Right Opinion

'You Cry at the Window Knowing There's Nothing You Can Do'

Tony Perkins · Apr. 1, 2020

Staying home can be tough, but it’s nothing like the nightmare our health care workers are experiencing. For thousands of brave men and women across country, their office is no longer a hospital or ER — it’s a combat zone. “You spend hours in your [patient’s] room,” nurse Claudia Griffith wrote in an emotional post to the outside world, “gowned up head-to-toe, sweating and not able to breathe. Then you realize… this is it. I can’t save this patient anymore. You sit there and say your goodbyes while they pass without family or loved ones, because nobody is allowed in the hospital for everyone’s safety. You are their only contact and hope.” Nothing, she says soberly, can describe it.

Even when they have a chance to sleep, the exhausted staff can’t. “My mind won’t shut off," one New York City nurse tried to explain. She lays in bed and cries, her mind filled with the faces of patients she lost. The helplessness is brutal, Claudia admits. "You don’t even know how this virus works, but you watch as it kills your patient.” To anyone who hasn’t seen the suffering, she insists, it’s real. And she’s pleading with the country to act like it is. Stay inside, Claudia begs, “as if your life depended on it.”

Theirs already do. And if Americans can’t bring themselves to isolate for their own sakes, then they should do it for the medical teams risking everything. “Take it seriously,” Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Martin Makary told listeners on “Washington Watch, "and take it seriously for the sake of our most vulnerable.” Right now, “our number one at-risk group,” he explained, “the number one profession who is mostly likely to get this infection is health care workers. And what you do in your day-to-day life will actually impact the health of [those] workers you’ve never met.”

“Folks may be going outside right now, saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day… My kids are in the backyard playing. What’s the big deal? I don’t know anyone who’s dying that I’m friends with.’” But the big deal, he said somberly, is that “we’re gearing up for a tsunami that’s going to hit with a massive impact…” With projections topping 200,000 casualties now, Dr. Makary thinks the government was right to limit people’s movements through at the least the end of April. “We want our leaders to… give us spirit and hope. But the reality is, they are all closely following these numbers — not only in the preview that we’re seeing in some countries overseas like Spain, but also locally in New York City…”

The administration is doing the best it can to prepare for the worst. That’s no easy task, Dr. Makary explained, even with all of the metrics and experts they have. Because “when that peak happens, talk to any doctor or nurse. It’s going to be ugly. We are basically at full capacity in some U.S. hospitals with very little room to take care of people that come in from this point forward… We are on track right now to have hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more cases.”

So when can we expect that peak? “New York is about two weeks away,” Martin believes. “The rest of the United States is probably three to five weeks away depending on where you live. Now, one of the big concerns that many of us have is that some parts of the country were sort of slow to recognize that this is a real threat. Some places immediately took dramatic steps and others [went about] life as usual… even up until recently.” Those are the areas, experts believe, that may be hit hardest. Of course, a lot of things factor into that — like public transit and congestion. But the cities that have been in denial will pay, Dr. Makary warns, “because this infection is seeded everywhere in the United States. We need to abandon the idea that it’s somehow contained.”

Fortunately, there are still things you and your church can do to help. First, take the stay-at-home orders seriously. If not for you, then for someone on the front lines of the coronavirus war. Then, check out the creative ways you can meet the needs of the people in your community. Take a page from Midland, Texas and organize a car prayer chain or fill a truck with food for the hungry. See how you can get involved (from a safe distance!) on our special webpage, FRC.org/church.

Originally published here.

N. Korea Takes a Launch Break from Virus

If there’s one thing the coronavirus hasn’t slowed down, it’s the world’s bullies! While the rest of the planet is busy trying to save people’s lives, despots like North Korea’s Kim Jung Un are busily firing missiles into the Japanese sea. Why? Because no one is paying attention… Or are they?

Sunday’s launch was North Korea’s sixth in a month — more than enough to raise the eyebrows of even a distracted world. Even now, as the international community is consumed with stopping the Chinese virus, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging America’s neighbors not to let down their guard. “Stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure,” he insisted, even with the other urgent crises at hand.

Monday, on “Washington Watch,” Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) echoed the secretary’s concerns and argued that now, more than ever, the country has to be vigilant about evildoers taking advantage of these uncertain times. “Kim Jung Un is hell-bent on perfecting these [medium to short-range ballistic missiles]. And he’s doing at a time when the rest of the world is struggling with coronavirus… I don’t know if he’s just starved for attention, but it’s something that I know the rest of us are taking very seriously, considering the location where he launched those right outside of Japan’s economic exclusive zone.”

Meanwhile, North Korea is busy trying to convince the world that they have zero virus cases — which, as Rep. Yoho points out, is ridiculous. “Our NGOs have reported they’ve got multiple cases. And of course, I hope it’s not true — the report that somebody [who] tested positive, they assassinated… And again, when you have a very despotic leader like Kim Jong Un, in a very closed society that doesn’t have the freedom of speech, the freedom of thought, he can do and say whatever he wants. He wants to be the sole source of power in North Korea, so that the people look up to him. [But] it’s just such a charade or a facade that he puts out there. And I think on the world stage, he feels very inadequate, and I think he’s very insecure. So that’s why he does what he does, but it makes him dangerous.”

Part of the problem, as we talked about, is the U.N. Security Council. While the other 13 nations have kept the economic pressure on North Korea, China and Russia have backed off. “If they were to hold the line on the sanctions, we could get this nonsense cleared up.” But there is something the average American can do about it. “I can’t say it enough,” Ted urged. “Every time you buy a product [that’s] made in China, you’re empowering that regime. [They’ll feel the] economic pinch by people in the world saying, ‘Enough is enough. We’re not going to support a regime or a government that doesn’t come to the table with us to try to resolve these things in North Korea.”

Across the ocean, in Venezuela, things are just as desperate. The Trump administration, sick and tired of President Nicolás Maduro’s corruption and defiance, finally did something about it last week — putting a $15 million bounty on the drug trafficker’s head. “The Venezuelan people,” Pompeo said, “deserve a transparent, responsible, representative government that serves the needs of the people — and that does not betray the trust of the people by condoning or employing public officials that engage in illicit narcotics trafficking.”

For Rep. Yoho, who’s watched the drama unfold in South America from his seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, this was a huge step. “We’ve known for years that Maduro and his generals around him have been very active in the drug trade. They’re taking payoffs or facilitating the transport of the cocaine through Venezuela with Central America… And course, with one of the generals facing extradition charges from Colombia, he kind of spilled the beans on Maduro, which makes it very legitimate to go after him as a drug trafficker — no different than El Chapo…” And $15 million is, as far as he’s concerned, just the beginning. “I’m sure that price will go up until he gets brought in, and then he’ll be prosecuted according to our laws. We know that virtually all the cocaine that comes out of Colombia, a big portion of that goes through Venezuela… So we know this is happening. And Maduro [either] changes his ways or gets out of business.”

For more developments from around the world, get caught up by checking out FRC’s latest columns: “China’s Abuses against the Uyghurs Are Not Going Away,” “Coronavirus, Iran, and the Persecuted Church,” “What American Churches Can Learn from the Chinese Church in Coronavirus Crisis,” and “Iran’s Imprisoned Christians Face Yet Another Danger: COVID-19.”

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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