Why Christians Should Not Panic Over the Coronavirus

Why Christians Should Not Panic Over the Coronavirus March 2, 2020

Unless something unprecedented happens, all indicators are that most who read this article will have their lives impacted in some way by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) within 2020. If not by contracting the virus first-hand then, at the very least, by its influence on the stock market and global economy. I have read some projections that suggest somewhere between 40-70% of the world’s population will contract The Coronavirus this year. While I am unsure if I buy such jaw-dropping percentages, it’s enough to give any sensible person moderate concerns. For others, it’s enough to induce severe anxiety and paralyzing fear. Yet, my aim is to convince you that of all people, Christians ought to look at such times with clarity, hope, and peace. The last thing we should do is panic.

A casual surveyor of history knows this is not the first time the world has been faced with a pandemic. In fact, over the course of human existence widespread illness and disease have been commonplace. In 1918, the Spanish Flu killed an estimated 50 million people. That was barely 100 years ago – not long when compared to all record human history. Although there have been some scares and some regionalized outbreaks since then, the world has not since seen anything on the scale of what happened in the early 20th century. This includes an secondary outbreak of the same flu virus in 2009, which killed an estimated 200,000 people.

Will 2020 be different? I don’t think so, but I really don’t know. What I do know is there are some facts that can ease swelling fears and overreaction. Aside from some useful scientific data about the Coronavirus (which I will provide some facts later) and its effect, Christians have the unchanging Rock of Ages to whom we can anchor our emotions and fears. Our hopes and purpose are not to be tied to anything temporal but to the person of Jesus Christ and His eternal kingdom. To calm our hearts, fears and avoid panic, we must begin here.

A wonderful text for mediation comes to us from 2 Samuel 23:5. Here King David says “Although my house be not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow” (KJV). David’s statement is valuable for every Christian. He is saying that even though everything in his house is not as it should be, there remains an everlasting covenant. Therein is his source of never-ending comfort and salvation. It’s important to note that David said this before the revealing of the New Covenant in Christ. We benefit from being this side of the cross and having the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to guide our hearts. If the entire world were to wither away and all facets of human civilization were to be turned upside down, we could rest easy upon this wonderful truth.

The Puritan, Jeremiah Burroughs, in his masterpiece The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment comments on this verse and its application with a very relevant message for Christians wrestling with fear and anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus threat. He writes:

“Suppose the plague were to come into your house, and it is not so safe, and you do not enjoy such outward comfort in your house as you once did. Can you read this Scripture and say, although my house is not so blessed with health as other men’s houses are, although my house is not so, yet he has made with me an everlasting covenant? I am still one in covenant with God, the Lord has made with me an everlasting covenant. As for these things in the world, I see they are but momentary, they are not everlasting. I see a family in which all was well only a week ago, and now everything is down, the plague has swept away a great many of them, and the rest are left in sadness and mourning. We see there is no resting in the things of this world, yet the Lord has made with me an everlasting covenant ordered in all things. I find disorder in my heart, in my family; but the everlasting covenant is ordered in all things, yes, and it is sure.”

I find Burroughs’ commentary to be extraordinarily aiding. In Christ, our deepest need has been met. Sin is broken and death has been defeated. Although we may suffer at the hands of persecution, disorder, and disease, our souls can remain at rest in Christ. Our lives, though precious, are but vapors of mist in comparison to the weight of eternity. Whatever physical or financial havoc the Coronavirus might create cannot separate the Christian from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. This is our greatest hope and greatest ally in times of tribulation and tragedy. We must remember that God is sovereign over all of creation and that all things work together for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). If you are in Christ, then find respite in the promises of His deliverance. Whatever evil may befall your person, house, and community, rejoice that Christ has overcome the world.

