Things are getting real. Tonight, President Trump announced the suspension of incoming flights from Europe and the NBA suspended the season. Earlier today, the NCAA announced that the tournament is going to be played without spectators (although at this point, I would not be shocked if they end up cancelling it). Tom Hanks has it. More and more colleges are extending spring breaks or switching to online formats for courses.
This is all going to get worse. Few weeks ago, everything was golden in Italy. Now the country is shut down. I’m not saying that exact thing is going to happen in America. But more and more people are going to get sick, are going to die, and life will be increasingly disrupted.
Just as dangerous as the people who blamed the media for sensationalizing coronavirus are the people who have fallen into normalcy bias and ignored what experts have been saying would happen for weeks. A lot of what the CDC said would happen is happening. And if the change of seasons doesn’t help knock this virus out (which isn’t a guarantee, no one knows for sure), hundreds of thousands of Americans could die.
Yes, people shouldn’t panic. This isn’t the bubonic plague, but this is very serious. And I keep seeing people who want to act like this Is just a little bit worse than the flu. I keep seeing young people who are falling into the worst stereotype of millennials being self-centered in acting like they don’t have to worry about coronavirus since it’s death rate is higher in older people. That may be, but if you have the virus and you’re infected, you could pass it on to someone else.
This is going to continue things to wreak havoc on the global economy and that is not all because of people panicking and acting irrationally. If there are millions of infected people and drastically higher numbers of people who need to be hospitalized, that’s going to strain resources and supply chains. It’s going to cripple industries like travel. It’s going to result in millions of dollars in losses for conferences, hundreds of millions in losses for sports who are being disrupted. Plus the impact on all sorts of supporting industries.
It’s interesting as I think of all of the various professions and trades which are part of everyday lives on which we depend. Truck drivers, grocery store clerks, gas station clerks, medical professionals, first responders, people who work to maintain our electricity, sewers, waste removal, and internet. Our teachers and school system. And on and on and on. I feel like we all have a duty to the rest of society to do our part for our society in these trying times.
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Josh Benner is the pastor of Christian Bible Church in Cissna Park, Illinois. He has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He has an awesome wife named Kari.