This has certainly been a whirlwind of a month. I think that the last thing everyone thought was going to happen was a worldwide pandemic. Who knew that just as the flu season was winding down that a new virus would dwarf it. As I'm reading about what happened in China, what is happening in Italy, and in America, I am reminded of how interconnected we all are and our shared responsibility to love one another.
For many of us, COVID-19 might not pose much of a threat. For others, it is a big deal. I found some infographics from informationisbeautiful.com that I think illustrates how certain groups of us are more vulnerable than others:
It seems as though those of us who are older and those of us with preexisting conditions are at the highest risk for complications with the disease.
For me, this is a powerful reminder that I need to consider my actions and how they might affect others. My coworker's wife is recovering from a serious sickness and she is immune compromised. This is obviously a huge deal for him and his family. What it means is that if I were to play a part in transmitting the disease to him and then him to his wife, I could be powerfully and negatively hurting them. The tangled web of people that we encounter and affect on a daily basis just expands as we take our investigation one step further. Me - My Coworker - My Coworker's Family. I am only 2 steps removed from someone who is at serious risk if they should contract the disease. It is my responsibility to check my actions and do my utmost to do no harm (Romans 13:10).
As I researched how serious this could be for others, I tried to figure out how this virus is being spread, what length of time that I could be contagious if I ever caught it, who I might have direct contact with that could possibly be affected, and who I might indirectly affect by not curbing my activities. I found some great information in a TED talk on the subject by a health systems expert:
The TED talk provided some great information: 1) People are infected with coronavirus long before they show symptoms and 2) Reducing the peak infection rate could dramatically decrease the mortality rate because people will be able to get access to proper care. I have heard about the importance of "flattening the curve". As you can see in this chart, if there is a large peak, all of the people who need care won't receive it. If we flatten the curve and give our healthcare system a fighting chance, then more people will survive.
On this blog, we attempt to show how connected we all are and how our actions, purchases, and ways of living affect our neighbors. A pandemic like this shows just how inseparable we are as a global society. There are coming shortages of products and materials because they all come from places that have been forced into quarantine. Their daily lives are affecting ours. It is a fact that this happens in reverse as well. Our daily lives affect theirs. Let us continue to live for the benefit of our neighbors just as Christ died for us.
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