Reflections on the Coronavirus: Hitting Close to Home

What do you think about the Coronavirus epidemic?

As a VIPKid teacher, I’ve directly watched the lives of my Chinese students be changed by this virus. Many took VIPKid classes every day to have something to do, even before China began online classes for their regular schooling. Children who used to be eager to take classes with me are now sick of looking at a screen all day—they long to be outside again.

Now that many schools have reopened for those in China and things are turning back into “business as usual”, it is our turn in the USA to consider how to handle a virus that spreads so rapidly.  

After seeing the way China handles things, the answer is really quite simple. We SHOULD have been calm, bought only the things we need to stay at home for about 2 weeks, and practiced good hygiene. Instead, people panicked.

The mass nonsense of people hording toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and other things like baby wipes, has been foolish. Like usual, inconsiderate people with money sweep the shelves leaving nothing left for the rest of us. I was very sad to hear that my mom was seeking gluten free items for my little brother who can’t have gluten, lactose, or eggs. People had wiped the shelves of all the regular items and had begun to take gluten free items even though they didn’t need it.

Regardless of where you stand on “preparedness”, the sheer disregard for community is against what we stand for as a nation. What’s more, it’s against what many of us stand for as Christians.

There are two incorrect things that many Christians are doing:

1: referring to this virus as “a sickness sent from God.”

Uh, no. To put it bluntly, “sick” happens. God isn’t sitting in Heaven zapping people with the Coronavirus. There is no measure to tell what sin caused a thing to happen, because the answer could be none at all! Just like in this passage about the man who was born blind:

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

You see, things happen as a result of free will. God allows these things to come as the response should be to give Him glory. People are healed all the time by modern medicine, good hygiene, and natural immune systems without attending church or being Christian at all—how then do we count anything as sin or glory?

Oftentimes I hear people from all beliefs, whether atheist or Christian, as the question: “why does God allow innocent lives to suffer such illness? Why do children get cancer? Why are there homeless people?” Quite frankly, God already sent the answers.

He made you.

God made people with brilliant minds that form vaccines. He made people with caring hearts who volunteer their time and money to reaching out to the community. If you are feeling convicted about a person or group who is suffering, then help them. If you are reading this and thinking of a million excuses as to why YOU aren’t the answer and why YOU can’t help, then there is the problem. Excuses.

2: people are panicking, which completely contradicts everything about being a Christian.

The Bible says “fear not” (or “don’t be afraid” depending on translation) 365 times. If you grew up in church you’ve probably heard a preacher say, “well that’s one for each day of the year except leap years!.”

This fear absolutely is not from the Lord.

We can prepare and stay safe without being a part of the chaos and without being afraid. There would be plenty for everyone if people would simply stop hording. Remember the peace that passes all understanding from Jesus: He didn’t die on the cross for us to live in fear of an illness, but to promise eternal life and healing.

If you are a Christian and were a part of the mass hysteria then it’s time to take a deep breath, pray, and calm the blessed toilet paper down. Your part is this is to be peace for those around you that do not know the peace of Jesus.  

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