Written by Paul J. Bucknell on July, 08, 2019
Diseases, Warnings, and Remedies: A reflection on the many measles’ warnings in light of the more severe dangers around us
The multitude of dangerous diseases presents one of the greatest threats to people’s health and so must be carefully followed and appropriate warnings given. Many new media notices have been popping up alerting us to the sudden outbreak of measles (first half of 2019) and the urgent need for everyone to get vaccinated. These compelling reports scream out that the number of measles cases has reached over 1,000. But something is drastically wrong—very wrong with this presentation.
Let us put our views of vaccinations aside and evaluate what we are hearing. My purpose is not to focus on the “outbreak” of measles, which seems exaggerated, but to think with you about the real dangers of disease. Warnings play a critical part to alert us to threats, but unfairly presented information presents a danger of its own, as I believe is true in this case.
The Facts on Measles
The American Red Cross has been involved in a worldwide battle against measles for years and continues its global fight against the disease. See the latest here.
Since 2001, the Red Cross and our partners in the Measles & Rubella Initiative have vaccinated more than two billion children in 88 countries around the world to protect them from both of these deadly diseases.
It appears that the chief battle for the Red Cross is with giving vaccinations, not life or death situations. Perhaps measles can be deadly, but I never met or heard of such a case. Family and friends commonly caught measles when I was young, but they just stayed home a week and then joined us back at school—life as normal. Measles is like getting a bad flu except with the added touch of the itch! Measles is catchy and undesirable, but with today’s medicines and emergency room for complications, it doesn’t appear that serious. So why the heightened alarm?
As of May 17, 2019, there were only 839 confirmed cases in 23 states, “The number of patients diagnosed with measles in the United States continues to grow with 75 new cases reported in the last week, bringing the total to 839 confirmed cases in 23 states.”
I am not that concerned about measles, though I applaud efforts to reduce its presence. My reason for displacing caution away from this area is due to much higher needs surrounding us—nothing compared to the dangers of measles! With every measles report (1-2 per week), I kept asking myself, “Am I missing something? Why are they repeatedly alerting me to this and not other matters?”
I felt that the reports lacked a balanced perspective. Without a comparative analysis with other diseases, it was hard to think about these matters rightly, and the reports themselves could instigate fear. Again, I personally lived among measles so was not alarmed by them, but this is not true for the younger generation. Without a good analysis forming part of the report, it appears these expensive ads—because they are on television, radio and print—are manipulative communications shaping public opinion rather than helping us make wise decisions. Let’s look at a few comparisons.
A Little Comparison
Let’s first look at the flu. During the 2018-2019 flu season, between 6-7 million people in the USA have been sick with influenza. Between 69,000 and 84,00 have been hospitalized due to the flu. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its weekly update… “Influenza has caused up to 57,300 deaths and sickened up to 41.3 million people, according to new estimates.” Do you see what I mean?
We have over 50,000 deaths from the flu and none from measles, at least from what I have read. So why are we hyping this measles “epidemic”? Or perhaps, it is not an epidemic. I would not call 1,000 cases over such a large region an epidemic. Again, I write about this because I do care. We need to take a deeper look to double check my observations. Let’s make another comparison, this time with HIV and STDs.
The Facts on HIV & STDs
What originally prompted me to write this was an HIV pharmaceutical ad trying to get people to take the protective pill minimizing the danger of catching HIV. They defended their proposal by stating how many new people are, on average, catching HIV each year—an amazingly high annual rate of 40,000 people. I then confirmed this with a CDC report and saw that the numbers were even higher.
In 2016, there were 15,807 deaths among people with diagnosed HIV in the United States and 6 dependent areas. These deaths may be due to any cause.
Each year, more than 50,000 people just in the USA are catching this very deadly disease. But do you hear reports of this? Warnings? No, maybe one for every five hundred measles reports.
When we look at the causes of HIV, it is prevalently due to sexual immorality and sharing drug needles. I am not writing against HIV either, but I wonder why the dearth of reports concerning this blatantly deadly disease. Does anyone genuinely care for these people? Why is there no similar warning?
Here is a deadly disease and yet the government provides little or no warning. One would imagine non-profits to light the skies over these largely preventable diseases.
Another common group of diseases is STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). From looking at the warnings—other than the supposed safe use of condoms—our culture, including our government, seems induced to increase the number of people who might contact this disease through loose policies. Where are the explicit warnings to those potentially able to contract these horrible diseases? Here are some posted CDC Fast Facts on STDs (July 2019):
I gulped when I read these facts, not having a clue to how serious STDs are in this generation. Do I need to say more? Is anyone really care about those about to step into these diseases? One real person stands behind each case.