That is not to say we should pretend as such threats and their damages (physical, emotional, financial, etc.) are not real. Christians should never be fatalists. Disease and poverty are very real, and we should soberly grieve over their consequences. Suffering is the lot for anyone living in our fallen world. Yet, in face of tragedies we grab hold of the beautiful words of our Savior in John 16:33. He says, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Therefore, let us repent of uncontrolled fears and anxiety (Philippians 4:6) and remember that we have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb. Let’s run boldly to the throne of grace and seek to redeem such seasons of adversity. Tribulations are wonderful opportunities for the church to be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus Christ. Those marked by the sign of the covenant of grace ought to be the most understanding, gentle, and loving people on the planet. For many progressives, the church is little more than an organization of tax-evading bigots. Yet, in a season of fear and desperation, the love of Christ, as communicated by the people of God, can penetrate even the hardest of hearts. Christians, you are a bright city on a hill in a world of darkness.  We may not yet have a vaccine for the Coronavirus, but we have one infinitely more valuable: a cure for the wages of sin, death.

Because all truth is God’s truth, let’s look at some additional data and facts related to the Coronavirus that may help many reading this relax a little bit. Although the disease is relatively new, through the grace and advent of technology and science, we have already learned a great deal. Below are 3 points that are worthy to be shared and considered. Much of the data below was gathered from this helpful website.


1) The overall number of cases in China are now falling.

It was not long ago we were seeing cases about 3,000+ a day. Recently, the number has trimmed to half or less than half of that per day. See this graph. This means it’s getting under control and is manageable. We are likely a few months away from a day in Wuhan where the new cases reported at 0, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is encouraging.

2) The death rate is likely much lower than reported.

Most of the world’s ~90,000 cases have been in China’s Hubei Province, with the death toll around 3,000 (estimates as of March 2). These rough numbers would put the fatality rate around 3% . While 0% is certainly preferable, this is still a relatively small percentage. More than that, there is good reason to think that the total number of cases is much higher. Almost 90% of people with Coronavirus experience very mild symptoms – some without any at all. With the vast majority of cases are very mild, it stands to reason there are thousands of people with the Coronavirus that have not been reported and/or counted within the ~90,000. Perhaps their symptoms were so low they didn’t notice, or perhaps, they knew they were not severe enough and didn’t want to be a burden on the already struggling health care system in Wuhan. If this is the case (which I think it is), this dwindles the fatality rate even further. Its also worth pointing that the strained medical resources in Wuhan were a factor of an elevated death rate. As the rest of the world has time to prepare, I expect we will see the fatality rate continue to drop.

It’s also worth pointing out that that the Hubei Province has over 59 million people in it and, unlike much of the United States, they live in a relatively small geographical area. Such confined conditions have likely led to higher infection rates that may not be experienced elsewhere.

3) There have been no reported deaths in young children.

As a father of 5, this data is comforting to me. Children seem to handle this virus very well. To date, there have been exactly 0 deaths in people aged 0-9. Additionally, the death rate for those aged 10-39 is just 0.2%. This is a fraction of the overall 3%. the majority of deaths have come to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.


In closing, I want to state clearly that my hope in writing this article is that you will be encouraged by truth. First and foremost, by remembering that while tribulations are part of this fallen world, Christ has overcome the world. Our greatest need has been cured in the cross and we can now rejoice in all things. Secondly, by looking at facts and not widespread, media hysteria. The world is not ending because of Coronavirus. It is a serious disease, especially for the elderly. However, it is manageable and, Lord willing, it will be forgotten by most in a few years. If you have been flirting with panic, then I encourage you to repent and remember the everlasting covenant.


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  • Robert Conner

    Is that kinda like “Why Iranians Should Not Panic Over Coronavirus?


    • Statistics Palin

      I have a friend who is political refugee from Iran. He left as the Ayatollah took over. My friend, a professor at UCSD, said the preachers in the US are NO DIFFERENT from the mullahs in Iran.

  • Deist1737

    According to John 14:12-14 Christians can get what ever they ask Jesus for. Why doesn’t at least one Christian act upon the Bible promise from Jesus and end the coronavirus? If the Bible is true, this would happen and be a reality. But our innate God-given reason tells us the Bible is not true and is not the Word of God.

    Also, this article makes it seem that Christians are afraid of death. Don’t they want to see Jesus?

