In my mind, that is a serious and probing question, “Are we essential?”  The next thought is, “If we are not essential, are we expendable?”  You guessed it, I am standing on the brink of what might or might not be lurking in the shadows of all that is happening.   No, I am not saying, this is a man-made, man-released, evil designed to destroy humanity or plunge us into such chaos that we become willing pawns of some World Power.  It could be, but I am not saying that and what I have seen on the virus suggest it is not an act of bio-terrorism. 

Are there sinister forces at work in this pandemic, crisis, epidemic, or pandemonium?  Absolutely!   That is true in every crisis that any part of the world encounters.  The nefarious will always seek to take advantage of any crisis and never let it go to waste. 

This virus that originated in Wuhan, China, the coronavirus or COVID-19 is wreaking havoc in the world.  It is been astounding to watch the speed and willingness of virtually every country in the world to ‘shut down’ or as it is being called ‘shelter-in-place’.  It is amazing at how many jobs and businesses are being deemed ‘non-essential.’  

Out of the destruction of the economy, the relabeling jobs and businesses as non-essential came the sentiment on both sides of the political aisle and in much of the public that the government had to respond financially.  That may or may not prove to be a wise move, but it is a move that stems from the extreme actions that have been taken.  Please understand, I am not saying those actions were definitively right or wrong, I am just observing and pondering what has happened and what it means in the immediate as well as the long-term.  Bear with me as I continue to ponder out loud.

People are dying every day from this virus.  The early estimates were that 1-2 million Americans would die and that has been revised downward to 100,000-200,000 thousand.  That is horrific, but not the millions suggested and even hoped for by some of the most nefarious.  How anyone could hope that another human would contract this or any disease and succumb to it in death, is an evil that I cannot understand.  I understand it only in the light of the hate and that is another reason that I hate the hate that is prevalent in today’s America and world.  Jackie DeShannon’s song is apropos – ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love.’

As in every crisis that affects the economy, some fare quite well and others who are destroyed.  This is no different, and although the Democrats and a few others are changing that we must ensure that “not one life is lost to sustain corporate greed.”  That sounds good but is an argument designed to separate rather than unite people.  Yes, those at the top of the corporate world and those who earn salaries at their level are faring well and will not be greatly damaged financially.  Those who are hourly wage earners are the ones who are being devastated.  No, we should not lose lives to sustain the greed of anyone.  But, is that what is happening?  Are we sacrificing lives to sustain corporations and the rich? 

The politicizing of this was immediately apparent in the edicts that ‘social distancing’ was vital.  Some state governors took advantage of the ‘non-essential’ businesses and/or jobs position to attack some businesses such as ‘gun manufacturers’ or ‘gun stores.’  Those same governors deemed ‘liquor stores’ essential, but churches ‘non-essential.’  They deemed abortion mills essential but other businesses and services non-essential.  That has caused me to ask people, “Are you essential?”  Of course, most would say, “Absolutely.”  But is that how many in government view us?  If we are not essential and our jobs, businesses, or persons are not essential then are we also expendable?

When the mayor of New York City publicly suggests that due to the pandemic and as a preventative for future safety, advances the idea of the permanent closure of churches and synagogues that is deeply troubling.  What about the American Constitution?  When did it become invalid?  He did not threaten the same for mosques, and I must ask, why not?

I can understand a temporary effort to restrict the spread of this or any health threat to the citizenry but ‘permanently close’ is beyond the pale.  I believe that churches and church leaders should work with the officials as much as is possible, but when their very existence is threatened by a politician, that makes me question, “Do they deem us non-essential and therefore expendable?”  That’s the point I am pondering in this situation. 

We have over $23 Trillion in secured national debt and now have added a $2 Trillion stimulus or relief package to address the nation’s economic woes as a result of the shutdowns that have transpired and are ongoing.  There is talk of another round of federal money coming in the weeks ahead, to mitigate the damage of this crisis economically.  How far do we go, and how long can we go, before we are in breadlines and living in tent cities or homes with no electricity, water, or sanitary services? 

Would those who consider much of America ‘non-essential’ deem it beneficial for the greater good for those of us on the sunset end of life to be expended?  Yes, that can be called a conspiracy theory.  However, we know that there are those among the so-called movers and shakers of the world along with the United Nations that have suggested that very thing.  They have argued and argue that the population of the planet must be reduced for the survival of the planet.  But who decides who is and who is not ‘essential?’

If you have been employed in a job that has been deemed ‘non-essential’ and your finances are in shambles, you could rightly feel you are considered expendable.  The essential and non-essential classifications are incredibly confusing because the essential businesses often need the services and supplies of some of the non-essential ones.  Those in the food-service industry working as waitresses and waiters are being destroyed. Those in cosmetology are tossed aside.  Many pastors and churches that are desperately needed to help people cope and survive are on literal lock-down. 

We need to be prudent, and take the short-term needed actions to help mitigate the spread of this virus and limit its damage, but for how long?  There are those suggesting that this will turn out to be less damaging and deadly than our annual flu season in the loss of lives and the numbers infected.  Being proactive is a good thing.  Being prudent and wise is needed.  Being paranoid and allow panic to strip us of life and our freedom needed to have what was won in the Revolutionary War is not a good thing.

 America, I am troubled like most everyone else.  I and my wife are of the age and health situation that makes us members of the ‘high risk’ group.  We are cautious and possibly overly so.  Dare we as Americans, allow our fear of this virus to empower the nefarious who want Total Control to gain a foothold that can never be reversed? 

Are we non-essential?  God says, No!  I say, No!  Let’s be safe and be patient, but at the same time, carefully guard against the total loss of our liberties and freedoms.  You may consider my rant unworthy of consideration but the question in my heart is, “Who decides essential and non-essential?”

God bless you and God bless America!

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