Last Trumpet Newsletter
Volume 39
     Issue Four      April 2020
Last Trumpet Ministries, PO Box 806, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet:

Unprecedented Perilous Times

"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."

Psalm 57:1

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Psalm 23:4

"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

Luke 21:36

In this issue of the Last Trumpet Newsletter, we will examine a world that quickly and dramatically changed. Over the course of the last month, the entire world has been engulfed by a global pandemic brought about by a coronavirus infection commonly known as COVID-19. This disease has touched every continent except Antarctica and has impacted the lives of nearly everyone. In the United States, the disease at this present time is spreading rapidly and is predicted to only worsen in the short term. In response, the United States Constitution has effectively been suspended as governors around the country have ordered residents to stay home, thus putting the vast majority of American citizens in a situation very similar to martial law. All across the nation, businesses have closed, stores have shuttered, churches have been ordered not to assemble, schools and universities are deserted, and millions of people are now without work and without income. In many areas, National Guard troops have been called up, and the masses are nervous, alienated, and afraid. Nothing remotely like this has ever happened before; we are living in unprecedented perilous times. How did we get to this point, and what will the longterm ramifications of this crisis be?

A Novel Virus

When a new virus is discovered by epidemiologists and experts who study diseases, they call it novel. This term simply means that it is new and had never before afflicted human beings. The disease known as COVID-19 or coronavirus disease 2019 is caused by a brand new strain of coronavirus called "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" or SARS-CoV-2 for short. (1) As one might guess from the name, this novel virus is related to SARS-CoV, a virus that first appeared in China in 2002 and sparked an epidemic. (2) Overall, 8,098 people were infected with SARS, and 774 people died before the outbreak was finally quelled in 2003. (3) The disease is known to cause a dry cough, difficulty breathing, and an assortment of influenza-like symptoms. (4) At the time of its discovery, SARS caused a great deal of fear and anxiety, but the outbreak was relatively short-lived, and although the deaths were tragic, it certainly could have been a lot worse. As it turns out, the successor to SARS, now known as COVID-19, has been far worse.

Like SARS, the virus behind COVID-19 emerged in China. The exact point of its arrival is unknown, though it was first reported in late 2019. The symptoms of this disease are similar to SARS (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia), and sadly, far more virulent and transmissible. In the early days of its existence when COVID-19 was beginning to spread in Wuhan, China, the Chinese authorities continuously downplayed the severity of this novel virus and insisted over and over again that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Yet, on December 21, 2019, doctors in Wuhan began to notice a "cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause." (5) On December 30, 2019, Dr. Li Wengliang sent a warning to his colleagues regarding a new illness that resembled SARS, urging them to be cautious. Shortly thereafter, Chinese public-health expert Tao Lina told the World Health Organization, "I think we are [now] quite capable of killing it in the beginning phase, given China's disease control system, emergency handling capacity, and clinical medicine support." (6) China continued to suppress information, and on January 1, 2020, Dr. Li was arrested for "spreading rumors." He later died after being infected by the disease. In an effort to further tighten control, the Chinese government ordered laboratories to destroy or transfer any samples they had of the virus on January 3, 2020. (7)

It was not until January 6, 2020, that the New York Times published its very first report about the virus. At the time, the article reported that "59 people in the central city of Wuhan have been sickened by a pneumonia-like illness." By January 13, 2020, the very first case of infection outside of China was reported in Thailand. (8) Just two days later, the first case was reported in Japan. (9) Even as the virus continued to spread, China inexplicably allowed 40,000 families to gather and share food on January 18, 2020, to celebrate the lunar new year. (9) All the while, China downplayed the virus, stating on January 19, 2020, that coronavirus infections were "still preventable and controllable." (10) Then came the fateful day of January 21, 2020. On this day, the very first case of COVID-19 was reported in the United States. A resident of Snohomish County in the state of Washington was diagnosed with the disease after returning home from China just six days prior. (11)

By late January 2020, China could no longer hide the fact that COVID-19 was spreading. Extraordinary measures were taken to contain the virus, including the forced quarantine of the city of Wuhan and surrounding areas. In total, about 56 million people were cut off from the outside world and locked down. (12) It was the largest quarantine in the history of mankind, and this development shocked the world. Since that time, the virus has spread around the world, and numerous other countries have quarantined, or locked down their people while restricting movement and enacting travel bans. Borders between many nations have been closed.

