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Let’s Talk Religion: Coronavirus affects the faith community

Let’s Talk Religion: Coronavirus affects the faith community
March 19
09:49 2020

There seems to be a lot of hysteria surrounding the coronavirus/COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of the disease, sporting events, schools and large gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future, including church.

This is, of course, problematic for those who are used to getting up on the weekends to attend their weekly church services. It made me think about how those individuals are dealing with the situation and how the church is handling the global pandemic.

With the virus quickly spreading across the nation, people are scared now more than ever. The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that people should not gather in crowds that total more than 50, so of course, church is included in that. With people not being able to go into the house of the Lord, how will some get their spiritual filling each week?

I started to wonder how people are dealing with this situation of not having access to the church, so I asked what they are doing as an alternative.

Many of the individuals I spoke with stated that even if the church was open, they would not feel comfortable going because of the threat of contracting coronavirus. Since the virus has been confirmed in Forsyth County, people are not sure how far it has spread and who has been in contact with someone who has it.

One individual said, “It’s really scary to think that we are all at risk. We don’t know who has it or who has been in contact with someone. That’s why I would be nervous going to any large event at this point in time, including church. If you think about how much contact you have with people at church, it would put a lot of people at risk.”

Another young man added, “I think it’s the right move to shut things down for now. It’s still early and we don’t really know the full impact or severity of this virus. It is in the best interest for all people to not congregate in large groups. I hate that I won’t hear my pastor speak this Sunday, but better safe than sorry, you know.”

People really seem to be scared of how severe this virus is. We have seen pandemic scares in the past, such as the Bird Flu, Swine Flu, H1N1 or even Ebola, but we have not seen a complete shutdown as we have with the coronavirus.  

Pastors are still finding ways to connect with their congregations while we go through this pandemic. Social media, Skype and phone calls were some of the common methods pastors are using to stay in contact with the people in their churches. Other pastors have stated that they will continue to go out and communicate with people at their homes, as they are not going to let the virus scare them away.

None of us are sure how long these quarantines will last. Even without the ability to go into church, people are going to find a way to praise, whether it’s alone or in small groups. The church is home for a lot of people, so I hope we get back to some sense of normalcy sooner than later.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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