Feelings on Coronavirus and dealing with it

My question is this, if the USA goes down the road of Italy and South Korea and goes into national quarantine and orders all places of public meeting to shut down and that includes churches as those aren’t safe either since Coronavirus has been spotted in an Episcopal church in D.C. after a minister got not only sick with it but also possibly gave it to others during Holy Communion. How will you deal with the idea of churches being told to close in order to combat the spread of the virus? In my opinion I won’t be affected at all since I went for a long time without going to church due to an old full time job I had which didn’t allow me to go to church for 2 1/2 years. What are your opinions on this and how are you understanding/making sense this from a Christian/Biblical point of view? Just another outbreak or something straight out of Revelation? Also how are you dealing with it. For me I am seeing this as the Spanish Flu 2.0 (back with a vengeance edition) it also seems something biblical in how fast it has spread so fast though I doubt this is the supposed 3rd seal from the book of Revelation. Washing hands is always a good start and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing is also a safe move. avoid personal contact with others and don’t touch things and don’t try to touch face, eyes or ears.

I’m pretty much viewing it the same as you – we’re in a small town so we’re probably at lower risk, but we’ve reiterated to our children how important it is it wash hands and try to avoid touching their faces in public. I’m not sure what you mean about it seeming “biblical” though – I think it just shows how the speed of travel in our global age is a double-edged sword.

But making decisions about public gatherings is a tough one. I’m not sure how much power the local governments have to mandate closures of public buildings including churches, but I really hope it won’t get to the point in the US where that becomes widely necessary.

I met with a few other docs with our church staff yesterday. Cancelled a youth mission trip over spring break. Hard decision, as families had saved and paid for it, but only a part will be refunded. Church procedures as to cleaning and giving communion modified. Expect pews to be less full, donations and funding to drop, but will have to see.
I have seen some predict this to lead to a permanent loss in church attendance. I don’t know. I suspect we,will get on with life in a month or so, but no one knows.

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We had a good church service Sunday as visitors from out-of-state. People seemed in pretty good spirits and pews full (at one of the many Mennonite churches in the Goshen Indiana area). The main difference was that greeters and parishioners cheerfully engaged in “elbow bumping” in place of handshakes. Seemed like a prudent habit exchange that one could acclimate to after getting over an initial awkwardness.

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I think the Japanese have something good going on with their bowing… it might not be so bad if that caught on here.

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As a person taking chemo (another bag of poison tomorrow), I have taken to wearing a mask regardless of the state of my immune system. If I get something I won’t get my bag of poison and the cancer will take me out. If I get corona virus, I am age 70 and high risk (maybe 15-20% chance of dying). I have decided not to give up church, but I will wear my mask. My wife wont so if she gets it, then I will get it. It will just be God’s will.

I too live in a relatively small town, but we have a university here and that brings its risk. That said, for about a week and a half Texas has sat at 13 cases. We are getting warmer, and I am hoping that is a sign that warm summer weather will slow this thing. I did a count the other day and there were about 200 cases below the Mason Dixon line and 556 above it, where it is colder. I don’t know if that means anything but it does give me hope. Mexico has sat at a few cases for about the same week and a half and they are warmer than Texas.

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Yeah, no one here in Mexico trusts the government numbers. They are not rigorously screening at airports and there are only three places in the country where you can get tested. https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/doctor-questions-why-mexico-has-so-few-cases-of-coronavirus/

Also, it’s only hot in certain parts of Mexico, higher elevations are pretty chilly this time of year. I’m wearing a fleece right now and my toes are cold. High/Low is 79/51 for today where I am in Southern Mexico.

I lived in China, same thing. There have been attempts by the government to video in Wuhan saying the worst is over and people hanging out their apartments yelling 'fake!" “fake”. lol. I personally saw how numbers and results are inflated in china.

My first dinner there with my boss and the deputy foreign minister. My boss didn’t speak as much Chinese as I did so he was asked by the translator in English “How is the production in your Bohai oil field?” My boss said, “so so” which should have been translated as “ma, ma, hu hu”, a euphemism for so so, but the translator told the deputy foreign minister, “Fei Chang Hao le!” Which means extremely good. lol I told my boss what had been said later and he was not happy with that but there was nothing he could do about it.

At this point, I think there are two possibilities:

  1. Warm weather will substantially slow down the outbreak. The lack of evidence for broad spread of the virus in the tropics gives some reason to think this might happen. If so, it probably means we in the Northern Hemisphere will have a few more months to prepare – which will be important, given how badly the US and some other countries have messed up so far.
  2. Warm weather doesn’t help. In that case, the only thing that’s going to prevent the outbreak from becoming 10,000 times worse(*) is large-scale reduction in contact between people. That has to include churches.

Maybe I’m missing something else that’s going to help, but what?

(*) Note: not hyperbole.

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This is the fear that I have been hearing and as of today the rumor going around my community college is that after spring break from next week classes maybe online as other colleges here within Oklahoma such as Oklahoma University, University of Tulsa and I think Oklahoma State University are closing. I hope this passes over us by summer and that gives us enough time to prepare for the fall and winter.

My church last week had the elements for Holy Communion dropped into our hands and we used individual plastic cups for the juice. My church has stated that they are taking all matter seriously in dealing with the virus. I also expect the pews to be much smaller and less filled (of course I am in the early 9 am service so the crowd is small already but I won’t be shocked if its smaller then usual.)

I’m in the Boston area, and I started working from home on Monday. As of today, anyone at my workplace who can work from home now must do so, and all meetings are virtual. All of the local universities are going to virtual classes. My wife is downstairs teaching her first virtual class right now.

Even if the virus spreads through the whole population, is it still worthwhile to reduce person to person contact in order to slow the spread and not overwhelm our health care system with a massive and sudden increase in patients?

Absolutely. That’s the goal in scenario 2: stretch out the outbreak. With this virus, the fatality rate is likely to be four or five times higher with an overwhelmed health care system. Given the rate of serious illness, it won’t take much to exceed our health care capacity – it’s already happening in part of Italy. They’re having to choose whose life to try to save.

Slowing the outbreak also gives a chance for therapeutics and vaccines to become available, assuming they arrive at all.

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That’s what I had assumed, so it is good to hear it confirmed by someone with more more knowledge of the subject than I. This is what I have been relaying to people who say that we shouldn’t do anything different since everyone will be infected anyway.

I don’t have experience with vaccine design, but I would assume that some type of attenuated or killed whole virus could be a viable vaccine. I am hoping it is a logistical matter of when and not if.

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At least one vaccine is already recruiting volunteers for a Phase I trial. It’s based on synthetic RNA rather than the virus itself.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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