The World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic last 11 March 2020 following the 13-fold increase of the number of cases outside China. As I write this in the comfort of my space amid the coronavirus pandemic, news of mass fear and anxiety keep spreading by the hour.
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I really don’t know what to do in a time such as this. But based on our government initiatives, here’s what we can do:
1. Adopt new social norms.
Different times, different measures. What we used to do before may not be okay to do so as of the moment. As governments from different countries have taken precautionary measures for their citizens to follow, we must obey them accordingly.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.
Romans 13:1-7 NASB
Social distancing is becoming the norm that we must observe. Yes, it is quite a challenging thing to do for those who really need to use public commute to go to work. But for those who really need to, like I do, it is wise that we wear face mask and always have some sanitizer ready on the go. And yes, we are advised to obey social distancing at all cost. But I admit it takes some time to adopt this new social etiquette especially for those people who are used to touching or hugging people.
Since we are also discouraged to conduct social gatherings, we must find ways on how to keep our social activities. Technology and innovation are really helpful at this time as we can still connect with other people even we are not or cannot be together given the situation.
Another thing to think about are the implementations of community quarantines and lockdowns. I’ve never been in such a situation before and I can’t help but wonder what to do while in quarantine or lockdown and how to deal with its effects to my finances.
There are just too many grey areas about the social norms we are to adopt given the circumstance. But surely, it pays to obey.
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2. Be responsible.
Everyone has a part to play. We are all afraid of things we don’t know. However, we must not kindle unnecessary panic as it gives birth to fear, then fear to negative social behavior. This can manifest in ways that are selfish, racist (as the case during the early onset of the disease), and opportunistic in nature.
Connor Reed, a coronavirus survivor, even advised that we must not panic.
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3. Make the most of our time.
With classes cancelled, work reorganized, and communities either in quarantine or lockdown, there seems to be so much time we get to spend at home. After being so used to the lifestyle routine we built before the coronavirus, we might now feel lost on what to do when we can’t do the things we used to do anymore.
Back to Connor Reed, he sure did make the most of his time by keeping himself busy in learning new things and acquiring knowledge through reading books. If he did it while he was in isolation, those who are not in his situation can even do more so.
Let’s make use of our time by learning, knowledge acquisition, and skills development.
4. Have a prudent faith.
Prudent faith only means that we don’t walk blindly into a situation and suffer for it but we need to see the dangers and take action.
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, But the naive go on, and are punished for it.
Proverbs 22:3 NASB
So in a time such as this, we still need to obey the guidelines the government has set for us to follow. Pastor David Sumrall said that as Christians, we don’t have anything to prove but at the same time, we don’t have anything to be afraid of.
But for some, they can’t help but “fear the unknown”. What to do when fear of the unknown creeps in? We set our eyes on Jesus and turn to his Word.
We must remember that Satan also quoted Psalms 91 to Jesus during the temptation in the wilderness. But Jesus knows better and we must follow his example.
And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
Luke 4:12 ESV
Now that we found comfort in the promises of God, we should also be mindful about our attitude and not put God to the test by ignoring the current government guidelines amid coronavirus.
While the government is still figuring out how to address the situation, as Christians, we must be patient with the government and submit to them as well.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Romans 13:1 ESV
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