For most of 2020, Covid-19 has been an unwelcome reminder of how physically vulnerable and fragile we are. It was an inconvenient truth and sobering reality check that we are not as invincible as we would like to think. That reality always existed but this time there was no escaping it since it was all around us. Even if we didn’t know anyone who was diagnosed positive or died from the disease, it dominated the news cycle and our conversations. To make matters worse, we have been subjected to involuntary lockdowns, mask wearing and social distancing, meaning that we have all been deprived to some extent of the people, places and pastimes we love.
Napoleon Hill, author of ‘Think and Grow Rich'[p.211], identified the six basic fears as follows:
- fear of poverty,
- fear of criticism,
- fear of ill health,
- fear of loss of love of someone,
- fear of old age,
- fear of death.
In the context of this pandemic, it is clear that these phobias may logically inter-connect. those who have been forced to close their businesses or have lost their jobs, will no doubt have battled the fear of poverty. Even in countries with robust social security safety nets, this has not stopped individuals from falling out of the net into the dreaded abyss of dependency on others whether through the medium of unemployment cheques, stimulus packages or food banks. Having been bombarded on an almost daily basis with statistics of the number of those who have succumbed to this virus, the fear of death which may have once been shoved into our sub-consciousness, is now uppermost in our thoughts.
Although it is normal and worthwhile to do everything within our power that is reasonable to avoid death, we must resolve to face our fears and not run from them. Death is the final fear, and all other fears precede it. To use a term in popular culture, it is “the sum of all fears”.
The first way to face the fear of death is with our mental perspective. The Christian faith puts death in perspective through the actions of its founder – Jesus Christ. The fear of death has plagued humanity since we were created, and God put in place a Masterplan to save us from death in actuality and its attendant fear of death through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as He died and was resurrected, we too can be resurrected and exchange our mortal flesh, destined to die and decay, for the incorruptible clothes of immortality. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:55)
So now that we have dealt with the fear of death, we can address the fear of sickness. God has given us a gift to deal with sickness – an immune system. In a world with increasing pollution, and the compromised nutritional quality of the food we eat, we ow it to ourselves to find out as much as we can about how to boost our immune systems and not undermine them. This will give them a fighting chance against any antigen whether it be a virus, bacterium or other microscopic invader.