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The COVID-19 chasm

The pandemic divides Americans—even Christians


Saturate OC worship service on Huntington Beach. Greg Schneider/Genesis

The COVID-19 chasm
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When Americans turned their gazes toward the coronavirus early this year, many speculated it would wane in the summer heat. Instead, the opposite happened: As temperatures climbed this summer, so have coronavirus infection rates. On July 24 alone, scientists recorded about 74,000 new cases. Though mortality figures haven’t risen as severely, the United States was approaching 150,000 coronavirus deaths as July closed.

Seth Wenig/AP

Americans are divided over the coronavirus. Some take it seriously; some don’t. Some believe the measures state and local governments have taken to limit its spread are worth it. Some believe they’re overreach.

The three stories on the next six pages examine those divisions but also the ways the coronavirus has changed all our lives. Sophia Lee’s report chronicles groups—especially Christians—who disagree vehemently about how to respond to COVID-19. Lynde Langdon, Sarah Schweinsberg, and Kyle Ziemnick spoke with people in America’s heartland—away from the cities that have received so much media attention—to see how the virus has changed their lives. Finally, Leah Hickman researched ways schools, churches, and businesses have refused all-or-nothing approaches and innovated their way forward—limiting the virus’s spread but not cutting off services (and jobs) for people who need them. Her story also underscores an important point: Americans have faced such challenges before.


Michael Reneau

Michael Reneau is editor of WORLD Magazine. He is a World Journalism Institute and Bryan College graduate. He was editor of The Greeneville Sun newspaper before joining WORLD. Michael resides with his wife and four children in Greeneville, Tenn.

@MichaelReneau

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not silent

Freedom of speech is important in a free society, but so is discernment.  Anyone can have an opinion, but we are responsible as citizens and good stewards to discern which opinions to believe and promote.

I checked out the medicineuncensored.com website and could not find much info about the person who started it. Other sources have said he was a doctor but is now an investment banker. I did not see any evidence that he was currently studying COVID or treating patients with it-most of what I saw had to do with oscure studies and the massaging of various statisics.  (Maybe Hannah has additional info about this?)

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, of course; but, as a person in healthcare, I have to decide who I consider more credible when speaking about a pandemic: someone who claims to speak as a doctor but may or may not be an investment banker (and who is not currently treating COVID patients) or the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (i.e., Dr. Fauci) and the doctors who ARE treating COVID patients. 

Atheists also have freedom of speech, and they often use it to share all kinds of misinformation about Christianity and the Bible online.  It's one thing to get into debates with atheists on secular forums, but that doesn't mean I think they should have equal time in our pulpits to present their misinformation in our churches!    

With great freedom comes great responsibility. I know quite a few doctors personally who have ACTUALLY treated COVID patients; and, based on current info, they and I choose Dr. Fauci.

HANNAH.

"Americans are divided over the coronavirus." One reason is all the conflicting information we are receiving -- and information that we aren't receiving due to Big Tech's censoring -- especially information from medical professionals. A censored doctors' press conference on Monday, July 27, led me to Dr. James Todaro's website:
https://www.medicineuncensored.com/