Nothing New Under the Sun

Subject: Nothing New Under the Sun
From: E.E. Laine
Date: 7 Apr 2020

You’re probably heard of the diseases listed below. Many other outbreaks, plagues, and diseases struck during each time period shown. The first "pandemic" seems to have been a cholera outbreak in the early 1800s. Some of the diseases mentioned, such as smallpox, have been eradicated. Many others (such as measles) can now be prevented by immunization.

15th – 17th Century
bubonic plague, chickenpox, hepatitis B & D, influenza, malaria, measles, salmonella, smallpox, typhoid, typhus, hemorrhagic fever, yellow fever
18th – 19th Century
dengue fever, encephalitis lethargica, typhus + those listed above
20th Century
cholera, HIV/aids, meningitis, polio + those listed above
21st Century
COVID-19, MERS, H1N1, SARS + those listed above

Thanks to the absence of mass media (radio invented in 1890), the general population used to be blissfully unwary of germs on the other side of the world. Most people probably took precautions only if/when the germs affected them personally.
Only a few hundred years later (1968), the first war fought in American living rooms (Vietnam) turned that bliss upside-side. Although the war didn’t threaten the lives of those tuned-in to the nightly news, it was certainly a threat to the American Way of Life.
Which leads me to today… It’s difficult (impossible?) to escape information about COVID-19 and its impact on daily life. Updates are regularly provided by radio, TV, various online sites and messages, radio, phone alerts, print, etc.)
For the most part, we can pick-and-choose what news source(s) get our attention. If the nightly news is overwhelming, turn it off or leave the room. Limit your use of the Internet to specific uses. Stay home as much as possible. Redirect unwelcome conversations.
Try re-routing your attention to someone or something that encourages you to glorify God. Plant some flowers. Read your Bible. Call a home-bound person. Go through a closet and bag unwanted items to donate. Go for a walk. Start a new tradition (perhaps Easter cards rather than Christmas ones?). Read a just-for-fun book.
Tell God thank-you for clean water, immunizations, safe/healthy food, reliable transportation, medical advances, virtual communication, emergency workers, for sacrificing His Beloved Son in our place, and most importantly, each chance you have to share or discuss the Good News of Jesus’ Resurrection with someone.
Ask God to Make His Spirit known to those :
- Caring for people afflicted with COVID-19Healthcare;
- Dealing with the death or illness of a loved one;
- Suffering from loneliness due to self- or government-mandated isolation;
- Brothers and sisters in Christ around in the world who survive without the many lifesaving, life-enhancing services available here;
- Adjusting to reduced, or loss of, income; and
- Ministering to others during this time of (increased) need.