First off, I would like to commend and offer my immense gratitude to the health care workers in the frontlines. These are the men and women who have dedicated themselves to attending to COVID-19 patients with no complaints whatsoever. They have sacrificed their time as well as made the decision to protect their families by remaining in quarantine or self-isolation either in a selected room in the home away from the rest of the family, or remained away from their families all together by vacating the comfort of their homes and moving into the facilities set up for quarantine. We thank you for your service and pray that God guides you, blesses you, protects you and keeps you safe. To the COVID-19 patients we continue praying for your recovery (Isaiah 53:5).
I have been debating whether to write anything since typing is quite hard for me these days as I have carpal tunnel syndrome from all the writing I have been doing lately not only for this platform but for other projects I am engaged in. I however, figured that I could just draft a small piece about my own personal stance on this matter. Well, if you have read my past articles, you probably might already know what my feelings are about the coronavirus, however if not, I’ll give a small brief today before my wrist acts up again.
So, let’s get right on to it!
Fears continue being exacerbated on a daily basis as a result of the continuous increase in the number of COVID-19 cases around the world and only made worse by the fatalities reported as well. You go into town, and the picture is quite clear as you are met with people who have masks and surgical gloves on as means of prevention from contracting this virus. Everything is being disinfected and sanitizers have been made available at every store entrance. Basically, most people have adopted the proper mannerism as precautionary measures to prevent the spread or contracting the virus thereof.
Yesterday, 21 March 2020, three confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced in Eswatini which made people all the more terrified. Life is a lot more different now that the outbreak has been declared as a National Emergency and measures to mitigate the spread of the virus have been put into place. Fears still hover around and there honestly isn’t anything that could be said to calm peoples emotions especially when the number of fatalities are broadcast which only make people disregard the positive news of others recovering well and automatically jump to the grim conclusion that this virus will wipe out the entire population. Well, each one their own perception; each one their own emotional response and each one their own coping mechanism when it comes to this outbreak.
I have always been a calm person and genuinely, I never overreact when it comes to things I have no control over. I have always managed to let things be- if it works out then it does and if not, then it does not. I find it hard to push or force matters that in circumstances where I am expected to lose my cool, I am actually the calmest. I remember in school one colleague asked why I never panicked when we had a test come up, or when a lecturer suddenly changed the submission deadline for an assignment. Well, I asked her what good panicking would do for me especially since it would never change whatever decision had already been made. So that’s me, and my life doesn’t change because of a change around me, rather my response to it changes. I endeavor to ensure that my life continues working the best way I want it to with the change that has come my way. I easily adapt! I’ve been questioned by friends lately as to how I am continuing to attend church, pursue my other activities with COVID-19 in the picture and I have been giving the same response to all of them which is that, my life will not stop due to this virus.
In Eswatini, gatherings of over fifty people have been banned, and that being the case churches have restructured the congregation setup allowing for fifty parishioners at a time gathered and spaced a meter apart. Some still refuse to go to church stating that they will contract the virus from the chairs or whatever. Well, like I said, each one their own perception and I duly respect it however, my faith in God allows no fear. Yes, I adhere to the set protocols and preventive precautions and that said my life continues. People continue asking if I am not afraid, well why should I? I have always known that every human fears death, however now with the coronavirus, man oh man, are people beyond terrified! I swear if you at all sneeze or cough in public, if it was at all easy, the next person would gun you down right there. Instead, you get the side eye and those who are brave enough actually utter insulting words at you or immediately move away from you. Its crazy hey! During this past few weeks, I have noticed first-hand how frightened people are of dying.
There is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3) and if your time is not up then no harm will come over your life. I think I just believe so much in Gods word that only He determines the course of our lives, that said, He honestly is the only person who knows when each of our lives will end. So truthfully my attending church or pursuing any activity with ease regardless of this outbreak, and of course adhering to the precautions for me means that I continue to trust Him in all things. And that said, I will continue worshipping Him regardless. In due time, perhaps gathering numbers will decrease to less than fifty and I assure you that I will always be amongst those even if it is just ten.
COVID-19 has disrupted so many things however I am so grateful that we still roam around with ease (well, ease in the sense that we have no curfew); I can still go for my morning run each day, attend prayer and bible study services during the week as well as gather with other believers in Christ Sunday to honor and offer dedication to God. Also, we have not reached a total lockdown phase and we pray to God that this subsides before we reach that phase. In any case, all these things are huge and are to be appreciated because in some countries theyve already engaged total lockdown. So, the fact that God continues to sustain and cover us is also of utmost importance and for that I am immensely grateful.
We continue to pray for all the countries affected by this virus especially Italy which has been hit the hardest and intercede on their behalf and plead with God to raise His hand over them. The virus has severely hit a lot of countries. Economies are suffering and people are losing business as well as their jobs which for me is very poignant. I am distressed by this especially for the families who have only one source of income or survive from paycheck to paycheck, because if that member they are dependent on loses their job, it could only mean hardship for the entire family.
I pray on a daily basis that God raises His hand over us and that this pandemic is wiped away. I lean on Him for strength, and I would like us all to continue finding comfort, remind ourselves, believe and swear by Psalm 91. God is still God, despite this virus and we may be panicking but let us not lose sight of Him but let us continue believing in Him through all this, and firmly maintain a tight grip of His right hand. Let’s continue to pray for those infected, for the families who have lost their loved ones, for our economies, for the businesses that are suffering and for the individuals who have lost jobs. Let us pray for strength and an end to this infirmity.
Friends, there aren’t any words that could speak to this pandemic and pushing the blame as to what caused it, what country is to blame, why some countries didn’t have a contingency plan from the get go does not make any difference. Right now we have a global problem and a way forward is to find a unifying solution instead of questioning or pushing the blame. Anger and blame solve nothing because cases and deaths continue to rise. All we need is a way to mitigate this pandemic! Its a tough time friends, but we press on. Let’s be safe out there. Let’s keep up the faith. It shall be well!
Grounded in Faith