Bare shelves. Closed stores. Self-isolation. It sounds like the start of a scary movie, but as you and I both know, in 2020 it just means one thing: COVID-19.
As America puts life on hold, here are three things to be grateful for:
- More time with your family. Schools are closing, and businesses are converting many employees to temporary work-from-home arrangements. This is a great opportunity to invest in quality time with your family that you might not otherwise get! If you’re wondering how to make school work for your newly-homeschool kiddos, check out these resources.
- We don’t live in a country with government-run health care. Some politicians, such as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, are using COVID-19 as an opportunity to call for government-run health care. But in countries that have these systems, the virus may reveal underlying problems.Take the UK, for example, where the National Health Service has cancelled all elective (non-urgent) operations, in order to free up hospital beds. While some US hospitals are beginning to take similar approaches, this is a more unusual measure in our country and reveals how seriously we are taking the virus. In the UK, this is commonplace: the government has cancelled tens of thousands of operations in a single flu season.Meanwhile, in Italy, the government recently began making tough calls: who gets treatment, and who doesn’t? In a close call, the person with the longer life-expectancy will win out. This could mean denying care to those who are especially sick, elderly, or weak. Yet this is not what we are called to do as Christians: Scripture commands us to “defend” the cause of the weak (Psalm 82:3).News reports reveal that part of Italy’s rationing comes down to a lack of equipment, including ventilators that are critical in treating COVID-19. This is unsurprising for a government-run system: such systems often have fewer medical devices on hand in comparison with our own system. For example, while the US has around 170,000 ventilators available, the UK has only 5,000. Putting that in perspective, the US has just over 1 ventilator per 2,000 people, while the UK has just less than 1 ventilator per 13,000 people.
You may hear we still don’t have enough capacity. That’s why we can be grateful for the precautions our officials have already taken. Self-isolation is a chance not only to protect ourselves from illness, but to limit the impact on the health system, and – importantly – to protect those most susceptible to the virus.
- We serve a good God. At a time that may feel uncertain, we can be grateful that we serve a God who is in control at all times and who works all things together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose. We can rejoice in His goodness, pray for wisdom for those in authority, and defend the weakest in our community by following health guidelines. Rather than being a time to fear, this is a time to celebrate the opportunity to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to rest in God’s goodness.
Here’s to a joyful self-isolation!
Policy and Communications Strategist