We lost another friend this week. She was 95. A few days later, on the same day as her funeral, our youngest daughter gave birth to our tenth grandchild. Grayson Gabriel, weighing in at 8 lbs 13 oz. Because we are both sick, neither of us has seen him yet. (Diane has a head cold, which she could pass on to the baby. A hospital is the last place you want to go when you’re sick!)
I’ve got malaria back again.
It often re-occurs at this time of the year when the weather is changing. It’s also a problem when winter is moving into spring. These two periods of time coincide with the biblical holy days, which makes the problem very inconvenient.
Malaria remains the world’s number one killer.
The World Health Organization states: “Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths.”
It is not contagious. You can only get it when you are bitten by an infected mosquito, always, as it happens, a female. So be sure to check the sex of the mosquito if you get bitten!
I used to have a “Far Side” cartoon I cut out and inserted into my Bible. It showed one of Noah’s sons asking his father a question: “Should I kill the two mosquitoes now while we’re ahead?” If only . . .
Malaria and I go back forty years.
My wife, Diane, got it first when we moved to Ghana in 1978. She spent the Feast of Tabernacles that year in a hotel room in Kumasi, very sick with a mysterious sickness, until a doctor identified it. It was our introduction to Africa’s major illness. It’s not so long since West Africa was described as “the white man’s grave,” as half of all the whites who went there died within two years from the mosquito borne disease. Modern drugs make it easier to handle now, but it really is best to avoid getting bitten, an impossibility really. You can’t spend all day under a mosquito net.
A couple of years later, Diane ended up in a hospital in Accra with the same disease. And I still vividly remember carrying our four-year-old son into a clinic in the nation’s capital, when he was in a really bad way. Even now, I don’t want to think about it.
On one occasion I was in Cameroon when I came down with malaria. I was in bed in a hotel room for days. A Cameroonian we knew went to find an anti-malarial drug I requested, but the names in French are different. It was here, too, that I first heard the comment that “when you get malaria, in the first 24 hours, you’re afraid you’re going to die; in the second 24 hours, you’re afraid you’re going to live!” There’s great deal of truth to this! In that second 24 hours you just WANT to die.
A few years ago, we were in Zimbabwe and spent a few days at Victoria Falls, the most magnificent site in the world. We took a “sundowner cruise” one evening. Our tour guide pointed out the hippos (hippopotamus is Greek for “river horse”) and told us that “the hippo is the most dangerous animal in Africa” and added “except for the mosquito.”
Sometime later, I remember staying with friends in Kariba. I wanted to go for a walk, but could not as I saw a hippo at the end of their driveway!
Almost thirty years after leaving Africa, I can say that I no longer have a fear of hippos; but I still don’t like mosquitoes! In Michigan, the bigger problem is West Nile virus. Mosquitoes are a problem everywhere.
I do have a little annoyance over malaria. A couple of times I’ve had to go to the hospital for a shot. But they never believe me when I say I have malaria. They always want to put me through a series of tests, costing one thousand dollars or more. Then they come and say, “You have malaria.” “Well, I told you that when I arrived here four hours ago! All I wanted was a shot of chloroquine.”
I now have a doctor who prescribes me an anti-malarial drug, which I can use anytime. It saves me a lot of time (and money) in ER.
DIVERSITY NOT A STRENGTH
Pat Buchanan has written an excellent article showing how diversity does not work anywhere else in the world, so why do we expect it to work here in the United States?
His article was inspired by Tucker Carlson who asked the same question on his TV show last week.
“Ethnic diversity, after all, tore apart our mighty Cold War rival, splintering the Soviet Union into 15 nations, three of which — Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia — have since split further along ethnic lines.
Russia had to fight two wars to hold onto Chechnya and prevent the diverse peoples of the North Caucasus from splitting off on ethnic grounds, as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan had done.
Ethnic diversity then shattered Yugoslavia into seven separate nations.
And even as we proclaim diversity to be our greatest strength, nations everywhere are recoiling from it.” (“The Unpardonable heresy of Tucker Carlson,” PJB, 9/13).
Mr. Buchanan continues: “The rise of populism and nationalism across Europe is a reaction to the new diversity represented by the Arab, Asian and African millions who have lately come, and the tens of millions desperate to enter.”
He points out that Japan has not encouraged diversity and does not have the ethnic conflicts that are afflicting other western nations.
Israel has passed a law that enshrines Jewish identity into the state itself; while China is taking active measures against Muslims in the country. Burma did the same and has been condemned for it.
Cleary, diversity doesn’t work and we will come to see that more clearly in the years ahead.
When Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples what would be the signs of His coming, He replied: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:7). The word “nation” is from the Greek “ethnos” and refers to ethnic groups; a kingdom is a political entity.
Expect more ethnic conflict in the coming years, including western nations.
A GAY THOMAS?
THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE’ INTRODUCES INCLUSIVE GENDER-BALANCED, MULTICULTURAL CHARACTERS IN MAJOR REVAMP OF CHILDREN’S CLASSIC
–headline in Huffington Post 9/1/18