outlets and social media “influencers.” Whenever anyone comes forward with scientific evidence that clearly shows the virus is not as lethal as first thought, or that as we have seen from Frontline Doctors[x], there is an actual cure, these videos, evidence and research studies are pulled down from the internet source by Google. Your Free Speech and your Freedom of Religion is being trampled on.  We need to get up, take our masks off, and speak upwhile being fed up. 

Our San Diego public health official, Dr. Wilma Wooten gave her thrice weekly update on Monday and said she was “saddened” by the outdoor service that a church had at a beach in North County and that she was intent on cracking down on churches and egregious violators. It looked like a big crowd from the video I saw, but it was certainly peaceful as people sang to the Lord and heard a message from a pastor.  

Now, as a matter of comparison, when places in the county she represents as the public health officer were burning down at the hands of thousands of protestors and rioters, who were not social distancing and were not wearing masks (save a person here and there) she remained silent on the issue of public health at protests. She never mentioned the rioters, never mentioned the protestors, and never mentioned levying fines or “cracking down” on the obvious “egregious” violations.  

The only words about the riots came from Supervisor Nathan Fletcher a few days after buildings and businesses burned in La Mesa and vandalism took place in many locations all over San Diego. Supervisor Fletcher was asked the question from a news reporter about the dual messaging or hypocrisy of allowing protests but not allowing gatherings at churches or other places. Fletcher’s response was illusory, he said, “We agree with the protestors right to gather, we just want them to do it safely …”

That same right he says he agrees with is the 1st amendment right to “peacefully gather.” Religious freedom is under that same 1st amendment right. Churches peacefully gather as a religious freedom right covered by the Constitution of the United States of America. Rioting is not to be agreed to at any time. It is not covered in the Constitution. Burning down buildings and wounding our Law Enforcement officers is not a “Peaceful Protest” and should never be agreed to by a County Supervisor or anyone else in charge.

Thousands of protestors burning down buildings and wounding our officers apparently is OK because Supervisor Fletcher agrees with their right to gather. But a church has a service on the beach and our public health officer is “saddened” by this activity and threatens reprisals. This, Dr. Wooten, is egregious. The hypocrisy has to stop and it only stops when people rise up and stop taking it.

I was told by one county official that Governor Newsom is holding potentially millions of dollars earmarked for San Diego hostage unless San Diego conforms to his mandates. He’s already withheld money from other counties that defied his orders. [xi] I understand our county leaders’ dilemma. That is much needed money for many community services that are severely underfunded at this point.

They have told me their hands are tied. I believe them. They are exasperated with the Governor. However, at some point our San Diego leaders have to say enough is enough and go against the Governor. I believe that time is NOW. If you look at the markers and triggers we must meet in order to begin to open up again, they are literally impossible to meet unless they are lowered significantly or removed entirely.[xii]

How do you beat a bully? You stand up to the bully. It is time to stand up to the bully. But, it will take everyone, grassroots, from start to finish letting your voices be heard. Be constantly and consistently inundating our representatives and health officials with a demand to open.

Our officials in San Diego have told many of us that there is nothing they can do because Newsom has so much power during this pandemic. That is not good enough. We have to march, we have to call, we have to utilize social media until it takes down the posts. And they will take down the posts if it doesn’t fit the false narrative. But the more we post the more likely some will last.

There are a few things going on that you can get involved in. Follow REOPEN.CALIFORNIA on Instagram and Facebook. There are several rallies and marches you can look into and consider being a part of. The larger these marches and rallies the more our voices will be heard. I don’t know a lot about the organization, so please do your research on who is running it and what exactly the messaging is, but at this point it looks like a solid organization that wants what’s best for Californians and our Nation.

I’m not an alarmist, but the alarm is ringing. I didn’t pull it, but I hear it, and it’s time to take action. The wolves have been ravaging the pen for too long. I personally cannot sit back and watch this happen. I am petitioning our representatives, I am on the phone, on zoom meetings with local and state officials and while there are many roadblocks at this point, there is an opening coming as more and more people rise up and stop putting up with these lockdowns.

Again, if the data showed this is a dangerous virus and I as a Shepherd was putting my flock in danger, that would be irresponsible and egregious. However, the facts are the facts and a 0.02% morbidity rate is not a reason to cause a 600% increase in suicide ideation and an 8,000% increase in suicide hotline calls.[xiii] 0.02% is not a reason to see an over 20% increase in domestic abuse worldwide[xiv] and 25% increase closer to home.[xv] Tens of thousands of drug and alcohol relapses and deaths and more and more lives are at stake the longer this lockdown continues. 

Let’s face the facts and beat the bully of fear.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Endnotes [i]https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/
[ii]https://cbs12.com/news/local/man-who-died-in-motorcycle-crash-counted-as-covid-19-death-in-florida-report
[iii]https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/states/california/california.htm
[iv]https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-paid-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/
[v]https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/2764584
[vi] VanderWeele  TJ , Li  S , Tsai  AC , Kawachi  I .  Association between religious service attendance and lower suicide rates among US women.    JAMA Psychiatry. 2016;73(8):845-851. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1243
[vii]https://www.aclunc.org/blog/know-your-rights-abortion-access-california[viii]https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/hospital-ers-underwhelmed-as-coronavirus-fears-keep-patients-away-2014793/
[ix]https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/reopening-schools.html
[x] America’s Frontline Doctors transcript. https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/americas-frontline-doctors-scotus-press-conference-transcript
[xi]https://abc7.com/coalinga-atwater-merced-county-central-valley/6340709/
[xii]https://sdcounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/30b5e0fa2a5f4404b1219d8cd16b2583
[xiii]https://abc7.com/suicide-hotline-calls-coronavirus-covid19-los-angeles/6117099/
[xiv]https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-53014211/coronavirus-domestic-violence-increases-globally-during-lockdown
[xv]https://abc7.com/domestic-violence-coronavirus-stay-at-home-pandemic/6119703/