With all the press on Coronavirus, we are pleased that Dr. Andrew Fabich of Truett McConnell University graciously allowed us to reprint his recent blog as a preliminary scientific response. More papers are to come as the situation unfolds.
As of March 4, 2020, at 11:50AM EST, there have been a total of 94,383 confirmed cases of this novel coronavirus with 3,221 deaths worldwide.1 The virus hit the world by storm when the Chinese began reporting a mysterious virus causing pneumonia-like symptoms infecting many of its citizens. We now know that the novel coronavirus of 2019–2020 (called COVID-19) originated in bats and jumped the species barrier into the human population (probably in a food market located in the Wuhan province).2
When I first heard people talking about this outbreak, I was confused by everyone calling it a coronavirus because that term is a broad term to describe an entire family of viruses. The coronavirus family is known to infect a wide range of animals and humans, including the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s and the MERS outbreak more recently. This family of viruses can cause many different symptoms affecting the lungs, liver, kidneys, GI tract, and nervous tissue. COVID-19 is a respiratory infection spread by aerosol droplets like other diseases we often hear about.
To understand what is currently happening with COVID-19, we should compare it to what we know about another virus transmitted the same way: the flu.
But to understand what is currently happening with COVID-19, we should compare it to what we know about another virus transmitted the same way: the flu. What most people are unaware of is that the flu has been averaging between 9 and 45 million cases per year with 12,000 to 61,000 deaths per year since 2010.3 But are you as scared about getting the flu or are you more scared about getting COVID-19? When put in proper perspective, you can see that this COVID-19 is not as bad as the headlines are making it. I’m not aware of anyone who buys a surgical mask for the flu every year (on top of that, viruses are smaller than the holes found in those surgical masks . . .).4
What we ought to be asking ourselves is: What can we learn about how the flu is spread each year that we can do to prevent COVID-19?
What we should learn from this COVID-19 outbreak is that life is short and we’re not guaranteed tomorrow (James 4:13–17). While we all live forever, some will spend eternity in heaven and others in a real place called Hell. The difference between heaven and Hell is a relationship with the Creator of the universe: Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about how to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ today.
Originally published as Dr. Andrew Fabich, "How Nervous Am I About The Coronavirus (COVID-19)?" Truett McConnell University blog, March 5, 2020. Reprinted with permission of Dr. Andrew Fabich and Truett McConnell University. Dr. Andrew Fabich is a professor of microbiology at Truett McConnell University, a Creation College in Cleveland, GA.
*Editor's Note: Please refer to Ken Ham’s related and more recent article, “Coronavirus: Opportunity for the Church to Be the Hands of Christ,” dated March 11, 2020.