Are you climbing the walls yet?
In virtual interactions with folks, I’m finding four main reactions to all that is happening to our “world” amid the Covid 19 spread.
1. The panic-driven are hearing the gloom and doom from some media outlets and seeing the emptying shelves at the store and . . . well, reacting.
My daughter-in-law went to the store yesterday for black beans. She just needed two cans to complete a recipe but found the canned food aisle full of people and almost empty shelves. One man put his cart against a shelf and shoved all of the cans from it directly into his basket. My d-i-l was able to snag two of the last four cans (only the high-dollar stuff was left), but she couldn’t get out of the area. She found herself completely trapped on the canned food aisle and had to finally raise her voice to get people to let her out of the aisle. She didn’t even have a cart, just needed a path. (That should be the title of a song: TRAPPED ON THE CANNED FOOD AISLE! Lol!)
And I’m not even going to start on the fights that have broken out. Over bottled water? Really? This isn’t a hurricane where you have to be worried about the water. But then there’s the situation with the toilet paper. Okay, okay! I get that folks might be concerned they might have trouble getting to a grocery store should they get sick, but how much do you use in a month?
I actually got caught up in the toilet paper thing. Not on purpose, but after having it unavailable for my last two Walmart orders, we were . . . well, in dire need! Down to two rolls and those were getting pretty slender. So I went on a TP treasure hunt. Thankfully, I found plenty at the first store I visited, Kroger, and got the two packages that I normally buy. I felt so conspicuous walking out of that store with nothing but toilet paper and ice cream. (Kroger has the best store-brand ice cream! LOVE it!) I’m thinking everyone is taking pictures of the crazy pandemic panicker. “Can’t survive without my toilet paper and chocolate ice cream.” LOL!
2. The scoffers are the second group. I hate using the word scoffer because it sounds so mean, but I know I’ve been guilty of being in this group. It’s easy to laugh at some of the bizarre behavior that the fear is bringing out. But this sort of threat does build up fear – terror. The extreme of the scoffing is more what I’m talking about with this group, though.
I read an article last week that made me shudder. Someone posted a meme about the virus. We are America. “Bring it on.” Yikes! There’s a time for national pride – the Olympics for instance. But I don’t think the little varmints jumping from one carrier to another are going to be impressed when they land on an American.
It brought to mind Ephesians 6:12. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” I know there are folks today who beat their chest like King Kong, thinking they are invincible. They not only don’t fear; they invite the monsters to attack. Reckless and, yes, foolish, they have no idea what they are doing, what they are welcoming. And unfortunately, invincibility only lasts for a lifetime.
3. There’s a third type that isn’t as vocal or daring as the second group, but can be just as proud and reckless. These are the nay-sayers. I used to believe that ostriches really buried their heads in the sand when they were threatened. (They don’t, by the way.) But as a child (anytime I got scared), I pulled the covers over my head and shut my eyes. If I couldn’t see anything evil, then it couldn’t see me either, right?
No, not then and not now. But there are many people who are determined not to let the rumor of this virus stop their plans. All of their plans. Like me when I was a frightened child, they are convinced that if they don’t acknowledge the danger, then it simply isn’t there. In the extreme, these folks are reacting in anger and blame at the media and those in authority who are trying to enforce the only action that has seemed to work in curtailing this virus. There are a number of posts and opinions to the effect that this scare is nothing, and the media and government are causing unnecessary panic.
It doesn’t matter what the mayor says or the CDC or county officials or the president, this group believes the whole thing is a farce, and they insist on conducting business as usual. When the widespread pandemic fails to come to fruition, they expect to be able to say, “See, I told you so” to the ones who were concerned.
I hope they are right. I’m praying that by God’s grace this virus will not just dissipate but will vanish entirely. And I’ll lead the chorus of saying, “You were right, and I was wrong!” But I don’t think it’s wise or even godly for us to hang our hats there.
4. This final group is where I stand. I think what I’m hearing from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control is real. I think the decisions that our government leaders are making are wise and are backed up by examples from Wuhan, China and the country of Italy. And I think that self-isolating for a couple of weeks or even a month isn’t going to hurt us nearly as badly as a widespread, acute outbreak of this virus would. I think it’s prudent to follow the directions those who have studied this virus and its spread are giving us. And pray that the Lord who is really the One in charge will eradicate it.
I think, as Christians, in everything, we are supposed to give to God our absolute best. Then we’re supposed to trust Him with the results. That means we do everything we can to succeed in what He has given us – and in this case, that would be to avoid getting sick first and avoid spreading the disease otherwise – and rely on Him to make His will be done. Regardless of what His will entails.
So while I would LOVE to learn that my choices for staying at home, canceling outings and appointments, and extreme cleaning after anyone else visits are completely unnecessary, they are examples of me doing my best. Not out of fear, but with confidence that God is sovereign and reigning through all of this. To do less would be to let my stubbornness and/or laziness and excuses rule. That attitude will not glorify Him.
I serve a Mighty God.
He is on the throne.