Thoughts Spurred by the Coronavirus Plague      

By New Christian Bible Study Staff

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

1. The coronavirus plague is a terrible thing. It makes people sick. It kills some of them. It scares lots of people. It keeps people from getting together to do things they want to do. It tanks the stock market, wiping out life savings and opportunities. People lose their jobs and businesses. It's bad!

2. Does God will bad things to happen? No. (See True Christian Religion 43.)

3. Did God set up a universe in which bad things CAN happen? Yes. Apparently. (If you accept that there's a God, etc. -- which will need to be another thread...)

4. What do you suppose IS God's will in all this? Here's one piece of an answer: One good outcome of this plague could be for us all to see and experience people helping each other, and nations helping each other. It's patchy, to be sure, but... just as one example, the efforts to develop an effective vaccine have been aided by a fairly early publication of the virus's makeup. There's sharing of epidemiological data. There's communication. There's compassion. We see healthcare workers bravely taking care of sick, contagious people. There are groups in my hometown who have been sending surplus medical supplies from here to places that badly need them.

As human beings, we have the chance to respond well, or respond badly, to this crisis. I think it's God's will that we should respond well. We certainly can, and should, argue about what that would look like. But if our main motive is to love our neighbor as ourselves, some good things will happen.

There's something that relates to this in the philosophy of Stoicism, i.e. that you cannot control all the things that will happen to you, but that you CAN control how you respond.