MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Good morning!
Pandemic lockdowns have exacerbated the anxiety and depression many people were already struggling with.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: It’s also leading to an increase in unhealthy coping behaviors. Drug overdoses are on the rise.
Plus the blessings of family: at home, at school, and on the job…
And Cal Thomas on Justice Samuel Alito’s call to take heed.
BASHAM: It’s Thursday, November 19th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!
BASHAM: Next, news. Here’s Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Pfizer says vaccine 95% effective, will seek FDA authorization soon » Drugmaker Pfizer said Wednesday that new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective. And the company is preparing to ask the FDA for emergency use authorization within days.
Pfizer initially estimated the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. The latest results suggest its success rate matches the Moderna vaccine.
Both are expected to begin distribution to the public next month.
National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins called it an unprecedented feat.
COLLINS: The average time it’s taken in the past to develop a vaccine has been about eight years. This has been done in 10 months. And it was also been done in a size of a trial that hasn’t been attempted either. Both Pfizer and Moderana had more than 30,000 volunteers.
Officials expect enough supplies to vaccinate at least 20 million Americans next month. Healthcare workers will likely be at the front of the line to receive those doses, followed by those at highest risk.
The companies have not yet released detailed data on their studies. Some important questions remain—such as how long protection lasts and whether people might need boosters.
Boeing Max jets cleared for takeoff » After being grounded for nearly two years, Boeing’s 737 Max jetliners are clear for takeoff. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has more.
LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: The Federal Aviation Administration has certified the 737 Max as airworthy. FAA chief Stephen Dickson signed an order Wednesday un-grounding the fleet.
The agency said it has completed a “comprehensive and methodical” 20-month review process.
Regulators around the world grounded the Max in March 2019, after a pair of deadly crashes that claimed more than 300 lives.
Boeing overhauled the plane’s flight control system, focusing on anti-stall software that appeared to malfunction in both crashes.
The FAA says it gave Boeing the green light in cooperation with air safety regulators worldwide.
The company will now begin updating critical software throughout the fleet. And once pilots receive updated training, U.S. airlines will start flying the jets.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones.
White House defends firing of top election official » The White House is defending President Trump’s decision to fire the nation’s top election security official this week.
Christopber Krebs was the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. He recently put out a joint statement with other election officials insisting the November 3rd election was highly secure.
White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said Krebs seemed to be going out of his way to contradict the president’s claims of widespread election fraud.
MCENANY: To come out and say it’s the most secure election in American history, that’s just not an accurate statement, and it seems like a partisan attempt to just hit back at the president.
Krebs stood by his assertion after his ouster. In a brief statement on Twitter, he said “Honored to serve. We did it right.”
Hours before being dismissed, he tweeted out a report citing 59 election security experts saying there is no credible evidence of computer fraud in the 2020 election outcome.
Second GA county finds uncounted votes » Meantime in Georgia, another county has discovered uncounted ballots. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The deadline to complete a hand recount of nearly 5 million votes in the presidential election expired at midnight. But before it did, Fayette County, just south of Atlanta, discovered nearly 2,800 previously uncounted votes.
It was similar to another incident this week in north Georgia. On Monday, Floyd County officials found about 2,600 votes on a ballot scanner memory card that were not uploaded.
Local and state officials say both instances were simple human error, and not a technical problem or election fraud.
The newly discovered Fayette County ballots gave president Trump a gain of about 450 votes. But that’s barely a dent in Joe Biden’s 13-thousand vote lead.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Georgia sec. of state: Trump’s attacks on mail-in ballots cost him the election » On Wednesday, Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said he believes President Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting cost him the election—at least in Georgia. He said about 24,000 Republicans who cast absentee ballots in the primaries avoided mail-in ballots during the general election.
But they never went to the polls. Raffensperger told WSB-TV…
RAFFENSPERGER: He would have won by 10,000 votes. He actually depressed, suppressed his own voting base.
Raffensperger said he believes that’s because President Trump told the public not to trust mail-in voting.
While President Trump said absentee voting was trustworthy, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told the Washington Post that voters in one study group “were confused about two different kinds of mail-in balloting.”
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: the pandemic’s mental health crisis.
Plus, Cal Thomas recounts a recent speech by Justice Samuel Alito.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: It’s Thursday the 19th of November, 2020.
Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Megan Basham.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown. First up: the pandemic’s toll on mental health.
