Christian Pandemic Response

According to the World Health Organization, the swine flu right now is a moderate pandemic. In its own words, the moderate assessment reflects that:

  1. Most people recover from infection without the need for hospitalization or medical care.
  2. Overall, national levels of severe illness from influenza A(H1N1) appear similar to levels seen during local seasonal influenza periods, although high levels of disease have occurred in some local areas and institutions.
  3. Overall, hospitals and health care systems in most countries have been able to cope with the numbers of people seeking care, although some facilities and systems have been stressed in some localities.

Contagious? Certainly. Lethal? It can be, though most people don’t need to be hospitalized. Update: the swine flu pandemic is no more lethal than regular flu per case, so the only real matter of concern is how contagious it is.

Nevertheless, let’s see the Christian response to much more deadly plagues. It’s described in a book on Google Reader; read a few pages. Consider what charity is and how it looks to those who are perishing: naïve, unwarranted, ridiculous. Our qualms about a common cup for those who aren’t sick seems petty in comparison.

Yes, we do need to have wisdom and not merely act in youthful idealism. At the same time, we can see what kind of Christian Church it was that overcame the hostile eye of pagan Rome.


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