I watched Sunday night as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, was interviewed by CBS News Anchor Norah O’Donnell.
The White House had just issued a Coronavirus Advisory urging Americans not to attend group meetings consisting of more than 50 people—a number that was lowered to 10 by Monday afternoon.
O’Donnell asked Dr. Birx what her greatest concern was regarding the American response to the White House guidelines. Her response was amazingly insightful, and even prophetic. It was to the effect that Millennials, meaning younger generation Americans, would not take these warnings seriously because they themselves are not nearly so vulnerable to Covid-19’s fatal effects. In other words, she feared that they would be unwilling to curtail their social activities and would, thereby, jeopardize the very lives of their grandparents by ignoring all social distancing warnings and exposing the seniors to even more Covid-19 infections.
Sure enough just two days later, Florida’s beaches were awash with scads of congregating young people on Spring Break—all of whom were clearly ignoring the Whitehouse Guidelines, and potentially exposing not only themselves, but others, to the deadly virus.
The story brought to mind Jesus’ explanation of what constitutes supreme love—Jesus-style: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
It’s rare that anyone has an opportunity to demonstrate this kind of love by doing absolutely nothing—staying at home and sitting on the couch. But that’s exactly the kind of opportunity that the current Covid-19 Pandemic has presented. And even then, thousands of younger Americans have selfishly decided not to comply.
I’m reminded of another beach scene attended by thousands of young Americans decades ago. They were the beaches of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944. On that day, tens of thousands of American young men stormed those beaches in the face of constant machine gun fire that left many of them as bloated corpses floating in the bloody surf. They risked everything, and even gave the ultimate testimony of their great love, to save France, our nation, and the world from the rule of a truly evil empire headed by Adolf Hitler.
What our government today has asked us to do is not nearly as great a sacrifice. The White House asks us not to sacrifice our lives, but our life-styles, if only for a few weeks. And in this case it is so often to protect the very precious people who have loved us, protected us and provided for us—even given us the life we have, from this unpredictable viral predator that kills—especially the elderly. Past generations have made incredible sacrifices so that we might live and prosper as we do today. Assuredly, we owe the elderly in our own families and others who have given us the life we so enjoy today, the sacrifice our life-style preferences, if only temporarily, for their good and Christ’s glory!