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2021 Governing Body Update #8


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I’m finding the whole vaccine subject very conflicting. 
 
im in a part of Australia that has had very limited cases and am currently pregnant too so do not feel comfortable with the vaccine. The government here has used all sorts of coercion including free beer or winning money for those who have been fully vaccinated and the advice on vaccines has chopped and changed. It has all made me feel very uncomfortable.   I personally know people who have ended up with severe adverse reactions to the vaccine and of course as Bro Lett mentioned there’s so much conflicting info that it’s hard to know what is truth. 
 
Earlier updates simply stated that each of us have to make our own choice, now I feel like we are one step away from being told we should get it and are in the wrong from a biblical standpoint if we do not. 
 
So now I feel as if I’m doing wrong in the governing body & Jehovahs eyes if I do not get vaccinated. Is this a fair conclusion to make? 

You need to make a sound, medical decision - not based on social media, and take into account the biblical principles. Since there are so many conflicting reports on the vaccine and the pandemic as a whole, our brothers, who love us, share with us what they have found. Some states mandate vaccination - for some or everyone. In that case, we comply. As for the rest, vaccination combined with cleanliness and social distancing seems to be the best guard we have against this pandemic.
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On 10/2/2021 at 4:07 PM, Foxes53 said:

There is no 100% guarantees. A local brother who works at a local hospital said 98% of the COVID patients were unvaccinated. So being vaccinated percentage wise is definitely an added protection. We can still take additional precautions that have been suggested.

 

On 10/11/2021 at 7:17 PM, Honeybarrel said:

Me too. However I would note that brothers who enter bethel etc are required to be in good physical health, plus they get cared for exceptionally well, they are cooked good food which is organically grown and much more, which would seem to indicate (to me) they are a very healthy demographic and not necessarily the best example to compare with the general public/ brotherhood. Time will tell and I will wait a little longer. We would never want to go “beyond the things written”.

The worldwide vaccination statistics and results don't differ much from what was presented so it was not a case of a biased enviorenment - You can search for this statistics and find out that's the case

The brothers wanted to share this statistics because many don't know anymore who to trust but he stressed that you can trust on those numbers because brothers gathered that info

 

Nothing in this world is absolutely sure but we still carry on with our lifes. John ( @Qapla) made a very good point on an earlier post. Most of the times people just look on the negative side of the percentages and give it too much a value!

 

For example, Yesterday I was talking with a friend who didn't get vaccinated and also influenced all his family to not doing it and he said something like this "I heard of people dying or suffering severe side effects after taking the vaccine. What if I told my mother to take the vaccine and then she died? Who would I feel about it?"

I then said that I also heard (true story from the news some years ago)  of two children that died while walking on the side walk of a street. A car had a malfunction and went strait against them. But guess what, it was their mother who told them to go by the side walk! But what would their mother say? To go by the middle of the road? Off course not! 

I also told her if her mother had a severe illness and doctor presented two possible treatment to choose from, one with 98% chance of survival and the other with 1% chance of survival what would she do? She said off course I would choose the treatment with 98% chance of survival... but yet the mother could dye just the same

The point is that although anything can happen, even an event with a 1% chance we live our lives and make our choices based on chances.

Br lett also stressed that they were presenting those statistics to help brothers take the best decision. everyone makes their choice but hen everyone has to live with the consequences of their choices. The GB just wants us to make the best choices! I'm confident that the GB thiinks that, unless you have a specific contradiction against the vaccines or some kind of allergy, the best option, statistically wise, is to be vaccinated. Just like deciding between a treatment with 98% success or one with 1% success

 

5 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

I’m finding the whole vaccine subject very conflicting. 
 

 Bro Lett mentioned there’s so much conflicting info that it’s hard to know what is truth. 
 

That's why they shared that information, compiled by Br's, so that you and I could have a trustworthy source of information

5 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

Earlier updates simply stated that each of us have to make our own choice, now I feel like we are one step away from being told we should get it and are in the wrong from a biblical standpoint if we do not. 
 