    I hope people will realize that God gave them their innate reason and not any of the “revealed” religions. The Deist and American Founder Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason ( https://www.deism.com/theageofreason.htm ) that we need a revolution in religion based on our innate God-given reason and Deism. This article makes it clear that Thomas Paine was correct.

    • Jack Lee

      I think a lot of Christians fear death when they should not. Or at the very least, they fear the unknown. Christians in western civilization have experienced mostly peace in the current generation and have not yet learned the some of the lessons that suffering teaches.

  • Flint8ball

    You r going to heaven faster. Don’t sweat it. Wait, sweating and chills are a good sign. Nevermind

  • Mike Trautman

    Unbelievable such pie in the sky thinking is why people see Christians as unreasonable and unaware

  • Jeb Barrett

    What crazy, delusional and superstitious thinking. There is no evidence of an invisible being that listens to any of mankind’s pious wishes. We are responsible for dealing with what happens in our lives.

    • Jack Lee

      Why even bother commenting if none of it is true?

      • Jeb Barrett

        Why not? Beliefs are nothing but opinions, neither of which require evidence.

      • Jane Ravenswood

        “Why even bother commenting if none of it is true?”

        Because your false claims and ignorance harm people. That’s why. But nice try to convince someone not to point out how you fail.

  • In 1918, the Spanish Flu killed an estimated 500 million people.

    It infected that many. It killed much less.

    Christians have the unchanging Rock of Ages to whom we can anchor our emotions and fears

    Well . . . this might be a source of comfort, but there’s never anything objective, never anything to distinguish God/Jesus from wishful thinking.

    • Jack Lee


      Thank you for pointing out the typo! An estimated 500M were infected and an estimated 50M died. I will fix this typo.

      • We’re getting off topic, but even with those numbers it doesn’t add up. The mortality rate was estimated to be 2%, and those numbers say 10%.

        Not that we must resolve this. It’s clear that it was a big deal. The Wikipedia statistic that I find most interesting is that it infected a quarter of the world’s population. Wow.

        • Jack Lee

          As it is not central to the point of the article, I am not going to dig further into numbers from the 1918 Spanish Flu. It is hardly even a secondary point to the article inself. I do appreciate the typo catch. It was an oversight on my part. Thanks again.

  • Paul

    Dumbest thing I’ve read all day.

    • Jack Lee


      Then why even bother to comment?

  • David Hill

    Unknowns about the Corona Virus.
    1- How many people are infected.
    The symptoms among a majority of people are minor. This article reference 90%. How many people have, or had, the virus and not been diagnosed due the mildness of the symptoms? UNKNOWN
    2 – How many people that have fought complications or died, where in a vulnerable state of health prior to contacting the virus? UNKNOWN
    1 – If this is so severe, why are the recommendation no different than the typical flu?
    2 – Who seeks to profit from the hysteria?

    Finally – be wise, not fearful

    • Christiane Smith

      Trump wants this whole crisis down-played. People are having trouble getting testing kits, although a million were promised ‘by the end of the week’, only 75,000 were delivered. Without proper testing in a timely fashion, the medical community is compromised, as are the public health officials, and all for the ego of one selfish narcissist who tried to make this crisis ‘all about himself’.

      But people are dying. They are NOT profiting from ‘the hysteria’, no; they are dying from the virus itself.

      Hawking Trumpist codswallop doesn’t help those who are vulnerable, like my son with heart trouble and Down syndrome. The virus would likely take my son who has little in the way of strength, so I stand up for him and for the many disabled like my son, and the elderly and also the very young like the border babies in those ‘camps’ run by trumpists . . . the camps without proper sanitation or food or water. Someone must stand for them. Yes.
      Trump? No. I don’t support him as he has failed our country one more time, and it may be one time too many. I hope we have another president in 2021, and I shall support someone with compassion and humanity to sit in the oval office . . . someone who knows what it is like to lose a loved one to illness.

      I wish you would reconsider your point of view. There is a lot at stake. There’s still time, for some people . . . . to save them with the proper testing and quarantine measures. Please try to reconsider.

      • David Hill

        I see you jumped straight to the emotional appeal. You inserted politics in this matter, but neglected to address the statements I made.

