Well, we are in lockdown and I have had the mandatory risk assessment about what duties I can do (which appears to be everything I normally do anyway). On Thursday, the first day of the lock down, we managed to get the work system up and running, and what work needed to be done, done. I'm trying to structure my life knowing that for the next four weeks I'm basically going into work one day a week, if things go well. In addition, I'm going to try the more structured "block" method of blogging this time and see if It works.
Heck, I have the time, which is unusual. So, what has been happening this week?
As the lockdown cuts in I'm finding I'm getting more spam. More and more spam. The press is still panicking like Herman Wouk, but life continues. There are examples of courage for us all. The main article is behind a paywall, but...
A 72-year-old priest who gave his respirator to a younger Covid-19 patient he did not know has died from coronavirus. Father Giuseppe Berardelli, the main priest in the town of Casnigo, refused a respirator which had been bought for him by his parishioners and instead gave it to a younger patient.
He died last week in Lovere, Bergamo - one of the worst-hit cities in Italy’s ongoing coronavirus crisis.
“He was a simple, straightforward person, with a great kindness and helpfulness towards everyone, believers and non-believers,” Giuseppe Imberti, the mayor of Casnigo, said in a statement, according to the Italian news website Araberara.
Although there was no funeral for the priest, residents of the town reportedly applauded from their balconies as his coffin was taken for burial.
The Independant, copied to Vox Popoli
Wilder comments on the current situation that it's not hit the bottom yet. Locally, our leader is talking isolation -- now a verb -- because the economy is hitting the downslope. This is not the cliff. The cliff is when nothing works. I expect things to keep on working, but not with high tech bells and whistles . It will end. Repeat, it will end, and most of us will survive. However, it will suck.
Well, Corona-chan's spread around the world simply goes from bad to worse. I am pretty sure that a good chunk of my readership in the USA, the UK, Australia, and Russia - yes, a decent chunk of the traffic to this blog is from Russia, believe it or not - are under home quarantine due to government reactions (and, in some cases, severe overreactions) to the spread of COVID-19. And I have no doubt that those of you who are sitting at home, are going a bit stir-crazy as a result. Look, gents, I know it's bad. I know that the world seems like it's gone straight to Hell, and I'm sorry to say that it's not going to get too much better anytime soon. We are in for at least another two weeks of white-knuckle madness on ALL fronts. I lived through the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98 - this is worse. I lived through the SARS epidemic of 2003 - this is worse. I lived through the market crash of 2008 - this is worse. And I can tell you with a lot of confidence from being in the middle of a fair few calamitous events in my life that the panic takes a long time to subside.But it always does in the end. And when - not if - that day comes, people usually sit up and realise that they were freaking out a bit too much.
I quoted Elspeth last week but her statement applies: is this living more simply, eating better, exercising better, and avoiding facebook, netflix and competitive shopping a bad thing?. Probably not. But being paid for work is a good thing, a needful thing. Exploiting people who are desperate with loan extensions is not a good thing.
We have not fallen off The Cliff. Is it certain that there is one? No. But every single leader, elected or appointed, is acting like it’s there. I believe we will see it. The new normal will be grow from events moving quickly. Already at Wilder Redoubt, we’ve had nothing but home cooked meals for the last week, with a couple of store-bought sandwiches being the exception. Will home cooked food, family dinners, and homeschooling be the legacy of COVID-19? I expect that we’ll see The Cliff soon enough. How deep will it go? As I’ve mentioned before, no one knows. The worst case is that the economy crashes through levels to Great Depression era lockup in two weeks or so. Only 40% of Americans are able to absorb an unexpected $1,000 expense. 80% are living paycheck to paycheck, and those paychecks just stopped.
We have not hit the hero phase of the medical response yet. I hope it never comes, but that has not been the experience of other countries.
What I am seeing is a massive quantity easing, the government doubling then tripling the sovereign debt (we have to borrow: we do not have a reserve currency) and businesses trying to survive at least four weeks without cashflow. In NZ, the government is now paying everyone's paycheck, and that cannot continue forever .
The spice of theology.
I noted over at Adam's place that this is a time to dive deeply into the hard stuff. Soft times make for light theology: the old masters of that craft lived through plague, revolution, persecution, and many of the Church Fathers died for their beliefs. They were too honest to claim their sins as virtue; many of the current conservatives have fallen into that lethal error.
It’s very interesting to see how many of the secular manosphere/men’s blogs converting to Christ after finding such a life of sin unfulfilling. Praise God.Deep Strength.
Gunner Q has been laying into David Brooks. David Brooks is far too short for this crisis. He's arguing against the nuclear family, as if he has not read his genesis. This needed correction.