That's not new because early on the br's have been advising in favour of vaccines if you don't have any specific allergy or something medical agains it. They even sent announcements to the congregations stating that altough it's a personal choice, ones deciding not to be vaccinanted should be more careful and with their liberties diminished

 

Also elders have received specific information about the vaccines that go inline with the updates

5 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

So now I feel as if I’m doing wrong in the governing body & Jehovahs eyes if I do not get vaccinated. Is this a fair conclusion to make? 

You're not doing anything wrong and the slave will never force you to be vaccinated. Just understand that whatever they saying about it is in order to help you to make the best decision. The statistics say that if you get the covid it's much like you get a worse case if you're not vaccinated than if you are. And also by the statiscs if get hospitalized if much like that you die if unvaccinated than if are. they said that knowing that information they had the responsibility to share with the brotherwood

 

Also of note is that the slave will never say that it's mandatory to a JW to be vaccinated, but, if the autorities say it's mandatory, then in order to follow bible principles you should get vaccinated

 

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5 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

I personally know people who have ended up with severe adverse reactions to the vaccine

 

 

I keep hearing this comment from those who have decided not to take the vaccination.  My first thought is:  Was the severe reaction death … because that’s one major effect of COVID.  Was the severe reaction infecting a loved one … because having COVID does that as well.

 It’s tough for me to follow the ‘I personally know someone’ method of reasoning on the matter.  Let me illustrate why:

- I personally know people who have died in a vehicle accident … have I decided not to drive a vehicle?

- I personally know people who had a terrible marriage … have I decided never to marry?

- I personally know someone who went in for a minor dental procedure and something happened and as a result he died.  Have I decided never to have dental work?

Do you get the point?  Severe adverse reaction can occur in many scenarios because we have imperfection and so many challenges. 

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i

Quote

 I also told her if her mother had a severe illness and doctor presented two possible treatment to choose from, one with 98% chance of survival and the other with 1% chance of survival what would she do? She said off course I would choose the treatment with 98% chance of survival... but yet the mother could dye just the same

 You forgot to mention that Covid-19 has a survivable rate of at least 97% for all ages groups, and some age groups are higher.......
 

The media has done an excellent job of putting FEAR into people thinking that if you contract Covid that it is an automatic death sentence or that you will be definitely put on a ventilator....Neither are true 

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Those 97% contains a wide variety of unpleasant, and even near-fatal experiences, including long-term hospital stays, and lingering effects, even after mild infection.

 

So-called long-haulers after COVID that are healthy people but have the consequences of COVID that can last. Yes, they survived, but it impacts quality of life and function.

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Toy Poodles said:

Those 97% contains a wide variety of unpleasant, and even near-fatal experiences, including long-term hospital stays, and lingering effects, even after mild infection.

 

So-called long-haulers after COVID that are healthy people but have the consequences of COVID that can last. Yes, they survived, but it impacts quality of life and function.

 

 

 

 

I was a long hauler for 12 months

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10 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

I'm in a part of Australia that has had very limited cases and am currently pregnant too so do not feel comfortable with the vaccine.

Just read this info about pregnant women and taking the vaccine. My neighbor just gave birth recently, and is breastfeeding, and also chose not to get vaccinated. But this is something you definitely have to give careful thought to, and I understand the hesitations.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/pregnancy.html

Quote

Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy

Evidence about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, although limited, has been growing. These data suggest that the benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or potential risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

Regarding the control group mentioned in the update by brother Lett, he mentioned 22,000 Bethelites, whereas 44,000 full-time special servants in the field were vaccinated. This suggests that the full-time special servants were not necessarily confined to Bethel, but instead living and working in the outside world, as the rest of us. Out of that number, 4 had severe reactions. Out of those 4 severe reactions, no one died and were reportedly in stable condition and under control.

 

Now the 486 brothers who died out of the 1,407 publishers that were hospitalized due to CV in the US since the 1st of June, the majority were unvaccinated. Less than a percent of the 486 were fully vaccinated, but died due to underlying health reasons. 

 

Regarding the 3,975 Bethelites who traveled during the months of August and September outside of Bethel, 4 cases were positive, but all 4 cases were quarantined or already recovered upon their return.

