The Coronavirus pandemic has created complete havoc around the world. The virus seems to be spreading quickly, but our response to it may be even worse. How? Do the statistics, the models, the projections, and worse, the anecdotal incidents warrant a possible loss of our rights as protected by the Constitution?
Many nations, caught off guard either reacted too slowly, or they reacted poorly because they weren’t prepared. Another factor here may be an element of hysteria generated by the avalanche of news reporting, as well as social media influence.
But what we want to be cautious about is how swiftly our government agencies and leaders are to issue orders, and how they apply their authority over the actions of those who want to worship. It’s a tougher call than we might realize.
For Attorney General William Barr, it seemed to require a word of caution to tamp down the near instinctive response to “single out religious organizations to enforce social distancing rules in place to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.” as reported by The Christian Post. Elsewhere, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R) tweeted to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (after he directed state police to record the license plates of anyone attending a church service on Easter morning services) saying, “Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.” Paul is staunch libertarian. Ironically, Beshear and his wife Britainy are both members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serve as deacons, according to Wikipedia
President Trump took charge in characteristic fashion, responding decisively with bans on travel to and from China where the virus first emerged, to holding daily press briefings that included top medical science officers and doctors. This feature of his response has, in turn, provided fresh venom from his detractors in the media, Democratic party politicians, and of course, the indefatigable “Never Trumpers.”
The virus can be deadly, but an economic collapse of historic proportions may prove to be even deadlier.
The desire to rely strictly on the natural world; laws of physics, science, and medical progress, is now on full display. A viral organism, only seen under an electron microscope is bringing civilization to its knees. The desire to rely on scientists who use models to predict the future can be risky. But for Christians, it is a time to rely on God for His provision and comfort.
For believers, the future doesn’t rely on models. Hysteria is not usually on display. We operate on faith, and we trust in God. We know that life is a gift from God. We want to worship without restriction. An incredibly tiny germ has pitted church and state against each other. Barr is right to fire a warning shot to those who might be too quick to react. Let’s hope this situation stays under control. This virus, with all the death and grief it has brought, has also started a war.
Be safe. Be blessed.
We live in a wonderful valley composed of generally kind, generous, loyal, independent and noble people. I have found folks here to be resourceful and possessing a reverence for church, nature and our prolific history. The pandemic has touched every home, church, business, government and every expectation of normalcy for the foreseeable future. The virus has inflicted disorder with our lives, forcing significant change, not the least of which is isolation. Most of us are social by nature. We like going out to the movies, weeknight dinner at restaurants and walking Old Town Winchester. Many are now realizing how much they actually enjoy going to school and work.
This coronavirus cannot defeat our valley spirit. We will use this time to enjoy our immediate families, connect with friends remotely and finally finish off those home projects that we never had time to complete. We will ask ourselves every day: what have I done today for someone else? We will continue to serve our legacy food pantries and assist our seniors by supporting Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.
Valley Virginians are incredibly resilient in the face of a crisis. We can beat COVID-19 and we can recover from the blow the virus has dealt to our economy. Government can help with thoughtful, carefully considered policies. Economic opportunity must be part of the coronavirus recovery. We are a praying community and I believe our elected representatives will reflect wisdom in their legislation, judgments and activities.