As we watched the outbreak and spread of this virus throughout Wuhan, China, I am not sure that most of us thought that it...

As we watched the outbreak and spread of this virus throughout Wuhan, China, I am not sure that most of us thought that it would spread beyond the Chinese border, much less cause a worldwide pandemic. We are living in the 21st century, a time where technology and knowledge is supposedly higher than it has ever been. I have just returned from South Africa, where my IPhone 10 served as the best means of GPS tracking. We have all of these things, but yet, we are in the panic mode over this virus. Picture this, my team and I were on the other side of the world, where life was normal, while this coronavirus has consumed American thought. My task, as information unfolded, was to keep my team focused on the reason that we went to South Africa, while ensuring that we had a contingency plan in the event that things beyond our control took place. The news, coupled with frightened yet well-meaning people, caused me more problems than you can imagine.  I have been thankful for the level-minded people that had truthful answers to the barrage of rumors that had reached us. You must understand, I have spent most of my life going towards the danger, while most others were running from it. When the scare over HIV was a thing, I, like every other medic, was taking care of people that had acquired the virus. I have always taken the flu shot more as a preventive measure based upon my job as a firefighter/paramedic, and I still do now. I hear the excuses that many people give for not taking the flu shot, which truly has been at pandemic levels, this year in America alone. My question is: what will people do if a vaccine is developed for the coronavirus? 

Do not read me wrong; each of us must take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of any illness. The flu spread because people did not do what was right. The coronavirus is like any other virus, in that it is transmitted like other viruses. The preventative measures are nothing new, but things that we should have been doing all along the way. When you are sick, you need to stay home, for your good and the good of others. The most vulnerable are infants and the elderly, which again is the norm for most illnesses. What I am trying to get you to see is that this virus is like any other virus, highly contagious, with its effects, whether known or unknown. My grandchildren had the flu, with the effects being worse and lasting longer for my grandson than for my granddaughter. In the end, he would end up with a very bad sinus infection caused by the flu that doctors would not treat. Once he was finally given the antibiotic, his symptoms began to improve within 12 to 24 hours. Until a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, if you have the disease, you must manage the symptoms, which is the norm for most viruses. From all that I have read and heard, this virus attacks the respiratory system. 

If you were to ask me, I would tell you that I am not afraid of this virus, no more than any other thing that has come up in the past. When Ebola was raging in West Africa, I made a trip to South Africa and back, only to sit by a West African, who had just been to the epicenter of the illness, at a swearing-in ceremony of new U.S. citizens in Baltimore. We must make wise decisions concerning this virus, but we must continue to live our lives. Most of what I am seeing are people that are being driven by fear. I choose to be driven by faith in the Lord. As it says in 2 Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us a spirit of fear but one of power and love and a sound mind.” This is not the first virus that we have ever seen, and will certainly not be the last. Watching the news has caused mass panic. Our government leaders are trying to make the best decisions possible, based upon the information that they have. The bottom line is that though we believe that we control everything, we actually control nothing. I pray that the Lord will eradicate this virus from our planet, but I am also praying that many people will turn to the Lord, as a result of this virus. This virus is an enemy and let us attack it as such. Maintain your calm. If you are a Christian, walk by faith and not by fear. Your family is watching and learning from your words and actions.