Living with the Coronavirus

Mwandikaji K. Mwanafunzi

As I write this column, in early March 2020, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a dominant topic in the news. The disease is spreading to and among populations that had not been significantly impacted. Recently, coronavirus has expanded to infect and impact large numbers of people in Europe, North America, and Africa. As of this writing, more than 115,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide.

After China where it first occurred, Europe reportedly has the largest number of people impacted by coronavirus, with the entire country of Italy taking extreme measures in a nationwide quarantine.

To date, Africa and the Caribbean are relatively less impacted. It was recently reported that Nigeria has had only 40 infections, Algeria has had only 17, and Cameroon reported only two. Such relatively low numbers are a blessing for Africa; but some folks are concerned that social events in Africa that typically involve mass gatherings could result in the disease spreading rapidly to impact more Africans. Accordingly, as of this writing, reports indicate that Nairobi Hospital, located in the capital city of Kenya, is preparing for an increase in this type of infection.

And although the most massive occurrences at the time of this writing are occurring in Europe, coronavirus increases are also occurring in the Western Hemisphere. For example, today’s news reports that some colleges in New York City and New Jersey are instructing students to go to class via the internet rather than in person, in order to avoid contact with subway riders and other crowds that may include persons infected with the virus.

On a different note, in recent decades, Africa, the Caribbean, and the black population of the United States have been disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS, which is spread by the transfer of body fluids from an infected person. This most typically occurs via sexual intercourse or through the sharing of needles used for injecting heroin.

We can significantly lower the odds of getting infected by HIV/AIDS by adhering to God’s instructions regarding sexual behavior as recorded in the Bible. For example: “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14) and “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

Obeying God’s law, as unhip as it seems to some folks, can help us to avoid certain diseases and thereby prolong our lives and our health on earth. I am sure that God knew and knows this fact, since He knows all things, He is everlasting, and He created us.

Let’s obey God’s instructions, share knowledge of Him and His instructions, and purposely stay well.