The beginning of 2020 has been a wild ride and seems only to be getting started with Coronavirus on the loose. Schools, Churches, and businesses are shutting down, we’ve witnessed the great toilet paper recession and people thinking the Coronavirus is somehow linked to the beer, and in the midst of all this chaos, I’ve had some thoughts.
It’s likely you’ve seen the footage of Trump’s press-conference (if not, the link is above) on the Coronavirus, where he is heckled by reporters for calling it the ‘Chinese Virus’. The way Trump says ‘China’ will always be funny, but labelling him as a ‘racist’ for stating the origin of the virus, makes me laugh just as much. As if the media weren’t already having a great time with content overload on their sites and producing more traffic than the M1 on a Friday afternoon, they still seem to find it necessary to create fake news out of the President’s slight of speech.
This doesn’t just apply to the media; I’ve had conversations where people mention they try to avoid saying the virus comes from China at the risk of sounding Xenophobic. Does this feel like a good time in history to be overly sensitive about words and feelings? Saying it comes from China or not, does not change the fact that it originated in China, nor does it change the causes it originated from.
If we pretend these don't exist, we are already at risk of another future outbreak. As Edmund Burke said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”. I could think of nothing worse than being the generation that let their guard down at the cost of cultural sensitivity and didn’t prepare for the future.
Panic is the product of ignorance
We’ve all heard that one of the biggest human fears is the fear of the unknown, which honestly is sometimes terrifying, but when it comes down to it, it actually seems more like a fear of not being in control. For example, this COVID19 pandemic; the only thing that is unknown about this virus is when there will be a treatment. What is in our control, however, is whether we exit our homes to socialise and risk infection—which seems to be a gamble most are willing to take.
Being fearful of the Coronavirus is somewhat healthy if it makes you want to stay clear of it. But being scared of the unknown of coronavirus, only adds to collective panic. We have the benefit of knowing how to avoid catching the virus and there are government regulations to assist the public and prevent hysteria. But what good is that knowledge if no one listens?
Billy Graham once said: “Nothing takes God by surprise”; he has no fear of the unknown because everything is known to him. 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 7 says: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Not being in control can be frightening, but to know that God is in control instead, brings comfort and peace.
The virus can’t be cured by signalling to others how virtuous we are by how we choose to label it, or by freaking out and buying up all the toilet paper either. The only sure thing at this point is God’s Word, so why cling to anything else.
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html