From the Pastor: Covid Tests Before Dinner? Really?
Nothing in this article directly deals with Epiphany parish, so if you are pressed for time, feel free to skip it this week. If you continue reading please note that the following items may make you a bit queasy. You have been warned!
A few weeks ago I read an article from “Health News from NPR.” Why I did it is beyond me. NPR is the radio station to turn to for classical music but when they have news and “news entertainment” shows, it is generally best to turn them off. They support abortion, same-sex marriage, transgendered everything, and just about every other leftist moral evil you can imagine. But this time I took their bait. The headline was “Is it time for a reality check on rapid COVID tests?” and I guess I just couldn’t help myself from reading. Were they really going to admit that the tests were not reliable? That they don’t pick up the newest strains even as well as they poorly picked up the older ones? I had to find out. Here are the first few lines. “As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its fourth year, a negative result on a little plastic at-home test feels a bit less comforting than it once did. Still, you dutifully swab your nostrils before dinner parties, wait 15 minutes for the all-clear and then text the host ‘negative!’ before leaving your KN95 mask at home. It feels like the right thing to do, right?” To continue to call this fourth year of screaming “We’re all going to die!” and “You are going to kill grandma!” a “pandemic” is, in my mind, just one more bit of psychological torture aimed at those who are already hurt, maybe permanently, by the so-called experts who have been wrong about just about everything covid-related so far. Don’t believe me? Then look again at the actions expected of those to whom this article is addressed. “...you dutifully swab your nostrils before dinner parties, wait 15 minutes for the all-clear and then text the host ‘negative!’ before leaving your KN95 mask at home.” Who in their right mind does that? This article was written now, not at the beginning, when we panicked sheep listened to the voice of anyone claiming to be a government shepherd/expert on The Science™.
I realize that as a priest I live a very sheltered life, especially at Epiphany. I am surrounded by sinners who, with very few exceptions, are striving to be holy, an essential part of which necessarily involves searching for and living the Truth. The Catholic doctors I know, to a one, professed without hesitancy or doubt, that masks don’t work against viruses. Even the non-doctor Catholics I know were intelligent enough to see that, even if a mask taped to a non-moving mannequin worked to block some amount of viruses embedded in fake spittle, viruses would not be stopped under “normal” conditions such as: wearing the mask around your chin; or over a big, bushy beard; or in such a way that your glasses fog up; or lifting it to talk, yell, cough, or sneeze; or loose enough to breathe more comfortably, etc. Before covid, all of the tests on real, living, moving, breathing people, even surgeons trained never to touch their masks, showed that they don’t work. Recently trials examining covid transmission and real-life experience have again shown that they don’t work. China and other countries in the East, for instance, wear masks much more faithfully than we do, yet the ‘vid spread through those countries like wildfire. Yet the article is indicating that people, before going to a friend’s house to eat dinner, are still taking tests? Still wearing masks? Will only interact with people whom they know and love if they all take the test and get negative results? Really? I simply do not know anyone who acts irrationally like this. I have never, even in the midst of the infamous, faithless lockouts, had anyone say to me, “Father, I want you to come hear my confession and bring Holy Communion but only if you test negative first.” I don’t currently hear anyone say to me, “We just bought a new house. Could you come bless it? Oh, I need to see your negative test result, and you need to wear, not a cloth mask, not a surgical mask, but a KN95 mask. And the family won’t be back to church for the next 10 days after you leave, for we must isolate ourselves in case you sneakily infected us even with all of those precautions. Oh, and bring a valid vax card showing how many and what brand of shots you have taken.”
Back to the article, though, what was their recommendation to these psychologically abused, covid-fearing readers (sorry, “fearing” is a weak word for people still petrified about this to the extent that they won’t live a “normal” life) about taking covid tests? Even though they included real statements like this, “Similar technology has existed for influenza for years and the recommendation was not to use them,” they couldn’t get themselves (I use the plural because I am sure the writer was also speaking for the entire NPR upper echelons) to say, “Don’t use them!” Instead, they said, “A positive test is almost always true” so you should test once if it is positive and then again to determine when you are (maybe) safe instead of (deadly) sick. “But a negative ‘does not rule out’ a COVID-19 infection” so if you test negative you should anxiously test over and over and over...
At least they ended with a common sense statement that has been used long before covid was on anyone’s mind. I will paraphrase to edit out their “covid” and “test” language: If you are sick, stay home.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka