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Image by Milad Fakurian
  • Writer's pictureFirst Christian Church of Chicago

Heart–to-Hartin - Dec. 2020

It’s been more than eight months since COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on the

US population. And throughout these eight months, we’ve all come to know

and understand exactly how the virus spreads – i.e. through infected people

sharing the virus with others. We’ve also known exactly what each of us can do

to help slow the spread of the virus: wear a facemask, avoid close contact with

others, wash our hands frequently, and avoid touching our faces. We know

what the symptoms of COVID-19 are, and we understand that those of us who

are exhibiting the symptoms should self-quarantine to keep from infecting

others in case we happen to be positive for COVID-19.

We’ve known these things for several months, as they’ve been repeated and

re-emphasized by health experts and local government officials on a weekly

basis. And yet, just as the holiday season is approaching, the number of COVID-

19 cases nationwide has again begun to rise. It’s as if knowing what we know

hasn’t really helped very much. Why is this so?

Simply put, it’s people being people. Some people are simply “rule-breakers”

by nature – i.e. they tend to resist being told what to do or how to do it. Some

people are suspicious of science or medical experts or news reports which

come from particular outlets. Some people think they are practically immune

from COVID-19 because of their relatively young age or good health. And some

people who followed the safety protocols for several months have just “quit”

because they’re weary of the inconveniences and restrictions involved. For

these individuals, our shared knowledge is of minimal value because there are

other factors which shape how these people think and make decisions.

The result is that we have a death toll which could have been greatly reduced if

we had simply used what we know to guide our actions. Some of us have lost

friends or family members due to COVID-19, and we’re left to wonder if they

might still be with us if more people would simply do the right thing.

In the epistle of James, the writer issues a warning to his readers in 4:17:

“Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, sins.” If we

know that following the safety protocols is the right thing to do because it

keeps everyone safe, then we could be sinning against God by not doing so.

For the safety of all of us, please do what’s right and follow the protocols.


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