Statement on COVID-19 by Dr. James Marcum, M.D.
(March 13, 2020)
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to dominate the news. I am reminded of the wise words of Paul, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God.” Phillipians 4:6 (NKJV).
Everything in this world includes viruses. However, we know Who is in control. Famines and pestilences are to be expected, but this is our chance to pray and glorify God in all things. Others are watching our response.
The news is overwhelming. So, what should I do?
Pray and look for opportunities to witness
Wash your hands often
Avoid contact with those traveling from highly impacted countries, such as Europe, China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy
Be careful with cell phones and computer keyboards (disinfect and wash hands after use)
If you are ill, stay at home. We have not done a good job at this in the past.
If possible, stay away from large groups and avoid unnecessary travel.
Over the expanse of time, there have been many viruses, and you can be assured that there will be more to come. However, if we would just stay at home when we are sick, wash our hands thoroughly and often, and keep our devices disinfected, these simple steps would probably control most outbreaks.
Of course, many of us are asking the question about why is there so much media coverage with this outbreak?
Compared to other pandemics, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is less fatal, but it is more contagious. However, our world is now more connected on numerous levels than ever before. In minutes, I can know about a new case in Italy or some other part of the world. I can also know what people are thinking and doing almost in real time. As word spreads and concerns grow, media coverage, governmental reactions, medical responses, and major economical impacts can change the world as we know it.
The media coverage of this virus is like nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. It just proves the old adage that the only thing constant is change.
But you may ask, what did I do at work today?
First, I read 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV), “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Then I prayed and went to the hospital to see patients and serve them. I washed my hands after entering every room or touching a keyboard. When I got home, I immediately took off my clothes and took a shower. Now, I am writing this short note to my friends, encouraging each one of us to realize the world is changing - and it is changing rapidly. However, we can depend upon our God to take care of us in these trying times. Most importantly, we have something to be extra thankful for - we know that this world is not our home.
James L. Marcum, M.D. FACC ACLM
Chattanooga Heart Institute
Director of Heartwise Ministries
(Dr. James Marcum, M.D. is a practicing cardiologist with the Chattanooga (TN) Heart Institute. In addition, he leads Heartwise Ministries, a ministry providing Biblical answers to health-related issues. Dr. Marcum also is the author of a study series, Biblical Prescriptions for Life, offered by Pathway Press.
Dr. Marcum serves as a medical consultant to the special Task Force on the Coronavirus outbreak, appointed by Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God.)