In many Christian Churches this first Sunday in Lent, communion was offered quite differently.
In some churches it was served as a buffet. Communion bread was placed on a table with disposable forks and wine was purred into small individual cups for communicants to take a cup and drink. The wine and bread were blessed amass.
All these were measures to calm the fears in the congregation. Some people are forecasting a slow and steady decline of worshippers in an already declining Christian Churches.
The impact on churches is nothing compared to the panic at Wall Street and global businesses. Wall Street lost 14% of its portfolio an amount that is equal to trillions of dollars as investors pulled back from investing following downturns in airline, hotel, tourism, etc. Supply chains have been disrupted to the extent that even industries not directly affected are no longer able to produce because of lack supplies.
Corona Virus hysteria has also reached sporting events. In Italy many stadia are off limits to sporting fans. Footballers play in empty stadiums and fans watch from their TVs at home. Consider the impact on beer and snack sales. It is no just football but also hockey, track and fields, basketball, movies etc. China and several countries have closed down schools, including some schools in California and Washington states in US. The guess is that there will be more lockdowns that might include grocery shopping and malls.
And there is no end in sight.
President Trump in his national broadcast said the Corona Virus risk is very low. Could he be right for the first time in his presidency?
Facts seem to support his position. Here are some facts:
Disease No of Cases Deaths
Corona Virus 90,000 3,000
2018/2019 Flu 43 million 61,200
Ebola 28,600 11,325
Of course Corona Virus has not run its course so we do not know how many case there will be nor how many deaths. But given the available data President Trump may be right.
That Mr. Trump could be right should not be interpreted to mean that no preparation is needed. Far from it. It is better to be over prepared than to be unprepared. Countries that have weak health care system like Nigeria should be on the ready so that they can move to go if the virus spreads as it is being forecasted. One cannot be too careful.
There are many Solutions being peddled. This may well be the more dangerous problem. One that came across my desk was that some foods like onions, garlic, etc. can cure the virus. In addition to getting prepared efforts must be made to minimize the impact of peddlers of false cures.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
March 1, 2020