        FACT – Over 80% of those with virus have MINOR flu-like symptoms.
        FACT – many people with minor flu symptoms self treat with over the counter medicines.
        QUESTION – how many cases are going unreported due to being minor?
        ANSWER – because they are unreported no one knows.
        FACT – the majority of deaths from the flu involve people with other respiratory problems.
        FACT – the majority of deaths from the corona virus involve people with other respiratory illnesses.
        FACT – people with respiratory problem as susceptible to complications from cold, flu and this virus.
        QUESTION – Is this virus more severe to those with respiratory illness?
        ANSWER – no one knows

        Now, if you wish to debate the sanitary, or unsanitary condition that those who crossed the border illegally are facing and have been facing since Obama established them. That is a topic for another discussion. BTW – there are no reported cases of the virus in these camps at this time.

        If you wish to discuss the health concerns of your son and how they should be handled, again that is another discussion. If you want to discuss the presidential election, the concern about socialism vs capitalism, is healthcare a right that government should provide. The state of the economy, the dwindling rate of unemployment, the rising wages of the middle class. Then by all means find a forum and express yourself.

        Until then — address the FACTS of the Corona Virus – rebut my statements with facts. Address my questions with FACTS. Leave your emotions out of it. While it is a fact that you have strong feelings, your strong feelings are not strong facts.

        • Statistics Palin

          “FACT – Over 80% of those with virus have MINOR flu-like symptoms.”
          Lie. 80% don’t require hospitalization. 20% are critical and require hospitalization and artificial respiration. This is overwhelming hospitals in areas affected like Italy. Doctors their are forced to let the least likely to survive die to treat those with a better chance of survival.

          Shut your ignorant, hayseed mouth. You’re murdering people with your arrogant ignorance.

          • David Hill

            I’ll stand by my facts as reported by the CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html
            BTW. – not requiring hospitalization is the classification of MINOR.
            BTW – the majority of deaths reported in the US are a result of an outbreak in a nursing home. See note below on those impacted the most.

            Also note that those that require additional care are those other respiratory illnesses.

            Now, please give a reputable source for your Italy story. I haven’t been able to verify it. And I doubt you can either. I did find one site that claimed the majority of those that have died in Italy were elderly….“ All of the victims who have died were elderly, many over the age of 80. Most of them had underlying health conditions including cancer and many were already receiving treatment in hospital when the tested positive for coronavirus.”(https://www.thelocal.it/20200226/should-you-be-concerned-about-the-coronavirus-in-italy)

            So… quit creating a panic where where is no need for one.

          • Statistics Palin

            I’m listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci , Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, the leading expert at the National Institutes for Health.


            The measures taken by Italian doctors are described as “wartime triage.”

            Quoting the Atlantic:

            Now the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) has published guidelines for the criteria that doctors and nurses should follow in these extraordinary circumstances. The document begins by likening the moral choices facing Italian doctors to the forms of wartime triage that are required in the field of “catastrophe medicine.” Instead of providing intensive care to all patients who need it, its authors suggest, it may become necessary to follow “the most widely shared criteria regarding distributive justice and the appropriate allocation of limited health resources.

            The principle they settle upon is utilitarian. “Informed by the principle of maximizing benefits for the largest number,” they suggest that “the allocation criteria need to guarantee that those patients with the highest chance of therapeutic success will retain access to intensive care.”

            The authors, who are medical doctors, then deduce a set of concrete recommendations for how to manage these impossible choices, including this: “It may become necessary to establish an age limit for access to intensive care.”

          • David Hill

            Dr Fauci has not contradicted a thing I said. In fact he repeated it.

            As to your article…. there is a vast difference between “it MAY become…” and the situation you described.

          • Lark62

            Remember uber conservative and Republican darling Newt Gingrich. He lives in Italy and is reporting that the elderly are being denied health care because there are not enough hospital beds to go around.


            Because the demand for respirators and intensive care has been beyond any previous planning, doctors have been forced into the kind of triage thinking developed for intense battlefield casualty situations. There are reports that emergency room doctors are allotting respirators to those with higher life expectancy due to the limited equipment in the hardest hit areas of the province. If you are older or have other illnesses, you may simply not be eligible for treatment.

