I have been told that the best way to keep myself informed about the Coronavirus pandemic is not to go to experts, peer reviewed publications, and credible official sources, but to check social media and YouTube.
So I did. Here is what I learned:
*Pulls out list, puts on monocle, clears throat*
The virus is a hoax and does not exist, except for the fact that it was bioengineered in a secret lab to be a bioweapon that is not more severe than the flu.
The mainstream media is *overestimating the threat* in order to control the populace. They are not even reporting that it’s all the WHO and China’s fault for *underestimating the threat* until it was too late.
Masks, social distance, and other restrictions do not work in containing the virus. These measures should be abandoned. Otherwise, how are people supposed to get the virus and develop herd immunity?
From a theological point of view, the pandemic is being used by the media and governments to instill fear on the population. Do not be afraid. The pandemic is a divine chastisement because of Pachamama or receiving communion in the hand and if you don’t repent you are all going to die!!!
Did I miss anything? Am I good now?
Pedro is a Portuguese Catholic physician who understands the science and the medical reality of COVID. He also knows his faith and therefore understands that science and faith are in no conflict. And he has the great blessing of not being an American, so he is not bombarded by the absolute nuttery of American conspiracy theorists who have turned many conservative American Catholics into raving lunatics with their demented fears.
I’d love for him to meet more Americans so he can see we are not all mad. But unfortunately, that will be very difficult since the EU has very sensibly opted to ban American travelers due to the fact that our criminally incompetent idiot in the White House, with the passionate support of conservative Christian dolts, both Protestant and Catholic, has successfully turned the US into the world’s biggest COVID petri dish.
I remember long ago when I entered the Church in the late 80s. One of the things that attracted me to the Church was precisely that it did not have either the split-brain faith vs. reason dichotomy of Evangelicalism, nor its strange psychological need for conspiracy theories to account for reality. Evangelicalism in late 80s and early 90s America was constantly swept by gusts of panic about ridiculous things. There were satanic panics, and D&D panics, and backward masking panics, and panics about ET, and Teletubbies, and fears about all kinds of silly crap.
One of the big attractors for me in looking at the Catholic communion was the fact of a sacred Tradition–and a Magisterium–that kept you rooted in balance and sanity.
For conservatives, that’s nearly vanished. The pope and the bishops are routinely attacked by kooks as evil agents of conspiracy. COVID is a plot by Bill Gates and the Holy Father to vaccinate us with nanochips. Taylor Marshall is convinced we have been “infiltrated”. Others see COVID as a sinister plot by modernists to deprive us communion on the tongue FOREVER! Still others have nutty theories about communists taking over the Church. The use of reason has been supplanted by the right wing in the Church’s mind-meld with QANON kookery and Evangelical fear-mongering about Satan tunneling under our houses.
The good news appears to be that this is mostly an American Catholic thing and that the rest of the world (which some exceptions) is avoiding this lunacy and looking at us in much the way Angela Merkel looks at Trump: with a mixture of wonder, pity, and contempt.
God deliver the American Church from both its feverish sickness and from the money and media might it currently commands to spread it. God forgive us and restore us to sane Catholic faith soon.