With the Coronavirus dominating the news cycles, it has been a crazy six weeks. So many of our small businesses are shouldering the burden of our nationwide shutdown. Unemployment has skyrocketed, and I anticipate that very soon, we will see countless business foreclosures. In my opinion, none of this was necessary; our nation’s pain is something we brought upon ourselves.
When all of this started, the so-called experts were predicting over two million deaths in the United States. Yet as time progressed, these projections lowered and lowered. As I write this letter, on April 14, the latest death toll stands at 25,162.
The latest models have been revised to project a dramatically lower number – a total of 60,400 U.S. deaths by August, forecasting the peak of those deaths on April 12 (instead of April 16, as previously projected). Some models are even predicting as few as 35,000 deaths. These models projecting lower and lower COVID-related deaths.
While every death is tragic and sad, let’s try to keep this in perspective. The CDC estimates that as many as 56,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illnesses in the United States each year. In bad flu seasons, we experience many more deaths.
In 2018, there were 48,344 recorded suicides, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In 2019, an estimated 606,880 people will die of cancer in the United States. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year.
For the first time that I can ever recall, churches were forbidden to hold services in most cities. Louisville, Kentucky Mayor Greg Fischer went even further. On Holy Thursday, the mayor threatened church members and pastors to not hold a drive-in Easter service. Fischer’s warning read as follows:
“We are not allowing churches to gather either in person or in any kind of drive-through capacity… if you are a church or you are a churchgoing member, and you do that, you’re in violation of the mandate from the governor, you’re in violation of the request from my office and city government to not do that. We’re saying no church worshiping, no drive-throughs.”
The same day, the Mayor’s spokesperson said he would use the police to deter and disburse drive-in religious gatherings:
“Louisville Metro Police have been proactive about reaching out to those we’ve heard about and discouraging organizers from proceeding.”
Are we so willing to give up our God given liberties over a pandemic that hasn’t even killed as many people as the flu does on an annual basis? Is it worth destroying so many businesses, families and communities? As I drive through Katy, I wonder how many businesses in these strip centers will never reopen.