A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population: a pandemic outbreak of a disease (Merriam-Webster)
The coronavirus pandemic is a disruptive force in the world today. I think we can all agree on that point. From the first news of this virus, the world’s media has been drawn to it. Readers and viewers have also been caught in the web of this news. As of today, we still don’t understand very much of the caronavirus.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to head off the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Many public and private companies and institutions have canceled major events, including large gatherings, closing schools and arranging for employees to work from home in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
There are more than 2,000 confirmed or presumptive cases of the coronavirus, and the death toll stands at 41. These numbers pale in comparison with the common flu, however, almost everyone, at sometime in their lives have been affected by the flu in their families and friends. The coronavirus is new and quite deadly in comparison to the common flu.
This is what is stressing people about the coronavirus: the unknown. If you are not aware of what I am talking about, just visit your local grocer where shelves are empty of bread, peanut butter and toilet paper.
There are many things that we do not know about the virus. However, this is not the time to throw caution to the wind when it comes to the safety of the people.
President Trump and the CDC are asking for voluntary closing of gatherings of people in order to “Flatten the Curve” of the disease, which will slow down the spread of the virus.
Perhaps the greatest fear has been that the virus would spread to the Temple/Belton area. Today’s news informs us that there is an active case of the Caronavirus in Bell County.
I want to say that I understand the impact that this virus is having on our everyday life. Just looking at Facebook feeds i feel the stress of the families that will have to find ways to take care of their children that are out of school for the next few weeks. Local businesses will feel the immediate impact of the school closings.
What can we as a congregation do during this trying time?
Pray for our nation, researchers, doctors, nurses and those that have been infected.
Reach out to your friends, families, and neighbors and minister to them with peace in this hour.
Continue to support your local church with your tithes and offerings.
Whenever the church has faced a new crisis, it does not catch the Lord unawares. He knows and has a way through the crisis, often with surprising outcomes. Just look how persecution of the early church, spread the Gospel out of Jerusalem and Judea to the whole world.
The Lord is not in a panic and neither should we. Perhaps, Christians can use this pandemic to show the world what true Christianity looks like. While we may not be having services this week, look outward to your friends, neighbors and family who may be feeling the stress.
This is a chance to minister encouragement in the spring of 2020.