Coronavirus pandemic between reality and fiction

Human history will remember 2020 as a year of pandemic infection by a small Coronavirus which killed tens of thousands of people within few weeks. Such a pandemic set the whole world in a war against a microbe that is few microns long and cannot be seen by the human eye. Had it happened in an area, a region or even a country it would not have taken such attention, but because of the virus’ aggressive nature, it succeeded to spread fast and affect thousands of people in many countries and in different continents. Also, being a new mutation, it could not be predicted and its harm could not be anticipated. While the medical community has been exhausting all its efforts to combat the virus, the only successful measure, so far, was for people to avoid close contact, gatherings and over-crowding. Most governments in affected countries came out begging their nations to take stringent measures of self-isolation even for asymptomatic individuals and those who had been in touch with a corona-infected or carrier for few weeks to stop fast infection spread.

Over the years the world has been exposed to many diseases of large magnitude, and came out of them with important lessons to learn as well as ground breaking scientific discoveries. Some of those diseases almost disappeared, for example, poliomyelitis, syphilis and small pox. In early days of those diseases, the world saw many deaths and irreversible neurological damages but with the discovery of the right anti-microbial agents, those diseases have now become history. The same applies to other conditions like coronary artery disease and cancer. Decades of unceasing hard work of scientists to treat those diseases bore fruits of better understanding of the common reversible risk factors that predispose to those conditions and effective treatment strategies which resulted in significant reduction of complications and prolonged survival.

The striking thing with Coronavirus infection is the interpretation of the medical world’s lack of understanding of the new mutated nature of the virus and the absence of treatment to include God’s anger and wrath. Allowing such thought, could justify any natural disaster, storms, earthquakes, volcanos or tsunamis, as manifestations of God’s anger. Perhaps the regional nature of those disasters and their short duration make their limited impact less traumatic than corona. However, what would those interpreters say when a vaccine against the Coronavirus is produced and the harm of the infection becomes negligible, as is the case with many other diseases, like the ones mentioned above?

The wise and spiritual man should always remember that God’s ways are far from man’s and His thoughts are beyond the ability of man to comprehend, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD’ Isaiah 55:8. At the time of disasters, we should better pray that God enlighten scientists and experts to find solutions to the problem, and just follow humbly the instructions of people in charge. We should put our trust in the pilot of the ship of our life, who has the power to calm the sea when it roars. We should also take that period of uncertainty to remind ourselves of our weak nature and how much we need God’s mercy and forgiveness lest the hour comes and we are not ready yet.

Prof Michael Henein – 17/3/2020