COVID 19 - The facts, the reality, and the difficult decisions

    03.13.20 | Christian Life by Travis Troyer

    The Facts

    To date (March 13th) there have been 134,559 cases with 4,972 deaths for a mortality rate of 3.7%.  There have been no fatalities for children ages 0-9.  From the ages of 10-39 there is a mortality rate of 0.2%, ages 40-49 is 0.4%, 50-59 is 1.3%, 60-69 is 3.6%, 70-79 is 8%, and 80+ is 14.8%.  Those with pre-existing conditions that include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer have an average mortality rate around 8%.  The other number that is important about COVID 19 is the attack rate (transmissibility) which measures how rapidly the disease spreads.  This is measured by an “Ro” rate.  The common flu carries a “Ro” rate of 1.3 which means that for every 1 person that has the flu that person will impact another 1.3 people with the flu.  Since we are still learning about COVID 19 we only have a range estimate but that estimate is somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5.

    The Reality

    COVID 19 is like the flu but also not like the flu.  Although the mortality rates look similar the cause for concern revolves around the rapid spread affect potential and many of the unknowns that are still being discovered.  Like any new discovery it takes time to learn about what you are working with.  While COVID 19 will cause mild discomfort for most of the population who get it, there are many friends, family, and community members who are at high risk that we must consider and care for. 

    The Difficult Decisions

    As I ponder my own heart I have come to the conclusion that I explicitly do not want a virus to control my life.  That is why it is a struggle for me to accept cancelations and restrictions.  I want to watch the NBA and NCAA Tournament.  I have been anticipating the start of the MLB season.  I long to weekly meet with my church body because I love them deeply.  I cringe at the fact that these things have to be canceled.  Why?  Because I like them, I am entertained by them, and in some sense placed some of my hope in them.

    What I have realized is that my own sinful heart has allowed pride to creep and has not truly found my peace and contentment in Christ.  Paul says in Philippians 4:11-13, “…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” 

    My prayer for God’s people during this time is that we would consider our own hearts and ask God to teach us to be content.  Whether we have the ability to gather as a large church body or for a period of time do something different.  To teach us that sports aren’t everything in life, that people and human life are extremely valuable to God.  May God teach us contentment, compassion, and love for our neighbor as we navigate this trial.