They were running out of hand sanitizer when I went to the grocery store this evening. That’s just one of many little signs that people are beginning to worry. As I write this, the media has now confirmed a second death from the Coronavirus here in the United States. Experts agree that containment of the virus is no longer an option.
People are beginning to panic.
But not everybody. Some aren’t worried. They don’t think it’s a big deal. They think people are overreacting. They think the virus isn’t as dangerous or deadly as some are portraying it.
Most people simply don’t know how to react or what to think. Social media is full of funny memes about the outbreak. News articles about the virus – some trustworthy, others not so reliable – are overtaking my Facebook feed.
So how should we react as Christians living in the United States? I claim no degrees in virology or medicine, but from what I can glean from reliable sources, the Coronavirus will most definitely spread throughout the world.
So far, the mortality rate for the Coronavirus – that is, the percentage of deaths per cases reported – is roughly .2%. The mortality rate of the flu is just under .1% this season here in the United States. In other words, the Coronavirus is more deadly than the flu, but not much. What we often forget, though, is that 30,000 – 50,000 Americans die annually from the flu.
If the experts are correct, tens of thousands of people in this country and hundreds of thousands of people around the world are going to die from the Coronavirus – and we are still months away from a vaccine.
This is serious.
Yet, we shouldn’t panic. The world has learned a lot over the years about the spread of such viruses. Scientists have already made great strides toward a vaccine. Just like with the flu, the overwhelming majority of healthy adults seem to be surviving the virus just fine.
Most importantly, though, we don’t need to panic because God is still in control.
His promises are still true. He will be with us every moment of every day (Matthew 28:20). He will make all things – even catching the Coronavirus – work for our eternal good (Romans 8:28). No matter what happens to us here on earth, we have a home waiting for us in the perfection and happiness of heaven because of Jesus (John 3:16).
So how should we react as Christians living in this country? We should be concerned. We should be wise. We should be cautious. But we need not worry.
If you have a chance this week, read Matthew 6:25-34.
Worry doesn’t help. Panic makes everything worse. Besides, God’s got you.
So be smart in the upcoming weeks and months. Take the necessary precautions. Buy some hand sanitizer. But then trust.
God is still in control.