Eric is the preaching minister of the Hamburg Pike Church of Christ in Jeffersonville, Indiana.]
Many human coronaviruses exist, but COVID-19 is a new disease. The virus has spikes that make it appear to have a crown (Latin “corona”). COVID-19 is spread person-to-person or by contact with contaminated surfaces. The symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. You can protect yourself and others with common-sense measures. Stay home when sick. Avoid close contact with other sick people. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Disinfect surfaces. While washing your hands with soap and warm water, sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Wash your fingertips in your soapy palms.
The risk of getting COVID-19 is low. Realclearscience.com gives five reasons not to worry: 1) The number of cases in China is now falling; 2) The vast majority of cases are mild; the death rate is likely lower than reported; 3) Only one in every 1,000 people in Hubei Province of China, the epicenter, has contracted the disease; 4) No deaths among young children have been reported. 5) The world survived another pandemic just ten years ago, the Swine Flu.
The Bible gives us even better reasons for Christians not to worry. Understand that fear is Satan’s tool to devour faith in God with doubt. “Be sober-minded; be watchful” (1 Pet. 5:8). Satan uses mass media and politicians to foment fear and lies. Combat them with truth and trust (Eph. 6:14, 16). Remember, Christ is our life (Col. 3:1-3), and death has no power over us (1 Cor. 15:55-58; John 11:25-26).