Has anyone checked on the Amish lately? Me neither. We just experienced a life-altering pandemic, yet the Amish kept on moving like they always do.
If it feels like Covid just skipped over the Amish community, that’s because they didn’t respond to it the same way the rest of the world did. Most of America shut down for a long period of time. And as a result, our economy suffered, and we’re still trying to recover. But the Amish don’t go by our government’s rules. They’re set apart from the outside world. Maybe they had the right idea after all?
The Amish Are Rooted in Faith
The lifestyle of the Amish is based on their religious beliefs. The rules they follow are a reflection of their faith. They don’t indulge in things like electricity, driving, or fancy clothes because their goal isn’t comfortable living or luxury, it’s to follow Scripture and to go to heaven when they die.
They’re hard workers, and they don’t rely on the government or the outside world for their necessities. The Amish Village states that “The most obvious trait of the Amish community is that they choose to lead a simple life. But the reason they do this is because they believe simplicity is a symbol of humility. They take seriously the Biblical commands to separate themselves from worldly things.” Covid was no exception for them to change how they live.
Their Communities Aren’t Scared of Covid-19
In an interview with the York Daily Record about the Amish's view on the pandemic, a Lancaster County, PA Amish woman said her community is well aware of the pandemic "But we’re probably not as scared."
"We aren’t watching the news all day like everyone else, so I would say we aren’t as spooked by the coronavirus," she continued. "Sure, I’ve been telling my children to wash their hands more with soap, but we’re not constantly being reminded of it. And I think we’re less likely to come into contact with it in our communities."
There's no evidence of any more deaths among the Amish than in places that shut down tight.
This is actually a valid point she makes, that they don’t watch the news all day. If someone is constantly hounding you to stay home and be afraid of this virus, then you might start to believe it. Just look at the many people who are still getting booster shots or wear a mask when they’re driving alone. You don’t get to that point without some sort of fear-mongering. The Amish didn’t experience the news telling them what the “experts” said. They treated Covid as they treated other illnesses.
Sickness among the Amish
Typically, once we suspect symptoms of Covid we rush to get a test, and if we test positive, we quarantine. But for the Amish, there is no routine for certain illnesses. If you feel well enough to work, you go to work. If you start feeling sick, you don’t go to a doctor right away, you just treat it the best you can with home remedies and you ride it out until you feel better.
Real Clear Politics reports, "There's no evidence of any more deaths among the Amish than in places that shut down tight – some claim there were fewer here. That’s without masking, staying at home, or vaccines.” And in an interview with an Amish man, he said, “Oh, we're glad all the English people got their Covid vaccines. That's great, because now we don't have to wear a mask, we can do what we want. So good for you. Thank you. We appreciate it. Us? No, we're not getting vaccines. Of course not. We all got the Covid, so why would you get a vaccine?”
The Amish were not quick to get the vaccine. They don’t go to the doctor often, and they don’t see much value in the vaccine since they’ve reached herd immunity by getting the virus in its real form. They aren’t denying that the virus is real, they’re just facing it head-on and treating it as it comes. As of June 2021, only about 14% of Lancaster County’s population were fully vaccinated. Their religious beliefs don’t prevent them from getting vaccines, they’re just less likely to get them because of their lifestyle.
Herd Immunity in the Amish Community
Herd immunity is achieved once a large portion of the population has become immune to the disease. This happens by people getting the disease and recovering from it. Once herd immunity happens, you’re less likely to spread it from person to person.
The Amish continued life as normal, so while Covid spread through them faster, they also reached herd immunity.
The “English,” as the Amish refer to us non-Amish, immediately started wearing masks, using an ungodly amount of hand sanitizer, and tried not to leave our homes. So it took much longer for us to reach herd immunity. On the other hand, the Amish continued life as normal, so Covid spread in their community much faster. As a result, they reached herd immunity, which most likely helped them in the long run.
I’m not suggesting we all throw on a dress and bonnet and join the Amish community, but I do think their handling of the pandemic made sense. Our economy has suffered as a result of the lockdowns, and some businesses never recovered from it. It has divided our country in half. It seems as if we aren’t allowed to be friends if we disagree over the vaccine, masking, or Dr. Fauci. The Amish are a great example that you can live according to your personal beliefs and still respect others who live differently. They do this every day.
It’s so intriguing that they continued life as normal when the pandemic happened, and they’re still thriving today. This is something to think about for the future if we ever face another pandemic. I know for myself, I refuse to live the rest of my life isolated.
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