Proverb Wisdom Fit for Today

My daily reading of the Bible (I use the “Complete Jewish Bible“) is currently in Proverbs, and while reading Chapter 14 I came upon these two:

Proverbs 14:15– One who doesn’t think believes every word, but the cautious understands his steps; and 

Proverbs 14:25– A truthful witness saves lives, but a liar misdirects (judgment)

Maybe as you read these you also thought of the same thing I did, which is the news we are bombarded with every minute of every day and have been for the past 5 months.

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I have seen articles about studies done by “experts” reported in newspapers and posted on Facebook that say wearing a face mask, any kind of mask, is useful and saves lives. And I have seen the exact opposite statements, i.e. no masks are useful or some are helpful but most aren’t, from other “experts” who have the same level of credentials.

I have seen reports of increased death rates and new cases of COVID, and I have seen reports of declining cases and reduced deaths.

Some of these are true, and some are false, and many (if not most) are not giving all the facts, only the ones that will interest people.

That is why these two proverbs seem so apropos for today.

People are reading and listening to these reports and believing them without ever analyzing the data for themselves. I “ran the numbers” for myself and found that based on the total population of the US, total deaths from COVID and the total number of confirmed cases (which I got from a Google search), that about 1 in 5 people will catch COVID, and of 100 people who have COVID, 97 or more people will survive and recover within 5-7 days, and many of those 97 recoveries will not even know they had it because they might not even display symptoms.

The numbers we have been given are all suspect; we have recently learned that so many were improperly counted or exaggerated. If people had taken everything they read with a “grain of salt”, then there would be much less panic and much more freedom of movement today. And now the business world is jumping on the “protection” bandwagon, which only adds to the problem.

When we analyze the data, even with the exaggerated numbers, we see the panic level that has been created by the media and the politicians isn’t really justified.

As for mask-wearing, the bottom line (from my analysis of the available data) is that there are some that are effective in reducing the spread of COVID. The most effective is the N95 surgical mask, however, these are designed for a sterile environment, and when in the “real world” they collect so many larger particulates in the air that they clog within 20-30 minutes of use and become much less effective. Even at their most effective level, they prevent the exhalation of germs, but not the inhalation. The only one that prevents inhaling germs is the P95, but that doesn’t filter exhalation at all.

So, yes, wearing a mask, the N95 mask being regularly replaced, is effective in reducing the spread of COVID, but does little to nothing to stop you from getting it from others.

The truthful witness is that wearing a mask can save the lives of (mostly) people who are high-risk, but only when you have the correct mask, worn correctly, and only when you wear it in public and only during the time you are infected with COVID. All the rest of the time, it is doing nothing for anyone.

All that I just said is relevant to the second proverb I cited, which is that when we tell the truth we can save lives. Yes, mask-wearing can help but when the CDC or WHO or newspapers say just put anything on your face, they are telling an untruth that misdirects judgment, and can potentially get people killed.

Similarly, when the politicians lie in order to fulfill a political agenda and governors lock-down their states in order to perpetuate that agenda, they create tension and unrest among the populace. I believe this contributed to the lootings and riots we’ve seen, which might not be singularly due to the unjust death of one man but were an emotional release, fueled by the frustration and anger that comes from feeling helpless as you see your world falling apart. Obviously, racial tensions are also a contributing factor, and they are, as well, often reported in a way not to save lives but to misdirect judgment, whether that be legal judgment from a court or the individual judgment each of us should be making on our own, which begins with not believing every word.

People need to wise up, to use discernment, a mature evaluation of what they read, and to analyze what they are told to determine for themselves what is truth and what is suspect.

Sorry to say, I don’t think most people today are able to do that.

Thank you for being here, and I pray that you will analyze what I have said and relate it to what you hear and read, and make your own judgment, one which I have tried not to misdirect.

As the Oracle said to Morpheus, all I expect of you is that you make up your own, damn mind.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!