Why did China continuously lie about the dangers of COVID-19? Had the Chinese government been more forthcoming about the threat of this new virus, perhaps other countries could have taken steps to prevent the spread of it sooner. Was it simply a matter of a proud country trying to avoid embarrassment or could it be that the Chinese government was hoping the virus would spread to the United States? As it stands, current trends indicate that COVID-19 will be far more damaging to the United States than it was to China. While China has seemingly contained the virus and is making preparations to reopen the city of Wuhan and other quarantined areas, the United States has been thrown into utter chaos and now has more cases of COVID-19 than China. It is interesting to note that The Independent published a story in October 2017 that declares in its headline, "China reveals plan to become world's biggest superpower within 30 years." (13) In reality, it might not take that long. A story published in January 2020, reports that "57 percent of global investors predict China will replace the U.S. as the world's biggest superpower by 2030." (14) Meanwhile, the American economy is crashing, unemployment is rising, and this nation has been severely weakened.

An Italian Tragedy

At this present time, the number of COVID-19 infections around the world is over 600,000. (Editor's Note: This number has now surpassed 900,000.) Some nations have been especially hit hard, and this includes much of the European continent. The worst of all is Italy where 9,134 people have died as of this writing. (15) In a report published earlier today on March 27, 2020, the BBC reports that 919 Italian citizens died in just the last twenty-four hours. It is the worst daily death toll yet. So far, there have been 86,500 cases of COVID-19 in Italy. (16) While the outbreak started in the country's northern region known as Lombardy, it is rapidly moving south and prompted Vincenzo De Luca, the president of the Campania region, to say, "At this point, there is the real prospect that Lombardy's tragedy is about to become the south's tragedy." (17)

Sadly, the high number of fatalities in Europe may not even be an accurate count. A news report from March 20, 2020, indicates that so many people have died in Italy that they stopped counting the dead for a time. "We're working in a state of very high stress and tension. Unfortunately, we can't contain the situation in Lombardy, there's a high level of contagion, and we're not even counting the dead anymore," lamented nurse Daniela Confalonieri. (18) The majority of fatalities have been elderly people with 86 percent of the deaths affecting people age 70 or older, and a further 10 percent affecting those between the ages of 60 and 69. (19)

The Italian people are on lockdown, and desperation has set in while the restrictions have grown increasingly strict. Nearly all businesses are closed, and the military has been deployed in an effort to keep order and contain the spread of disease. (20) In other words, the people are under martial law. On the 26th of March, the restrictions were increased yet again, and nearly all of the factories were closed. (21) How bad is it really? On March 17, 2020, a letter from an Italian woman named Ida Garibaldi was published by the Washington Post. In this letter, she wrote, "The restrictions came upon us slowly but steadily. Within two weeks, our old lives were gone. First, the schools closed, then came the social distancing. Then the government locked down the hardest-hit areas: no more going in and out of certain provinces; limited movements within the 'red zones.' Then the whole country shut down. Most stores closed their doors. People who could were asked to telework, those who could not, and did not have a job related to the continuation of essential services were placed on part-time schedules or on unpaid leave. When we went out we had to carry a pass explaining our reasons for being outside to show to the law enforcement officers patrolling the streets." She also wrote in her letter, "… Without time to adjust to a progressive loss of freedom, we wouldn't have accepted it." As the letter reaches its conclusion, Garibaldi directly addresses the American people and warns, "Writing this from Italy, I am also writing to you from your own future. From our state of emergency, we have been watching the crisis unfolding in the United States with a terrible sense of foreboding." (22) By now, we the people of the United States are starting to understand. Many of the restrictions imposed on the Italian people have now been imposed on us, and there is a very real possibility that these measures could become more stringent in the days ahead.

Freedom Suspended

The famous national anthem of the United States known as the "Star Spangled Banner" speaks of a "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Yet, what is happening now in this country shows us quite plainly that the United States is not a free country anymore. It has been amazing to watch the transition.

On March 11, 2020, American President Donald Trump addressed the nation via television in an effort to reassure the public regarding the worsening coronavirus crisis. As noted in the speech, this was the same day that the World Health Organization officially declared a global coronavirus pandemic. (23) President Trump then announced that there would be new travel restrictions put in place with people from most places in Europe being barred from entering the United States. (24) In further efforts to reassure an anxious public, Trump informed his audience, "The vast majority of Americans: The risk is very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus. The highest risk is for the elderly population with underlying health conditions. The elderly population must be very, very careful." (25) Although Trump was likely hoping to calm the masses, it quickly became evident that hysteria was setting in.

