In my column today, I am going to follow-up on what I shared on last week, due to the fact that we are engaged in a war with an invisible enemy in the form of this plague called the coronavirus. This pathogen (that can become airborne easily) infects people through social dealings and interactions. The trajectory chart and spreading of this virus is escalating so rapidly that it would be very unwise and apathetic to ignore it and not give it our full attention through all necessary and available tools at our disposal.
Things We Take for Granted Can Easily
Be Taken Away
One of the most important lessons that the coronavirus is teaching us is that some of the things that we have taken for granted can easily be taken away. Things we buy at the grocery and drug stores (like hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, toilet tissue, bread, and many other things) are now in short supply because of panic buying brought about because of the coronavirus Entertainment establishments and yearly sports events (like March Madness, the NBA playoffs, the Kentucky Derby, and many more things) have either been drastically altered or altogether suspended. The last time that our nation experienced such widespread interruptions and shortages of basic needs was during World War II, when the practice of rationing had to be implemented in order to have enough gas, rubber, and other materials to commit to defeating the Axis Nations in Europe and the Pacific. However, then, our right to gather in certain numbers did not have to be limited or controlled as it is having to be done now, in order to contain and keep the pandemic from spreading.
We Have Put Too Much Importance Toward Entertainment and Pleasure
Another important lesson that we are learning from this plague is that we have put too much importance on non-essentials in this materialistic culture that we are living in. Things like entertainment and pleasure (that have their place in our lives) have regrettably occupied a place of priority in the lives of far too many of us. These things (that have no lasting or intrinsic value to our lives) have, for the most part, been either suspended or interrupted for an undetermined amount of time. We have been forced (by powers and circumstances beyond our control) to accept and adjust to the reality and risk of this pandemic, whether we want to or not. The great lesson that all of us should be learning, as we go forward and gain victory over this invisible, insidious, and deadly pandemic, is to not make things (like entertainment and pleasure) priorities in our lives. The time will certainly come again in all of our lives when these non-essentials will be either interrupted or suspended for an indefinite amount of time. We have better learn our lesson well so that when it comes to the next time (and it will sooner or later), we all will be ready.
The Coronavirus Does Not Discriminate
The President has called the Coronavirus Pandemic a Chinese disease because it originated in China. Though it is perhaps true that this dreaded and deadly disease originated in China, it is a greater truth that it does not discriminate when it comes to race or nationality. The populations of Italy, Iran, and many other people of various nations, races, and regions of the globe are having to deal with this plague that is ever spreading through people who are transient and moving for various reasons from place to place. We are learning the important lesson that plagues, like the coronavirus, do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, nationality, or socio-economic status
There Are Certain Enemies and Evils That Require a Community to Conquer
One of the most important lessons that the coronavirus is teaching us is that it is going to take all of us to overcome the spread of this pandemic. As the nation came together during World War II to defeat Adolf Hitler and his Axis Allies of Japan and Italy, we are having to come together and do our part in order to defeat this invisible and deadly enemy. Because none of us live on an island to ourselves, but are a part of the community of man where we interact and depend on one another, we must fight this enemy as a team. The adage that says, “together we stand; divided we fall” must be embraced by everyone. It is going to take a unified and community effort to win this battle that we are waging.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
The last lesson that I am going to consider that we are learning from this plague is perhaps the most essential of all the ones that we have considered. I believe that there are certain things that fit into the category of “deadly delay”. We could perhaps have gotten this virus under control and decreased its spread drastically if our federal government had acted immediately when they discovered it was in China. Those weeks of delay gave this plague an advantage and foothold in our nation. What Benjamin Franklin said in colonial days is just as true today as it ever was: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is an important lesson that the coronavirus is teaching us and prayerfully, we will learn our lesson well. For not if, but when we are faced with another crisis like the one, we are presently grappling with, we will be better equipped and able to defeat it through advance preparation. This wise saying from a man whose name (Solomon) has become synonymous with wisdom will serve as our final words today:
“The horse is prepared against the day of battle….” Proverbs 21:31.