No. The nuclear family was created by God Himself, from the beginning. Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Grandpa is not a factor in that. The clan chief is not a factor in that. The husband symbolizes Christ and the wife symbolizes humanity. Does Brooks reject the father’s leadership of his family as a symbol of rejecting Christ’s leadership of humanity?Gunner Q
Our age can be defined by overweening pride. That no problem is unsolvable, and that we can define anything in any way we so think. As if we are not created, and if we are not fallen, and all are works are flawed. The Greeks called this pride hubris, and saw it as a great offense, worthy of punishment. We have fallen into the sin of Babel, and think we can avoid the penalty.
Heading back to the Beginning, having created, God takes a day off and lets Adam and Eve get on with it. Unfortunately, it goes wrong, and because they decide to ignore God’s prohibition and forge their own path, Adam and Eve are ejected from the Garden. The seriousness of this disobedience is made plain when Cain murders his brother. We then encounter a lengthy genealogy that feels pointless as one reads it, but does in fact offer up the opportunity for there to be a lot of people in the world. This numerical proliferation then confirms that when humans get on with it, the result is untold suffering all round. God decides he’s had enough and prepares to get rid of the problem. But lo, there is one righteous individual who ought to be spared, and so there follows an ark, two-by-two animals, and a flood of epic proportions. As the floodwaters drain away, a rainbow appears to signify no more floods, and then two things happen: God, echoing his charge to Adam, instructs Noah to be fruitful and fill the earth, but then Noah gets drunk, his sons behave badly, and mankind gets on with it. Another genealogy follows, so once again there are enough people on earth for them to be able to ignore instructions to fill the earth. Instead, they congregate on the Plain of Shinar, and there they undertake an engineering project of bold ambition. Wishing to make a name for themselves, they decide to build city so that they won’t be scattered, and at its heart will be a tower, one that will reach the heavens. In other words, they want to look God in the eye and say “Hey God! Check us out.” We read that God has to come down to see what they are up to, and while this ‘coming down’ might appear to belittle their construction, what God then declares is really rather startling: “Look, they are one people, and they all have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.” Quite what Moses was thinking when he put these words into God’s mouth, one can only guess. “Nothing will be impossible”? How about a 600-ton metal object, flying at 35,000 feet in order to transport 500 people half way across the world in a just a few hours? Or maybe someone receiving a new heart… quite literally? Irrespective of how Moses, or his first readers, might have read this, what is clear is that God recognises a real problem down the line, because he not only thwarts their ‘safe in our city’ ambitions by scattering them to the four corners of the globe, but he also gives them different languages. Man’s predisposition to screw things up can no longer be ignored, and God can no longer let things roll forward given the nature of human potential.ARCHBISHOP CRAMNER
Note that both quotes refer back to Genesis: the beginnings. As Schaeffer pointed out, this book matters. All the rest of the Bible to the gospel are commentary. On our fallen state.
I'm giving this spot over to Elspeth this week: one should Read the Whole Thing, but I'm not sure if that is possible. So I'm going to do an excerpt... because she has identified the problem and is working on a solution. For the locals, note that Elspeth is living in the USA and it is spring for her. In NZ it is Autumn and the stags are roaring. You are too late to plant anything (in the South Island) -- you will have to wait until after Labour Day (end of October) for things that are outside.
My husband does not work in an industry where we will be just fine if this goes on for several months or into summer. We can -with penny-pinching- make it for several months, and eke out an existence after that because our kids are still here and with 5 working adults (assuming I could find a source of income) we might avoid utter financial destruction. My guy doesn’t work in government, academia, or defense. You know, the protected class. /snip/ .... My friend and her husband are basically converting their entire back yard into a garden. We are following suit, starting with at least 1/3 of our back yard, to begin with. I already explained to my kids that this isn’t one of those hit or miss, “let’s see what we get this year” gardening projects. That we are all going to have to work and invest time and sweat and prayer to try to be able to grow at least half of our produce right here at home. I’m nervous because I’m not a good gardener, which is why I’m enlisting the whole family. Just a few thoughts. As this whole thing drags on, I’m switching into preparedness mode. Saving lives is great, Stemming the spread of the virus is well and good. But we all better be ready for a massive change in lifestyle going forward. In a comfort-addicted society, mental toughness and prayer are needed now more than ever.Things I wish I had Known Sooner.
We cannot control what our leaders do, or what leaders elsewhere do, or know what next week brings. We can only just care for those in close contact with us. That is enough. Look after yourselves, and remember: this elite will fail and fall. Do not be like them.
- Never underestimate the ability of a Kiwi mechanic to keep things going -- if needed, by ripping out everything high tech and going back to a carburetor and mechanical timing. We have generic pharmaceutical manufacturers in NZ that specialize in hard to replicate products. Getting them to make the bulk of things is fairly simple technically. It just requires political will -- breaking the patent laws in the USA and EU. Hell, there are NZ companies that make chip fabricators. And we export food.
- Yes, the Russians kept it going for 90 years, but they are Russian: stoical, bright (stupid people freeze or starve) and community minded. Venezuela is more like it: socialism goes bankrupt in a decade.
- Thanks Mick, for reminding me of the Archbishop Cramner's site.