 

I can understand all the worry and concern, and don't blame or judge anyone who do not get vaccinated due to personal health reasons. But these numbers tell me the vaccine only helps to alleviate or lighten the symptoms should someone catch the virus. Particularly the elderly or other vulnerable groups could be affected severely without the vaccine. Those who particularly suffer with respiratory, heart/lung problems, this may be a matter of life and death situation.

 

So I think the reports and statistics coming from the GB are not meant to question one from a spiritual standpoint, but out of love and concern for the safety of the worldwide brotherhood, the brothers give us these numbers. Just as brother Lett quoted Prov.3:27 to "not withhold doing good" in sharing these, but in no way is it meant to make anyone who for health reasons and can't get vaccinated be judged adversely. No doubt the GB would have wanted 100% survival rate, and 0 deaths to report, but sadly this isn't the case. Was it preventable? Can't say conclusively, as there was a small number of those vaccinated who did die due to the virus, but the numbers show the vaccine for the majority prevented hospitalization and death.

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13 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

I’m finding the whole vaccine subject very conflicting. 
 

im in a part of Australia that has had very limited cases and am currently pregnant too so do not feel comfortable with the vaccine.

Congratulations!  My daughter-in-law, a nurse in an ER, is pregnant with her second daughter.  She was vaccinated last February but she's holding off from getting the booster until after she gives birth in December.  Your hesitancy is not without merit.  

 

13 hours ago, GoldAussieGirl said:

Earlier updates simply stated that each of us have to make our own choice, now I feel like we are one step away from being told we should get it and are in the wrong from a biblical standpoint if we do not. 
 

So now I feel as if I’m doing wrong in the governing body & Jehovahs eyes if I do not get vaccinated. Is this a fair conclusion to make? 

Shannon, no, you should not feel like you are doing anything wrong so long as you are continuing to make the best effort you can to limit your exposure to Coronavirus.  Wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing are three methods all of us can take to limit our exposure.

 

The governing body can not and will not ever mandate the vaccine.  That would be unscriptural, beyond their authority, and would be the opposite of being faithful and discreet.  What has prompted the governing body's concerns as we have seen in updates #7 and #8 are the number of Witnesses who are violating their Christian values by taking a vocal stand against the governments' directions in regards methods of preventing infection including vaccination.  For example, just look at the comments in this and any other Covid-19 discussion on this board.  You will see many comments reviling both vaccines in general and this vaccine in particular.  You will see vocal opinions that ridicule how the governments are handling this situation.  You will see comments that actually belittle the use of vaccines.  These comments are unscriptural, unloving, and divisive.  It is this attitude, an attitude of pushing personal opinion loudly to the point of driving a wedge in the congregation that has caused the governing body to take the stand we've seen in these last two updates.

 

Jehovah's Witnesses are not opposed to vaccination, including the Covid-19 vaccination.  Therefore, any decision a person makes to not receive this vaccine is a personal choice and not "because they are one of Jehovah's Witnesses."  This personal choice of theirs would be the same regardless whether this person was a Witnesses or not.  Everyone opposed to the vaccine has their own reasons for this opposition and, when asked, are within their right to express why they choose to avoid the vaccine.  There is nothing unwholesome or unchristian about this.

 

The problem develops when an individual goes beyond simply explaining when asked why they are not getting the vaccine.  At that point the conversation shifts from merely explaining one's personal decision to proselytizing or promoting one's opinion as if everyone should feel the same way.  Further, such vocal opinions are contradicting the directions we receive from the government.  The Bible is clear that we obey the government in every aspect unless their directions violate Jehovah's laws.  By their very nature, anti-vaccine comments are negative and they serve as a wedge to divide the congregation.  When these derogatory comments are fueled by false facts, distortions, half-truths, opinions, or outright lies, then these comments become especially dangerous.  

 

Shannon, we appreciate the efforts you are making in regards your health and the well-being of those under your care.  We respect your right to choose to avoid the vaccination.  We also appreciate the efforts you make in keeping JWTalk a place of upbuilding encouragement by your resistance to spread negative talk in regards vaccinations.  

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Toy Poodles said:

I'm so sorry Sofia. We have some in our congregation who are suffering terribly after having Covid.