The next day, March 12, 2020, I started to get a sense that a storm was coming, so I began quickly working to gather supplies for my home. Amazingly enough, my wife and I were able to find one last bottle of hand sanitizer hidden in the back of the shelf at the store. We were able to procure other supplies as well, and right after doing so, the stores began to empty. I watched in astonishment as people hoarded toilet paper, canned goods, non-perishable food, and household cleaners. The store shelves were emptied, and as quickly as they were restocked, they were then emptied again by frantic shoppers. I was told that a nearby Costco Warehouse store had received two truckloads of toilet paper on the morning of March 13, 2020. It was sold out within an hour. The thought occurred to me that if the trucks ever stop delivering, the shelves at our supermarkets would be completely barren in just one day.

Soon after, mayors and governors around the United States began enacting draconian measures. Public schools were closed, public and private gathering sizes were limited, businesses deemed to be non-essential were shut down, and restaurants were told to close their dining areas. Then, on March 16, 2020, it was announced that the counties of San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa, and Alameda in the state of California had issued a series of "shelter in place" orders. These orders demanded that all citizens in these counties stay home unless they were performing an essential and authorized activity. Dr. Sara Cody, the health officer for Santa Clara County, explained why they did what they did. "We were seeing a tipping point here in Santa Clara County with exponential growth of our cases. Over the weekend, I had a discussion with fellow health officers in the Bay Area and we realized that we are one region, and that what's happening in Santa Clara County today will soon be happening in the adjacent jurisdictions. We decided collectively we need to take swift action as soon as possible to prevent further spread. These orders were crafted with great thought and with great care. They were also crafted very, very quickly." (26) The entire state of California would soon follow suit with Governor Gavin Newsom ordering all Californians to stay home as of March 19, 2020. (27) Shortly thereafter, orders in other states began to fall like dominoes, and as of March 28, 2020, "stay at home," "shelter in place," and "safer at home" orders have been enacted in 26 states, 66 counties, 14 cities, and one territory. These orders restrict the movement of 229 million Americans. (28)

In my home state of Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers issued a "safer at home" order that compels all non-essential movement of Wisconsinites to stay home as much as possible, allowing us to only conduct activities such as shopping for groceries and supplies, or going for walks to get fresh air and exercise. The order took effect on March 25, 2020, and will be in force until April 24, 2020, (29) but thankfully, the post office remains open and God willing, we will be able to mail this newsletter. Interestingly enough, Governor Evers chose to call it a "safer at home" order because he did not want Wisconsinites to think they are under martial law. (30)

While governors have sought to assure their citizens that these stay at home orders are not martial law, we see that these rules are becoming increasingly rigid. Since many businesses have closed and places that cater to entertainment activities are no longer open, people have been gathering in crowded public places. However, officials in San Francisco, California, have announced they are cracking down on such behavior. "We saw a number of areas in our city that were jam-packed and people playing volleyball and basketball," complained San Francisco Mayor London Breed. "What we want people to do is stay at home and when they need air, walk outside and go to a park near your neighborhood. Please don't get in your car and drive." San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott warned that those who refuse to obey the rules will be punished. "For those who have been warned repeatedly, there will come a time when we will have to enforce. That's just a fact of life," the chief warned. (31) Enforcement would likely result in monetary fines or jail time for offenders.

Without question, the American people are now being constrained on a level never before seen in modern history. As bad as it is right now, it could certainly get worse. Consider what is now happening in the state of Rhode Island. On March 27, 2020, it was reported by Bloomberg News that police officers are going door-to-door searching for New Yorkers who are trying to escape the chaos of their home state. These Rhode Island police officers are being assisted by the National Guard. When New Yorkers are found, they are ordered by the police or military to go into a mandatory fourteen day quarantine. National Guard troops have also been stationed at bus stops, Amtrak train stations, and T.F. Green airport to intercept any New Yorkers trying to enter the state. "Right now, we have a pinpointed risk," said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo. "That risk is called New York City." She further went on to say, "Yesterday I announced and today I reiterated: Anyone coming to Rhode Island in any way from New York must be quarantined. By order. Will be enforced. Enforceable by law." (32) Make no mistake, when troops are going door-to-door, patrolling the streets, and monitoring entry points into the state, this is martial law! If it can happen in the state of Rhode Island, it can happen in other states as well. More than 11,400 National Guard troops have been mobilized in the United States as of March 18, 2020. (33)

The Lasting Impact Of The Coronavirus Crisis

Amazing things are happening in our world because of this virus. Even if the virus is beaten, the long term ramifications of this crisis cannot be understated. The economies of many countries are in deep trouble, including the United States', which could soon find itself in the throes of an economic recession or depression. A headline from CNBC published on March 20, 2020, declares, "The upcoming job losses will be unlike anything the US has ever seen." (34) A story published on March 24, 2020, by the Miami Herald insists that the United States Postal Service is now on the brink of complete bankruptcy and will not survive the summer of 2020 without intervention and emergency funding from the government. (35) Furthermore, as thousands of small businesses shut down to comply with government orders during the coronavirus crisis, there is a very real possibility that many of them will never reopen. I suspect that COVID-19 will hasten the demise of countless brick and mortar stores, many of which had been suffering even before this crisis began. The widespread closure of retail stores in the United States has come to be known as "the retail apocalypse."