            So just go on holding big church services and spreading the virus. Preach that pro life lie while people you don’t value die.

          • David Hill

            Apparently you don’t value people either. I wonder how many years ago it was that the Doctor that would have had the prevention for this virus was aborted? Just a thought.

          • Lark62

            Fact: The rate of new cases determines how many people die.

            If large gatherings are cancelled, new cases are spread out over a few months. In this case, critically ill patients are likely to be able to access ICU beds and ventilators. More people live.

            If large gatherings continue, like ass69hole “pro life” evangelical churches, then the same number of new cases will occur in a week or two. The ICU beds are full. The health care system is over capacity and elderly people who might have lived, who should have lived, will die.

            I bet you oppose Medical Aid in Dying (aka euthanasia). Yet you glibly write off human lives as “elderly, over the age of 80.”

            The raging hypocrisy of Pro Life Liar Evangelicals disgusts me.

        • Lark62

          Fact – the other 20% do have severe symptoms and many will die.

          But since this has nothing to do with shaming sex69ually active women, all the sudden “pro life” is nowhere to be found. “Let ’em die. They were probably already sick anyway.”


          Obviously that absolute morality and perfect love we hear so much about is just more noise from Pro Liar Christians.

          • David Hill

            Why is everything an abortion issue with you?

          • Lark62

            I am calling out the hypocrisy of “pro life” Christians. Many are flaunting large church gatherings confident that since they have faith they will be fine. Those old and unhealthy people are irrelevant. Falwell is just one example of many.

          • David Hill

            Will there be foolish people of all walks of life. Yes. But I’m pretty sure it wasn’t “pro life” Christians in the bars and clubs, yucking it up, but are you calling them out?

            BTW who is saying anyone is irrelevant? I haven’t heard “pro life” Christians say anyone is irrelevant, could you quote one? But what about the unborn? I have heard and seen actions from a side that says they are irrelevant. If the shoe fits… wear it.

      • changeagentgd

        let’s see – who else is left untouched by your observation? Why it’s the DNC! Now, who have they openly supported? Pedophiles, perverts, criminals, Feminists, Globalists, and socialists. Wow, now in a parallel game of subjects lets examine “disarmament” – who do you suppose shot up politicians, churches, and support organizations like ANTIFA and CAIR hands down? Democrats. As I remember in the book of Romans chapter 1 as it is written, that anyone supporting such individuals and ideology, whether practitioners or not, are just as guilty. I’m sorry but your confession and affiliations cannot be in conflict unless you’re not sincere or just simply uninformed. And yes, this virus is not a pandemic, but a “dem-panic”. When it is all over rest assured, all responsible for this will be discredited for the remainder of their lives.

        • Christiane Smith

          in any case, may God protect you and yours from the worst of this virus

        • RPlavo .

          And yet the sun shines on the just and unjust, the rain falls on the good and the bad…..

    • changeagentgd

      Love the critical and lateral thought!

    • Lark62

      Yeppers. Sure those people “already in a critical state of health” will die in vast numbers. But that ain’t you, so hurry on off to your pro life march and don’t worry your little head about those other irrelevant people.

  • Karl Dubhe

    The one thing I didn’t see mentioned was the eternal life you expect to have with Jesus. Why be afraid of death, when you’ve got a guaranteed seat in the eternal church service that awaits you in the afterlife?

    • Medalcollector

      Good answer.

    • Lark62

      Nonsense. Christians are more terrified of death than anyone. When someone who isn’t you is facing a problem pregnancy, I never hear “Why be afraid of death, when [they’ve] got a guaranteed seat in the eternal church service that awaits [them] in the afterlife?”

      We have a responsibility here and now to protect each other.

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  • AntithiChrist

    “We must remember that God is sovereign over all of creation and that all things work together for the good of His people (Romans 8:28).”

    My own view is that any omnipotent god that would create any number of deadly viruses, then inflict them on his beloved peeps “for the good of His people,” can be dismissed as a psychotic, malevolent demon, certainly not worthy of worship or praise, but that’s just me.