Its a cruel disease and at times unpredictable.

it was horrible. I felt tired all the time for 12 months. I had severe migraines, esophagus spasms, eye sight troubles, abdominal pain, cramps, lots of cramps, numbness at toe feet, mental fog, among the most cruel. Not easy. After 12 months all of sudden all was relieved. I was relieved. symptoms now come and go, not permanent anymore. easier to deal with. I have herpes and CMV. That was the main cause of long hauling.

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7 hours ago, zoebarry said:

i

 You forgot to mention that Covid-19 has a survivable rate of at least 97% for all ages groups, and some age groups are higher.......
 

The media has done an excellent job of putting FEAR into people thinking that if you contract Covid that it is an automatic death sentence or that you will be definitely put on a ventilator....Neither are true 

That is true. Most covid patients recover well. Some suffer physical damage for life but many others do not have any lasting consequences. I had covid last year and for me and my wife it was life a flu that lasted little over a week.

 

On the other hand, the GB update #8 says that, of 1400 Witnesses who contracted covid in the last four months, 486 died. That is a lot more than 3%. Only 4 of those 486 were vaccinated. If all those brothers and sisters had been vaccinated most of them would be alive today.

 

We don't need to live in fear but we need to be careful and not take this virus lightly. It does kill people.

 

 

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I find that in all things, not just the whole Covid thing, numbers get thrown around so much we become numb to them.  The numbers we see with Covid have not been seen in my lifetime for any other disease. 

I try to remind myself of what these numbers mean on a smaller scale. If 20,000 of Jehovah’s people have died of Covid, that is almost the size of 3 regional convention attendances in my area.  That would mean all the witnesses, English and Spanish, who use the convention center near me every summer are now dead. Not just sick but dead. 

Over 4.5 million have died of Covid worldwide in just a year and a half. That correlates to half of JW’s worldwide. Imagine half your congregation dropping dead within a year. 
 

Im not saying this to make anyone feel bad or to make a point that you should get the vaccine or not.  I just see numbers and statistics thrown around to prove one point or the other. I feel we should all keep in mind how big of a deal Covid is. We can’t minimize a disease that wipes out those kinds of numbers.  We may not see it affect us personally as much but it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  And we shouldn’t minimize the effect losing even one person has on a family or congregation. 
 

It’s a sad state of affairs. 

 

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Numbers were mentioned.  The current count in the United States (everybody not just witnesses) is 721,000 deaths and about 45 million infected.  If we just use those figures the death rate would be less than 2 percent.

 

BUT it is still 3/4 million dead bodies.  In the US these numbers include those who got sick before effective treatment was readily available.  HOWEVER, if treatment had been available and taken with the current effectiveness, most of those 721,000 would probably still be alive.

 

So various groups can downplay the numbers, but there are a lot of people who could have avoided getting hospitalized and dying if one of the prevention measures was taken.  Not 100 percent but a very large number.

 

That is why the GB allows in person meeting for US Bethelites with full vaccination.  That is why the GB allows them to travel, that is why the GB allows them to return to work. The unvaccinated are not allowed to do so.

 

Our LDC sent notice that only vaccinated members can work on-site.  The list goes on.  No one is telling any individual publisher what they have to do.  But we can and will tell them what they can't do.

 

Br. Shawn stressed the need to "obey Caesar" and we know the scriptures emphasize "Honor the King".. Research on "honor" includes being submissive.  These are direct scriptural orders from God (not the GB).  So if there is reason (medical or other) that prevents this action, so be it.  But NONE of us should try to use a "religious" exemption because it is not against the policies of our religion nor is it against a Bible command or principle.  Br. Shawn cautioned against taking a stand in opposition to government directives, encouragement or even mandates by our public comments.  That is a scriptural concern.  Please be careful.

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On 10/13/2021 at 2:49 PM, Toy Poodles said:

I'm so sorry Sofia. We have some in our congregation who are suffering terribly after having Covid.

Its a cruel disease and at times unpredictable.

I had a nephew who survived COVID and then died from the damage done to his organs by COVID.  I had a brother-in-law who had tests done on his heart before he got COVID.  His heart was in great shape he was told.  After having COVID he died with heart problems.  That disease leaves a lot of unseen damage.

