Window pain

The coronavirus is terrifying. But I'm not scared.

Ask+anyone%2C+and+they%27ll+tell+you+they%27re+spooked+by+the+COVID-19+outbreak.+That+is%2C+unless+you+ask+a+Christian.

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Ask anyone, and they'll tell you they're spooked by the COVID-19 outbreak. That is, unless you ask a Christian.

Jackson Posey, Sports Editor

When COVID-19 first began to infect the masses (or at least once we knew it had begun to infect the masses), I wasn’t too bothered. It was only in China, after all. I’ve never gone to China in my life, and unless something drastic happens, I don’t plan to. And, after all, the memes are funny.

Until suddenly the cruise ships weren’t allowed to dock. Until suddenly patients were flying into a civilian airport in my home state of California. Until suddenly they were brought to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. My city. And suddenly I could look out my window and imagine the faces of those that were dying.

But it’s fine, I told myself. The patients are contained, and most of them are in China, anyway. But then, cases started cropping up in Europe. Australia. Africa. The Americas. And suddenly I could look out my window and imagine the virus poisoning the lungs of my neighbors. But, for a while, it was still business as usual.

Until the body count spiked. Until infection rates soared. Soon, elderly populations began to be treated like an endangered species. Satellite images emerged of hastily-dug, hundred-yard long burial pits in Iran. Suddenly, my window became a weapon against my sanity, as the occasional passerby became, in my mind, nothing more than the the virus’ next victim.

Like many others, I tried to numb the pain by looking at the very memes which a week ago would’ve seemed hilarious. But our laughing stopped. And in its place surfaced something else entirely.

Tears.

The global death toll surpassed 5,000 on Friday, with confirmed infections topping 145,000. Every major sports league cancelled or postponed operations, a move quickly mimicked by the UIL (despite the wishes of its competitors) and schools across the globe. Welcome to a moment in history. 

Except instead of the civil rights movement, it’s simply natural, unstoppable population control on a global scale. “The only thing to fear is fear itself,” or so the saying goes. But we may have to add coronavirus to that list. 

And yet, despite the infections and deaths, the widespread panic and fear and the inexplicable inability of governments to properly quarantine their own citizens, I feel safe. School is cancelled next week, and so is the One-Act Play that I participate in. But even if those things were to be green-lighted, and I was forced to wander through crowded hallways of sniffling adolescents, I would feel as secure as a child wrapped in his mother’s arms. 

As a Christian, I know that God is in control. He has a plan for all of us, as he tells us in Jeremiah 29:11. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’”

Obviously, anybody can make a plan. What makes God’s plans so special is that He always brings them to fruition (Philippians 1:6). And so, because of this fact, we can “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). Why? Because God has a plan for us. And we’re going to remain on this earth until His plans for us are fulfilled.

I don’t hope for death. But I don’t belong in this world, either. So I try to take the stance Paul does in Philippians 1:21: “to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Why should we be scared about the coronavirus? If you’re a Christian, you shouldn’t be. Prudence isn’t something to be thrown away; the Bible has an entire book (Proverbs) written about wisdom. But should Christians become hoarders, or put more faith in their favorite media outlet than the Bible? Absolutely not. God is so much bigger than any virus. And He works all things together for good for those who submit to Him (Romans 8:28). 

So as I sit alone in my room, typing away as the world goes mad, I can honestly say that I’m not afraid. If I die? That’ll be awesome! I’ll get to be in the presence of God, and nothing is better than that. If I survive? That’d be awesome, too! The longer I’m alive, the more chances I have to spread the Gospel, which is every Christian’s greatest ambition.

Coronavirus is a scary, new, malevolent force that very well could be the beginning of the end for civilization as we know it. But suddenly, looking out my window, I can feel peace. Because who the Son sets free, truly is free indeed.