COVID-19 is not an illness.
It is a religious confession.
Slate Magazine just proved it.
In a piece run just a few days ago, a frustrated wife takes the plunge and goes public with her struggle with a true believer who is near and dear to her: her own husband.
I have been married to a great guy for five and a half years. He is handsome, sexy, funny, and kind. It’s true that he has always been a little “prissy” about illnesses, but I never thought it was a real problem. However, during the pandemic, his terror about getting sick has reached new levels. For the last year, he has refused to take off his face mask, even when we are at home—just the two of us. This is true even now that he is fully vaccinated for the virus. He wears it to sleep, to do most of his bathroom activities, and, yes, even during lovemaking. To eat, he pulls it up to expose his mouth, and then quickly pulls it back down between bites. While he does not insist that I do the same, I can tell it bothers him that I don’t—especially because I have now started going maskless outside, per the CDC guidelines, and plan on restaurant dining inside soon for a girls’ night out.
When I have tried to present him with the science, he says, “Scientists don’t fully understand the virus yet,” or, “I know it probably isn’t necessary, but wearing it doesn’t bother me, so if there’s even a small chance that it can protect us, I’d rather be on the safe side. What’s the harm?”
I disagree that there’s no harm. I want to see my beautiful husband’s face again. I want to kiss him on the lips romantically, like we used to, and not through a piece of fabric. (He does not change his mask very often and it is often smelly and soiled.) And I don’t want to feel judged by him for my own behavior, which I consider reasonable.
This is making me depressed and concerned about our future together. I have asked him when he plans to stop masking, and all he says is “When it is safe for everyone.” What if this becomes a permanent part of him? My mother, who is very conservative, thinks that I should move out. But I don’t think I’m ready for that step yet. What I want is my husband back. How can I get through to him?
—Maskless and Alone
This clearly shows a pathology that comes with believing a false religion. Think about it. Being literally afraid of normal things like eating and very intimate things like kissing your own spouse. This was not caused only by COVID, but by the ridiculous mentality that came along with it, especially in places that are already substantially weak in true religious faith, namely, Christianity.
The United States used to be far more aligned with Christian principles, and had this pandemic occurred even just forty years ago, or more recently, it would have been met with very little fear. We don’t have to speculate about this; we know it is true. The Swine Flu was worse of a threat and it made only some news stories, but no one changed their lives radically for it, much less all of society. SARS, MERS and even Ebola are terrible illnesses we hear about, but none of them radically changed our worldview while we had Christianity as our foundation.
However, the United States reached a tipping point, due to all the liberal efforts to introduce grievance politics and Cultural Marxism as the new “centers” of society. More and more people identify as “nons” as a result, meaning they do not believe in any God at all.
However, all people simply are hardwired to believe in something, and for many of these people apparently, that something became the State.
Doctor Fauci became an extremely and extraordinarily effective test tool of the Deep State and the Left thirst for power, as his “recommendations” were taken like edicts handed down from On High. Forget the fact that the edict du jour was often exactly the opposite of the ones preceding and following it.
All of this combined to yield a most pathetic New Religion, one that includes people from all established religious traditions, and attacking the most traditional ones at their very core. Eastern Orthodox Christianity, for example, attracted me because of its stubborn refusal to give up on the core elements of the Christian faith, unchanged through the entire history of Christianity.
Or so they said, at least until COVID. Then almost every single hierarch caved without explanation or comment to the secular authorities. This happened almost everywhere, too: The United States, Europe, Russia, Jerusalem, Constantinople and in fact, there are only a few hierarchs, and some larger group of clergy and faithful who refuse to accept the New Faith and its adherence; things like wearing masks in Church services, avoiding Holy Communion, and restricting attendance or even closing the Churches.
Now to be sure, not all clergy who followed these restrictions were selling out their faith. Some of them reasoned that they needed to strike a clever balance, at least giving “lip service” to the regulations but continuing as normal as much as possible. Some others did disregard the rules entirely, and these people are to be commended for their courage. In our parish, the priest dipped the Communion spoon in vodka for a few weeks and then resumed normal service.
We should disclose that yesterday, we were told that our blagouchenie, or “dean” (a priest who assists the bishop with overseeing a few local parishes) and his wife both came down with COVID-19. The priest gave a request to the parishes under his guard to use the Rite of General Confession rather than personal confession, and to keep a distance from one another.
However, in our parish, with not even 30 feet from wall to wall, there is no way to be “socially distanced” and still fit in the Church. Our priest acknowledged that and after delivering the dean’s message, we continued as usual, just without kissing the bottom of the Holy Communion chalice.
There were no other changes, and that one will likely be gone the next time we serve.