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1 hour ago, Witness1970 said:

I had a nephew who survived COVID and then died from the damage done to his organs by COVID.  I had a brother-in-law who had tests done on his heart before he got COVID.  His heart was in great shape he was told.  After having COVID he died with heart problems.  That disease leaves a lot of unseen damage.

Yet some have had it in my congregation and wonder what the big deal is including a couple in the 80's. Its so confusing how it affects different people in such drastically different ways. We have to try to be understanding why some think differently. Its because their own experience has been different. 

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4 hours ago, Floyd said:

Yet some have had it in my congregation and wonder what the big deal is including a couple in the 80's. Its so confusing how it affects different people in such drastically different ways. We have to try to be understanding why some think differently. Its because their own experience has been different. 

True. In our congregation about 15% have had it. Of those Three were very unwell, and two were hospitalised in their 70s but are home and fine now. 
maybe it’s to do with a more virulent strain, or their underlying health conditions. It does seem to affect some regions or countries differently. We still don’t know a single person who died from it in the whole time period and that includes neighbours work colleagues brothers and family. Thus I suppose it could explain why one area is less in fear than another diaspora. Not saying that’s correct, just confusing.
But then that’s what Satan and the world wants for us, to be confused, to be in fear and not focusing on Gods kingdom. Thank goodness it’s not political over here in the Uk. 
Romans 8:38,39 

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35 minutes ago, Honeybarrel said:

True. In our congregation about 15% have had it. Of those Three were very unwell, and two were hospitalised in their 70s but are home and fine now. 
maybe it’s to do with a more virulent strain, or their underlying health conditions. It does seem to affect some regions or countries differently. We still don’t know a single person who died from it in the whole time period and that includes neighbours work colleagues brothers and family. Thus I suppose it could explain why one area is less in fear than another diaspora. Not saying that’s correct, just confusing.
But then that’s what Satan and the world wants for us, to be confused, to be in fear and not focusing on Gods kingdom. Thank goodness it’s not political over here in the Uk. 
Romans 8:38,39 

That is a very good point because the strain of Covid could be weaker or stronger in each area. I never thought of that. Thanks for sharing. ☺

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9 hours ago, Witness1970 said:

I had a nephew who survived COVID and then died from the damage done to his organs by COVID.  I had a brother-in-law who had tests done on his heart before he got COVID.  His heart was in great shape he was told.  After having COVID he died with heart problems.  That disease leaves a lot of unseen damage.

 

7 hours ago, Floyd said:

Yet some have had it in my congregation and wonder what the big deal is including a couple in the 80's. Its so confusing how it affects different people in such drastically different ways. We have to try to be understanding why some think differently. Its because their own experience has been different. 

 

2 hours ago, Honeybarrel said:

True. In our congregation about 15% have had it. Of those Three were very unwell, and two were hospitalised in their 70s but are home and fine now. 
maybe it’s to do with a more virulent strain, or their underlying health conditions. It does seem to affect some regions or countries differently. We still don’t know a single person who died from it in the whole time period and that includes neighbours work colleagues brothers and family. Thus I suppose it could explain why one area is less in fear than another diaspora. Not saying that’s correct, just confusing.
But then that’s what Satan and the world wants for us, to be confused, to be in fear and not focusing on Gods kingdom. Thank goodness it’s not political over here in the Uk. 
Romans 8:38,39 

About 13% of the people in the US have had it.  The death rate was about 2% before the vaccines and around 1% now (because the ones who had underlying health problems have now been vaccinated).

 

13%, 2%, and 1%.  That doesn't sound like a lot.  But when you consider 330,000,000 population in the US, it means over 45,000,000 have had the disease, and over 750,000 deaths.  Without masks and vaccines things would have been much worse.

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3 hours ago, Witness1970 said:

 

 

About 13% of the people in the US have had it.  The death rate was about 2% before the vaccines and around 1% now (because the ones who had underlying health problems have now been vaccinated).

 

13%, 2%, and 1%.  That doesn't sound like a lot.  But when you consider 330,000,000 population in the US, it means over 45,000,000 have had the disease, and over 750,000 deaths.  Without masks and vaccines things would have been much worse.

And that doesn't take into consideration those who didn't die, but have continung isues.

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