Fear seems to be in the air. The truth is, it’s mostly in the airwaves. The headlines seem designed to frighten us. “Infant Dies With Coronavirus” That headline could easily send waves of fear through every mother who reads it.
Any such death is a terrible tragedy, and of course, our hearts and prayers go out to the family.
What the headline does not tell you though, is that coronavirus was almost certainly not the cause of the infant’s death. The infant had other major health problems—including a bowel blockage and organ failure—that most likely had nothing to do with coronavirus. In fact, most of the major media outlets conveniently left out this detail when reporting the story.
That is one reason why I’ve largely avoided headlines and news reports during this time. They often exaggerate risks in order to generate fear.
The truth is, tragic deaths happen in this world daily. The other fact that is conveniently overlooked by the death toll headlines is that the vast majority of “coronavirus deaths” are happening in people who are elderly or have other major health problems. When people are in those situations, they can die from almost anything: common colds, infections, falls, or just old age.
Did you know that over 700 people in the US die every year falling out of bed? If every single one of these deaths was given its own headline in major media outlets, we might start to have some fear about lying down to sleep at night.
So amidst all the fear-mongering, what is the proper response?
First, focus on God’s truth.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139:16 (NIV)
God has written a book about your life. He has ordained the number of your days, well before He ever created you. That should give all of us comfort. That was one of my “go-to” verses last year when the father of lies was trying to convince me that I would die of cancer.
Second, take responsibility and cast your cares.
The Bible does teach that life can be cut short through foolishness, or extended through wisdom and obedience. In other words, if you want to see all of the days God has ordained for you, don’t live recklessly or foolishly. To do so would be to shake your fist at God’s wisdom.
I’m not arguing that we can’t take precautions. But I believe any precautions we take should be rational. They must properly and accurately reflect the pros and cons, the risks and rewards. We all know that automobiles, airplanes, and boats carry a certain level of risk, but we choose to accept those risks because they are outweighed by the benefits.
The benefit of modern economies is tremendous. Shutting them down is a major decision, and should only be undertaken with a completely rational assessment—one that takes into account all of the implications and reverberations of the decision.
For example, we should properly assess the risk of increased alcoholism, addiction, crime, divorce, depression, and suicide that comes with economic recessions, and weigh those risks against coronavirus risks.
Wisdom is great, but we must always recognize the difference between wisdom and worry. Wisdom is beneficial. Worry is destructive.
We can’t let worry and fear destroy us. Let’s stop scrolling through the headlines. Instead, let’s saturate our minds with God’s Word and His wisdom, and then prayerfully and rationally respond to the risks we face in this life.