It made sense to us to a minor degree because at least it was helpful intent from a clergyman who actually got sick and wanted to be helpful, but it was politely heard, and the response of everyone was basically “we serve God, we will trust God, and we will not worry about this virus. It is not important.”
Compare that to our poor husband.
Would you like to learn how “Prudence” replied? Let’s have a look:
Dear Maskless and Alone,
I suspect your mother and I would agree on almost nothing COVID-related except the fact that your husband’s behavior is alarming. “What’s the harm?” is such an insidious phrase. It’s not a question; it’s a statement of “leave me alone.” But there is lots of harm in leaving him alone—harm to his mental health, to yours, and to your relationship.
You need to sit down with him at a time free of heightened emotions—so not right after sex (I am impressed—is that the word?—that you are still sleeping with him!). Tell him all about the harm here: His behavior is alienating you and is certainly not offering him any real protection against disease. Give him three options. First, he can make an appointment with his physician to talk about effective protective measures. If he does this, he has to commit to following the doctor’s recommendations, and you have to be present so he can’t lie to you about what happens there. Hopefully, his doctor will say he has to do option No. 2: start seeing a therapist. If he chooses this, he has to commit to at least six sessions (or some other number that feels right to you). Finally, he can decide—because it would be his decision if he doesn’t take another action—to call an end to the relationship. I know you want your husband back, but he isn’t that husband right now, and he needs to understand just how serious this is. To be clear, you have to mean it when you say that the relationship has to end if he doesn’t make progress, but I think that would be the right move.
If he goes with one of the first two options, you should promise to do the legwork: finding him a therapist, making appointments, etc. Your husband is in the middle of a long-running crisis and that is the worst time to have to navigate our completely patient-unfriendly mental health care system.
Once he has committed to some sort of treatment, see if you can get him to promise to change his mask every day until he feels secure going without it. If you don’t have enough at home, there are lots of deeply discounted masks available now. But I don’t want you to lead with the demand to change his mask every day, because that could open the door to negotiations around behavior—and what you need here is to address the problem itself. I will be thinking about you!
What do you think? Is this a sufficient response?
I do not think it is. It is very sad because it is within this powerless context of No Power Greater Than Ourselves, and while there is salient truth in the statement that the husband needs help, even therapy, and while Prudence does rightly say that he needs to get to the root of the problem, that is where it ends.
This is also because faith in a Power Greater than Myself has been so thoroughly rejected that the only solution Prudence can offer is more of what got the husband so sick in the first place – secular help.
Perhaps Prudence knows this, and has chosen to respond “where the couple is” rather than try to introduce the idea that there is a God, and that this life is not all there is, but in this choice, it will truly take a miracle to get this poor couple the help they need.
In the United States, many people who read this might be offended that I am saying “your country has rejected God, wholesale.” After all, we see all sorts of what we consider “religious” activity going on around the country and even in our own lives. But consider this: How many times has your religious leadership spoken and said something like this:
Brothers and sisters, this pandemic has revealed how little we trust God. This is true for all of us; for myself as well as any of you, and probably for myself a lot more than you. After all, I told you that we had to adhere to the guidelines given by the local authorities about COVID. I was worried about your physical safety more than about your eternal souls, whom no disease can claim.
However, the time has come for us to get back to basics, about who we are, and about who God is. He has allowed this pandemic, and one of the opportunities it gave each one of us personally is to assess how truly we trust and believe God. It is easy to say we “believe in God” – that means nothing at all. But Abraham was promised to be the father of nations, and he believed God though he was very old and childless when the promise was told to him. He believed God even when the same God told him to sacrifice his only son (presumably the son that was to help father those nations), and he did what he was told, almost sacrificing his son (only the voice of an angel stopped him, for it was a test).
What did we do? Did we increase our prayers? No. Did we increase our services’ frequency and depth? No. We closed our churches and temples. We as church leaders, gave you some tripe about “spending some time in the wilderness” perhaps, but we did not equip you with how to do that. Now look how much fewer of us are in the temple today. I have talked to many of the folks not here; they are still alive, but they no longer intend to come to church. That is my fault. That is all of our doing. What can we do now?
Brothers and sisters, I am in the same boat as all of you. First and foremost, I know I have to repent of my lack of faith, and to ask the Lord for forgiveness and to trust Him and obey Him. As far as I am able to do this, I am keeping our house of worship open all the time now, with prayers offered every day in some form. There will be no mask rules enforced here any longer. This is a house of God, and He is in charge. From now on, even if I get COVID, even if I die from COVID, I will no longer fear this disease. It already almost took my soul once.
I will not let it claim the final victory over my soul. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord God. Who is with me?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.