My Thoughts on Coronavirus

Now, as we are fully in the midst of this national panic, I sit here contemplating how our national response to this pandemic will have lasting effects on our country, and even the world.  Here is the current state of the situation for the world as of this morning:

Then for the U.S.:

First off, let me say, that as a born again, Bible believing, committed follower of Jesus Christ, I have no worries for myself should I be infected by the new SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 that it causes.  I, like Paul, am of the conviction that “for me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  So, I am not afraid of the virus and I am not worried about myself.  If you’re interesting in exploring what the Bible says about pandemic diseases, check out this article.

That being said, I certainly do wonder whether the “medicine” our country is taking is worse than the disease.  We are essentially shutting down our economy for the foreseeable future – the most vibrant economy in the world.  We’re doing this in the hopes that we can “flatten the curve”:

We are concerned, understandably, about those among us who are elderly, who have pre-existing medical issues or compromised immune systems.  We are told that those of us who are healthy adults need to do our part to not be carriers and transmitters of the virus.  We are told, it is not about us, this is about putting others first.

Well, I have a few questions:

    1. If we truly are concerned about the elderly or sick – the small percentage of the population for whom this virus is a serious life threat – why are we not focusing on isolating them from coming in contact with the virus? Here are the stats for age ranges:

      So, isolating the disproportionally affected age ranges certainly seems to be a better strategy than trying to isolate over 90% of the population of our country to prevent them from being carriers/transmitters, thus destroying the economy while doing so.
    2. Our country went through the H1N1 pandemic 11 years ago. I don’t remember anywhere near this level of panic – I don’t remember shutting everything down all sporting events, other large events, closing schools or even the stock market tanking. There was none of this general panic we’re seeing now.  Why are we panicking about COVID-19?  Here are the statistics in the U.S. from that crisis:
        1. 60.8 million people infected
        2. 12,469 deaths
        3. Emerged April 2009 – the Obama administration declared a National Emergency 6 months later and after 1,000 people had died from it! (October 2009)
    3. There are many health threats, which, though very serious, we don’t shut down our economy over. So why are we choosing to shut down our economy over this threat?  Here are some stats about some of these health threats:
      1. Influenza (the “flu”). Here are the U.S. stats for the flu from the 2017-2018 flu season from the CDC.  Note – over 61,000 people died that year:
      2. Traffic deaths – there were 38,800 traffic fatalities in the United States in 2019, the National Safety Council estimates. That represents an average of over one hundred traffic deaths every day. We’re nowhere near these kind of numbers with COVID-19…
      3. Deaths by Disease: – notice where COVID-19 sits on this list (data is from March 9th):

All of this to say that our response to other existing health threats pales in comparison to the draconian measures we are taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  I think we will look back on this, after 1 – 2 quarters of recession (and possibly more), and realize that we over-reacted.  These measures will have a negative effect on many in the lower economic strata.  It will also affect those who are in retirement or nearing retirement as they watch their retirement savings from this record breaking, booming economy dwindle away.

The thing is, we’ll never know whether we over-reacted – only God will know what would’ve happened if we’d treated this like other pandemics of the past.  I certainly hope and pray that we are taking the correct actions.  I pray that God would guide our leaders, that the herd mentality and hoarding would stop and that scared people would seek the Lord with their fears.  The LORD’s words to Solomon are instructive for us here and now:

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.


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