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Covid-19 – A Reasonable Response

March 12, 2020

© 2020 by Nick B. Nicholaou, all rights reserved
Ministry Business Services, Inc. President
Reprinted from

As of this writing on March 12, 2020, Covid-19, the disease cause by the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), is on everyone’s mind. Questions abound, stirred up by a 24•7 media cycle that thrives on catastrophes. There is a constant stream of end-of-the-world news stories designed to inject fear into the audiences to keep viewership and readership high. I’m not saying there isn’t a need for focus and attention to Covid-19, but the current frenzy defies logic.

So, what would be a reasoned response to Covid-19? I found myself sliding into life-limiting fear, and decided to sort out a reasonable response based on facts vs hyperbole. I share it here, hoping it may help you as it did me.

Some Factual Thoughts About Covid-19
This disease has a higher mortality rate than the flu, but it is not nearly as widespread. The number of infections and deaths is currently much lower in the Covid-19 category than in influenza category. Though the numbers will change, it appears unlikely that Covid-19 will surpass the impact of the 2020 flu season.

The much worse problem with Covid-19 is the way people are responding to it. Last night I did our family’s normal Costco shopping run, though I bought a bit more than usual– more on that in a bit. They were completely out of toilet paper, paper towels, and tissues. They were expecting an overnight load, though, and encouraged me to return in the morning.

I went back at 11am, and they were out again! Completely! I spoke with their representative who told me about 400 people were at the doors waiting for them to open, and they sold out in about forty minutes! That is a picture of hysteria!

My Reasoned Response to Covid-19
I have thought through and am responding as follows:

I am following the guidelines provided for avoiding the illness:

  • I am washing my hands more often. I was surprised this week, by the way, when one of my doctors told me that washing with soap and water is more effective than using hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers are helpful when washing is not available.
  • I try to avoid shaking hands with people as much as possible. Instead I’m doing lower-contact fist bumps, which I jokingly refer to as corona bumps.
  • I am trying to avoid touching my face.
  • I got a flu shot and both pneumonia shots last Fall.

More things I’m doing that are helpful:

  • I wash my clothes if I’ve worn them in public areas and sat in chairs there.
  • I am not wearing a mask since doing so is not a preventative measure– unless you are sick and trying to keep others around you from getting sick. They might also make you touch your face more.
  • Faith: I believe God is in control, and he has a plan for my life that is ‘the ultimate’ best for me. I find peace there.

What about travel?

  • I am still traveling, but I’m taking more precautions.
  • I carry wipes with me to clean the surfaces I touch and face when traveling.

What about groceries, etc?

  • Because of the hysteria around us I recommend having a few weeks of groceries and supplies in case businesses start closing to protect their employees.
  • Keep your gas tanks filled at least half-way for the same reason.
  • A very large percentage of our medications come from China. China has threatened to withhold them from the U.S. Refill your medications to prepare for a possible stock shortage at the pharmacies.

What about church?

  • My doc told me I’m in a high-risk category because I’m over 60 and have respiratory issues– asthma and a bout with pneumonia four years ago.
  • I spoke with my pastor and he agreed with the doc that I should not be ushering at church for a while.
  • The doc told me I should not attend church, but my pastor and I disagreed. Both of our logic is that if I’m willing to travel and work, I should be willing to attend church.

What Is My Church Doing?

  • Our church is watching what the local school district does regarding whether they should cancel church altogether and tell folks to watch it online. From a PR perspective, it doesn’t make sense to keep having services if the local schools have cancelled class.
  • I was in a roundtable meeting last week with many of the largest churches in the south and west. Many said they are stopping the printing and distribution of bulletins, or programs in the case of my church. I mentioned this to my pastor and he liked the idea! This could be a great opportunity to transition the congregation from physical to digital bulletins and programs!

That’s my reasoned response to Covid-19, so far. I hope sharing it with you helps you fashion your response to it.

Covid-19 can be serious. Stay healthy and safe!

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