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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

How Many More Horrible Deaths Like This Will We See?

Aug 9, 2020

We should be concerned about all lives in a time of crisis:

All lives matter.

Every single day I pray for the lonely, the vulnerable, the depressed, the elderly, those who live by themselves, those who are prone to mental health issues, those easily bummed out, and those who are suicidal. All of these people are massively much more at risk thanks to our draconian lockdown policies.

My thinking goes like this: if even I – someone who is supposedly a mature Christian – can feel claustrophobic and uncomfortable and under stress during these severe lockdowns, then how much more other people who may not be people of faith at all? I feel their pain.

So this has been a big part of my praying for quite a while. And I have been speaking about these forgotten people for many months now. It seems that so many of the corona alarmists and those fully addicted to panic-porn don’t want to know about their existence. It seems that 200+ corona deaths (as tragic as they are) in a country with 26 million people is the only number that matters to them.

But all lives matter. For months now many important voices have been warning that if we are not really careful, the cure will become much worse than the disease. And that is exactly what we are seeing, with all the ruined lives, ruined economies, ruined communities, and ruined businesses. All this is taking a heavy toll.

Mental health problems are skyrocketing, as are the suicides. Consider one recent headline: “Coronavirus Australia: suicide’s toll far higher than virus”. The article begins: “Suicide rates in Australia are forecast to rise by up to 50 per cent due to the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus and tipped to outstrip deaths from the pandemic by up to 10 times.”

Let me offer another figure on this, and then look at some actual cases. One recent headline says this: “Statistics show increase in children presenting to hospitals after self-harming.” That article starts off with these alarming words: “The rate of children ending up in Victorian emergency rooms after self-harming has jumped by a third since this time last year, according to government data seen by the ABC.” www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-08/young-people-self-harming-end-up-in-hospital-emergency-rooms/12532040

Facts and figures are one thing. But we need to put a human face on the numbers. And there are plenty of these horror stories that can be told. Here is one such sad tale found on the social media:

I heard today of a small business owner who committed suicide. Filled with dread that his business was going under, that he would lose everything he built, facing a future under stage 4 lockdown without clarity on whether he could work or not he searched for answers on the internet. Unable to find the information he was looking for he turned to social media to see if people knew the answer to his problem. He was set upon by some people who ordered him to stay home, accused him of being greedy, selfish and more. Apparently, those comments, according to his friend, completely shattered him. He walked out to his car… and not seen by his loved ones alive again. Let’s be gentle with how we treat each other in this unusual time.

All lives matter.

And then there is this heartbreaking story by Roger Franklin. Let me quote parts of it for you. It begins:

I’d like to blame Daniel Andrews for killing my Mum, whom we buried on Tuesday, but that wouldn’t be fair. She was 93 when I found her at the end of her bed, dead and cold but a lady to the end, or so I imagine from the drape of her limbs on the carpet, one arm frozen in what I take to have been a last-breath effort to pull down to a modest knee the hem of her dressing gown. A recent history of what the doctors called ‘mini-strokes’, a heart given to flutters, especially if the Bulldogs were in a thriller, and blood pressure that required the constant tweaking of medications to raise or lower it — no actuary would have said she had much time left, nor would any bookie have offered any but the longest odds on her replicating her own mother’s 99 years and dying just days short of the anticipated telegram from Buckingham Palace.

No, Premier Andrews didn’t kill Billie Elizabeth, but he’s not off the hook for hastening the inevitable. It was the lockdown that did for her, as far as I can see and saw. She withered mentally and physically in the isolation of her home. In January, before the China virus hit and panic swept any hope of a rational response before it, she’d been her usual bright self, always keen to get her hair done, to be ferried to Coles or take in the pensioners’ matinees at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville.

He finishes this moving and tragic story as follows:

And the truth is that she was losing her wits, that mental decline accelerated by the lockdown. Mum’s was a ferociously intelligent mind, and often a combative one. Forced to leave school at 12 to help her own widowed mother pay the bills, she retired at 60 after decades of secretarial bookkeeping, immediately enrolled in university and aced an English/History degree, with a particular emphasis on the Regency. A Sandhurst lecturer would have been hard pressed to better her in any discussion of Waterloo.