Before 2020, 40 million Americans suffered from anxiety disorders. Another 17 million dealt with depression.
BASHAM: Now, the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the uncertainties and challenges that have come with it are growing those numbers.
WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Ellen Tant never thought her mental health needed attention.
TANT: I was very, you know, extroverted, outgoing, loved being around people and no one else would have ever picked up on the fact that I was kind of had my own inner world going on.
Last year, a series of circumstances started drawing out that inner world until it was affecting Tant’s outer world.
TANT: I was like this vicious cycle of where, okay, I’m too anxious to stay in bed but I’m too depressed to get out of bed.
So Tant went to see a clinical therapist. He diagnosed her with anxiety and depression. He also gave her tools to deal with the symptoms. Things were looking up.
Then, in February, Tant moved to a new city to be closer to her fiancé. Just three weeks later, COVID-19 lockdowns began.
TANT: Moving right before a pandemic is not something I would recommend.
Tant had moved in with her fiance’s grandmother. But she didn’t want to risk exposing her to the virus. So she moved out but then couldn’t find an apartment building that would take a new renter.
TANT: So I literally was house hopping for two and a half months. That in and of itself was awful. And when I moved here, I also didn’t have a therapist lined up right away. So I was then going without therapy for several months.
Tant began having panic attacks. And as a stress reliever, she started overspending on clothes and groceries.
TANT: I would buy like $300 worth of groceries because I was so stressed about not having enough food or not being able to take care of myself.
Not surprisingly, 2020 has been a hard year for people already suffering from mental illness. But it also has created anxiety and depression in people who had never suffered from them before.
GUTHRIE: Even before the covid 19 pandemic, there was a trend in the United States of increasing cases of depression and anxiety.
Doctor Joseph Guthrie specializes in psychiatry and is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.
GUTHRIE: That trend has certainly continued upward with social upheaval, loss of jobs, the loss of loved ones. We see an increase in the amount of depression, anxiety and stress in our country.
In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a mental health survey. Nearly one-third of American adults reported struggling with symptoms of anxiety and depression. That’s more than double what it was in 2019. And about one-tenth of U.S. adults said they’d considered suicide this year.
Dr. Guthrie says these mental health problems are widespread.
GUTHRIE: This is not a uniquely American phenomenon. I think it’s affecting individuals across the globe.
Haesue Jo is a marriage and family therapist. She says the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it is hitting on essential human needs. Things like personal connection, safety, and purpose.
JO: Anxiety itself is very future oriented. And it’s something that we all experience when we just don’t know what’s in front of us. And then depression is really past oriented. People have changes in their mood because of things that have happened or a series of events. I think depression is very closely linked to that, is not having drive to do anything, not seeing purpose in anything.
Dr. Joseph Guthrie says it’s important to note that there is a difference between suffering from mental health symptoms and having an actual disorder. A professional can help tell the difference.
GUTHRIE: Any time we experience loneliness, isolation, loss, it’s a natural response to feel sad, to be depressed. And so that would be a symptom. If that depression begins to affect an individual’s functioning, how they eat and sleep, then we start to think about a diagnosis of a disorder.
Either way, people need help dealing with the symptoms.
Ken Goodman is a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. He says one coping mechanism is to focus on other things besides what’s causing anxiety or depression—like the coronavirus.
GOODMAN: You’re trying to reduce the amount of time that you’re spending dealing with coronavirus and focus more on living your life. What behaviors am I doing that I could begin to let go of? And the more you can implement behaviors that you used to do, while still being careful, you start to feel better.
And while virus health concerns could soon diminish as vaccines become available, some of the emotional effects will linger.
Ellen Tant says that’s why a community of support is so important. And she’s hopeful that 2020 will break more stigmas around mental health.
TANT: I think that 2020 has definitely made it more aware to a lot of people that mental health is real, and mental health is important. And it’s not a journey that’s really fun to walk alone.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: addiction.
Mental health and substance abuse often go hand in hand. And the same pandemic factors that have caused a spike in mental health issues have also affected people struggling with addiction and drug use.
WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports now on what could be a long road to recovery.
BARNES: Meth addicts don’t normally die of an overdose, but he actually got laced meth with carbo fentanyl.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN: Ron Barnes volunteers with a Christian mens’ rehabilitation program in Georgia. This spring, a young man in the program overdosed.
