Rethinking Social Distancing, Part 2

Paul Dean
Paul Dean

Be Optimistic

Part of how we navigate the world God’s given us is through right thinking and right attitude. We suffer, life is hard sometimes, but Christians should basically be optimistic because God has redeemed us, has given us things to do, and is with us in those endeavors. Optimism drives how we plan and make decisions. At the same time, we must recognize we’re living under the sovereign and providential hand of God. We live in light of James 4: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil” (13-16). So, we make our plans submitted to the sovereign decree of God. We’re optimistic in those plans: seeking to multiply the “talents” God has given us (Matt. 25:14-30) while resting in God’s providence for us. We must have a can-do attitude.

Be Proactive

Is our outlook one of fear, or confidence? Do we proceed on the basis of knowledge, or what is heaped upon us by the government or mainstream media? We know both of those entities routinely manipulate information to create their own narrative for a variety of reasons. Do we sit back and wait for the government to save us, or do we trust the Lord and seek to solve problems on our own? Think about Prov. 22:13: “The lazy man says, ‘There’s a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!” The point is clear: the lazy man sees a danger and shelters in place. He hunkers down in fear. But God has not given His people a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). He’s given us the ability to think and reason soundly: to come up with solutions. The implication of the Proverb is that a righteous man sees the lion, the problem, and devises a plan to overcome it. We need to trust in God and figure out how to defeat the virus, keep the economy buzzing, and work in social community the way God has designed us to, all at the same time. Specifically here, we’re rethinking social distancing.

Nine More Reasons to Cease from Social Distancing (For the first seven, see Part 1).

Here’s an eighth reason to cease from social distancing: we’re fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14), and our immune system is resilient. The current focus on the virus itself, the futile effort to halt it’s spread, and the dictatorial sentiments behind the production of a vaccine, all discount the “terrain” of our bodies. In addition to combatting the spread of the virus in other ways, we must focus on ensuring the health of our immune systems. The way Dr. Fauci and the mainstream media have discounted certain things like making sure we are not Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc deficient is criminal. Actual studies in the field, real numbers, tell us that Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, and Azithromycin is an effective treatment for a majority of COVID-19 patients. Yet this treatment along with one or two others are demonized by Dr. Fauci, because they don’t fit their carefully constructed narrative. There is recent evidence that many routine procedures such as putting patients on ventilators when they shouldn’t, among other things, are leading to an increased number of deaths.

Ninth, extreme social distancing, like a lockdown, hinders the development of herd immunity. “Herd immunity is where enough people – most of whom will have very minor, or no, symptoms – contract COVID-19, develop antibodies against it, and recover. Since those who have the antibodies can neither get, nor pass on, coronavirus, it runs into more and more ‘dead ends’ as it tries to spread. ‘It finds it harder to get to a host where it can survive and it dies out,” Dr. David Katz says.

Tenth, in light of the way viruses spread through aerosolized particles, does anyone believe standing six feet apart is a real solution? As Dr. David Brownstein noted, even facemasks don’t work.

Eleventh, I mentioned a can-do attitude. Such an attitude is rooted in several biblical principles. Here are two. First, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 1:13). That doesn’t mean we can’t get sick. But it does mean that we have the spiritual ability to handle whatever comes our way. That’s the attitude part. Second, we’ve been given a mandate to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28; 9:1f). That’s the tackling the problem part. We’ve not only been given the mandate to find workable solutions that take into account fending off a virus while not tearing down the superstructure of civilization we’ve built up over the last six-thousand years, we’ve been given the brain-power and resources for innovation and efficiency. But old and political models have us cowered in a corner. It’s time to be image-bearers and get to work.

Twelfth, God has given all human beings certain unalienable rights. They include the rights to life and liberty. They’re enshrined in America’s founding documents. No one has the right to lock down entire groups of people, cities, or a nation. No one has the right to keep us from assembling with one another. Moreover, we have the right to make medical/health decisions for ourselves. While the spirit of technocracy is alive and well in our world, we must not succumb to its tyranny. Our basic freedoms including our religious freedoms have been trampled. Forced social distancing is nothing short of criminal.

Thirteenth, Christians don’t run from people or trouble, they run toward it. While people ran from lepers, Jesus reached out and touched them. Christians in eras gone by ministered to the sick and dying and those who’d been abandoned in the streets when various plagues descended upon them. The pagans hid indoors, while the Christians demonstrated the love and power of Christ. Yes, many of them died as a result. But they actually knew and felt that living was Christ, and dying was gain (Phil. 1:21).

Fourteenth, Christianity is not about isolation but community. The gathered community of faith is mandated and puts God’s glory on display (Heb. 10:25; Hag. 1:8). The church breaks down barriers that divide people (Eph. 3:10). It doesn’t create or foster division. Christianity is about fellowship with God and with one another. You can’t experience that and social distance at the same time. We all know that livestreaming and zooming is not church.

Fifteenth, while we Christians can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, even bear with a lockdown, there are millions who cannot, because they don’t have Christ. Many have already died because of the lockdown by being hindered from getting needed medical treatment or by committing suicide. There will be many more. Some will die of starvation. The tragic results of the lockdown, and many predict it’s certainty, could be far worse than the virus itself. People don’t do well in isolation.

Sixteenth, the fact is that 99% of those who contract the virus recover. A majority of us may have already been exposed. Most who get the virus experience minor symptoms and many don’t even know they’ve had it. The lockdown and social distancing really makes no sense.

We weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15). There are those who have died from COVID-19, and it’s truly tragic. And, if someone is in a high-risk category, or is sick and would endanger others, then by all means, they should take the proper precautions. But despite what we’re being told, that all of us are carriers of a virus that’s a death warrant for those who contract it, nothing cold be further from the truth. The facemasks, the fearful looks, the suspicious whispers, and the snitching neighbors all tell the tale. We’re not carriers of the plague. We’re not lepers, and we can’t treat each other as such. It’s time to rethink social distancing.

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Originally published May 02, 2020.