The Coronavirus and Love on the Move
Have you been able to figure out this coronavirus contagion? I am no epidemiologist; but, if you listen to the news, you get the impression this viral epidemic is in rapid spread mode. It is at least in the coronavirus epicenter in China—where new ten-day hospitals are springing up—that’s right a 1000-bed hospital in ten days (www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-races-build-hospitals-coronavirus-outbreak-grows-200205033913557.html).
Hong Kong has partially closed its borders to travelers from the mainland, and medical workers are striking until the border is completely sealed, while all travelers to Hong Kong from the mainland now face a 14-day mandatory quarantine (www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51389490). The BBC further reports 24,300 confirmed cases and 490 deaths on the mainland in China.
The global infection has now spread to 26 countries, leading the World Health Organization to declare the coronavirus a global health emergency, infecting more than 20,000 people outside of China (www.cnn.com/2020/02/04/health/who-coronavirus-not-pandemic/index.html).
I'm no epidemiologist, but like you, I am an observer of life on this planet. Every fresh crisis triggers fears. The markets tumble. Oil prices now are predicted to drop $5 a barrel. Hyundai is suspending production in South Korea because of supply chain problems in China. Airlines are canceling their flights to Hong Kong and China. All in reaction to the coronavirus.
How shall we respond? Buying face masks is one way people are reacting. But medical specialists doubt the efficacy of masks, especially for those trying to keep viruses out. The protocol recommended is frequent hand-washing and refraining from touching your face with unwashed hands (www.cnbc.com/2020/02/04/coronavirus-who-on-the-lessons-learned-from-the-sars-epidemic.html).
But beyond that, we who follow Jesus can respond in two ways. First, we can pray for the victims of the coronavirus and for the medical staff who attend the ill. Our Love on the Move prayers can intercede for sufferers and care-givers near and far, country by country, bringing a fresh focus to the biblical admonition that “petitions, prayers, intercessions . . . be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1).
Second, we can remember the somber prediction of Jesus, “‘There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places. . . . People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world” (Luke 21:11, 26). It is fear and apprehension “of what is coming on the world” that triggers so much of human reaction to global crises. Nobody said the times before the return of our Lord would be a cakewalk. But in contrast to a jittery public, let us move among our neighbors and through our communities as Love on the Move would do. It isn’t the coronavirus sufferers we are meeting, but people all around us suffer for a host of other reasons. For each “neighbor” we meet, for each person in need along our pathway, let’s stop beside them and let the genuine compassion and care of Jesus for them reflect from our actions to them.
We can't cure the whole world, but we can become healing Love on the Move right now—like the Good Samaritan—just like Jesus.