On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19, or Coronavirus a pandemic! 12 days later, on 23rd March at 8:30pm, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, declared the UK in a state of ‘lock-down’. This would cause a huge impact on my life, on everyones lives, their families and communities, but it was necessary I was told. This strategy would ‘slow the rate of infection while supporting the stretched NHS’.
“The critical thing we must do is stop the Coronavirus disease spreading between households,” Boris said in this speech.
All bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will be closed, including schools and childcare facilities, except for the children of key workers.
The legislation (The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020) introduced to limit people’s behaviour says people cannot leave their home without a “reasonable excuse”. There was no definition to this term, however, the government did say that there are four key reasons why people should leave their homes.
- shopping for food and other necessities;
- to exercise alone or with someone from the same household (the government recommends that happens only once per day);
- for medical issues, including providing care to others;
- and to travel to and from work. People should only go to work “where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
CORONAVIRUS: My initial thoughts!
From the outset, I was a little concerned about the decision to lock-down and how it came about. Just days before, this was not an option on the table it seemed. As a home-educating family, staying at home was not a shock to our system and way of life as it may have been for others. At this point, I really didn’t think at all about the ramifications that Coronavirus would have on Advent Press!
CORONAVIRUS: I am just not as anxious and fearful as others!
About 7 days into the lock-down, I remember feeling like I was missing something! Everyone was talking about the high death rate, and yet, according to the official statistics, no more people were dying in any given week than the average deaths over the past 5 years! The only thing I was hearing was, ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’ If saving lives were the most important thing – why do we not give such attention to other matters which result in far more deaths? I had questions and not enough answers!
When I think about Human Trafficking, the fastest growing crime worldwide, just one form of Modern Day Slavery, my heart hurts! There are at least 40 million slaves today! Imagine, more than 30,000 people die each day for lack of food! They die of hunger!!! What is our response to that? Are we concerned? Yes, we are… just not concerned enough! Maybe not, because those issues do not threaten your loved ones and indeed the bubble that you live in!
I have been told that I cannot understand, until I or a loved one will need the NHS. I’ve been told that my business, my livelihood, the security for my family does not matter as much as saving a life. I’ve been informed that Coronavirus is the enemy. I’ve been told that I am selfish and that my only response should be to ‘stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.’ I agree with distancing and have stuck to the guidelines as set out by the government.
For me, the thing is, I do understand. I am just not as anxious and fearful of Coronavirus, or even death, as some. Maybe I should be, but here’s why I am not!
CORONAVIRUS: My response!
Just a few days ago, the words from John 14:27 came to me, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Knowing that they were ‘troubled and afraid’, Jesus was trying to reassure them, saying that everything was going to be just fine. He left his PEACE with them.
God reassures me that Advent Press, my ministry, my livelihood and indeed my family is going to be just fine! He planted peace deep within me long before Coronavirus showed itself. I trust him and so, I have nothing to fear. That trust did not come easily by the way. It was built over many years of knowing and understanding how God works. When I reflect and consider how he has covered me with his feathers and given me refuge under his wings, I can only smile! – (listen to Psalm 91 recited by Steffan & Andreas)
During this lock-down period, we have been able to focus on completing our websites, various other ministries and overhaul all our social media platforms. One thing I do know… after lockdown, after Coronavirus, all the ministries we are involved in will be much stronger! God has his hand in everything!