Barnes had mentored him for two years—regular meetings and accountability, but also fellowship and dinners out.
BARNES: He was doing really well. And then when COVID hit, his dad got put into critical care and passed away. And they do believe that was from COVID.
Losing his dad undid years of progress in rehab.
BARNES: He struggled staying clean, but would fall back into meth. He would use pot and alcohol to try to get off the meth. It was like the tailspin that he just couldn’t get out of.
A month later, he was gone.
BARNES: He had never used narcotics. He was very opiate naive. And so he injected the meth, and it had the carbo fentanyl in it, he passed away.
For this young man, COVID-19 was the perfect storm. And it’s the perfect storm for millions of others across the United States also struggling with addiction. The fight was already brutal. But the pandemic created a host of extra challenges. Jeff Beeson is the deputy director for an anti-drug trafficking program in the Washington DC area.
BEESON: We certainly think that lockdown had a dramatic impact on folks who are using.
Beeson also oversees a national database that tracks overdose deaths. In March, the number of overdose deaths jumped by 20 percent compared to March 2019. In April, it was a 33 percent increase. In May, 48 percent. Beeson says several factors contributed to that rise.
BEESON: What we have seen, and I think, you know, this sort of speaks to the just to the vicious and malicious nature of drug traffickers, is post-COVID opportunistic drug distribution. So we are seeing an increase in the availability of narcotics on the street.
Addicts often use drugs in a group. But once shelter-in-place mandates hit, they were home, often alone. If someone overdoses by themselves, no one is there to call 911, or administer Narcan, the overdose reversal medication.
Beeson says more people are also experimenting with poly-drug use: Combining different kinds of drugs.
BEESON: In other words, we’re seeing signs where fentanyl is present in a mixture of a stimulant, which didn’t happen before. So what that means is, if you traditionally have a methamphetamine user they’re ill prepared to support themselves if they are overdosing to something like fentanyl.
Elinore McCance-Katz leads the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration–SAMHSA.
MCCANCE-KATZ: I’m an addiction psychiatrist, so I actually didn’t need to know much more than that we were being hit by a very severe infectious disease to know what was going to happen.
Health officials focused on protecting people from the new virus, not on existing health crises.
MCCANCE-KATZ: One of the real concerns that I have about the response that government officials have made to the pandemic is to not consider all of a person’s health needs in favor of only thinking about the virus and infection rates.
Alcohol sales shot through the roof as people hunkered down at home. Half of the treatment centers that work with SAMHSA had to lay off staff, while a third had to turn away clients because they couldn’t provide treatment and stay within COVID-19 protocols. A million and a half Americans get medication-assisted treatment for addiction. But with everything shut down, people didn’t always have access to their medication. McCance-Katz was especially worried about that, because two of those treatments are a type of opioid.
MCCANCE-KATZ: And if someone were, were not to be able to access those medications, it would go into opioid withdrawal. And that would put them at risk for using illicit substances and potentially overdose and death.
SAMHSA changed its policies to allow people to take home more medication at a time. It also implemented telehealth counseling sessions. But those aren’t the same as in-person interactions.
MCCANCE-KATZ: When we hear stay at home and it’s safer at home, it’s not. It’s not, for many Americans. For many of them, it is the height of isolation and a very big trigger for relapse.
Ron Barnes saw that firsthand at the ministry where he volunteers. He used to take the guys out to dinner, see them three or four times a week. But for almost two months this spring, he wasn’t allowed on the campus to see any of the residents he mentored.
BARNES: Isolation is never good for the recovering addict. Because they need positive interactions and healthy activities. And when they’re in isolation, they can hide too many things for too long.
The ministry had back-to-back overdoses…two men within three months. Those deaths took a toll on the other men in the program.
BARNES: The ripple effect for other recovering folks is, it can happen to me. And so there was a lot of concern about, Am I doing the right thing? Am I, am I gonna lose my battle anyways?
It also shook Barnes, as a volunteer.
BARNES: Yeah, I–[chokes up, long sigh] Sorry. Um, God clearly said that, he still wanted me to serve there. So um, after taking some time, I am now back there serving, volunteering, loving on the guys.
He says walking through this has given him more empathy for the men in the program and their families. He understands the wear and tear, the anguish, the struggle, but he also has a better appreciation for the joy, when someone makes it out of their addiction.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: With the rise of artificial intelligence, technology is threatening to replace human workers in a wide range of positions.
