Having lived through SARS, MERS, Legionnaire’s, and Swine Flu—not to mention Y2K, 9/11, and Katrina—my primary observation about the Coronavirus is this: we will get through it. Every time one of these events has happened in the past, panic is usually followed by anger and then resignation to the problem. Then, step-by-step, solutions are found and the country recovers.
The biggest change in our culture which impacts how we are responding to this latest crisis is the pervasiveness of media and social media information. Not all of it is accurate, communicated with any context, nor comprehensive or balanced in its presentation. But, as we are all aware, that makes little difference when many people have developed the habit of basing important decisions on some celebrity’s Twitter feed.
We can do better. First, base your response on what you believe. Panic is not an option for Christians who trust God as their Source and Sustainer. Second, base your response on accurate information. Go directly to reputable news and medical information websites for data and updates. Third, base your response on being a responsible citizen. Our governing leaders deserve deference and respect as they ask for our cooperation. Finally, do not overreact and compound the problem. We must take reasonable medical precautions but also continue to do our jobs, educate children, and care for vulnerable persons.
Our national situation—and likely the situation in your family—is changing by the minute. Stay steady and focus on doing what matters right now, while being flexible to adjust quickly as needed. Remember, history is a good teacher: we will get through this current crisis just as we have those in our recent past.
Christians can model a measured, purposeful response for families and communities in emotional turmoil. Let’s rise to the challenge.