Yet day by day I watched that intelligence and acuity wither. I’d stop by most afternoons just to check everything was OK and, increasingly, find her sound asleep in the comfy chair. She was, she said, thoroughly bored, and it showed as each featureless day in solitary confinement melded into the next. What day is it, she would ask? Not that it mattered because, when Victoria entered its second and current lockdown, all days became the grey same. I’d bought a roast, a half leg of lamb, to cook and take over with the spuds and all the fixings, but the 8pm curfew and no-visitors rule made its delivery and my return to my own home problematic.

“I’ve lived too long,” she told me the week before she died, adding that she just wanted “to be with Dad.” It hammered the heart to hear the last residue of vitality ebbing away like that. Could those final, locked-down months have been made less of a burden, reduced their erosive impact on a vulnerable mind? It seems to me they could. How hard would it have been for Andrews & Co., to have encouraged COVID-free volunteers to stop by the homes of the elderly and see how they were doing? How difficult to dilute the Premier’s daily press conference threats of fines and dire punishments with some considerate words for those whose will to live was being demolished by loneliness?

Daniel Andrews didn’t kill my Mum, that I’ll concede. But never will I forgive him for making her last days a wasteland behind drawn curtains, where a mind was, quite literally, bored to death. quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2020/08/covid-19s-collateral-damage/

All lives matter.

The problem is, there would be countless more stories just like this in Australia, and especially now in Victoria. That is why I began this piece by saying I daily pray for such folks. It really has become quite hellish for so many people. Whether it is young people going through great depression and taking their own lives, or the elderly, it is all so terrible to behold. And so much of it has been preventable.

Let me offer a final story which I have shared before. I try to do a prayer walk each day (while short walks are still allowed here – even they may be taken away from us soon!). In my walk I keep praying for a grieving grandmother that I had briefly met and chatted to months ago. I shared that story at the time:

I just came back from a brief walk around a few blocks. Yes, the thought did cross my mind that a cop might pull me over, cuff me, and drag me away! Seriously however, I did come upon a woman outside of her home taking a picture. She had affixed a teddy bear to the front gate along with a sheet of paper with these words on it: “Pleeease can I come out soon” along with a sad face drawn on it. She said that she was going to send the pic to her granddaughter. I said that I agreed, and that we are all getting quite tired of this lockdown. billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/10/on-our-corona-surveillance-state/

That was back in April. Imagine how much worse it is for her now as she is even much more imprisoned in her own home. That is why she and her granddaughter are in my prayers daily. As are all Victorians who are suffering so greatly right now. It stinks when anyone dies because of COVID. But it also stinks when anyone dies because of mismanaged government policies and excessive lockdown measures.

All lives matter.

[1503 words]

16 Responses to How Many More Horrible Deaths Like This Will We See?

  • Thanks Bill. Heart wrenching & beautifully written. Here in America the elderly are being put into nursing homes with the china virus, spread it around, and they and others are dead days later. If you have someone in a nursing home get them out. This is nothing but premeditated murder. Like you, I often think & pray for those that do not have a faith walk with Jesus Christ. What do they hold on to? I’ve been saying for months this is only 30% real & the rest is fake & hate combined. Yesterday while walking home from a Trump Rally in Bend, Oregon & carrying a small U.S. flag feeling very happy because an hour standing with other Trumpers on a busy intersection 70% of all the honks were positive & a thumbs up. I crossed paths with a young woman & smiled at her & said ‘hello’ & she called me a “bitch” because I didn’t have on one of the masks that are damaging. Beautiful Bend is changing rapidly into a lot of angry mask wearers towards the anti maskers. Believing Jesus Christ is going to intervene soon & put a stop to this evil. Keep thinking of all the young children being plagued with respiratory problems because of all the lies.

    God bless you & thanks for another great article.