• Chlamydia│1.7 million cases; 22% increase since 2013
• Gonorrhea│ 555,608 cases; 67% increase since 2013
• Primary and Secondary Syphilis│30,644 cases; 76% increase since 2013
• Congenital Syphilis│918 cases; 154% increase since 2013
But as to measles, every week we have had several mass-media reports on a measles “epidemic” where only maybe 1,000 people have caught it and none reportedly died. Measles has no life-long repercussions as STDs do. Numerous governments exercise severe punishment and financial penalties for not following the government’s directives on getting measles’ vaccinations for a non-life threatening disease but for these other devastating, widespread, preventable, and deadly diseases, no warnings are given. Measles is like eating pudding compared to the flu where so many are dying.
The Facts on Death
For a complete picture, we ought to include a discussion on death. Death is not natural. People want to stay alive. Why else would we produce safety warnings and ensure safety devices on cars, cans, medicines, etc.? I am glad for alerts, but our society is missing big on reminding people of the threat from death. People are dying. The last I looked, and I have lived numerous decades now, the death rate is 100%. Every person that is born, dies. Is it contagious? Sort of. Death’s vicious trouble passes on to us when we are born. The Bible says it is because we are part of the human race.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— (Romans 5:12).
Whether you believe it or not, you must agree to the fact that we are all dying—though we don’t want to! We have a consciousness about our lives that make us want to protect ourselves and live. But honestly, the Bible clearly states that our sin and rebellion against our Creator’s direction is the cause of death. We ignored His safety rules and got caught in the snare of death. Again, the rates are extremely high—something so high that we should be publishing warnings each and every day. (Perhaps we do through the obituaries, but they are not reported as such.)
Death is rampant all around us, though often disguised and denied. Given our higher education and level of wealth, we would expect to hear all sorts of reports about death’s impending doom, threatening every one of our lives. But evil keeps growing, infiltrating every sector of life and brings death to all. Yes, I am also on this train of aging, greying, and dying too. We all are, though, some are less aware and need helpful reports to avert death’s chief hazards and to prolong life.
Check out Paul’s book, “The Lord Your Healer: Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch.”
The Facts of Life
Is there a vaccine to avoid death? I suppose all our vaccines are formed from contaminated items from within the cursed world. Yes, we have scientists that are looking for that magical elixir to extend life, but as long as they deny the fact that mankind’s selfishness is the key problem, we will all take our turns dying without any hope. We need proper warnings to help us view potential help.
Right along with the previous quote aptly describing our deadly disease, its contagious nature, and cause, there is another group of sentences pointing to the way to life.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! (Romans 5:15)
God, our Creator, and Savior, stepped in and introduced a life-giving vaccine—well it is not a drug one takes, but we can share from His life, the death and life of Jesus Christ, and find genuine life-giving power. No money or self-effort can get us this life-giving hope. It comes from God’s charity and gracefully given—seeing that none of us deserve it, all sharing that innate selfish tendency.
God extends this special program to all who seek His grace through Jesus. No matter what religion, race, sex, we can all believe Jesus died to take away our sins, overcame death through His resurrection, and will give eternal life to those who believe and follow Jesus. Now, I don’t fully understand how His life becomes ours or how He lives in us. But it works. We see it through healings and Jesus’ own resurrection from dead after He sacrificed His life for our sins. These infected bodies will still die, but those truly believing in Christ will receive new bodies without the effects of sin.
Jesus says that the effective healing rate for those who believe in Him is 100%, that is, all those that believe will have eternal life. The same is true for those who don’t believe—a 100% rate. All those who do not believe and follow Jesus will die and suffer judgment.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)
Warnings remain important. They guard us against threatening key decisions that we might otherwise make. If we don’t know the real dangers, we will miss out on the right solution. Some diseases, like measles, are not that dangerous. Others can be avoided, but not sin’s disease that infects the soul.
Yes, we can get shots and take pills, but they only extend our lives for a bit. Our real problem goes much deeper. Here, only God could provide help. Thankfully, He developed an effective aid program that really works. God has made us the reporters to warn and tell people about finding a remedy! We are to tell others about it now! I haven’t heard any reports about people dying from measles—they might have—but we have a guaranteed rate of dying if we don’t listen to and believe in Jesus Christ. This report about Jesus death to save us is one communication that we should all hear every day, providing the hope of eternal life for those who believe.
Study Questions for Diseases, Warnings, and Remedies
1) Pick out three diseases and find out how many people in your region catch it annually.
2) How many people are dying from the different diseases out there? (Do your study!)
3) What warnings of disease and infections do you hear or read of? What do they suggest?
4) What disease do people have that causes everyone to die?
5) What hope does God give in Romans 5:15? Read and explain those lines.
6) What is the healing rate for those who believe in Jesus? Read John 3:16-18 aloud and share where you are at personally.