Have you ever thought about just how far it is from Seattle to Alaska? Probably not, because for a long time the world rightly assumed it to be a long way. Early pioneers came to Alaska by steamer, horse-drawn sledge, and on foot; a long and arduous journey.
Modern conveniences changed all that. A scenic ride on a ferry can take between three and seven days. By car, between Seattle and Anchorage, it’s still a serious three day drive. A commercial flight will average just under four hours. That’s still a long way even in modern day thinking.
So, in trying to get a perspective on how safe and secure (distance wise) we Alaskans are, in relation to the Covid-19 virus, January and half of February felt fairly comfortable.
Then the virus, almost overnight, moved quickly up the coast and brought the focus to an unsuspecting nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. Typically such facilities have low medical security with dozens, if not hundreds of volunteers and visitors. Now we’re concerned, but still banking on distance to keep us protected.
How far is it from Seattle to Anchorage Alaska? Not as far as we’re accustomed to thinking. In reality, just two steps! One step on to the plane at SeaTac Intl Airport in Seattle, and one step off the plane at ANC International in Anchorage.
So what’s the problem?
The real bugaboo is the dastardly long incubation period, 6 to 14 days, during which few if any symptoms are manifested but the virus can be spread person to person.
How secure are we in “far off Alaska”? Not very! The ubiquitous nature of modern air travel makes Alaskans every bit as vulnerable as an unsuspecting nursing home in Washington State, or any other center of modern life. We travel, because we can.
We Alaskans face potential challenges of huge proportions. What’s the solution? In this letter I have chosen not to rehash lists of preparations to complete and supplies to accumulate (those are available in multiples throughout the internet, and due to increasing demand for many things, we are already experiencing shortages).
What I hope to do here is lay out a straightforward approach to the process of preserving our God-given freedoms in conjunction with living as the True Body of Christ, his Church.
In pursuing this we walk a rugged wilderness road, made possible by the U.S Constitution and the power and authority of Jesus Christ. Self preservation is not our focus, except to maintain our ability to provide for our family, and offer ministry to others. The ability to do this lies totally “In God Alone.”
First, a little background as to who I am. I’m a senior, having lived a lifetime of adventure, and have a wife I don’t deserve. I grew up in a pastor’s home (small, midwestern, conservative fundamental church) with plenty of trials and bad news. I found my niche in music and challenging sports like wrestling and football, later on a lifetime of rock climbing and rather serious mountaineering. I have two undergraduate degrees, I am basically a self-taught stone mason of 35 years, I’ve built a hundred stone fireplaces, and building self-supporting stone arches was my passion – a few collapsed till I got it figured out.
A father of three, 12 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. While I admit to any number of failings I’ve spent much of my life going to “The Word”, trying to understand the role of an obedient man of God, as well as the true nature of the Church.
All that said, my life experience has been focused on setting goals, preparing to the best of my ability, anticipating and even practicing for potential realities, and ever so slowly learning to listen and obey while sitting at the feet of Jesus. Of the latter I admit I am a slow learner, and Jesus is ever so patient.
We cannot wait for government to solve Covid-19 for us!
I’m in no way inferring we’ll find a way to stop the virus. However, waiting leaves us extremely vulnerable, and sitting on our hands while the government decides what to do with us leaves our hands unusable.
Without a doubt Federal agencies have expertise and resources that could help us solve the challenge. In many cases we, the people, are not trusted and official statistics and information are difficult, if not impossible, to decipher.
What we are up against in America and Alaska:
- Massive disinformation. Can we believe anything or anybody? My mother often said, don’t trust anyone. I didn’t want to believe her, but as I matured I began to understand. I’ve become very suspicious of advertising, politicians (not statesmen), world leaders, the assumption that the weather is “normal”, experts who tickle our ears, and any church whose focus is on productions and shys away from teaching on Biblical suffering and persecution. Keep in mind, disinformation is often a tactic. To sort all this out we need God’s discernment and wisdom.
- A culture of “just in time”. The concept of just in time was developed by industry which found it could save considerable cost by eliminating the warehouse. Suppliers agreed to deliver parts, food, medical supplies, etc. almost at the moment they were needed. And things have cooked right along quite smoothly until a glitch develops in the supply line. Think Wuhan, China, quarantine, lockdowns, empty shelves at Costco, and an economy that depends totally on a well-oiled production and delivery system.
- A “feel good” culture – Admit it, it’s happened to all of us. We all enjoy some comforts including entertainment, the ‘’doc” will fix it, fast food, debt forgiveness, my church makes me happy, etc.
- The Credit Card. We can all write the script here. Yes, the benefits are there, but the negatives, as well as the temptations, are so prevalent.
- An absolute belief that the real bad news won’t happen until - my kids grow up, we build a new house, my daughter gets married, my son graduates from college and gets a good job, the Olympics are over, and after the rapture (I’m still not totally convinced on the timing on this one). I venture to guess we all have at least one small event we hope God holds off for.
- The stark reality that Alaska is only two steps away from Seattle and the State of Washington – What exists in the Lower 48 is more than likely already in Alaska. Hopefully and prayerfully not, but current patterns suggest otherwise.What is known about Coronavirus/Covid-19:Some things we know, MAYBE: be very mindful of disinformation.
- There is evidence the Coronavirus was developed by both U.S. and Canadian scientists in either or both a Canadian and U.S.lab. Evidence suggests there was an on-site presence of Chinese students or scientists, during the development of the virus. Allegedly the Chinese representatives carried the physical virus or the formula back to China – with or without the authority to do so.
- There is conjecture that the virus was further developed as a weapon in a Chinese lab. A reasonable question is, are there any reasons, other than as a weapon, for developing an engineered virus; whether in the U.S,, Canada, or in China?
- I believe that the virus’s origin was not from animals being sold for food in a Chinese wet market.
Note: I remind you, I said “maybe”. While the accuracy of each of these statements is very interesting to a scientist working this whole case, they pertain very little to the task you and I have to prepare to keep our friends, church and family free of the virus, while at the same time living the “good news” of Jesus.
Potential Serious Problems when Covid-19 officially reaches Alaska: The Serious Problems –
- Hospitals could be overrun with Covid-19 patients
- Shortages of medical and other supplies
- Government control – restricted travel, quarantine, lockdowns, (FEMA, CDC, State and Federal)
- Food Shortages – due to both the negative effect on our economy, and related challenges of a long or interrupted supply route from the Lower 48.
Related, spin off effects –
- Panic Buying
- Closing of churches, schools, and other public gatherings
- Possible violence
- Increased death rate
To all of this I want to state emphatically, there is a solution! I believe it cuts to the quick on waiting for government “plans” to unfold. It actually preempts “official” government edicts with a better recourse that could have many of our state’s citizens standing on our own two feet, and even standing with those who are willing but may not be quite prepared. It’s time to be strategic.
(To be concluded tomorrow, in Part 2)