This is an opinion piece from Resident News Network staff writer, Megan Hecox.
With more than 142,000 cases worldwide of the COVID-19 strain of the coronavirus and more than 5,300 related deaths, it’s safe to say this whole epidemic thing has people on edge. Right now there are 129 countries reporting outbreaks with the United States on the rise with 2,329 cases, 50 deaths, and 41 recovered as of now. So I guess the only thing left for us to do is run up and down the streets panicking like a chicken with its head cut off right? NO! Since the beginning of time, man has been put through unimaginable trials and tribulations. From natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, and tsunamis to man-made disasters like 911, Columbine, and the Sultana Explosion that happened in 1865 Arkansas on a steamboat traveling the Mississippi River killing around 1,700 former Union Army prisoners of war.
During times of sadness and distress, it’s easy to start finger-pointing and placing blame. But the reality of every tragic event is that we will never know why. As my life’s motto goes, there’s a reason for everything. Sickness and epidemics are nothing new to the human race. There was the Antonine Plague from 165-180 killing five million people in Rome. There was the Great Flu Epidemic in 1918 that killed between 20-40 million people. And there was the Asian Flu in 1957 that took 1-2 million lives worldwide. And just like every other time before, this too shall pass.
My personal opinion about all of this mess is that God is telling us to SLOW DOWN. How many times have you said “there’s just not enough hours in the day” or “my kids are growing way too fast”? Well, here you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The silver lining to the coronavirus is that God is answering your prayers. On many occasions, I myself have begged for time to slow down. The problem is that we get so caught up and consumed in making a living that we forget to make a life.
First things first. DON’T PANIC! Don’t get so overwhelmed that you let fear and emotion drive your actions. Seriously people, STOP IMPULSE BUYING! Use this epidemic as a chance to get a plan set up for you and your family in case of difficult times. If you have a plan in place, you are less likely to be taken off guard and panic. As humans, we have 27 different emotions. Don’t be led by fear, anxiety, and confusion. But by empathy, sympathy, and calmness.
Next, as work, school, sports, and any other event that involves a gathering of five or more people is getting canceled daily, it’s easy to become angry and frustrated. Instead, take this as your chance to indulge in family time, work on a hobby, or just plain rest. This is our chance to get back to the 1950s era where we put God first and family second above work, friends, and any other attention-grabbing activity. Play a game with your kids. Spend one on one time with your spouse. Read that book you’ve been putting off for the last three years. Or just get outside and consume yourself in the wonderful beauty that God has created for us.
And lastly, be kind. It’s easy for us to get so caught up in ourselves and our own selfish desires that we forget to help our neighbors. While you might be blessed to be able to stock up of food and household items, there is a family in your community wondering how they are going to feed their kids if work and school get canceled. There’s an elderly person in your community, that can’t leave their house and because people are picking stores dry, they have zero chance of being able to prepare either. There’s a single parent in your community with no family around to help with the kids while schools out causing them to have to miss work and leaving to wonder how they will pay their bills. One person can’t do it all. But if everybody stepped up and offered a helping hand to a neighbor in need while placing our faith in God, then by golly, we are going to be A-OK!!!