  • I am saddened by the inconsistency shown regarding whose lives have value – not the unborn, not the old and decrepit, not those with mental health issues, not those who’ve lost jobs and homes, not those trapped in houses with violent people, not those whose medical procedures have been cancelled, not those whose families are divided by border closures, not those who live alone, etc – just those with coronavirus. Behind it all, among other things, is an atmosphere of rampant fear fed by the media – fear that “I might catch it – I might be the one who dies” – even though they express it as the fear that ‘grandma’ might die. After all, that doesn’t sound so selfish. So everyone has to be locked up until it goes away to keep ‘grandma’ safe. “If it saves just one life” – this rings so hollow when all these other lives are not being taken into account.

  • Yes exactly right Anon.

  • The loss of hope is what happens when the Government takes control of all aspects of your life…misery and decay follow suit.
    But there is hope for there is One greater than their all and He is God.
    Christians shoud be spending this Government induced ‘lull’ preparing for the battle that is soon to begin. Rise, dust off and put on your armour Saints and start spreading the Word 😉

  • Dear Brother Bill,

    I want to personally thank you for this beautiful and compassionate article. I am one of those for whom you pray right now. My depression and anxiety has hit an all time high – I can barely sleep, go all day for many days without eating, crying fits out of seemingly nowhere and just wishing I could go to sleep and not wake up. I didn’t think I’d be so effected by this, but I am.

    I love the Lord, and right now He is the only reason I can go on, and by His Grace I shall. I know we have many more very difficult days ahead as we await the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I want to be a faithful soldier, but lately I feel more like a wounded soldier on the sidelines, trying to get back into the battle!

    I too pray and weep for those so effected by the cruelty inflicted here in Victoria. I shall remember to pray for you too Brother. ?

    Thank you for speaking into my life over the past several weeks- your words have been little life- lines for me spiritually-speaking for which I am
    so grateful. God bless you.

  • Many thanks Kaye. God bless you. I will keep you in prayer.

  • Our measures saved one life …… and cost a thousand more. But hey we saved one life.

  • While my life has made handling this a bit easier, I haven’t has friends since I moved here right before fifth grade I am usually slightly depressed and don’t go out much, I feel for those under the stress of this. My heart especially breaks for the children, I have always had a heart for kids, many having issues because they can’t go out and see their friends several are committing suicide. And the whole keeping grandma safe thing can lead to guilt about feeling bad about being stuck inside so they try to hide their pain which just makes things worse. We’re in this together we have to keep people safe can make them feel selfish for wanting to play with their friends or go out to the playground for a while. Parents try to address this but media can be more powerful in their messaging than parents. Imagine how a kid feels if lockdowns are lifted and then they go out then the are put back because of a spike and they think it is their fault especially with the media blaming people who went out. Or someone dies and because of the media harping on selfish people wanting to get out they feel they killed that person. It can be too much for many a child to bare. It almost makes you wonder do the people in charge want these deaths to, quoting Dickens, decrease the surplus population. We know elites think the earth is over populated so forcing people to the brink might be a way to deal with that.

  • Truly grieved after this read.

  • We all should be George.

  • Are the existing safe drugs for ebola, the flu virus, malaria etc that provide safe treatment actually being used or are doctors and the media too afraid to admit it?
    Why aren’t those with the virus being encouraged to go to open air facilities such as the treatment at the Melbourne show grounds? ..not just the very sick people! We all agree with you Bill that the lock down is largely unnecessary and extremely costly, both of lives and the economy.
    Surely there is no need for the rest of us to be locked down.

  • Nice reflection Bill. We need to contemplate those who will need assistance in these times where you can end up being accosted for not having a face nappy. Cannot forget that disabled pensioner being physically assaulted by many boys in blue on his front lawn. A necessary read for all of us in these times.

  • Onyer, Bill!

  • Just heartbreaking. Heard the story of an 80 year old woman last Friday who had not been out of her house here in NC since March because the Wuhan virus was in the soil. Poor woman.

  • Louise, I’m also in the US and it is very sad how angry people are especially the college age terrorists (sorry, but that is what these brats are.)

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