Updated: Mar 30, 2020
The word Corona means "crown."
To crown someone means we give them authority.
Sometimes the world crowns someone out of fear. Here's what I think.
The real virus is not Corona. The real virus going around here is fear.
As I write this, I can remember Swine Flu, Bird Flu, and other truly tragic illnesses that scared us. But I have never seen the world wrapped in this "pandemania" before.
I am concerned. But I am not afraid.
We flew in and out of Seattle the week it began to publicize itself. So of course, it’s on my mind. The day after we returned home, my dad called to say that the senior care center where he lives is on lock down. There are no cases in his facility, but they are being smart. I am thankful for telephones! We had the very best chat ever.
My daughter is in Hawaii with YWAM. Her school is two weeks from sending teams all over the world to tell them they are loved. But as of yesterday, they are all being sent home for safety precautions since travel is pretty much denied. And yet my girl has plans for worship nights and praise right here in our home. And while I wouldn’t have her miss the outreach experience for anything in the world, we get to see her this Tuesday! And I am thankful!!!!
Rich is a public school teacher. All Washington schools are shut down and toilet paper has shown itself to be the expression of our fear. But Rich and I are people with dreams. He has a book in him and so do I. I learned about the pomodoro method of approaching a task from my mentor friend Shelley Hitz, a fabulous writing coach. http://www.shelleyhitz.com/
So, Rich and I picked our couch and chair in separate rooms and actually started our books! And I leapt over a wall of fear to just do it. I love it when Rich and I are both creating. And I am over the moon thankful!!!!
Davis is writing songs with Barn Burners. He led worship for Matt Tommey conference called Thriving Christian Artists. He did it at some sacrifice on his part with the most cheerful heart. He has become gently fearless. And I am in awe…and on my knees thankful.
But honestly, the virus I see that is more destructive than Corona is fear. Don't get me wrong. I use hand sanitizer and think it's necessary to act responsibly, but that's not what I see going on.
I just took a moment to google “impact of fear on immune system” and had any number of articles to look at on my first glance. So I clicked on the first one from University of Minnesota https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/impact-fear-and-anxiety
Just breeze through the science:
Impact of chronic fear
Living under constant threat has serious health consequences.
1. Physical health. Fear weakens our immune system and can cause cardiovascular damage, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, and decreased fertility. It can lead to accelerated ageing and even premature death.2. Memory. Fear can impair formation of long-term memories and cause damage to certain parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus. This can make it even more difficult to regulate fear and can leave a person anxious most of the time. To someone in chronic fear, the world looks scary and their memories confirm that.3. Brain processing and reactivity. Fear can interrupt processes in our brains that allow us to regulate emotions, read non-verbal cues and other information presented to us, reflect before acting, and act ethically. This impacts our thinking and decision-making in negative ways, leaving us susceptible to intense emotions and impulsive reactions. All of these effects can leave us unable to act appropriately.4. Mental health. Other consequences of long-term fear include fatigue, clinical depression, and PSTD.
My mother is 94. She looks 20 years younger. Her mind is still sharp and, other than driving and a bit of housekeeping, she does everything for herself.
She is the healthiest person I know, emotionally, spiritually, physically. Why?
Here’s what she says, “People keep asking me why I seem so young.” Her passion rises as she continues. “It’s thankfulness. That one thing changes everything else. If I could just tell people how important it is to be thankful to the Lord for his goodness.”
We talk often about how thankfulness trumps depression, fear, anxiety.
Thankfulness has to be practiced. Thankfulness has to be intentional. Thankfulness has to be specific.