(Editor’s Note: Below is the transcript of a video message regarding COVID-19, or Coronavirus, from the President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson.)
Brothers and sisters, today I would like to talk with you about a phenomenon that is sweeping across the world—a situation that is moving so rapidly that people everywhere are wondering what can be done to stop this uninvited, unwelcome, potentially deadly coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
As of March 12, this highly contagious virus has swept around the world, with nearly 128,000 confirmed cases, and more than 4,700 confirmed deaths. The COVID-19 virus has spread incredibly fast, and governments are taking unprecedented actions in closing borders, quarantining large groups of people, and rushing to develop a vaccine against this disease. Financial markets are plummeting, schools have been closed, large conferences cancelled, travel moratoriums set, and the list could go on.
A general unease is blanketing the globe and panic is starting to set in as people rush to buy hand sanitizer, face masks, and other items they believe will protect them from the Coronavirus.
As we look around, we wonder, what is all of this leading to? Could this be the beginning of the end? How should we as Seventh-day Adventists respond, and what is the Church doing in regard to this high-profile, global health crisis?
First, we do not need to panic. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
It is not a surprise that bad things happen in this sin-filled world. Sometimes, however, we are surprised at their magnitude or how rapidly things can happen.