When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
- Mark 13:7
“The latest updates [on Covid-19] are fascinating …
“The bad news:
- Italy – 12,000 cases – over 900 deaths. The whole country in lockdown.
- Denmark – 1500 cases – country in lockdown.
- Economic panic on the stockmarkets – with the biggest crashes for decades – and governments pledging billions to deal with the downturn caused by this panic.
- The WHO has declared that Covid19 is now a pandemic.
- President Trump bans travel to and from Europe.
“The good news:
- China says it is now basically under control especially in Wuhan – where the number of new cases yesterday was 17 and all 16 temporary hospitals have now been closed and public services started up again.
- South Korea has seen five days where the number of new cases has dropped dramatically. With around 10,000 cases and only 30 deaths (contrast with Italy). Taiwan also seems to have controlled it.
- Russia, Mongolia, Singapore are likewise reporting a low number of cases.
- In Australia, where the first case was detected two months ago we now have 122 cases (3 deaths).
- The death rate is now predicted to be less than 1% (more or less the same as for seasonal flu) not the 3% being shouted from the rooftops. Bear in mind that 120 Americans die every day of car deaths, 128 of opioid abuse….throughout the world 1.6 million die every year from TB. We badly need a sense of perspective.
“So why the difference between the countries?
“Why does Merkel say that 70% of Germans will get it but only one in 20,000 Chinese have? I suspect it is effective government action, sensible precautions, and the early detection of cases. Also border controls seem to have made a difference. For example here in Australia; general travellers from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy are not permitted. This is at a tremendous cost to the tourism and education industries in the short term but seems to have been effective.”
- David Robertson, the Wee Flea, article entitled Coronavirus
Of course, I could have titled this post “Coronavirus” and it would have gotten more views, but I did not wish to panic anyone. People are in a panic. People enjoy being in a panic and the media enjoys creating panic. There is a difference in “There is a new virus out there. There is no vaccine. We’re all gonna die!!!!” versus “Our scientists are working on the cure and a vaccine for a new virus. The government is streamlining the medicinal regulations to get these precautions to the public as quickly as possible. All will be well.” Roughly the same thing, but in each case the last sentence of each is opinion, not fact. Deaths are less than what has been projected, roughly like the flu each year. So, we will not all die. But if you have lost a loved one, you are not going to think ‘all is well’ either.
Oh, let’s add. Tom Hanks has tested positive to Covid-19. Does that make the disease more relevant? Should anyone care about Tom Hanks, but not notice when Suzie’s grandma tests positive? And how did Tom Hanks qualify for one of the limited test kits? Was he exposed to someone who tested positive or did he use celebrity status? Really, with celebrities, how can you know who you have been exposed to?
But I used the Scripture about ‘rumors of wars’ to point out that in the end times, there will be diseases, just read the end times Scriptures, but we should not panic with each new disease, just as Jesus suggested that we should not panic over each new ‘rumor of war’. Besides, if this is the end times, our suffering will soon be over. So, why panic?
I quoted David Robertson’s statistics, basically to apply some reason and maybe some sanity to this, but also to introduce TB.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that we thought we had eradicated. It was a dead disease. It did not exist. Folks were required when I was growing up to take the TB Tine test. The TB Tine test is rarely administered anymore, with other more accurate tests available. The last time that my wife took the TB tine test, she nearly died. It might stem from the fact that her next younger brother, among nine children, was thought to have TB. I cannot remember the facts, but he either was sent to a sanitorium or he was on his way to the sanitorium when they discovered that he did not have the dread disease. Yet, my wife tested negative with her last test, but there was such a reaction to the test that it became a medical emergency. She gets a chest x-ray whenever someone requests proof of no TB.
My wife also has COPD due to chronically getting bronchitis or pneumonia each year. She is approaching one of those milestone birthdays later this year. One of the staff members at the local Tennessee school district, where our son works while my wife babysits their youngest child, tested positive for coronavirus, so the schools will start their Spring break next week on schedule, but the break has been extended at least one additional week to lessen the spread of the virus.
Hmmm. Coronavirus, specifically Covid-19, is most deadly among the elderly and those who have respiratory problems. And although most of the scare is generated by the media, a disease that claims a loved one is significant for that family. The common cold could do that. Add to that, my wife is one of these iron-willed people who must get very sick before they see the doctor. I do not wish to create a panic, but I am concerned and praying.
So, let’s see. They say to wash your hands. Wash all commonly touched surface. Does the church wash and disinfect doorknobs? Does anyone know? Should I panic?!?!?! Wash all kitchen surfaces. All good ideas. Except for the idea about panic.
They say to sing Happy Birthday like Marilyn Monroe sang it to JFK, slowly, while you wash your hands. But then they have modified that 20 second wash to be Old McDonald including at least one animal.
But let’s sing a prayer instead. One verse of Amazing Grace takes about 25 seconds to sing, when sung at the speed you usually sing it in church. Let’s get creative, but at the same time, let’s glorify and praise the Great Healer. Let’s put faith into action, the only sure way of quelling fear and panic.
This is no time to panic, but let’s be sensitive to others. One lost loved one changes a family’s perspective of any disease.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.