As many of you already know that the outbreak of respiratory illness brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City in China. Though presumably this virus is common in many species of animals and can infect people, it has been reportedly spreading between people. Thus, it causes concern to some of you, which is understandable.
Outbreaks of such virus infection among people are always a serious public health threat, however, we must not allow fear to control our lives. We need to understand the severity of the illness, the characteristics of the virus, how well it spreads between people, and the medical measures available to control the impact. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) risk assessment, excepting the healthcare workers caring for coronavirus patients and other close contacts will have increased risk, for the general American public, the health risk from such virus is considered low.
Admittedly as of this week, there are 2 cases confirmed in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Our local public health agency announced that despite these cases, there is no immediate threat to the general public, no special precaution is required, people should go about doing their business as usual. The risk from the novel coronavirus to spread in Los Angeles County and Orange County residents is deemed to be low at this time.
The current situation in the U.S. is stable. Though a few imported cases of novel coronavirus infection in people have been confirmed in 4 states, no person-to person transmission has been detected with this virus except one from the wife to husband. Moreover, all schools continue to operate as usual. Nevertheless, our Church recommends that everyday preventive actions should be taken to stop the spread of germs and stay healthy.
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
2. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
5. Stay home when you are sick.
6. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw tissue in the trash.
7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
People returning from Wuhan City and its neighboring cities who have symptoms of respiratory illness (including fever, cough, shortness of breath…) should report to health authorities immediately. Otherwise, if there are no symptoms, a voluntarily stay home would provide a peace of mind to all concerned.
Prayer is the only antidote to all our fears. We must believe that God is in control and He cares for all our needs. I sincerely appreciate some of your anguish and concern, but please know that you are a beloved child of God and member of our church community. The Lord promises to be with us always. I encourage each of you to give yourself time to process and to offer love to each other. Be sensitive to the spiritual conditions of others, and pray for one another.
Lastly, let us devote some time to pray for the people in Wuhan. May the Lord show His mercy and compassion to all the sick, and may the spread of this novel coronavirus be curtailed as soon as possible. I encourage everyone to be in prayer over the next few months for our church, and for all those who are scared or hurting. My door is always open if you need to talk or pray with someone. May we all continue to love one another as Christ loves us.
May the peace of God that surpasses all understanding be with us all!