by Phil Schipper
Much has been reported and written concerning the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The fact that we do not KNOW a great deal about the virus has not seemed to slow the government oﬃcials, medical “experts” and journalists from ﬁlling our minds with the daily dose of hysteria. Each day we are confronted with the number of people that have died from COVID-19, the number of new cases, the locales that are experiencing a spike, and the projected potential COVID-19 fatalities.
Let me state, as one who has had COVID-19 and is and will continue to suﬀer long term eﬀects from the damage caused by the virus, COVID-19 is REAL and it is contagious. So the question I hope to answer in this essay is, how should a Christian, who believes the Bible, respond to the Coronavirus or COVID-19? Lets take a look at what God has written to us in His Word.
1. PRACTICE COMMON SENSE CLEANLINESS
Exodus 40:12 And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water.
We live in an incredible time of technology and medical advancement. Humanity has developed the feeling that we are invincible. The diseases of the past that resulted in massive, widespread fatalities have largely been eliminated, or at least controlled to a great extent. Then along came COVID-19. Humanity was once again faced with our vulnerability and mortality. While it is my belief that COVID-19 is a bio-weapon that was either released intentionally or accidentally, it has had a devastating eﬀect on life as we know it. COVID-19 demands that we institute or reinstitute some common sense cleanliness.
It has been said that “cleanliness is next to godliness.” While this may be a stretch, I do know that cleanliness is important. The Bible has much to say about washing your hands and feet. The priests were to wash themselves before they approached the door of the tabernacle. God desired them to be clean.
The simple act of washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and running water is a common sense health practice that will reduce
the likelihood of contracting any number of viruses and bacteria. While it is true that bacteria and other microbes living on and in us are necessary to our health, they actually protect us from harmful diseases.
Hand sanitizer is now encouraged to kill bacteria, but nothing comes close to thorough hand washing. Remember, if you have ﬁlth on your hands or under your nails, hand sanitizer gives you bacterially neutralized ﬁlthy hands. Only washing under running water makes you clean. To stop this pandemic, we need to wash our hands thoroughly and frequently.
2. QUARANTINE THOSE WHO ARE SICK OR HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WHO IS SICK
Leviticus 13:4 If the bright spot be white in the skin of his ﬂesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, and the hair thereof be not turned white; then the priest shall shut up him that hath the plague seven days. Leviticus 13:5 And the priest shall look on him the seventh day: and, behold, if the plague in his sight be at a stay, and the plague spread not in the skin; then the priest shall shut him up seven days more.
Here we have God’s instructions in dealing with someone exhibiting the signs of leprosy. While we dare not liken one unto the other, the general instructions are applicable in both situations. Everyone was not to stay “shut up” in their houses, only those who were sick or showing signs of sickness. Biblically, the time of quarantine was 14 days. I believe it is reasonable for someone who has been exposed to another who is sick or is exhibiting signs of sickness themselves to take 14 days and STAY HOME and STAY AWAY FROM OTHER PEOPLE. While this may be inconvenient, it is imperative from a biblical perspective.
The idea of mass “lockdowns” is neither biblical nor reasonable.Mass lockdowns on populations who are not sick violate the scriptural mandate of the importance of work and the freedom of the individual. The destruction of small business and the loss of employment as a result of the mass lockdowns has been devastating not only to the economy but also to the morale of the American worker.
If you are sick, stay home and away from other people to minimize the spread of the virus.
3. COVER YOUR MOUTH
Leviticus 13:45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.
We have been taught from early childhood to cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow. Why? To prevent the spread of germs to those in the immediate vicinity. This will minimize the spread of particulates into the air. The “science” behind the “mask mandates” is sketchy at best, but masks do provide a barrier against the spread of germs from those who are sick. God instructed those with leprosy to “put a covering upon his upper lip”. This accomplished two objectives: 1) it provided a barrier against the advancement of the disease, and 2) it provided identiﬁcation of those who were sick. One could not always tell by appearance that someone was sick, therefore the “covering” identiﬁed them so that others may take appropriate measures to protect themselves.
There is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that a mask will protect someone who is healthy from contracting the virus. In fact, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated in a 2008 article written for the NIH, that during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic, “the vast majority of deaths were due to bacterial pneumonia” due to… wait for it… the wearing of masks. A dirty mask is a danger to its wearer.
4. SOCIAL DISTANCE
Luke 17:11-13 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar oﬀ: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
Notice with me that these lepers “stood afar oﬀ.” If you are feeling sick, stay away from people. For years people have said, “Don’t shake my hand, I have a COLD.” That is simply common sense. Airborne sickness deems that we keep our distance to keep from spreading the sickness to others.
This DOES NOT mean that EVERYONE is to stay away from EVERYONE ELSE. Many today have gone to extremes and have isolated themselves from everyone. The Bible admonishes us of the danger of isolation – Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. God said it is not good for man to be alone. In other words, it is BAD for man to be alone. We were created for fellowship, companionship and kinship. If you are sick, draw back from people until you are well again.
5. DO NOT LET FEAR CONTROL YOUR MIND AND ACTIONS
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
It is my belief that much that has been reported has resulted in a response not based in science, reason or evidence, but fear. Believing that the BIBLE is not only TRUE, but PERFECT and WITHOUT ERROR, one quickly concludes that fear does not come from God. Since we know God is not the author of FEAR, where does FEAR come from? The truth is it can only come from our fellow man or our adversary, the Devil. The logical question one must ask is this, why would one want to cause another to fear? Historically, fear has been used by those with nefarious intentions to control the minds and actions of human beings.
One needs not look far to see people acting in completely unnatural ways due to the fear of contracting or spreading the Coronavirus. Making decisions on the basis of fear leads to making poor decisions. Fear, historically, has caused people to relinquish freedom and rights in exchange for the feeling of security. Learn what you can about the virus and how to best prevent contracting the virus and trust the Lord to care for you. Turn oﬀ the TV and the fear mongers and tune into the Bible.
6. DON’T JUST BE ALIVE, LIVE!
It is true, COVID-19 has changed our lives. It is highly likely that our lives will never be as they were prior to March 2020, but that does not mean we stop living. May I remind you of an undeniable truth, NONE OF US ARE GETTING OUT OF HERE ALIVE. We are all under a death sentence. Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
I recently read an essay written by C.S. Lewis. In it he spoke of the change that the “atomic age” had brought upon humanity. I ﬁnd these words very poignant in the hour in which we ﬁnd ourselves today. As you read these words, replace “atomic bomb” with “COVID-19”.
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.” In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty. This is the ﬁrst point to be made: and the ﬁrst action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes ﬁnd us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
— “On Living in an Atomic Age” by C. S. Lewis (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays
In closing, may I submit to you that caution and care while prudent should not stop us from living. Our adversary, the Devil, will use what he can to get an advantage over us. Let’s not make his job easier by just rolling over. I believe in many places, churches have closed or cancelled services when the situation did not merit them doing so. Church and the worship of our God is not just important but essential. While many have gone to “virtual” services, they just do not ﬁll the need for corporate worship. Let’s get back to living, using these biblical principles, and trust God to keep us in His care. At the end of the day, He is our only hope.