How Do We Respond to COVID-19?
As nurses, we find ourselves facing unique challenges as our country and the world works to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19. Early this afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was reporting 1629 cases of COVID-19 with 41 deaths in 46 states as well as the District of Columbia. As the days progress, these numbers are sure to grow.
At-home quarantines, cancellation of events involving large groups of people, and social distancing are being used to reduce exposure to the virus. Store shelves are empty of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and toilet paper. The public has been asked not to purchase facemasks unless symptomatic so that these resources can be used by nurses and others in healthcare. Students and faculty are transitioning face-to-face classes to online learning environments. Faith community nurses are seeking ways to support and care for others in their communities. Fear, frustration, stigma, disappointment, and social isolation are being felt by many.
How do we respond to the information we are hearing and the questions that go unanswered? As nurses and individuals of faith, we know:
- "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7 New King James Version).
- We can live, walk, and serve without anxiety, but experience peace – a deep peace that only comes from God. Paul writes in Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- We have unique opportunities as caregivers to be present with others and to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15, NIV).
- Our God is a God of comfort. II Corinthians 1:4 reminds us of our ability comfort others. It comes from a source of unending love and strength from a God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (NIV).
Know that we at Nurses Christian Fellowship are here for you. We want to support you as you care for others. The resources below on COVID-19 are meant to provide both clinical and spiritual support. Remember that God is sovereign. He is present with us in all of this.
Please let us know how we can be praying for you. You can contact us here and our staff and team of nurse volunteers across the country will lift you up in prayer.
We serve a mighty God! We know He hears our cries. We pray for strength, courage, wisdom, and the ability to show love in what He has called us to do.
Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF, Interim Director, Professional Ministries Director Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA
Medical Information & Articles
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, follow these best practices
WHO posts daily updates, and the CDC’s page has the latest US information
Tip Sheet on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by Kris Mauk, Senior Editor, Journal of Christian Nursing
Johns Hopkins Public Health On Call
ANA COVID Webinar: Nurses and health care workers face ongoing challenges with the supply and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during times of supply chain shortage, patient surge, and evolving evidence on COVID-19. ANA is partnering with the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) to bring you this free, online, on-demand webinar. A link to view the webinar at your convenience will be emailed to all registrants the week of March 30.
Christian Response Resources
NEW! The Love We Have to Give Bible Study
March 20th Webinar Recording- Coronavirus: Strategies for Spiritual Caregivers: Our thanks to the Westberg Institute for making this webinar & PowerPoint available. Please continue to check the CDC for the latest information.
A Christian Healthcare Worker's Response to COVID-19
Key Ministry: Safety in God in the Time of Coronavirus
NCF Blog: Christian Response to Outbreak
The Gospel Coalition: 8 Things the Coronavirus Should Teach Us
Medical Missions Blog: Coronavirus and Missions: Finding the Balance Between Facts and Faith
All Things Coronavirus: Communication for Churches & Large Group Gatherings
Crosswalk.com: 10 Ways Christians Can Exemplify Faith and Peace During COVID-19
NCF Bible Studies
Devotional: A New Thing for Changing Times
Jen Wojtysiak, BS, ThM, NCF Student Ministries Director
Isaiah 43:18-19 (English Standard Version)
“Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
Scary headlines in the news, rapidly changing culture, growing levels of anxiety and loneliness on campuses and in our communities around the US - all these real and hard issues can be overwhelming! With the development of technology, our culture changes more rapidly. Information spreads faster and farther causing us to be easily overwhelmed. As a follower of Jesus it can be easy to wring our hands or throw them up in exasperation and cry “What are we to do?”
The prophet Isaiah starts out Isaiah 43 with the command to “fear not." He continues in this chapter of Isaiah to remind the Israelites of the reasons to fear not, he reminds them of all God has already done and all He has promised to do. That brings us to verse 18-19 where the people of Israel are reminded that God is doing a “new thing.”
As we look out into the world we may not be convinced of this. But rest assured, the Lord is not silent, distant, or absent from what is going on around us. He is at work, and is doing something new in our world and culture. Our God is so big and so powerful the changes around us might just be what ushers in a new movement of God. We can move forward with faith, trust, and hope in his ability to work all things for good amidst changing times!
Spiritual & Mental Health Resources
Journal of Christian Nursing Articles:
No Time to Fear - An interview with a nurse who overcame fear about involvement caring for patients following a natural disaster. Encouragement about prayer, Scripture and caring for others
Dominique Gilliard: COVID-19 Prayer Calendars