Last Sunday, my pastor (Darron Whitehead) brilliantly captured the dynamic that characterizes the Coronavirus by mentioning how you have two kinds of data: Information and Speculation.
I would add that you’ve got a third element and that would be “Manipulation.” And I say that only because there are characters out there who live by Saul Alinski’s rule that says you never let a good crisis go to waste. By fanning the flame of panic and unreasonable logic, you open the door for changes that are neither wise nor healthy.
It’s hard to separate the hype from the substance when it comes to Coronavirus, though. And with that challenge comes the dilemma of knowing just how to pray for this thing. But thanks to some medial professionals that I have access to, I’ve got some bottom lines that I believe serve as some sound scaffolding for a productive conversation with the Almighty (Rom 8:26, 1 Tim 2:1-3, Jas 1:5; 5:14).
First of all, the Coronavirus is called that because it’s a part of the Coronavirus family:
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold, in people. However, three times in the 21st century coronavirus outbreaks have emerged from animal reservoirs to cause severe disease and global transmission concerns. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
The above definition explains why you’ve got the word “Coronavirus” on Lysol cans. What we’re contending with today is a part of that “group,” in that it’s a relative of the Flu and the Common Cold. It’s also similar to the Swine Flu and the Bird Flu in that it’s a strand that originated from an animal reservoir to form a unique virus that can be very problematic.
I say, “problematic” because, depending on the status of your immune system, despite the seemingly innocuous sound of the word, “Flu,” it’s nevertheless a respiratory disease that can be lethal if your body lacks the sufficient wherewithal to combat it.
For example, the Swine Flu infected over 600 million people, hospitalized 300,00 and claimed the lives of over 12,000 people. For that matter, the normal Flu has caused the death of 12,000 people between October of last year and February 1st, 2020.
So, it is serious.
But why are we shutting down the country over this particular “virus?” We didn’t clear the shelves of toilet paper nor did we cancel school for six weeks over the Swine Flu. Why is this such a source of concern?
The answer lies in the rate at which it spreads and its aggressive nature. Hospitalizing hundreds of thousands of people over the course of a year isn’t going to tax our facilities to the point of being incapable of giving the appropriate care to those that need it. But when you have to provide hundreds of thousands of respirators to people needing acute assistance, now you’ve got a problem in that you don’t have the “supply” to meet the “demand.”
So, what do you do?
As an individual, you exercise some common sense in that you wash your hands and you avoid those situations where airborne pathogens in the form of mucus and saliva are prone to be more abundant.
That’s why we’re staying home and cancelling events that involve large groups of people.
So, how do we pray and what do we do?
Pray for President Trump and his team. – that they would be able to discern the difference between information, speculation and manipulation. There are a lot of voices out there. Some are noble, some are sinister. Ask our King to give them discernment so they’re being “wise” and not just “smart.”
Don’t be content with being “aware,” be “informed.”
- Wash your hands,
- When you have to cough, cough into your elbow. That prevents potentially harmful germs from getting airborne.
- Don’t touch your face. That’s how pathogens enter your body – through your mouth, your eyes and your ears.
- Keep a safe distance from other people. That’s not being obsessive or overly particular. That’s being wise. There are people who have the virus who don’t even know it.
- Stay home if you can. That’s not just for your benefit, that’s for the benefit of the entire population in that you’re helping to contain the spread of the virus. In other words, it’s not just about you as much as it’s being strategic in restricting the extent to which the virus would otherwise be able to spread. (World Health Organization)
And when it comes to your consumption of media, do some “digging” to make sure you’re listening to sources that are truly focused on solving the problem rather than exploiting it. A good litmus test is to look for reporting that elaborates on recovery and not just statistics. Also, be sensitive to the way in which some media outlets incorporate politics into their reporting. Right now, “voting” is secondary to “healing.”
Also remember, even if you were to contract this thing, you’ll most likely recover within 2-6 weeks. It’s those that have the struggling immune system that are most at risk, so don’t feel like your being confronted with a terminal disease should you start exhibiting some symptoms. It’s only one in six that will require any hospitalization.
A vaccine is years away. However, there has been some encouraging signs pertaining to a treatment using Hydroxychloroquine. It’s typically used to treat patients suffering from Malaria. While the verdict is still out, there’s been enough “success stories” to justify some optimism. Again, it’s not a definitive, but it is encouraging and it’s far and away a more substantive resolution than what some want to suggest as far as home remedies.
As believers, we don’t want to be a good witness just in the context of maintaining an even disposition in the face of a crisis. Pray! We know the One Who can fix this, so let’s get some memos on His Desk so we can move forward. I’m fasting every day from 9:00 to 4:00.
While we’re having to adjust, be wise. Take advantage of the time you now have to be with your family, spend a little more focused time with your King and be ready to hit the ground running when this thing passes!
PS: There’s no shortage of reporting on this. As you go about your day, it’s almost impossible not to be confronted with another “headline.” Remember, this didn’t take God by surprise and He’s the One holding the keys to begin with. Just between us girls, I think Trump’s plan to reopen everything by Easter couldn’t be more appropriate in the way it coincides with the way God works in a way that transcends what man can know and what man can do.