Lock up and lockdown. That pretty much sums up our life in the UK since the 23rd of March 2020.
We’ve locked up our businesses and gone into lockdown on the advice of the government.
While in this lockdown mode which is on scientific advice, it is hoped that the coronavirus transmission rate will eventually be reduced to the point where it eventually dies out. This is because the chances of transmitting the infection reduce the fewer people we come in contact with.
The epidemiologists (an epidemiologist is a person who studies or is an expert in the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases), talk about there productive ratio (R) which is the average number of infections arising from one case of infection. In other words the number of people that are likely to be infected by one infected person.
The higher the R rate, the higher the rate of transmission of the infection, and the lower the R rate (preferably below 1), the lower the rate of transmission. So the thinking is, by keeping us apart for some time, those who are infected by the virus will have less chances of spreading it to others and so it will eventually fizzle out, it is hoped.
So much for scientific jargon. Well how do you and I come in? Read on. Our body may be in lockdown mode now but let’s keep our heart in lookup mode. Look up to whom you may ask? Look up to Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of our faith.
Keeping our distance from others may be good for keeping away this virus that has gone ‘viral’, but that doesn’t mean we should keep our distance from God.
We need His closeness to keep us in perfect peace as our minds are stayed on Him. Why? Because we trust in Him (Isaiah26:3 paraphrased). This will probably resonate well with the Americans as they’ve got it on their dollar bills – IN GOD WE TRUST.
We must emerge from lockdown better than we went in. Now we have a church in every home due to the churches in lockdown, the church must come out with a Big Bang when out of lockdown mode.
It’s time we started showing the world we are worthy of that nickname, Christianoi (Greek for follower of Christ), first given to us in Antioch which referred to the Christ-like attitude of the early Christians. We can start by praying this Covid19 thing out of existence and turn the world right-side up.
The race is on for the scientists to find a cure if possible and a vaccine for this virus so let us as Christians keep up the race to find a spiritual cure for our nations.
I’m sure you’ll agree that something must be terribly wrong if the world economy is threatened by a super-microscopic organism that the whole world including the superpowers is struggling to contain.
The world may be perplexed by this virus but our God isn’t, so let’s keep asking Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ever ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20 paraphrased). Remember the reassurance we have in Romans 8:37, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” So, let’s keep our shoulders straight, chin up and march on like the spiritual warriors we are. God bless you loads as you do.
Practical advice on prevention of COVID-19 infection
1. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap is not available.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
4. If driving, wipe the door handles and steering wheel with a sanitising gel before and after driving.
5. For those working with patients, take your shoes off at the door before entering your house on returning from work and take off your clothes on entering. Wash them and take a shower. Clean your shoes with antimicrobial wipes or spray and leave them preferably in a box in the hallway to prevent cross-contamination.
6. When you go shopping leave all your shopping in the bag on the floor and wipe all sealed packaging if possible with antimicrobial wipes. Wash all fresh produce with water before refrigeration. If possible take off the outer packaging of foods and re-bag them in sealable bags. This can be tedious and time-consuming but better safe than sorry.
7. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
8. Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterward.
9. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
10. Avoid handshakes.
11. Maintain a safe distance from others when out and about (at least 2metres).
12. Avoid large social gatherings – these are temporarily banned under the lockdown and social distancing rule anyway.
13. Stay at home as much as possible unless you are going out to shop or you have an emergency like visiting your doctor or the hospital.
14. All elderly people 70 years and above and those with chronic medical conditions are well-advised to stay at home and avoid social contacts as much as possible (referred to as shielding)
15. The use of face masks or face coverings is now encouraged in public and certainly on all public transport in London. The Scottish government has also come out in support of this by advising their use in public. But please do remember that surgical masks if worn are disposable and should be discarded after a single-use.
16. Lastly if you experience symptoms please seek medical advice early.
The Prime Minister last Sunday outlined the very subtle plan to ease the lockdown starting this week.
The first noticeable change is the departure from the well-drilled mantra of ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ to a new one that states, ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives.’
Although some may find the advice on controlling the virus unclear, the thinking behind it is that by staying at home as much as possible, working at home if we can, keeping our distance when out where possible, limiting contact with others and washing our hands regularly, we may be able to control the virus.
May The Lord bless and keep you safe as you continue to stay alert. And oh yes, keep applauding and supporting our frontline workers.