A few strands of conversation today led to my wondering if God, in his mercy, has sent us this mild pandemic to clear our minds, make us think about what’s important, and possibly re-orient ourselves and our societies to be better prepared next time.
“Mild pandemic?” So far, about one-tenth of one percent of the US population has died of COVID19. Our case fatality rate has been less than 2 percent. That’s a lot of people, of course, enough to seriously strain the health-care system. Suppose the next pandemic appears with a case fatality rate of, say, 25 percent. There would almost certainly be a pervasive breakdown of society: we couldn’t count on food in the stores or electricity in our houses. Civil order would break down in various ways. The health-care system would be, not strained, but immediately overwhelmed. Just figuring out how to dispose of the dead would be a major issue.
So, yes, we’ve been let off lightly. This time.
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
– Psalm 90 (KJV)