NPR: In Vietnam, There Have Been Fewer Than 300 COVID-19 Cases And No Deaths. Here’s Why

From the fake news at NPR:

Vietnam shares a border with China, yet it has reported no deaths from COVID-19 and just 268 confirmed cases, when other Southeast Asian nations are reporting thousands.

Experts say experience dealing with prior pandemics, early implementation of aggressive social distancing policies, strong action from political leaders and the muscle of a one-party authoritarian state have helped Vietnam.

“They had political commitment early on at the highest level,” says John MacArthur, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s country representative in neighboring Thailand. “And that political commitment went from central level all the way down to the hamlet level.”

With experience gained from dealing with the 2003 SARS and 2009 H1N1 pandemics, Vietnam’s government started organizing its response in January — as soon as reports began trickling in from Wuhan, China, where the virus is believed to have originated. The country quickly came up with a variety of tactics, including widespread quarantining and aggressive contact tracing. It has also won praise from the World Health Organization and the CDC for its transparency in dealing with the crisis.

Delusional sleepy time conversations that I’ll never have

In the minutes and hours that I’m awake but in bed, I often have delusional conversations with myself about religion. I make up who the conversations are with. But they are with old friends and sometimes with family.

The stories nuance, but often are the same thing over and over. It’s frustrating, because these same thoughts do not occupy mental real estate during the day.

Tina experiences similar conversations, not about religion, but about business or something with a friend. We both wonder if other people experience this same phenomenon, and assume they do.

In these religious conversations that I have, I indubitably offer the arguments that some believer has never heard before and I blow their minds. This is clearly delusion. My ideas are seriously not that great. But they are during these hours, because you know, I’m the smartest guy in the room. /sarcasm.

The conversation/speech I’ve been having the last couple of nights is the following:

Me to a believer: Let me ask you a question. Do you believe that when you’re eating communion that you are literally or figuratively eating the body and drinking the blood of Christ?

Answer: figuratively.

Me: When you’re at church and you tell the congregation to bath themselves in the blood of Christ. Is that literal or a metaphor?

Answer: figurative.

When your church makes an alter call or a call to bow down before the Lord, do they literally go to an alter for killing animals and pray or do they figuratively stand there with their hands up to God.

Answer: figuratively stand there with hands raised.

Do you believe that Adam and Eve, and their children, literally or figuratively, populated the earth, together, incestuously, until God smote the entire population of humanity via the great flood. Then a more-than 500 year old man named Noah, his three sons and their three wives then repopulated the earth with their incestuous children creating the different races, and languages, cultures and everything that followed.

All together: literally.

Do you believe that God literally decided that the best way to re-bridge the gap caused by original sin was to find a 14 year old girl living in a largely illiterate area of the middle east, and impregnate her with himself. She carried that baby to term with a man who believed her story in an era when they couldn’t understand science any more than they understood space … she gave birth to a son with unusual powers to heal and wow. He was murdered for claiming to be God, to satiate the need for sacrificing an animal to the most high. He died, went to hell, returned, spent 40 days (the magic number to many things biblical)

Answer: literally.

Let me ask you another question: when you refer to heaven or hell, is it a literal place or a figurative place? 

Literal.

Why is the concept of hell so flimsy in the Bible and based primarily in oral, written and illustrative extra-biblical tradition? We wouldn’t have the concept of hell preached in sermons if it weren’t for folks like Hieronymus Bosch, Dante, and stories of the Bubonic plague. The Greeks and Romans had an underworld. And surely that influenced early illiterate people. Do you not know that Jesus refereed to a place called hell, or Gehenna, which was a literal place outside of Jerusalem? It was a trash pile that perpetually burned or smoldered. People went there to die, to throw out their refuse, or to exile when sick. 

It’s a literal place, Jeremy.

How is it that you hold these direct traditions of literal blood baths, alters, cannibalism as metaphorical symbols but erase all semblance of metaphor when referring to literally the most insane concepts of storytelling ever.

How do you mentally reconcile holding this level of metaphor mixed with the idea that so many other things are literal?

Answer: you’re possessed by satan.

Trump card. Conversation over.

I know my views are easily debunked by the bible told me so. It’s a seemingly endless, delusional conversation that I’ll never have with real people. But it seems to love the hours of lying in darkness thinking about the world, my brain and its occupation in it.

I hope that writing it out will help push my brain past the insistence on repetition.