The coronavirus crisis could also usher in an American cashless society. According to Bloomberg News, a growing number of restaurants and businesses are asking customers not to use cash because they fear that paper bills could be contaminated by coronavirus. (36) The article suggests that concerns over the virus could serve as a "trigger event", moving more people away from physical currency. "Digital payments are already viewed as good for society by government because they help with financial inclusion; they drive tax revenue, and eliminate corruption. This is another reason: Oh, and it's hygienic too," said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at the research firm known as MoffetNathanson. (37) Here let it be noted that a stimulus bill put forth by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats proposed the establishment of a new monetary system in the United States known as the "digital dollar." The system would have been administered by the Federal Reserve and would have given every American a digital wallet. This new form of money was suggested as a way to make sure everyone gets their stimulus money, including those who do not have bank accounts. (38) Although this provision did not make it into the stimulus bill signed by Donald Trump in March 2020, it seems likely that similar proposals will surface again in the future. If this new system is ever put in place, I strongly suspect that it will eventually be made mandatory and will replace physical currency.

In closing, I am sure most people are wondering where we will go from here and what will happen next. It is my hope that we will overcome this crisis and be able to return to some semblance of normalcy. Until then, despite the fact that we the people have many limitations now foisted upon us, please remember that God is never far from his people. Even as we are ordered to observe "social distancing", we can take comfort in the fact that we do not have to distance ourselves from God. James 4:8 instructs us, "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." We can turn to our God in prayer, and we should be praying now more than ever before. Jesus tells us in Luke 21:36, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Through prayer we can maintain a constant unwavering connection to our Father in Heaven. The Scriptures also assure that God is our refuge and we can turn to Him in these times of great sorrow and trouble. Psalm 46:1 promises, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." In like manner, Psalm 57:1 tells us, "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."

Thank you all for your gracious support of this ministry. We will continue to serve you as long as we are able, and we are fully trusting in God to get us through the days ahead. If you have any prayer requests do not hesitate to send them our way. We always give each request individual attention. We know God hears our prayers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Samuel David Meyer

This newsletter is made possible by the kind donations of our supporters. If you would like to help us, you may send your contribution to our postal address or donate online at


01. World Health Organization,
02. World Health Organization,
03. National Health Service (United Kingdom),
04. Ibid.
05. National Review, March 23, 2020, By Jim Geraghty,
06. Ibid.
07. Ibid.
08. Ibid.
09. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Ibid.
12. The New York Times, January 27, 2020, By Howard Markel,
13. The Independent, October 21, 2017, By Shelab Khan,
14. Yahoo News, January 24, 2020, By Scott Saloway,
15. BBC News, March 27, 2020, By BBC News,
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. CNN, March 20, 2020, By Valentina Di Donato, Nicola Ruotolo, and Laura Smith-Spark,
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. The New York Times, March 26, 2020, By The Associated Press,
22. The Washington Post, March 17, 2020, By Ida Garibaldi,
23. The New York Times, March 11, 2020, By The New York Times,
24. Ibid.
25. Ibid.
26. San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 2020, By Erin Allday,
27. The New York Times, March 28, 2020, By Sarah Mervosh, Denise Lu, and Vanessa Swales,
28. Ibid.
29. WTMJ 4 News, March 23, 2020, By Julia Marshall,
30. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 23, 2020, By Patrick Marley and Molly Beck.
31. KRON 4 News, March 28, 2020, By Dan Kerman,
32. Bloomberg News, March 27, 2020, By Prashant Gopal and Brian K. Sullivan,
33. Military Times, March 18, 2020, By Dylan Gresik and Howard Altman,
34. CNBC, March 20, 2020, By Jeff Cox,
35. Miami Herald, March 24, 2020, By Maddie Capron,
36. Bloomberg News, March 11, 2020, By Jennifer Surane, Olivia Rockeman, and Robert Schmidt,
37. Ibid.
38. Forbes, March 23, 2020, By Jason Brett,

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