With a rise in the number of people who have the corona virus (COVID-19) comes an increase in panic and desperate actions aimed at protecting one’s self from the illness.
I’m not sure about where you live, but in my small corner of the world people have taken to stockpiling large amounts of toilet paper in response to their fear of catching the virus. So far, no reputable health organizations have mentioned the need for toilet paper as a precautionary measure against catching this virus. Instead, they have been constantly reminding people to wash their hands as the best form of prevention.
The slightest cough or sniffle has sent people into a state of worry. Those wearing facial masks in public have been looked at with suspicion and fear.
What disappoints me most about the myths and rumours surrounding COVID-19 is the number of Christians I’ve seen who are taking part in sharing misinformation on social media. As Christians we should be known as people who are credible; people who take the time to check facts and are aware of their sources. It would be unrealistic to think that we will be 100% correct every time we share information, but in our eagerness to share with others it is important to take the time to stop and consider why we are sharing posts and Tweets?
It’s good to ask yourself if you are sharing something that is helpful or harmful? But most importantly, question if you are sharing something that is true.
I have seen Christians share posts misinforming others that things like garlic, holy oil and water, and all sorts of snake oil products will prevent catching COVID-19. During times of panic we as Christians are called to bring a sense of calm. Jesus was not a man who panicked. It was always the others around him that were filled with anxiety, worry, fear, and desperate actions. When Jesus encountered people in fear, he reminded them to call on God to bring a sense of inner peace. We are not called to do the opposite either – ignoring serious situations or going into a state of denial; instead, we are to pray for wisdom and knowledge when faced with unpleasant situations.
Pray to God and ask him to guide you to speak words and share information that is meant for the health and benefit of others.
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6