During a recent pro soccer game in Scotland, directors of a telecast made a bold decision.
To cut down on the number of people present amid coronavirus concerns, they chose to use an artificial intelligence system to replace a flesh and blood cameraman.
It was, of course, programmed to keep the camera focused on the movement of the ball up and down the field.
But the AI got confused, mistaking a referee’s bald head for the ball—repeatedly zooming in on the ref instead of the ball.
Commentators apologized to viewers as the camera focused on the linesman’s shiny dome while the action continued off-screen.
So it appears the jobs of live sports camera operators might be safe—at least a little while longer.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 19th, 2020.
Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham.
Families are part of God’s good creation, and by His plan, no two are alike. WORLD senior correspondent Kim Henderson takes us now to Georgia to meet a family focused on design—God’s design for their family and a designer clothing line. Here’s the story.
AUDIO: [MAIL DELIVERY]
KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT: The mailman handing an envelope to Patrick Coppock may already have guessed it, but the modest house on Milstead? It’s a hotbed of productivity.
AUDIO: [KITCHEN CLATTER]
It’s evident on the kitchen island in a pan of crusty scones made by the Coppock kids and at the school-slash-dining-slash-draft table where their mom is hard at work.
JILL: So I’m sewing through some woven right here, and it’s a Christmas plaid. I envision dresses for my girls topped with a blue grosgrain sash.
But Jill Coppock isn’t your average seamstress. She’s built an Etsy empire on pleats, piping, pinafores, and a pattern line called JillyAtlanta. She hosts an online sewing group with some 11 thousand members.
JILL: I grew up sewing with my mom. She taught me, and I love it.
As a newlywed, Jill worked retail for Ann Taylor LOFT. There she learned to appreciate cut-above clothing with welt pockets and linings. She’d buy a garment, then take it apart to discover how to add those elements to her own designs. That attention to detail and stream-lined focus shows up today in her kids’ clothing designs and in the Coppocks’ family life.
JILL: I feel like nothing is more important than being together — staying together and celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. The decisions that we make today are going to affect that…
That’s why Patrick bypassed medical school and chose a career as a professor. He wanted to do something that would give him more time at home. And his time at home is purposeful.
PATRICK: Our extra curricular activities have been simple, our homeschool curriculum we’ve inclined to keep simple. We have focused on keeping a simple house…
A simple house with only 1,000 square feet. With one bathroom. And one car. For all eight Coppocks. By choice.
PATRICK: I’m really disinclined to make a big deal out of having a small house, but I think it has been a blessing for us.
It’s a full house, but it’s orderly. Stacked bunks. Sliding cabinet storage. Zero clutter. Still, 8-year-old Olive has managed to misplace her history book.
AUDIO: [BOOK HUNT]
JILL: We were told during graduate school, “Maybe you shouldn’t have these children. I mean, that’s going to add stress. That’s going to take money, time. You need to focus.” And it did. It took all that, but we can’t get these years back…
The Coppock homeschool has been a “both-parents-on-deck” effort, with good results.
AUDIO: [SON TALKING MATH]
The two oldest sons were both accepted to U.S. military academies.
PATRICK: At the beginning of their high school experience, we went to a couple of admissions websites and we just made a list of things to do. And we did those to the best of our ability.
Jill says they stuck to the essentials, and they prayed something specific.
JILL: Please open our eyes to see what we’re missing, we’re going to be missing things. We are missing things, and we just pray for God’s covering for those things.
For 10 years, the Coppock kids have worked together in an entrepreneurial enterprise—baked goods. They set up a stand at the corner of their property and work different shifts. They’re getting items ready to sell today.
OLIVE: Chocolate chip cookies, pound cake, brownies, and I think apple cider.
NAOMI: Yeah, apple cider.
Clearly, this is a family that enjoys working together. The kids help with JillyAtlanta, too, by packaging and mailing orders. The girls model for photo shoots, shop for fabric. Even dad, Patrick, the computational chemist, plays a part. He’s the one who got Jill to switch from garment production to pattern production.
JILL: I didn’t know computer programming. I didn’t know how to put it into AI, Adobe illustrator. I didn’t know how to do any of that. And Patrick said, “Jill, I can do that. We can do this together.” It just flipped from there.
