March 28th Pillar PC update on COVID-19
Do not fear.
That’s the most important thing I can tell you right now.
As COVID-19 continues its relentless march through our population centers, the most unsettling news this week has been the report of at least nine of our neighbors who took their own life by suicide. Sadly, rates of suicide have been climbing over recent years anyway. The more interconnected we become, it seems, the less we are deeply connected with one another. The less hope we each feel in being able to overcome our current circumstances.
What can we do to encourage each other? How can we be “alone together”?
SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19 infections, is known to spread in a particular way. Without appropriate protective measures one person who is infected will spread the infection to 2-3 other people. That has been a very effective means for this virus to spread across the globe in a short number of weeks. A doubling and tripling of those infected every few days can quickly reach the entire world’s population.
I’d like to challenge you to use that same model to spread compassion and concern to our neighbors. Today, call two or three people you know, two friends or family members or people from your church or club, and talk with them. Reach out and call them. Let them hear your voice and your concern for them. If you need to, walk over to their house, knock on their door, and then step back six feet. Just check in on them and make sure they are holding up. It’s okay if you want to sit outside in the front yard in lawn chairs for a bit. Stay an appropriate distance apart, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face. When you are done ask them to call or connect with two or three other people and do the same thing. Let’s check on each other today.
If you or someone you know needs help in this stressful time, here are several contact numbers. You are always welcome to reach out to me. I’ll help anyway I can.
- The National Suicide Prevention Helpline: (800) 273-8255. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
- Knoxville suicide crisis line: (865) 523-9124
- Mobile Crisis: (865) 539-2409
How do we combat fear?
We combat fear with knowledge and with hope. When our children are afraid of the dark after the lights go out it is because they imagine what might be in the shadows. The uncertain possibilities drive fear. Adults learn that the only thing in the shadows when the lights go out are the things we put there ourselves. We know what’s in the dark so we should not fear it.
I recently was sent this video which is making the rounds on the internet discussing why there should not be fear but hope (or empowerment as the speaker says). https://vimeo.com/399733860
Within this video, Dr. Price, a critical care doctor in New York City shares with his family over a zoom call what he knows of the virus and how to stop its spread. Knowing is half the battle, right?. Knowledge brings hope too. If you know that the virus most commonly spreads when you acquire it on your hands then touch your face, you can take steps to stop that process. You can take steps to protect yourself.
What knowledge brings ultimate hope? The knowledge of that which is unchanging, unmovable, and unshakable. Hope in the Living God who has called us His own. He has not set this universe in motion and left it to drift and spin however it might, but rather He created it then entered into it through the incarnation of his own Son, Jesus. His continued pursuit of us, His creation in His own image, gives us hope. The fears and dangers of this world do not have the final say. He is here, present with us, as our refuge and protector. Jesus has conquered death. We may yet die, but we will live with him. In that knowledge there is ultimate hope.
Check on your neighbors and friends today. Don’t let them suffer alone. Break into their isolation and lift them up. We will get through this together.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Psalms 118:1, 5-6, 8-9, 11-14, 17, 21, 24, 28-29 ESV
Mark B McColl, MD
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Pillar Primary Care, PLLC
“Healthcare without hassles, built for you.”
10437 Hardin Valley Rd
Knoxville, TN 37932