The Coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) epidemic has created a public fear that is historic.  Since it was first identified in the United States this past January (it was possibly here before that), there has been an unprecedented governmental and Church response that has restricted personal freedoms and wiped out the sacramental life of millions of Catholics.  This is despite repeated and consistent scientific evidence that the virus is harmless to most Americans, treatment exists that can kill off Coronavirus, and governmental actions have had no impact on the spread of the virus.  A brief sampling of the science is warranted:

With regard to the Coronavirus, those under the age of 30 have virtually no risk of death from the virus and data show it may be safer than influenza infection in this age group.  1/1,666 Michigan residents are alleged to have died of COVID-19 this year.  Nationwide, 159,865 people are reported to have died from COVID-19 (These numbers are most likely grossly inflated as is described  below.) but over 500,000 people die each year of heart disease and over 400,000 die of cancer each year.

Face coverings do not prevent an individual from getting Coronavirus; the CDC admits this on their website.  The recommendations and mandates for wearing face masks stem from the thought that face coverings may prevent the spread of the virus from an infected person to someone else.  The virus, however, is smaller (0.1 micrometers) than what any face mask, surgical mask, or N95 mask will filter out.  The often-touted N95 mask effectively filters particles that are 0.5 micrometers or larger.  Neither influenza nor Coronavirus will be effectively filtered with masks.

At this time, in northwest lower Michigan, less than 3% of those tested are coming back positive for Coronavirus; that is, over 97.5% of people tested have a negative Coronavirus test result.  As of today, in all of the Munson system hospitals (representing a significant portion of the Gaylord Diocese), only 3 hospitalized patients with a positive Coronavirus test exist.

Social distancing has been encouraged to decrease the spread of the virus.  However, in a survey of 1,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City, 84% of them were on lockdown (socially distancing + some!) when they got sick.

There is no scientific evidence that singing spreads Coronavirus any more than breathing.  A recent study revealed that singing is no more likely to spread Coronavirus than speaking.

Nationwide, 45% of Coronavirus deaths have been reported from nursing homes even though less than 2% of the Americans live in nursing homes.

The numbers of COVID-19 cases have become unreliable and unbelievable, as people who have a positive test but no symptoms (ie, carriers of the virus or false positive results) are listed as actively diseased.  The CDC, since April, has counted all pneumonia deaths as COVID-19 deaths.  As of today, the CDC lists a total of 159,865 deaths from COVID-19 but only 6,628 deaths from influenza. In the past, yearly death rates from influenza exceeded 25,000-60,000 depending on the year.  Numerous reports exist of patients dying in the hospital from non-COVID-19 reasons yet the death certificate states COVID-19 as the cause of death; hospitals receive more in government aid dollars via mechanisms such as Medicare if COVID-19 is listed as the cause of death.  The true numbers of deaths from COVID-19 may be less than 60,000.

With all this in mind, Bishop Walter Hurley, Administrator of the Diocese of Gaylord, has extended the “dispensation for all Catholics within the Diocese of Gaylord from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass through and including the feast of Christ the King, Sunday, November 22, 2020.”  Bishop Hurley also stated the following will be continued to be mandated in the Diocese despite no scientific data to show these interventions will help:  wearing of masks, limited singing, social distancing, limiting the congregation to 25% of the capacity of the Church.  In an era where attendance at Mass was already on a steep decline with a massive drop in Catholic Church weddings and baptisms, this continued push to keep people away from the God’s House is unreal.  Some have offered the notion that this is purposeful, ie, at attempt to destroy the Church from within using the power of pronouncement that Bishops have to regulate Church activity.  In any event, we must all pray for the Holy Spirit to end this time of chastisement.  We must all do what God has in store for us to do in order to confront the lies and misdeeds that lead to suffering in the Church.  Saint Michael, Pray for Us!