The Coronavirus (COVID -19), which first appeared in China’s Hubei Province, is now rapidly spreading around the world at alarming rates, and with it, stock markets are plummeting. Thursday stocks hit their worst losses since the crash of 1987. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 10% for its worst day since a nearly 23% drop on Oct. 19, 1987.
It seems that the world is in the grip of this virus in what is becoming a global pandemic. People are rushing to stock their homes with emergency supplies, there is a real danger that it will affect supply and demand proportions very quickly. The virus knows no boundaries, nor does it distinguish between races. It attacks Chinese, Italians, Swiss, Americans, Israelis, Palestinians, Iranians and others around the globe. Millions are in a panic, which is as dangerous as the disease itself. The reality is that people’s livelihoods and health are being threatened at the same time.
Large outbreaks of the virus globally prompted many to link the epidemic to the biblical prophecies of the end times. Christian ‘End Time experts’ have linked the Coronavirus to the events of the Apocalypse.
Many Christians believe that the Book of Revelation prophesizes about cataclysmic events that will unfold before the Second Coming of Christ. Some believe that the world has already experienced the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse with religious deception, wars, and famine. Now with the spread of the Coronavirus, they believe the pestilence of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse has started.
Evangelists Gerald Flurry and Wayne Turgeon of The Trumpet said: “It is imperative that each of us takes heed while there is still time.” Charity Mukuba announced: “The rider of this pale horse has been released on earth today. We can already see the plagues of locusts and pestilences like CORONAVIRUS that have brought famine and death.”
John the Apostle wrote in Revelation 6:
“And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
There is however no evidence to suggest that the Coronavirus is the pestilence described in the bible. COVID-19 belongs to a family of viruses that attacked parts of the world in the past. For instance, SARS emerged in 2002 in the Guangdong province of China, and globally spread infecting 8,096 people and causing 774 deaths.
Drastic measures are being taken to avoid the spread of the virus and prevent death, as well as avoid the spreading of panic and talk of conspiracy theories. Most of the dead so far are the elderly with previous health problems.
Israel’s rapid implementation of tough quarantine measures was expanded just
before the country started celebrating Purim. Anyone entering the country from
anywhere in the world must self-quarantine for 14 days, including Israeli
citizens. Tourists and non-citizens also have to enter 14 days of
self-quarantine after reporting the address where they will be staying. Israel
has not closed Ben-Gurion International Airport but most flights to and from
Israel have been canceled due to various travel restrictions worldwide and poor
Programs involving international travel, such as the annual March of the Living program, which takes students to Poland to see the death camps of the Holocaust and then moves on to Israel, are postponed.
As the toll of Coronavirus grows, it is crucial not to downplay or exaggerate the threat. Even in a free society, citizens must be willing to sacrifice some of their freedoms and personal comfort for the sake of public health.
The Jewish month of Adar is a time to rejoice, even more so with the
festival of Purim. But this Purim was different as the joy was tainted by this
terrible virus. There is some good news from China, where it all started:
There appears to be a slowdown in the outbreak of the virus. With God’s help, a cure or vaccine will be developed in the near future.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a series of government and health ministry decisions urging Israelis to follow stricter hygiene routines, limit public gatherings to 100 people and stay home in self-quarantine if experiencing suspected symptoms.
Netanyahu also asked people not to hold conferences and events if they don’t have to. Schools are closed and higher education facilities will teach remotely. Health Ministry’s Director General called on employers to let more and more employees work from home.
As of today, there are 16 additional confirmed cases of Coronavirus, bringing the national patient count to 126. It was also reported that there are 2,479 health workers in quarantine – among them 949 doctors and 635 nurses. Of those diagnosed with the virus, 91 are in hospitals, one more is being admitted and five are being treated at home, the ministry said. Two Coronavirus patients are in serious condition, and three Israelis have recovered from the disease. As a general rule, people should maintain a reasonable distance from each other.
As believers, it is important to look to our God and Savior Who is Sovereign over all His creation. It is widely believed that the Coronavirus outbreak will get significantly worse before it stabilizes and gets better. With taking the necessary precautions and abiding by local laws and regulations, we must keep on believing that our God is in control and that He is our protector (Ps. 91). In God’s economy there is no stock market crash. He will supply all of our needs according to HIS riches in glory. We need to pray and rely now on God’s Word and His promises. Do not fear, and do not worry.
If you are in Israel: hotline (*5400) is open to receive general information and assistance, or the Magen David Adom emergency services (101) in case of flu-like symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing (call before going to the hospital.)