BEIJING (Reuters) - President Xi Jinping said China was facing a “grave situation” as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak jumped to 41, overshadowing celebrations of the Lunar New Year that began on Saturday. China also announced further transport restrictions. With more than 1,400 people infected worldwide, most of them in China, Hong Kong declared a virus emergency, scrapped celebrations and restricted links to mainland China. Australia confirmed its first four cases on Saturday, Malaysia confirmed four and France reported Europe’s first cases on Friday, as health authorities around the world scrambled to prevent a pandemic.
The Chinese love to brag how powerful they have become. Powerful in economy, technology and science. And let's give credit where credit is due: it was a Chinaman who created the world's first CRISPR baby, which is a cuter way of saying Frankenstein baby. The Chinaman disregarded Western scientific ethics and protocols and just went ahead and tinkered with the genes of twins in utero (while crossing his fingers, I guess). Hey, national prestige is at stake. And the Chinese have given us TikTok, too. So, yeah, China has done a few modern things.
But. . .
The Chinese seriously need to upgrade the way they pick up their evening dinners before we permanently move them from peasant class. Can they get a Trader Joe's or at least an Aldi over there before they spread every fucking kind of animal pestilence all over the world? Yeah, that's right, this latest Chinese germ, just like the last one, originated in one of their infamous *wet markets.* Here's the details:
The coronavirus spreading in China and the SARS outbreak of 2003 have two things in common: Both are from the coronavirus family, and both started in wet markets. At such markets, outdoor stalls are squeezed together to form narrow lanes, where locals and visitors shop for cuts of meat and ripe produce. A stall selling hundreds of caged chickens may abut a butcher counter, where uncooked meat is chopped as nearby dogs watch hungrily. Vendors hock skinned hares, while seafood stalls display glistening fish and shrimp. Wet markets put people and live and dead animals — dogs, chickens, pigs, snakes, civets, and more — in constant close contact. That makes it easy for a virus to jump from animal to human. The specific market where the outbreak is believed to have begun is the Huanan Seafood Market. The coronavirus that emerged there has so far killed 26 people and infected more than 900. Coronaviruses are zoonotic diseases, meaning they spread to people from animals. In the case of SARS, and likely this Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as well, bats were the original hosts. The bats then infected other animals, which transmitted the virus to humans. "Poorly regulated, live animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spillover from wildlife hosts into the human population," the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement.
Anyway. . .
Whenever one of these viruses breakout in China (or Africa, like ebola, remember?), they become big stories in the West, for FEAR of the virus reaching its antiseptic shores. . .
The coronavirus ain't nothing much more than a bad cold, unless it spreads to your lungs, where it can then cause pneumonia and kill weaklings (old people, particularly).
Even if the virus were to become pandemic, most people who get it will survive. . .
People die from the flu every year, and though there is usually a flu scare in the news at the beginning of every flu season (get your flu shot, citizen!), it doesn't grab the headlines like this coronavirus. Why?
Because this coronavirus is a NEW threat of death. . .
Any new threat of death always provokes anxiety. . .
Most people are terrified of death, and spend life disassociated from it.
Flu, cancer, heart disease, pianos falling on our heads, all the known ways we can die are packed safely away in the closet of our subconscious, like Christmas decorations stored in the basement until Jingle Bells are heard and then the tree and the lights pop back up into our conscious mind. The coronavirus is a death knell, and its bells ring up our inevitable funeral march. . .
People desperately try to live as if they won't die. . .and then along comes this Chinese firecracker virus to remind us otherwise.
But. . .
Is death so bad?
I suspect most people believe there is nothing after death.
Well, there was nothing before existence, and we didn't seem to mind that. Of course you say, well, now we have tasted existence, and don't want to say goodbye to ourselves and go back into nothingness.
But you won't even know you are nothing. . .in that regard, you are eternal, you will never be aware of your nothingness.
That's if there is nothing after death. . .
If there is something after death, one can only imagine. The possibilities are limitless. Some good, some bad. The unknown outcome is dreadful. Better to stay here, no matter how awful our lives are, than risk the unknown outcome. That is why so few people kill themselves. Better to stay here, where we can hope *things will get better,* which is the dominant world-wide faith.
There are other faiths, more substantial than the faith of *things will getter.* These are also known as *religions.* I don't know enough about the Eastern religions and Islam to know if they provide their followers any relief from the fear of death.
Christianity promises a glorious life-after-death to its adherents. . .and yet most Christians, at least, American Christians, seem just as terrified of death as infidels. They have themselves hooked up to every hospital gadget, pump themselves full of every chemical treatment, just like infidels, to avoid being with Jesus. Does that make sense? Only if most Christians really have no faith, that their *religion* is just some sort of cultural ID bracelet to distinguish themselves from the others, and, like a rabbit's foot, perhaps bring them some life-after-death good luck.
What about the True Christian Believer? Could a True Christian Believer have any fear of death? You may offer Matthew 7:21 - 23:
Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
Thus a True Christian Believer may have only deceived himself his whole life, only to be exposed and condemned by the Lord *in that day.* Isn't this enough to cause even the supposed True Christian Believer to tremble?
I think not. Because for one to imagine himself a True Christian Believer, he must have the awareness Jesus' judgment is true. True and unquestionable. Therefore, if *in that day,* His Lord exposes him as a fraud, he will nonetheless have the eternal comfort in outer darkness that justice has been served. He will thank Jesus for forcing him to see the truth about himself. For as Jesus said:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. . .
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