    Nowhere in this post is there any mention of how to be a civic-minded citizen, starting with a simple, stepped-up hand-washing personal protocol, social distancing, etc. Do Christians care nothing of leaving a diseased world for the Satan-bound sinners they’re leaving behind when “Jesus calls them home?”

    Just thinking out loud here.

    • Jack Lee

      Thanks for the thoughtful response. On our Facebook page we have encouraged much of the civic duties and encouraged everyone to “flatten the curve”. When this was written on March 2, there was so much we did not know. The situation has been changing almost daily.

      Everyone should wash hands (and dry) very well. Personally, when it makes sense in a community, churches should adjust their methods and gatherings should be limited. We need to all focus on preserving the lives of those at most risk here.

  • changeagentgd

    Thank you for being honest and truthful, and NOT just a bunch of fear mongering individuals no matter your motive. I would’ve added the following though: Psalm 91:7 and Revelation 9:1-12. A thousand to fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand? Now how could that happen in modern times? We have nothing to fear if we’re living the life to the standards the Son has set. Also, there’s a whiteboard caption I’ve researched and it is flawless. I wish I came up with it first! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c98c2b4d45b2dd2aea416cbd2027304f84bd1692a8760a75782784beca1b507c.jpg

    • Lark62


      Those thousands who “fall at your right” are people with value.

      Those thousands who “fall at your left” are people with value.

      But you’re okay, so all those dead people are irrelevant.

      Pro life is a lie. But we figured that out long ago. Pro life is just code for “I’ve got mine. Sucks69 to be you.”

    • Wesley

      i saw one list on wiki leaks that showed how the media about every year since 1999 came up with some mass extinction cause. there was most likely something those years, but never got much traction to count.

  • Lark62

    Quarantines and shutting down large gatherings are not about fear.

    They are about protecting human life. Pro life. Remember that?

    It is called flattening the curve. It is proven. If cases are spread out over months, the health care system can respond. People who need an ICU bed can get an ICU bed. And lots of them will live.

    If the same number of cases occur in a week or two – which is what happens if large gatherings continue – then many people who need an ICU bed will not be able to get one and will die. The health care system simply cannot absorb that many cases at once. When health care is rationed, the elderly are the ones who will be denied care and will die.

    What is dusgusting is that “pro life” Christians who oppose Medical Aid in Dying are the ones who callously and glibly declare that church services will continue. They don’t give a damn69 how many people die so they can flaunt their piety.

    This just proves yet again that all that “pro life” posturing is about power and control. Christians do not give a damn69 about anyone’s life but their own. They prove it every day.

    • Jack Lee

      Lark, I completely agree we should be flatting the curve. So much has happened since this article was written and the consensus of the country/world has been developing. Every day it the collective mind is understanding more what to do. Please note: i wrote this on March 2. On our Facebook page we have been big advocates for limiting gatherings and flattening the curve. We need to protect and preserve lives in any way we can. Personally, I am in big favor of limiting all gatherings and save lives. Having said that, none of this disagrees with the central theme of the article: trust Christ regardless of what befalls one’s house.

      To say Christians are disgusting and we oppose Medical Aid is complete nonsense. You have no idea what you’re talking about here.

      • Lark62

        Medical Aid in Dying is also called euthanasia. Many Christians oppose euthanasia that would permit a person dying of cancer to avoid needless suffering. These same Christians when asked to do something minor like miss church for a couple months suddenly trivialize the death of those over 80 or with pre-existing health conditions.

        • Jack Lee

          Your generalizing and making gross assumption. I have never a Christian who would trivialize the death of any person, regardless of their age.

  • Chinedu Ibeakanma

    Quarantines are as a result of safety and we all should respect that. As much as I am a christian and I believe in God, we should all respect health guidelines.

  • Linton Thomas

    You should update this information. Many children have died. The death rate is rising in America. Testing is low in America, hence, the amount of people with the virus is not accurate. I’m in New York, hopefully, you will not have to see the deaths, I’m seeing! Stop promoting Trump and preach the gospel.