AUDIO: [SEWING MACHINE]
It’s a mindset of sharing life together. If Jill is huddled up next to her serger and no kids are in sight, she starts calling their names.
JILL TO KIDS: I’ll say, “Guys come in here. Play your legos,” or “Come in here and do your schoolwork,” don’t I?
Growing up, Jill always thought she’d pursue a career outside her home.
JILL: When I started having children, something changed and I was like, “Oh, my word, these are little people. They’re amazing. I want more. We should have more.” I can only touch a handful of people in a job. But when you are raising children, you can touch the world.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson in Conyers, Georgia.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Coming up next, a preview of Listening In. This week: a conversation with Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In this excerpt of their conversation, Moore offers encouragement on how to stand for truth in the face of adversity, especially when you have to do it all alone. Here’s Warren.
WARREN SMITH: Moral courage. What does that mean? It must mean, at least in part, clarity. Is that fair?
RUSSELL MOORE: I think it partly means clarity, and it partly means a willingness to have a life and a conscience that is shaped by the word and the Spirit, rather than by whatever crowd is around a person at the time.
And it also means, I think, a certain kind of dependence upon God and resilience through fear. And that’s one of the things you know, you mentioned that this past year has demonstrated a lot of courage in some unusual places, and it has. Most of the people that I think are the most courageous, are often the people who would never consider themselves to be that. That’s not the language that they would use for themselves at all.
Because they imagine that courage is someone who is not experiencing any sense of fear at all. But of course, biblically that’s not what it means. Instead, it is a response to fear that is Christ-directed, rather than flesh directed. And so there can be an illusion of courage. That really just is another form of cowardice and kind of self protection, that that we can fall into easily.
BASHAM: That’s Russell Moore talking to Warren Smith. To hear the complete conversation, look for Listening In tomorrow wherever you get your podcasts.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Thursday, November 19th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
Cal Thomas now on recent warnings offered by one of America’s greatest legal minds.
CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently delivered some serious warnings too often ignored by many who believe the freedoms we enjoy are inviolable.
In an address last week to the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, Alito touched on several subjects, including COVID, religious liberty, the Second Amendment, free speech, and “bullying” of the Supreme Court by U.S. Senators.
He made a case for how each issue contains elements that contribute to a slow erosion of our liberties.
ALITO: Unfortunately, tolerance for opposing views is now in short supply in many law schools, and in the broader academic community. When I speak with recent law school graduates, what I hear over and over is that they face harassment and retaliation if they say anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.
This is not a new revelation, but it bears repeating.
While acknowledging the deaths, hospitalizations, and unemployment caused by COVID, Alito warned:
ALITO: The pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty. Now, notice what I am not saying or even implying, I am not diminishing the severity of the virus’s threat to public health. I’m not saying anything about the legality of COVID restrictions. Nor am I saying anything about whether any of these restrictions represent good public policy. I’m a judge, not a policymaker. All that I’m saying is this. And I think it is an indisputable statement of fact, we have never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive and prolonged as those experienced, for most of 2020.
Where does that lead?
ALITO: The dominance of lawmaking by executive fiat rather than legislation. The vision of early 20th-century progressives and the new dealers of the 1930s was the policymaking would shift from narrow-minded elected legislators, to an elite group of appointed experts, in a word, the policymaking would become more scientific. That dream has been realized to a large extent. Every year administrative agencies acting under broad delegations of ‘authority’ churn out huge volumes of regulations that dwarfs the statutes enacted by the people’s elected representatives. And what have we seen in the pandemic? Sweeping restrictions imposed for the most part, under statutes that confer enormous executive discretion.
What about the erosion of religious liberty?
ALITO: It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.
As evidence he mentioned how we have moved from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed by Congress in 1993 to the recent persecution of The Little Sisters of the Poor for their refusal to cover contraceptives in their health insurance plan. The Catholic nuns prevailed in a 7-2 court ruling, but Alito believes the threat to the free exercise of religion remains all too real.
Justice Alito had a lot more to say, and it’s worth listening to the speech in its entirety. His warnings ring true, but are we listening?
I’m Cal Thomas.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet joins us for Culture Friday.
And, Megan catches up with Season Two of everyone’s favorite space western, The Mandalorian.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Myrna Brown.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: And I’m Megan Basham.
The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.
WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.
Paul tells us in Hebrews to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I hope you’ll have a great rest of the day. We’ll talk to you tomorrow!